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I always had problems with snails in my aquarium. They reproduce faster than I can remove them.

Last time I had such problem it was solved by restarting my aquarium: took all the water of it, throw away plants, sterilized stones and wood with boiling water, cleaned the glass, and saved some water treated with chemicals. Then began everything back, put my fishes back...

If it ever happens again, how could I fight back those snails without using aquarium ?

10

One piece of advice I've seen is to use bait to lure the snails out, and then physically remove them. This may help you keep up with them.

Methods of baiting range from simple (put a large piece of lettuce in your tank, turn down the lights, and wait a few hours) to more involved (build a small "trap" by placing food the snails will find attractive in a container big enough to hold a bunch of the snails, but too small for your fish to get into to eat the bait).

Another popular non-chemical option is to find fish that eat snails, and add them to your tank. Loaches appear to be good choices, if available; especially the clown loach or yoyo loach.

Puffers are also mentioned, but they can be aggressive towards other fish, so probably aren't a good solution.

You can also help keep their numbers in check by cutting down on their available food. Avoid overfeeding your fish, and periodically clean your gravel. You can also add algae eating fish, such as sucker fish (be careful which kind of suckers you get, as some can grow quite large, and therefore require a larger aquarium to ensure their health).

I found some good overall resources/guides for snail control:

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8

You might consider adding a few Assassin Snails to the tank.

I had a rapidly growing population of pond and ramshorn snails after I had introduced some plants into my tank, and was looking for a solution. I saw them at the local pet place when I was out looking for loaches, and after a bit of research decided to give them a try. Assassin snails are actually fresh water Whelks... and are quite carnivorous. Once placed in the tank, the three of them I had brought home commenced what I can only describe as a war crime against the native snail population. Within about 6-8 weeks they had wiped out the snails. The substrate was littered with empty pond snail shells. There was not a snail to be seen.

I am starting to see some ramshorn snails pop back into the picture now. But I havent seen a pond snail for a good 8 months.

They are harmless to fish and shrimp. Though I imagine they will go after any fish or shrimp eggs they come across.

They're also very fun to watch. They move across the substrate awkwardly like Jawa Sandcrawler, sticking their proboscis out looking for prey. They move slow, but steadily. If you keep an eye out, you might actually catch them in the act of stalking and capturing a snail.

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5

Get a blue crayfish. They looove to munch up snails! @Beofett mentioned clown loaches, and I heard the same advice, so I got clown loaches and a crayfish. The crayfish ate way more snails than the loaches did.

A caveat about crayfish: for better or for worse, they eat just about anything organic. That includes slow-moving fish that loiter too much around the bottom of the tank. If there's a sick fish hanging out over there, it is likely to end up as crayfish poo, which depending on your outlook, may or may not be desirable. :-)

They're also big-time escape artists, so make sure the top of your tank is seriously escape-proof.

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  • 1
    glad you added the caveat! I could imagine ending up with an aquarium of crayfish and nothing else :) – Yvette Colomb Oct 15 '13 at 4:43
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I know the question is old and the OP have probably resolved his issue.

There are already several good answer here but I would like add one more.

I was searching a solution for my community tank to get rid of snail or at least limit their population. I have shrimps in there so most chemicals were out of question. Second there was the assassin snail solution (as suggested by GrandMasterB answer's) but there are several story of those snail eating shrimp or even small fish. I also read that given the right conditions, those snail reproduce almost as much as other pest snail (why replace one specie with another... same problem just a different specie). I also found the loach solution but my tank was too small for those.

I decided to give a shot with Danios fish, they are fairly inexpensive, fun to watch (fast swimmer, always active, colorful, etc.) and more importantly they eat small snail. When I dropped them in my tank, within five minutes they were eating all the snails they could fit in they mouth. Three day later, I still have bigger snail but I haven't seen a baby snail for the last two days. They will not kill/eat all snail but they will limit the population quite fast and eventually the bigger snail will die.

So if you are not looking for a solution to kill all the snail population but more to limit it, Danios are a great solution.

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