Snails usually arrive in your aquarium on plants or other décor. When present in small numbers they pose no problems, but once they start to breed and increase in numbers they can be unsightly, damage plants and block aquarium filters.
Controlling snails can be undertaken in the following ways.
- Manually remove the snails. Simply disposing of the snails that you can see in the tank will help to reduce numbers, though is unlikely to completely eradicate the problem.
- Commercial snail traps are available, or you can use a lettuce leaf or piece of cucumber put into an empty plastic fish food container that is sunk to the bottom of the tank. The food container stops any of the fish eating the lettuce leaf. Put the trap in the tank in the evening and remove it before the lights come on the following morning – and discard any sails that are in it. Repeat this process with the same leaf for several days and you will get rid of a good number of snails.
- A number of fish will eat any snails that fit in their mouth. Clown loach are great at doing this and will quickly get the problem under control
- Snail treatments. There are some copper sulphate based snail treatments available for use in aquaria. They certainly work, but take great care that you have removed as many snails as possible before treating, and remove any dead snails as soon as possible afterwards. Dead snails will very quickly pollute the aquarium water causing serious problems for your fish.