Bob Mehen advises how to prevent snails from taking over your aquarium.

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How do I deal with hitchhiking snails in my tank?

Bob says: Unwanted snails can be annoying, and it can be extremely difficult to prevent them from appearing in your aquarium without strict quarantine procedures in place. The good news is they are seldom a major problem unless you have other issues with your tank that allow their population to boom uncontrollably. Getting rid of them once they’re in can be very difficult, with snail killing medications often causing a problem themselves as you suddenly have a large quantity of dead, decaying snails in your tank, causing a pollution spike as a result.

Snail traps can be effective, as can physically removing any you find. Assassin snails do an excellent job of eating the smaller snails, but may also be partial to the occasional shrimp. Treating plants with a weak bleach solution is one method of ridding new plants of hitchhikers, but getting the dose right can be problematical. Instead, I would recommend using one of the commercially available snail treatments, such as eSHa Gastropex, which usually have instructions on how to use them safely as a plant bath.

Bob Mehen - Bob is a master of fishkeeping general knowledge and community tanks.


Real Aquatics

eSHa gastropex Aquatic Snail Treatment

The eSHa Gastropex effectively combats aquatic snails in your aquarium. Use Gastropex to stop snails destroying aquatic plants and transmitting disease to your fish.

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