Snails can play a few beneficial roles in the aquarium, including cleaning waste. However, they multiply quickly and can soon become a pest and problem. Too many snails can destroy plant life, throw off the tank's ecological balance and ruin the appearance of the habitat. Fighting back starts with a few simple steps.
Things You'll Need
- Clean jar
- Knife or scissors
- Snail-eating fish
- Aquarium sterilizing product
- Second aquarium
Control how much food you put in your fish tank. Snails feed off of excess food not consumed by fish, which will encourage the snails to lay more eggs. Give your fish only as much food as they can consume in two or three minutes.
Manually remove the snails that are producing the eggs by setting a trap. Many pet stores sell snail traps but you can also make one at home. Using a clean jar, poke a few holes in the lid that are large enough for the snails to enter but not the fish. At night, put a piece of lettuce in the trap and submerge it at the bottom of the aquarium. Remove the container as soon as you wake up in the morning. Throw the snails in the garbage.
Introduce snail-eating fish into the tank. Some fish, including the clown loach and freshwater dwarf puffer fish, eat snails and their eggs and will consume as many as they can find in your aquarium. Talk to a fish store employee to make sure the aquarium is large enough to support the new fish before placing them in the tank.
Remove the fish and thoroughly clean the entire aquarium, if the snail egg problem isn't getting under control. Place all the fish in a separate container with water set at the proper temperature and pH balance. Drain the water from the original tank and clean everything in it using an aquarium sterilizing product, which can be purchased from a pet store. Scrub the gravel, plants, filter, tank and aquarium hood. This should remove all of the snail eggs.