How to deal with snails in an aquarium

Snails in an aquarium are some of the most unpleasant and uninvited guests. They often enter your home without your knowledge – along with plants purchased from the pet store. It is not immediately possible to notice their presence. In principle, they can bring some benefit to the aquarium, eating waste and parasitic algae, but the problem is that they reproduce quickly enough – and this is already a serious threat to other inhabitants. Therefore, many fish breeders want to know how to get rid of snails without harming the fish.

Their appearance is a big surprise if you did not intentionally populate the aquarium space with them. But where do they come from? As a rule, their eggs are found in soil or poorly processed algae. A snail will quickly appear from the eggs and spawn dozens and hundreds of its own kind.

They feel quite comfortable in the aquarium. They are not as susceptible to changes in temperature, pollution and lack of food as aquarium fish. Some breeders mistakenly believe that they can be aggressive towards small animals. This is not so, but there is still harm from their presence.

snails in an aquarium

Why are snails in an aquarium dangerous?

Conventional snail coils can be beneficial to the aquarium ecosystem, but only if their reproduction is controlled. When their number exceeds the permissible norm, then this is fraught with the following consequences:

  • They feed not only on algae, but also on the usual food that you feed your fish. This leads to the fact that your “pets” will be hungry.
  • Violation of the established balance of the ecosystem. They siphon the soil, eat waste, but their presence can disrupt the established balance of an enclosed space. This is fraught with quite serious diseases of aquarium fish.
  • The aquarium is becoming less attractive. They crawl literally everywhere – along algae, along the bottom and walls of the tank, blocking the view. Some of their types secrete mucus, which makes the walls even more dirty.

Aquarium snails are a living organism with all the ensuing consequences. They eat food, algae, and also release ammonia in the course of their life. In addition, they are carriers of bacteria, so the health of the fish can be threatened.

The fact that you need to get rid of them is understandable. But how do you get snails out of your aquarium? There are several ways to deal with these intruders, each with varying degrees of effectiveness.


This method is considered the easiest of all. But you need to be prepared for the fact that it will take a considerable amount of time. Here’s what to do:

  • Transfer all fish to a separate aquarium or any other large tank.
  • Drain all water, remove all soil and algae. You need to wash everything.
  • Everything in the aquarium needs to be boiled. Driftwood, sticks, i.e. any decor.
  • When everything is ready, you can fill in new soil. Algae also needs to be changed, because there is a risk that snail caviar is present on the old ones.

This method is good in that it is possible to completely get rid of uninvited inhabitants. But the problem is different – the general cleaning is quite large, because you are essentially restarting the aquarium. It takes time to regain the previous balance, and this is already a serious stress for the aquarium inhabitants, who can become very sick or die after this.


Many do not know, but you can get rid of uninvited guests in a very inhumane way. But who eats the snails in the aquarium? Let’s answer – the same snails or some types of aquarium fish. There are a number of molluscs that eat similar species, but smaller ones. For example, Helena’s snails.

When choosing in favor of a predator fish, you need to know in advance how they will get along with other fish. Predators include Gourami, fighting clown, tetradon and other species.

Snail chemicals

You can get rid of snails using chemicals that are sold in pet stores. There are quite a few of them, so you need to know which type of shellfish has occupied your aquarium.

This method has its pitfalls. Still, chemistry is a rather aggressive effect on the ecosystem, so it will take time to restore it. In theory, it can negatively affect the health of the fish themselves. Another point is that after exposure to chemistry, the mollusks will die, but they must be removed promptly in order to prevent their decomposition.


Snail traps are another effective remedy. The main advantage of this method is that it is less aggressive than others.

The principle is extremely simple:

  • You need to scald lettuce or cabbage leaves.
  • We put this “treat” on a flat plate.
  • The makeshift clam trap is ready. We place it in the aquarium overnight.

Molluscs are guaranteed to be interested in such a delicacy, so you just need to pull out a plate with these inhabitants and throw them away. But if you breed catfish, then they can also encroach on your “trap”, so you need to take this fact into account.

Is it possible to prevent snails in an aquarium?

If you are not attracted by the possible fight with snails, then you can protect yourself from their appearance. After purchasing plants from the store, they need to be processed to get rid of the eggs. A solution is being prepared – 10 mg of potassium permanganate is taken for one liter of water. Plants need to be placed in it for 10 minutes. Even if there were eggs on the plants, during this time they will die.

But if the problem has already appeared, but you do not want to waste your time fighting shellfish, then it is better to entrust this matter to professionals. Specialists of the company “AQUAdesign” will carry out a comprehensive cleaning of the aquarium, decor, replace the soil, and also save you from uninvited visitors. All this work is carried out as carefully as possible in relation to your aquarium fish and the internal ecosystem. Medicines and prophylactic drugs are added if necessary.

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