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How To Get Rid Of Snails In An Aquarium

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Some guests are good unwelcomed. Snails are one of those unwelcome inhabitants that you wouldn’t want in your fish aquarium. These sneaky inhabitants come through live plants, But then how to get rid of snails in an aquarium?

There are many other doubts and queries one can have about how snails even get into the fish tank, how do they create problems for fish inside, etc. So, there are multiple questions and answers to this problem. How about I give you a tour of how exactly can you clean up the entire mess and keep your aquarium clean and healthy. So, here’s a sneak peek of the process of how can you get rid of snails from an aquarium.

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From where Do Snails Come in Your Aquarium and Why They Are a Nuisance?

Well, that looks like a surprise, right? You wake up one day and look into your aquarium and suddenly see that your aquarium also has snails in it. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Okay, we will talk about that but first, where did they sneak in from? If you have any live plants in your aquarium, or if you got them some gravel from the sea, it might have had come along.

Considering their eggs are very tiny so it would’ve come in unnoticed. They easily cling to the roots of those plants and get inside the aquarium. Also, if in case you have aquarium decor transferred from one tank to another wet and unclean. This also has a probability of snails getting in when transferring from one tank to another.

And the issue here is that all it takes is one single snail to create a large population. That becomes a huge issue as it is very difficult to remove them once they are grown in population. Therefore, you need to learn the proper process of snail removal from an aquarium.

Above all of them don’t you think they are also quite nuisance? But what do you think is the reason behind this? Well, what much research says that nuisance snails are often a sign of excessive organic matter in the aquarium, such as uneaten food, plant remains or detritus.

After reviewing some of the solution aspects, we reached a conclusion which says feeding regimes and hoovering out debris with a gravel cleaning siphon is often enough to control numbers. Wherein, if looking for more effective eradication, several options are available

Did You Know?


London Zoo had the first-ever public aquarium and even coined the word. Before this, an aquarium was called an underwater vivarium.

But as everything has a solution, this one does too. Here’s how you can get rid of snails in an aquarium:

Feed Less Food

The first and most important thing that you need to know which can help you to avoid snail reproduction rate is that start feeding less food. The more you feed, the more they have the chance of reproducing and populating. Try underfeeding your aquarium inhabitants (only feeding enough for the fish to eat at each feeding) to see if that solves snail overpopulation. This might be an effective solution of how to get rid of snails in an aquarium.

Use Chemical To Kill The Snail

If that doesn’t help you to resolve the issue then you can also go for an option of using a chemical to kill the snail. The most common, fish-safe chemical used to kill snails is copper sulfate. There are a certain amount of directions that you need to follow so that the fish survive regardless of the ongoing treatment.

Reduces aquarium maintenance - Best Choice
  • Rapidly reduces organic waste
  • Digests waste in filters, gravel and aquarium surfaces
  • optimal protection against ammonia and nitrate

After the completion of this process, there are chances of massive snail die-off which may foul your aquarium. Therefore, in such cases, you are needed to spend time removing dead snails and adjusting the water to make sure it remains healthy for your fish and any live plants. This is one of the most effective methods of getting rid of snails in an aquarium.

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Place Snail Traps in the Tank

This is one of the easiest tricks of removing snails using an aquarium snail trap. You can find various snail traps available online or through pet stores. All you need to do is place a large piece of lettuce in the aquarium, clip the sturdy stem end to the aquarium's side, and leave it overnight. In the morning, when you remove the leaf and you will find a large number of snails on the underside. Keeping this process in the loop may help you get rid of vast numbers of snails in your aquarium.

  • You can also pick out the snails out of the aquarium as they are seen. Doing this at the initial stage is most effective as there are smaller numbers of snails. Although snails are mainly nocturnal, it may not make a dent in the problem

  • During the time of hatching, snails are quite small and can climb up the sides of the aquarium. You can use a small diameter hose like an air pump hose and start a siphon. Start sucking out the little ones, keep repeating the process for a little longer and you will be able to remove them all. They are huge in number that you can pull out 100 in a couple of minutes. Repeat the process of the Aquarium snail trap in a few hours.

These snails reproduce at a very fast pace and can quickly overwhelm a tank. Getting rid of them requires some time and a good amount of effort but it is well worth it.

Did You Know?


Snails can also be a good indicator of aquarium water quality. However, if you see that they are crawling out of the water it might be an indication of poor water quality.

Followed by the above information, there are possibilities of an increase in ammonia, nitrates, or low oxygen levels which is making snails move out. You can also put in fish like loaches, gouramis, and bettas that eat snail eggs and small snails.

Precautions to Avoid Snail Infestation

Snail infestation is when a lot of them just cluttered together and are causing damage to the aquarium. Hence, it becomes very important for you to do the cleaning and proceed with the infestation. But, before you start, make sure that you are aware of the reason of infestation. This helps you to be clear about why and how to get rid of snails in freshwater aquarium.

It usually indicates that the balance in your aquarium has been broken. And unless you are aware of what’s happening and why is it happening you can’t fix it. Especially a snail-infested aquarium means that you’ve not been too active in cleaning the fish tank or have been unknowingly providing your snails with too many snacks.

Once you identify the real reason, you can get on to action. Here are some of the best practices that you can use to avoid getting aquarium snail infestation. 

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Different ways to get rid of snails in an aquarium

Here are some very simple ways that you can use to get rid of slimy snails that are disturbing the aquarium environment and are causing disturbance to the fish inside it. Take a glance at it:

Remove Manually

Yes, the first thing that you can do to avoid aquarium snail infestation is manual removal. Are you confused? Well, manual removal is exactly what we are talking about. You are supposed to pick out snails out of your aquarium with your hands as you notice them. Although keep in mind that snails are mostly nocturnal so the snails you see during the day might just be a few of them, there’s a lot more to remove. Hence, you can also opt for other techniques for more effective results.

Trick them With food bait

One of the best tricks in the process of getting rid of snails from an aquarium at once is that you lure them with a food bait. Give them a huge variety of snail Swedish table for a night. Bait the aquarium with a piece of cucumber, cabbage, lettuce or a ripe banana skin until morning. The hungry snails will be all over the bait in the morning so you can easily remove them along with the food bait. So, using this technique you can also counter the issue of how to get rid of snail eggs in the aquarium.

Clean Everything

If in case you have been through everything and still are not so happy with the result, consider cleaning everything thoroughly. It is said to be usually a last resort since it’s the least practical solution for most aquarists. Yet, this does help as you remove each item from the tank, including plants, filter gravel. But, make sure you are not being lazy as the snail’s eggs are very small and they could be everywhere. Make sure that once you have cleaned everything, you have also properly dried it and then put in any equipment or water.

But so that you do not face the same problem again, keep your aquarium live plants quarantined in an alternative tank for a week or two. If you see any snails appear, crush them.

Video Introduction

Here are the wrapping up facts to keep in mind

So, wrapping up the entire article, we are sure you now have better insight into the aquarium. So, just make sure that whatever way of cleaning you choose, make sure to repeat the process until the snail population is under control. Also, make sure that you are doing proper cleaning on a correct interval period. You need to make sure that you are not overfeeding the fish as that is going to be a feast for the snails and they are going to be happy reproducing more.

So if you are willing to keep your aquarium clean and your fish healthy make sure you follow the best cleaning techniques of keeping your aquarium clean and snail free, frequently. And after that we are sure, you are going to be in love with your fish tank every time you see it. 

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