Jump to content

Snail invasion out of control


Recommended Posts

Searched before sending and nothing really fit and hoping for some advice. I have 4 tanks: 94g, 36g and 20g x2. The snails started in 1 tank and have infested all of them. There are several thousands of them between all my tanks. They are about the size of the end of a pin, so super tiny.

I want to get rid of them but nothing helps, i have added bleach and lots of salt to no avail. So finally i broke down my 1 of my 20g, bleached it with boiling water as well as my sponge filters. I left them in the bleach for a week.  I put it back together without substrate as i didn't want to end up with the same problem. Glad i did it that way as they are back, not sure how as i used new hoses and new cleaning equipment and they came back. I really don't want to buy new filters, even though i love Aquarium Co-op i can't afford to purchase everything all over again. Plus replace all the media filter in my FX4 and Oase filters as well....that is a huge expense.

Not sure what type they are as the never get bigger than that tiny one in the picture. I thought they might be trumpet but those get big, these are not. I even removed all the fish from the other 20g and stopped adding food about 6month ago as they are still going strong. Note, the picture with the scrubber, all those dots are the snails in question....it is just a fraction of the snails. So not dots, snails and that is the small side of the tank, now think of that being everywhere all over everything, i mean there are thousands of them and i am sure more than that from what i can't see. 

Not sure what to do and have been trying to control get rid of them for well over a year. This is causing me to want to sell everything and get out of the hobby that i have loved for almost 20 years. I am in tears over this, if anyone can offer help i would be greatly appreciate it.

TIA Jenni.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanna say baby MTS. Surprisingly MTS grows really slow in my experience.

They give birth to live babies. Don't worry. My tank was quite infested with them as well, but lately, I managed to decrease their population a lot.

My suggestions would be:

-Everything in the tank is a sort of snail food. Any extra food, algae, decaying plant matter and so on. Try to fix algae issues, overfeeding and keep up with maintenance. I would say weekly maintence including gravel vac to get rid of any detrius, manual collection of decaying plant matter. Trying to balance tank system, light, ferts, plant growth and such.

-Add competition to their potential food. Especially Algae eaters and bottom dwellers. So basically they leave much less potential food for these snails in the tank. Helps a lot with balancing their population.

Please don't be demotivated. I had to deal with this situation and look for half a year. But I kept doing my maintenance and weekly gravel and cleaning up every week without slacking off. Today, I finally managed to balance everything. A lot of us go through these sort of situation. To err is human 🙂

Also don't forget that these guys are actually beneficial. It is just the look that can be unpleasing which I understand. Don't lose hope and your love of fishkeeping. By the time and attempt to correcting stuff, it finds a way. Better late than never.

I hope this helps,



Also I think they spend more time under the substrate when there is more oxygen in the tank, in my experience, which means less unpleasing look. Whats your filter/oxygen sources based on your tank sizes?




Edited by Lennie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a 20 gallon that was overrun. Transferred the fish to a 55 gallon and some snails snuck over. They aren't taking over so far. 

I have another tank with a common goldfish. I pull the pest snails out and put them in his tank. That tank never has snails. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Lennie yes that is how small they are in the cleaned out tank. 

96g i have a Fluval FX4 only have 2 (3-4inch) Siamese algae eaters in it, as my 2 Fancy goldfish passed after 13 years of having them. I honestly can't catch the Siamese algae eater as they are too fast or they would be out of the tank as well. I also have 1 large co-op sponge filter on the other side. I also have Ramshorn snails, but they are dying off since i am not feeding the tank. 

36g bowfront, 1 Osae filter and 2 medium co-op sponge filters.

For the 20g x2 tanks i have 2 large co-op sponge filters. 1 tank (in picture) has the most and no fish, no feeding nothing, and they still survive :(. the other 20 gallon i emptied and bleached but they still came back. 

TBH i want them gone, not just managed, but it seems like bleaching the tang and all the filters didn't help as they are back.....not sure how that is possible but they are. 

I want to get some amazon puffers but i know these guys are not good for them as the shells are too hard. I also want to get rid of them before i start feeding the tanks again as i know that will only cause them to populate even more. My BF and i argue about the tanks all the time as he hates those tiny snails and says it makes the tank look horrible, which i completely agree. 

Appreciate the help as i have been googling them but have never found the name so that is super helpful. Also appreciate the willingness to help. 


@Darax I hope it doesn't end up like mine, i tend to go with black substrate and they just make the tank look dirty and really stand out. Wishing you all the luck it doesn't end up like all my tanks 😞

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feeding less is a great way to decrease the snail population in your aquarium.  Another important question to ask yourself is why are you doing all of this? What is the purpose? Is it worth all the time and money to get rid of all of them or is it okay to have a few lingering snails?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your fish can easily survive a fasting day or two, so add that to your reduced feeding plan.  You mentioned a lot of boiling and bleaching.  Does that include the substrate, tools, decorations...? I'm not a fan of bleaching as it can damage everything. MTS can be resistant to bleach and other treatments, as they have the ability to seal their shell and wait it out. I don't think anything can resist boiling or freezing. Reverse Respiration may work with MTS.  Someone else will have to address that.  Irene's Girl Talks Fish on YouTube has suggestions for other types of snails.

Allowing everything go dry might work, but it may also take weeks. Adding omnivores might control the population, especially when they are hungry.  Adding an Assassin Snail might also work.

Here is some general MTS information.  https://www.tfhmagazine.com/articles/freshwater/taming-the-tenacious-trumpet-snail 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...