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Snail Question


Registered Member
I'm new to the forum, but have been using the forum for years as a resource to get my tank running.

Right now, I have a 55gal tank, using Pool Filter Sand, some pottery clay for hiding as well as store bought decorations and driftwood to keep the fish happy.

I am confused, because my tank consists of 6 black molly's, 6 white molly's, 5 cardinal tetras, 5 harlequin rasboras (sp?), a Chinese algea eater, and a plecko - I'm not sure which kind he is. I haven't put anything into my tank since Christmas and in the last 3 weeks I've had an explosion of these tiny snails, I'm looking at about 200 right now. It looks like the sand is littered with them.

I've been reading through the forums and everyone is in favor of keeping the snails, which I am too - but I don't want them to be multiplying anymore!

I keep my lights on for about 16 hours a day. They turn on at 7AM and off at 11PM. The fish get fed twice a day, at 7AM and 7PM, I am careful not to overfeed. I do put 1 algea puck in 2 times a week, as my siemese algea eater will eat the fish if I don't (That's why I have 5 cardinal tetras and 5 harlequin rasboras *insert sad face emoji*). The lights stay on as I want to promote some algea for my plecko as well - he's getting quite big and my tank is quite clean.

I do a 25% water change every Sunday as there is so many fish I don't want my ammonia levels to raise and it takes about 25% to suck everything out. My temp sits at about 78* and my pH is neutral.

I wouldn't have thought twice if I had just bought something, but this just has me confused.

Does anyone have any recommendations of a single fish that I can add to the tank that would help keep the population under control of they are going to continue to breed like this? Keep in mind, I've had this explosion in the last 3 weeks.

I was thinking of adding cucumber to the tank and removing them in the morning and maintaining it that way, but the molly's are little piggy's.


Registered Member
I should say too, that when I do my cleaning, the snails are too heavy to travel up the tube because I'm using Pool Filter Sand, it's not feasible to suck them out of the tank :(


Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Can we get some pics? Maybe MTS, they are difficult to eliminate completely.


Registered Member
I took a picture of a snail on the glass, they're more active in the evening, so they're mostly in the sand right now.

The picture in the sand is just one small corner, it's completely throughout the tank.




Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Yep, MTS. Not an easy snail to completely eradicate. IMO, you are feeding to much. Either too much light for algae, or the algae puck is too big for the CAE--or both.
Not even sure plecos like to eat algae.


Registered Member
Is there a single fish/shrimp I could buy that could help keep the population down? I enjoy them in the tank, they help keep it clean, but there's a tonne of them now!

The plecko that I have does eat the algae off the glass and the CAE eats the algae puck. It deters the CAE from eating my other fish.

I will definitely slow down with the feeding, and see if that makes a difference.


No freelancing!
Best bet is to use a fish net to scoop up the sand and filter out the snails. It's tedious, but it works. They reproduce in the substrate, livebearers, so manual control is best. And clearly shows there are a lot of unused nutrients in the tank. Cut back to feeding once a day, see if the numbers drop.


Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Most loaches eat snails, but loaches too like to be in groups of 5 or more. .

the loach

AC Members
A true "Chinese" algae eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) does not eat other fish.
Snails are not that hard to get out, leave a slice of cucumber or zucchini at night, when you take it out before the lights come on it will be covered with snails.