In general, snails are not harmful to aquarium fish or plants. As detritivores, they tend to consume leftover food or dying plant leaves, which helps to clean up your aquarium. However, some people do not like how quickly they reproduce, so here are some tips that may help.
If the snails are already in your fish tank, you can control the population by decreasing the amount of food available to them. Snails will only breed if there is available food, so only feed as much as your fish can entirely consume within a few minutes. Also, vacuum excess food and organics from the gravel, decrease algae growth in the tank, and trim off any unhealthy plant leaves.
You can build a DIY snail trap based on instructions found online, or you can purchase this snail catcher to collect any small snails crawling on the aquarium walls. Finally, there are many animals – like assassin snails and loaches – that enjoy eating snails, so research the best type for your tank.
If you are concerned about the snails hitchhiking on the plants you buy, you can manually remove them and their eggs before putting them in an aquarium. Some people also quarantine their plants for 4 weeks to ensure that all the eggs have hatched and the baby snails are removed beforehand. Finally, you can consider using a plant dip like alum or potassium permanganate, but proceed with caution because not all methods are 100% effective and they may harm your plants in the process.
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