WORDS: NEALE MONKS
There’s no simple answer to this. A lot depends on how desperate you are to eliminate the snails completely. If you want to get rid of them all, then essentially stripping the tank down, changing the gravel, picking snails off solid objects (including filter media), and very likely replacing all the plants will be part of the answer. Traps of various kinds are on sale as well, and these do work if used correctly. Even then, some will survive, so you’ll need to keep remove any remaining snails as and when you see them. It’s a lot of work, but this approach can succeed if you’re persistent. It’s a lot like weeding a garden: doable, but not something you do once and for all!
Don’t forget snails do little serious harm in fish tanks. They’re unsightly rather than dangerous. Indeed, Malayan livebearing snails do some good by aerating the substrate. It’s perhaps better to think of them as warning signs that your tank has too much organic detritus lying about. A clean tank is, very largely, a snail-free tank. Where you see a lot of snails you’re probably looking at a tank that could do with a tidy up and perhaps stricter maintenance when it comes to removing uneaten food, dead plants and so on.
4 ways to control your snail population