Snails Attacking Shrimp

Snails attacking shrimp and taking over tank

How to Stop Snails from Taking over Shrimp

Do you know that shrimp and snails get along? Yes, they do. One way to increase biological and physical activities in your shrimp tank is to introduce snails to it. Like many others, I had to combine snails and shrimp in one tank because doing so has some attendant perks. 

First, snails are scavengers; they will clean up the debris in the tank. They will remove algae and dead plant matter from the glass tank. It is also interesting that the mollusks enjoy eating shrimp dropping, making the water safer for your shrimp. 

Shrimp and Snail in Tank. Snail close,  possibly snail attacking shrimp due to size difference.

As living creatures, snails produce waste (detritus) that plants need for growth. Note that snail detritus is rich in nutrients used to produce store-bought fertilizers. Therefore, I strongly advise you to grow some plants in your aquarium because shrimp and snails enjoy living in planted aquariums. 

I recall first hand the day when I noticed my snails attacking shrimp or at least trying to take over and be the dominant population.

Lastly, snails come in many different species, colors, and sizes. Indeed, all this adds to the aesthetics of your aquarium and home. When you observe the numerous activities taking place in your tank, it will sweep you off your feet. Guess what, it is not just you, as your aquarium will excite and entertain your guests. 

Snail Population

Given all those benefits of adding snails to the shrimp tank, you may add too many snails, and they may take over your shrimp population. When this happens, you will notice there is too much bio-loads (waste). In the end, it will disrupt the nitrogen cycle in your tank (ammonia spikes).

Over time, you will realize that it stresses your shrimp and can also lead to body burns. In short, ammonia spike is the most common cause of death in shrimp tanks. Therefore, follow the techniques I want to share with you in this article to avert such calamities. 

How to Stop Snails from Taking over a Shrimp Tank

These are 5 methods of stopping the gastropods from overtaking or attacking the shrimp population. 

1. Stop overfeeding your shrimp

By now, you already know that snails eat shrimp droppings and leftover food because they are good scavengers. However, one way you can control the snail population in the aquarium is to ensure you don’t overfeed your shrimp.

Shrimp in tank. Close up of brown clear shrimp on tank grass

Notice that when you overfeed your shrimp, they will have leftover food and enough droppings for the gastropods to snack on. When you give shrimp too much food, they will only drop the food and never notice it again. When I bred shrimp, I fed them algae, fish food, and plant debris. Therefore, ensure you give your shrimp fish food they can finish within 30 – 60 seconds. As for algae and plant debris, you can manually reduce them. 

2. Step up your tank maintenance 

Snails don’t take over shrimp in your aquarium if you can manually maintain the tank. Remember that mollusks are detritivores, meaning they eat rotten food and dead plant matter. You can control their growth by keeping your aquarium clean at all times.

While cleaning it up, remove the dying leaves and gravel vacuum. Plus, you can rid it of detritus from the substrate. Still, scrape off the algae on the wall of the glass tank and brush off algae around rocks and wood in your aquarium. I know it is not easy, but you need to focus on the benefits because it is one of the most effective ways of controlling the snail population in your shrimp tank. 

3. Prevention

Hand in glove to represent prevention methods to stop snail attacking shrimp

Instead of allowing snails to take over your shrimp population and start making efforts to correct the anomaly, why not stop it from happening?

To achieve this, you should find out the appropriate number of snails for your shrimp tank. For instance, if you have a 5-gallon tank, you shouldn’t add more than 2 snails. Put simply, you should introduce 2 snails per 5-gallon tank. That way, you prevent mollusk population explosion. 

4. Add creatures that attack snails in the aquarium 

Did you know you can use other creatures or fellow mollusks to reduce the snail population in your aquarium? I know that sounds weird, but it works when you introduce Assassin snails, for example, to eat up other snail species, such as Malaysian Trumpet, Ramshorn, Ponds, etc.

With the mouth and rasping radula, Assassin snails grip the shells of other snail species. At this juncture, the radula acts as the scouring pad that eats up its flesh and blood. In the end, they weaken their prey. Before long, it leaves empty shells behind. Sure, you can control the snail population in the aquarium using Assassins, but this method leaves you with shells of dead gastropods. 

5. Trapping Snails 

Well, the trapping snail method is about using bait to attract your snails and removing them to reduce their population in your tank. For instance, you can use delicious veggies, cucumber, zucchini, and carrot as bait and trap them later.

Chop those baits into small pieces to attract them easily. Leave them in the aquarium overnight, and come back in the morning to check your trap. You will notice that they have gathered around the bait. Alternatively, there is a do-it-yourself snail trap for this. You can design this trap by cutting a plastic bottle into two sections, say the top (male) and the bottom (female).

Afterward, insert the male part into the female section such that the top of the bottle sits upside down, facing its bottom. Pour your bait into the bottle and watch the snails gather there overnight.  

Conclusion – Snails Attacking Shrimp

In this article, I have shown you how to stop snails from taking over your shrimp tank. You see, you can also apply quarantine and chemical treatments; everything depends on you. However, I won’t advise you use harmful chemicals (like copper) to kill them because their effects linger in the tank, making the aquarium unconducive for other aquatic life that shares the space with the mollusks.

Although we want to remove gastropods from the aquarium because they leave some adverse impact, remember that they have enormous economic value. Therefore, the best bet is to apply methods that keep them alive so you can sell them to interested buyers. Now, you know the tested-and-tried tricks of stopping snails from taking over your shrimp tank. Why procrastinate? Try one of them now! 

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