New Zealand Mud Snail Infestation. Help?!

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DriverForHire

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Hello,
 
My name is Trent and I am new to this forum.  I have had multiple aquariums and am not new to the hobby, however I have encountered a serious problem.  New Zealand Mud Snails.  Over the past year or so I have been trying to rid my 7 gallon dwarf shrimp tank of these pests.  Although they seem to be un-harmful to my tank they are a huge eyesore.  I have numbers in the thousands of these snails and nothing seems to get rid of them.  I have lowered feeding, tried manual removal and even baited. 
 
My tank is well cycled and my shrimp count is too high to consider starting fresh as a means of removing the snails.  Any input would be appreciated, as I am out of ideas.
 
Thank you.
 
Snail removal is always a difficult one. They're near impossible to eradicate completely without harsh chemicals, which you quite rightly point out will also destroy your shrimp population.
 
Mechanical removal, baiting and modifying feeding are some of the best ways to control numbers. I've always found them more numerous in less stocked tanks, as it's more difficult to get the feeding right. There are some fish that will eat snails, but by the same process they'll also take out your shrimp population as well.
 
For your shrimp what kind of substrate are you using? If it is a fine sand rather than any of the shrimp soils I have found a fine fish net works well for sifting out Malaysian Trumpet Snails. If you can use a sifting method but are worried about also catching shrimplets dump the fresh sifted snails into another tub of water and then inspect it carefully for any shrimplets, which can then be netted out and put back in their tank.
 
Do you feed your shrimp via a scatter feed or do you feed from a dish of some sort? Perhaps if scatter feeding change to feeding from a dish and when the snails move in on the food its another method of removing them as you change out the shrimps feed dish.
 
Assasin snails may work for you, but then they can also breed like crazy and may also turn their predatory instincts to munching shrimp.
 
You could also try trapping and baiting out as many of the snails as possible and then add a more desired snail such as nerites. Hopefully the nerites will eat the foods that the pest snails are scoffing and limit food available to the pest snails. Nerites wont successfully breed in  a fresh water set up so they wont breed out of control.
 
Assasin snails may work for you, but then they can also breed like crazy
 
For Clea/Anentome helena? I haven't kept them myself, but all of the other breeding reports I've read and heard from other hobbyists for that one have had disappointingly low yields of offspring surviving long-term and making it to maturity. If there is a magic formula to breed them more reliably then the snail sticky should be updated to include that. 
 
Personally I can never keep assassin snails ( illegal in Australia), but I have heard of people having the assassin snails breed up a storm. Maybe the people just had exactly the right pH, gH and temp that suited the assassin snails. Or perhaps the people where getting conused on their snail species and thought another snail was the assassin.  I don't know.
 

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