Should I get an assassin snail for mini ramshorns?

Sweet_Sassy

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I have a 29 gallon that recently had an outbreak of mini ramshorn snails. I think I have plucked out all of the ones that were big enough to see but I am assuming they are still in there. I don't mind the snails at all, I just don't want them to get out of hand. I am worried about feeding less because I don't want to accidentally starve my fish while trying to kill the ramshorns. So, I thought about getting an assassin snail. My biggest concern is what to do with it when it kills and eats all of the mini ramshorn snails. I have a container that I have collected all of the ones I plucked out of the tank and I figured I could try and breed them in there but it seems like more work than it's worth. I do find it sort of therapeutic picking the snails out of the tank so I don't mind continuing to do that. But with my container of little snails, I don't have to heart to kill them all by a copper treatment or by crushing them. I really don't know what to do with them. I have a dwarf gourami who tried to pick at them a little but his mouth was too small to fully eat them (I got the gourami, I named him Chomper, in order to help take care of the snails as a yoyo loach or clown loach would get way too big for my tank). I thought of putting all of the mini ramshorns in a 1-gallon tank and filling it with plants to have a little self-sustaining ecosystem but even by doing that I know, they will breed rapidly. So, all in all, should I get an assassin and attempt to breed the ones I have collected as he scavenges the 29 gallon and then put him in a separate 1-gallon? I also have a few big mystery snails in my 29 gallon so I would remove them while the assassin is in there in order to ensure that he doesn't kill them. I also don't want to get an assassin and end up starving him to death when there arent any more mini ramshorns for him to eat and I don't want to go out and buy a bunch of snails every week. Again, I really don't want to kill them by hand (it makes me feel like I'm going to pass out idk why). I hope I provided enough information to receive some help. Thank you!!
 

Abaddon

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The reason they're in your tank is because they have plenty of organic matter to feed on - not just fish food, but decaying plants, detritus, algae, the biofilm that forms on decor etc. If the population is getting out of hand that just means there's too much of that organic matter in the tank and you could focus on reducing that. No need to starve the fish ;) Also, it depends on how many ramshorns you have, but if it's a lot then one assassin snail is probably not going to do the job in a tank that size, you'd have to get a few of them. If you leave them in the tank with the other snails they might form their own little self-regulating population after a while. If snails are scarce the assassins will scavenge uneaten fish food, algae and biofilm just like any other snails; they just might not reproduce as much without all the protein. I don't think they could genuinely starve to death though. You could save time by installing a snail trap in the aquarium (DIY or ready-made). You don't have to kill the snails yourself either, you can always give them away to someone who might need them as feeders. Or you could just leave them, they're actually quite useful in the aquarium ecosystem :)
 

hansgruber7

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Yes, I would just get an assassin snail. I bought one a year ago to control my snail infestation and he's done a good job of it and is still alive. In a tank that size he's unlikely to kill all of them so he won't starve, but he will control the numbers. Even if all the snails are killed, he can survive on other food. You might consider reducing your feeding at least a little because I found that was causing my exploding snail population. When I cut back on feeding a bit and added the assassin snail, it solved my problem and none of my fish starved.
 
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Sweet_Sassy

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Thank you for responding, I ended up getting a pea puffer and hand-collected as many snails as possible and he loves them... so much in fact now I'm trying to breed the snails I was so worried about containing haha. I probably had about 50 snails that I collected and after one day there were only about 10 left (I have the pea puffer in a separate tank since I know they're not good in communities). I grabbed the 10 and put them in a separate container and now I have 4 egg sacs that I'm waiting for to hatch. I also ended up going to Petco and Petsmart to get some "pest" snails to add to my breeding container so now I have a few bladders and MTS as well as the mini ramshorns. I don't see them as pests, I just never had a snail explosion before so I was panicked. I'm so glad I went the Pea puffer route though, he's the cutest little fish and my LFS sold out of them so fast so I'm glad I got one when I had the chance. Thank you for your input though, I will definitely keep that in mind in case I do decide to get an assassin- or two- for the 29 gallon later on- once my breeding situation has leveled out and I have a big enough stock for my puffer. As for the overfeeding of the fish, I didn't think I was overfeeding them since they would eat it all within 10 minutes but I am starting to cut back a little bit. I'm giving them flake food in the morning and in the afternoon they're getting some frozen brine shrimp (which they love) and the brine shrimp don't seem to make as big of a mess.
 

eatyourpeas

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I w

I would have gotten multiple of them but they were too young to sex and I didn't want any problems or fights to happen. I figured I am safer with one- I named him/her Peewee.
Great name! Mine are in different tanks. I have a male and a female but do not intend to breed them. Their names are Nicodemus and Miss Ethel.
 

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