11 Ways To Get Rid Of Snails In My Discus Fish Tank [VIDEOS]

One of many unwanted inhabitants of a discus fish tank is a snail, snails breed quickly, and getting rid of them will take some time and effort but can be done by using either a chemical to kill the snails, by placing snail traps in the tank, by adding predator to the tank and by avoiding overfeeding tank inhabitant.

Table of Contents

Are Snails Bad for Fish Tanks?

Yes and no, snails could be beneficial to clean fish tanks from algae, however, a few species of snail can multiply if left unchecked and overrun a tank which leads to ammonia increment and detriment to the tank’s beauty.

NOTE: Nearly all problems associated with snails can be averted by understanding them and doing the right research to get the right snail.

11 Ways of Getting Rid of Little Snails in My Aquarium

The best way to get rid of snails in aquarium are as follows:

  1. Snails Prevention.
  2. Live Plant Treatment.
  3. Snails Physical Removal.
  4. Avoiding Overfeeding.
  5. Placing Snail Traps in The Tank.
  6. Adding Snail Eating Fish.
  7. Adding Snail Predators (Assasinator).
  8. Cleaning Everything in The Aquarium.
  9. Treating All Aquarium Additive in A Snail Killing Solution.
  10. Using Chemicals To Kill Snails.
  11. Using Multiple Solutions.

[1] – Snails Prevention

The best way of getting rid of baby snails is by never letting the snails get into the aquarium in the beginning. When a fish is first purchased, make sure nothing gets into the aquarium with the fish including the water in the bag in which it was bought.

[2] – Live Plant Treatment

If you purchase any live plant, treat them before introducing them into the aquarium by putting them in a separate tank with a solution like Snail Stop for a couple of days to be sure any snail eggs are being killed.

[3] – Snails Physical Removal

Every time there is a pest snail, you should put your hand in and remove it. No option is more natural than removing snails by hand. There will be no need to purchase snail predators or chemical products.

In case you are using sands as a substrates, its even easier to use your fish net to scratch all the visible snails with it and take them out of your tank.

NOTE: Mannaul snail picking won’t guaranty eliminating all the baby snails in the aquarium, as snail eggs cannot be seen by bare eyes and cannot be caught by a net or bare hands.

[4] – Avoiding Overfeeding

Overfeeding of the aquarium inhabitant can lead to an increase in the snail population in the aquarium. Feeding your aquarium inhabitant with adequate food helps to rid the aquarium of baby snails over time.

[5] – Placing Snail Traps in The Tank

There are various snail traps available for purchase. Snail traps are a helpful way to catch snails in your tank. The trap is positioned on the substrate and loaded with fish food as bait.

Snails trap

The snail travels through a one-way door after it smells the food. Once they enter, it’s impossible to escape, then you remove the trap and also remove them the next morning.

Place the snail trap into the tank before lights out, every day for as long as it’s still catching them.

[6] – Adding Snail Eating Fish

Scavenger fish is a good fish to add to the aquarium to eat snails. Clown loach will relish snails on their menus, and will quickly reduce them in number.

NOTE: For smaller aquarium Zebra or Dwarf chain loaches, while for larger aquarium clownfish will do the job.

[7] – Adding Snail Predators (Assassin Snails)

Assassin snails can also be used to kill baby snails as unlike other aquarium snail, Assassin snails are carnivores, that feed mainly on other different snails or carrion.

[8] – Cleaning Everything in The Aquarium

If there is an aquarium snail infestation and the situation is virtually out of hand, cleaning everything out is needed, and a deep clean of everything in the aquarium is advised.

After transferring your whole fishes into a separate tank, each object or item in the aquarium is removed and water is drained, and every item is cleaned and dried before the refilling and restocking of the aquarium are done.

NOTE: Cleaning should be done by using water only, without any soap, you could also boil the gravel or sand but remember to keep the tank for a couple of days with the filter on before returning the fishes back into the main tank so the positive bacteria built up again.

[9] – Treating All Aquarium Additive in A Snail Killing Solution

Dipping plants in a bleach solution can kill snails and eggs hiding near the plant. Some of these solutions can be harsh on some plants so there guarantee it won’t harm the plant. One of the many solutions used is placing the plant in a solution of aluminum sulfate and water.

Here is a video that shows the three different options of Snail Killing Solutions and then shows a comparison between them including Bleach, Alum, and Copper solutions. [Start the videos at 1:30 m]

[10] – Using Chemicals To Kill Snails

There are many common fish chemicals used in the eradication of snails. It must be said that using chemicals should be the last resort after other available natural solutions have been explored.

The most common fish-safe chemical used to kill snails is copper sulfate, if you use this chemical you need to follow the instructions on the bottle to guaranty the fish survives the treatment.

NOTE: Using chemicals to kill snails is dangerous especially for a sensitive fish like Discus, so better to transfer all your Discus to a separate tank when doing that, after that, you need to make 100% water change to your main tank.

Most times this will cause a large amount of snail die-off which may make your aquarium smell. If this happens you need to spend time removing dead snails and also adjusting the water to make it remain healthy for Discus fish and live plants.

[11] – Trying Multiple Solutions

There are numerous ways to rid your aquarium of baby snails. Since snails can quickly overwhelm your aquarium with their large number, trying a mix of different solutions is not a bad idea.

Some of the aforementioned solutions can be used together.

How To Prevent Snails In My Discus Tank?

Soak the plants in saltwater for 15 minutes, then give them a good rinse in fresh water before introducing them to the tank. you might also quarantine the plants in a different tank with a “Snail Stop” solution for a couple of days, after doing this, it should destroy all eggs hanging around without harming the plant.

NOTE: Snail eggs are hard to see but can be eliminated by cleaning the new plant that you want to introduce to the discus tank.

Can Too Many Snails Kill My Discus Fish?

Too many snails can’t kill your discus fish, In some instances, due to the increase in snail in the aquarium and in a bid to kill the snail, the chemical being used to kill the snail could also kill the fish or adversely impact the water chemistry thereby affecting the fish.

Why Are There Baby Snails in My Fish Tank?

Snails usually appear on plants in the tank, either as grown snails or as packets of eggs on the plant which later grows into baby snails. Snails usually multiply easily as only one snail could cause an infestation, and snails don’t require a mate to reproduce. All it takes is one stray snail or few eggs and there will be a large number of baby snails in the fish tank.


Some snails are invasive and may damage the health of living plants and fish. The snails are unwanted but may get in by accident when introducing fishes or plants into the tank. There are various ways of getting rid of snails in a discus tank which include the use of chemicals, avoiding overfeeding of other inhabitants of the aquarium, cleaning the aquarium, placing snail trap in the aquarium, by adding snail predators or snail-eating fish into the aquarium, just to name a few.


This is me Firas Sameer, the founder of DiscusRescue.com, I am an aquarist guy with a passion and love for Discus fishes, I am learning every day with my hobby at home and sharing the things I am learning from my experience with you.

One thought on “11 Ways To Get Rid Of Snails In My Discus Fish Tank [VIDEOS]

  1. Great information!! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a snail trap. I am going to go find one for my discus tank. You mentioned you were Discus rescue. But, do you also buy discus; and if so, where do you get them?

    Thanks for the info

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