Tiny Snails In Fish Tank – The Snail HitchHiker

Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by cmoarz

One of the more common questions people ask when they discover tiny snails in their fish tank is “Where did these tiny snails come from?” The answer to this question starts with a little exploration into what these tiny creatures are and how they came to be.

Many people that own fish tanks also have plants, gravel, glass, ornaments or other decorations inside the tank. These items can all provide places for tiny snails to live, hide or lay eggs and end up in the unaware enthusiast’s tank.

This is a very common problem, so let’s get to the solutions.

Check out our identification guide What does snail eggs look like To help identify more snail eggs

Tiny snails in fish tank, where did they come from?

As explained in the intro, Often an enthusiast will buy decorations, such as logs, dragon stones, or live plants online or from the pet store. Many of these things will almost always have some sort of hitchhiking snails on them. Sometimes it even has fish!

This has gotten to be such a massive problem that stores started destroying entire stocks of moss balls because the snails had contaminated everything!

So if you’ve gotten anything recently, you can almost be sure that’s where it came from. In fact, sometimes it could have been from something you got a long time ago and just never noticed the little guy’s as they’re pretty good at hiding and being unnoticed.

At this point, you have 2 options. You can keep the little guy’s as is and let them roam free in your tank, Or you could attempt to remove them.

How to remove snails from aquarium

Luckily removing these guys is fairly straight forward and you have several options.

Blanching a piece of cucumber and placing it down in the tank will attract all the snails in the tank. Once they come over for a meal you can just lift them all out. This method will require some patience as you may need to repeat the process several times.

If the snails laid eggs, you will also need to continually do this process every month or so.

Option 2 is to get some fish that are considered predators. The most common hitchhiker snails are pond snails and ramshorn snails.

There are several fish options that will chow down happily on these snail species. This is a creative way of taking care of the problem without the worry of an infestation taking over your tank.

For larger tanks, most larger snail eaters are a possibility. For smaller tanks 10> gallons, beta, goldfish, gourami, and green spotted puffers are all solid options. Just remember goldfish require larger tanks as they continue to grow quite large. Beta’s have a bad temperament. So choose your species based on what’s already in your tank community.

The 3rd option is to just keep them in the tank and not worry about it. They will most likely be a problem for your plants, but won’t do any damage to the fish themselves in smaller tanks.

You can bypass that issue by having faster growing more lush plants, such as fully carpeted grass tanks.

And of course, You can always use a snail trap!


Owner of AquariumGravel.com and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!