Nerite snails are some of the most useful and interesting snails that can be kept in the home aquarium. They are prolific algae eaters and can do wonders to brighten up a tank with their bright colors and differing patterns.
The only problem is, however, that they breed like crazy. If you have a male and a female nerite snail, you can go from having two snails to having hundreds of snails seemingly overnight.
If this happens, you’ll probably be left wondering how to remove the excess eggs. You might even be tempted to do a search on “nerite snail eggs removal” — but before you do, consider giving this short article a once over.
In it, we cover everything you need to know about nerite snail breeding and removing unwanted eggs.
Before we get to the methods for removing nerite snail eggs, it’s important to know how the eggs grow in number so fast. To understand this, we have to get into the breeding habits of mature nerite snails.
Nerite snails reproduce sexually, which sets them apart from many other species of aquatic snails who reproduce asexually or who are hermaphroditic. Since nerite snails need partners to breed, you generally won’t see eggs unless there is both a male and a female snail present.
We say generally because even if you only have a female snail, you could still end up with eggs. How? Unfortunately, female nerite snails can store sperm from the male counterparts for up to four weeks! This allows them to use it at their leisure to produce fertilized eggs even when the male isn’t around.
Nerite snails lay capsules instead of eggs. These capsules are white and resemble sesame seeds; they contain the actual snail eggs. In any given capsule, there could be 30 to 100 microscopic snail eggs just waiting to hatch.
Typically, nerite snail eggs won’t hatch in clean aquarium water. They usually require brackish water to hatch but, of course, there are always exceptions.
How do I get rid of the snail eggs in my aquarium?
To remove the eggs of nerite snails, you need to have both time and patience, as the process is often time-consuming and frustrating.
You might be tempted to get rid of snail eggs on your aquarium glass by washing the aquarium with bleach or cleaning solution, but we’d advise against this. The reason is that yes, the solution will likely kill the snail eggs and prevent them from hatching but it could also harm the fish you put back into the tank afterward.
Another solution that is nearly guaranteed to kill both nerite snails and their eggs is copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is highly toxic to both the nerite snails and their eggs, and other aquarium fish and amphibians. Live aquariums plants can also be affected.
If you’re still wanting to go forward with the copper sulfate solution, then don’t rush the process. You need to take your time to avoid making deadly mistakes. The fish-safe dose of copper sulfate is between 0.15 and 0.2mg per liter of water.
Keep in mind the temperature of your aquarium water; as temperature increases so do toxicity. Always read the back of the bottle of sulfate for instructions regarding specific temperatures.
Some aquarists swear by using vinegar on their excess snails and eggs. If you opt to try this, all you need to do is wash the inside of the empty tank with a solution of vinegar and water. While doing this, try to scrape away as many eggs as you can.
Instead of using chemicals or vinegar, you could consider physical methods. The most popular physical method for removing pesky eggs is by using a razor blade and a bit of elbow grease.
To use this method, all you have to do is gently scrape the razor blade on the glass of your aquarium where the eggs are; they should come right off and be able to be wiped away.
Alternatively, you might be looking into adding egg-eating inhabitants to your tank, which, in theory, is a good idea. However, in the case of nerite snail eggs, this method won’t be very effective since the eggs are so difficult to get off the glass. If we can’t get them off without a razor blade, a toothless pleco sure won’t be able to get them off!
Nerite snail eggs removal FAQs
Can I remove eggs from driftwood?
You can indeed! However, it’s worth noting that removed eggs will usually leave outlines of the egg on the wood. In addition, scraping the eggs off using the popular razor blade method will likely result in part of the driftwood being chipped away.
How do I remove snail eggs from other snails?
If a nerite snail has laid eggs on a fellow snail, the only thing you can really do is try to manually remove them or remove the affected snail from the tank just in case the eggs hatch.
Will my nerite snail eggs hatch?
Your nerite snail eggs most likely will not hatch unless your water is brackish. There have been cases of eggs hatching but larvae typically die shortly after.
Are nerite snail eggs dangerous to other fish?
Nope! Nerite snail eggs will not harm any of the other tank inhabitants.
Do I have to remove nerite snail eggs?
If you don’t want to remove the eggs, you don’t have to. Removing them is merely a personal choice.
It’s easy to see how annoying nerite snail eggs can be. The bright side of the problem is that, at least, they aren’t dangerous and likely won’t hatch.
This will help keep your adult population down but, unfortunately, won’t do much about the eggs that the existing female can lay; that’s the dark side of things regarding nerite snails.
The best way to remove them, as we mentioned above, is physical removal and prevention methods such as attempting to sex your snails and separate males from females, and only housing one nerite snail. Chemicals are never recommended but are an option if you’re feeling brave.
Hi, my name is Sean, and I’m the primary writer on the site. I’m blogging mostly about freshwater and saltwater aquariums, fish, invertebrates, and plants. I’m experienced in the fishkeeping hobby for many years. Over the years I have kept many tanks, and have recently begun getting more serious in wanting to become a professional aquarist. All my knowledge comes from experience and reading forums and a lot of informative sites. In pursuit of becoming a professional, I also want to inspire as many people as I can to pick up this hobby and keep the public interest growing.
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