Pond plants destroyed by snails!


mrsclem

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Anybody have a solution for getting rid of snails in a plant only pond? Pond is 10x10 and has over 20 lilies and had a ton of frogbit and duckweed. Frogbit and duckweed are gone and the lily leaves are being destroyed! Removing by hand not an option. Any pond treatments that will get rid of them?
 
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HARO

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The best way to get rid of snails from your pond is to collect them by hand, then place lettuce leaves on the surface of the pond, wait a few hours and remove the lettuce which should have snails on them. You could then use a produce like Dimilin (Available on Amazon) to kill the remaining snails.
(From the internet.)
John
 

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I'm really looking to eliminate completely. Think the lettuce method would take weeks and then all my lilies would be gone. I saw a post on Koiphen about using potassium permanganate but don't know how that will work.
 
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I'm really looking to eliminate completely. Think the lettuce method would take weeks and then all my lilies would be gone. I saw a post on Koiphen about using potassium permanganate but don't know how that will work.
copper sulfate or similar products will kill off both the snails and any algae in the pond pretty fast but then what would you do with all the dead snails and algae? To me, that's one big advantage of the lettuce method is you don't end up with a pond with hundreds of dead snails and a mess of dead algae overnight!

GL, I'm really more familiar with these types of products from the aquarist's end of things (and mainly in avoiding them since i have shrimp), so hopefully others will have better advice if the product Haro/John recommended or the copper sulfate doesn't meet your needs!
 

mrsclem

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I'm thinking I'm going to have to empty this pond anyway. I wish it was just a few snails, it's more like thousands.
 
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Anybody have a solution for getting rid of snails in a plant only pond? Pond is 10x10 and has over 20 lilies and had a ton of frogbit and duckweed. Frogbit and duckweed are gone and the lily leaves are being destroyed! Removing by hand not an option. Any pond treatments that will get rid of them?
The best way to reduce snails is to minimize their food supply.
1. Remove all dead and dying vegetation which with 20 lilies is certainly labor intensive. Weak and dead leaves 'kick start' snail populations.
2. I realize you have a fish only pond but mention this for anyone who has fish and plants. Carefully feed your fish only what they will eat. Yeah, I know that is tough but whatever the fish miss will spark a snail explosion. Not sure how you feed but consider feeding in a small area to make it easier to remove any food that is not eaten.
3. Use snail traps. There are so many out there, DIY and manufactured but they work. Heck, even a saucer turned over with bait underneath works.
4. Anentome helena (assassian snails) are effective for eliminating pond and trumpet snails. First check with your local wildlife office to ensure there is no problem using them in an outdoor pond.
Personally, I just can't recommend any chemical solution. Poison is never a route I would take and hope you will not go there.
I think if you start with the first three listed above you will succeed in naturally reducing the snail population. The biggest benefit is avoiding having to 'tear down' and clean your pond. The worst case is using poison to kill them and dealing with the aftermath.
Finally, is there anything else that could be feeding the snails?
 
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I'm thinking I'm going to have to empty this pond anyway. I wish it was just a few snails, it's more like thousands.
mrsclem; problem will be you'll still get snails as there'll be eggs on the leaves/stalks/ pots/ etc. Draining won't get them all. You'd have to dry everything for a bit and even then, some eggs might make it. You definitely need something to eat them. Gee, if only you knew where to get some koi or gf... :p

I do think the copper sulfate would eventually take care of the problem, though.
 
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mrsclem

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My 1st thought was to put 1-2 small koi in there. There is no filtration but do have a 1800GPHpump for water movement. I think what I'm going to do is drain down the pond, pull all the plants and get everything cleaned up and then refill and add a couple of my smaller koi. Many thanks to everyone for suggestions and for reading my post! This was a new issue for me but it's the 1st year with this plant only pond.
 

mrsclem

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Not trapdoor snails. These are the very small dark ones. I have them in the koi pond but they have never been an issue. Guess frogs don't eat them.
 
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Having had aquariums in the past, their eggs usually hitch a ride on a pet store plant. If you wake up one day with tiny snails that slowly grow in size and population, most likely eggs got in or are getting in so consider treating plants in a small aquarium before putting them in and avoid anything that can harm frogs, fish, etc.. If the snails just appeared one day and were large, those are probably local residents.

I've taken a long blade of grass (like 18" long) and gotten a snail to stick to it, then dangled it in front of different resident green frogs that inhabit my pond. I usually sit on a large rock near shore, and 2-4 females are usually at shore's edge on either side. They will eat a dangling snail as the grass blade bobs in front of them. Kinda funny as they let out a strange croak as they go for it. Websites say they eat them, but dunno how they pass the shells. I remember having zebra fish in an aquarium as a kid, and I'd take a long spoon and crush the snails on the tank sides, and a zebra fish would eat it. Unfortunately, it could NOT pass the shell bits and would rupture their stomachs weeks later.

Anyhow, maybe consider a catfish-type of fish known for eating them. Other fish will have to actually see it, then decide if it actually wants to eat it. If they are large, you'll need a larger fish or possibly the snails are too large for most of what will be in a pond setting.
 

mrsclem

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Well, I tried removing the snails manually. Just too many! We drained the pond and pulled out all the lilies. There were over 30, half the pots were completely empty and most of the plants were just down to a couple of leaves. Hosed down the walls and floor of the pond, removed all but new growth on the lilies that survived. I now have my Savio waterfall fliter running, 4200gph pump. I did treat with Dimilin to kill off any snails that were still on the plants. I removed the frogs but they are back in today! Going to keep the water level down till I know snails are gone.
 

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addy1

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Geez that is a bummer, you have so many beautiful ones, hope some come back well.
 
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Yeah, it's impossible to remove everyone individually as there will always be eggs and stragglers. Snails are the epitome of invasive species.
 

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Dosed the pond with Dimilin- worked for a couple of weeks and now the snails are back. Just added 12 feeder comets- will see how long the snails last now!
 
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Dosed the pond with Dimilin- worked for a couple of weeks and now the snails are back. Just added 12 feeder comets- will see how long the snails last now!
I'm betting the chem didn't affect any eggs. Think I heard someone say sodium permanganate works too? Not sure and maybe like your Dimilin, won't affect the eggs. Your feeders should do the trick but better not FEED them anything else, I'm thinking...unless you're planning on a gf pond now!! :cool:
 

mrsclem

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Dosed with dimilin twice- a week apart but with nothing to keep them under control, they are back! Plenty of algae and snails, not feeding feeders!
 
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I got two solutions for you...

1- Assassin snails. They will eat up all your snails. They arent hardy so they'll die in the winter.

2- Dojo Loaches. If you can have 3 or 4 of those in your pond, they will make the pond prettier and eat up snails. Darters also love snails.
 
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mrsclem

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I looked at all the possibilities. I wanted something that could survive winter here. The assassin snails are amazing looking! If I could have gotten several bluegill it would have been 2 for 1, no snails and the occasional fish fry!
 

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