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Old 01-28-2017, 04:03 PM
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Default Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Hello good people! Last night I noticed I have small grey no-house snails in my vivarium. I expect they came with some moss I put in around christmas. (Grown in local greenhouse i think) There's no animals living in this tank, it's only for plants and I will not introduce any pets in it.

I picked out about 4 snails and set up a little private viv for them, haha. I'm a bit of a softie and I didn't have the heart to throw them out in the freezing cold. But I don't want my orchids eaten of course.

I have a hard time IDing these guys. They're small, very little texture, grey-ish colour. (Norway, btw, so I'm guessing that narrows it down a little)

I'm thinking of putting down a bowl of beer, as this is very common to use outside for big snails. But i'm afraid there will be many still (since beer wont attract eggs obviously). Is these a safe snail poison out there? That won't kill plants, I mean. I've looked about around here but I can only find these huge XXL bags of poison to treat entire gardens.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

I don't know if you would have it in your part of the world, but the Sluggo product is very plant-safe.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Is dry ice available over there? It would take several treatments, but it is great for plants but kills everything else

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Old 01-29-2017, 07:53 PM
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A bowl of beer is very effective for me! I use a few small caps of beer in my day gecko tank; each cap is about 3cm in diameter and they attract those tiny snail by the dozens. My advice to to try the beer for maybe three weeks; that should give the eggs a chance to hatch and be caught as well. Are they really tiny snails, about 3-5mm in shell diameter? They are called bush snails; we have them in California as well, and get them from tropical plant nurseries. They hitchhike into the nurseries from their imports, and spread from there. Hope this helps. No adverse effects from the beer on my orchids or geckos, either. Some of my isopods kill themselves in it, however. Just change the beer once or twice per week.
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Thanks for your quick response! I haven't seen the brand name Sluggo, but I'm sure we have some types of snail killers. Is there any type of mix I should look out for/avoid? (main ingredient in Sluggo vs main ingredient in any other plant-safe snail killer)

I haven't seen dry ice in the shops locally, but there might. A plant safe snail killer would be easier to get hold of atleast, I'm guessing. Is any snail killing stuff safe to ship/buy online? Just thinking incase it's not in season here a the moment, haha.
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:51 PM
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I get dry ice from my grocery store. People use it for keeping ice in a cooler frozen longer when camping. I've never seen it advertised there though and always have to ask for it. They keep it in a locked freezer so the managers have to get it for me.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Re: dry ice - ah I never knew that. I would be very surprised if we have it here but it's worth having in the back of the mind though!

I tried a little bowl of beer, but after 24 hours it hadn't attracted anything, so I'm wondering if it was too "light" (not dark and yeasty smelling enogh). Maybe I should try again though and just let it sit for some days.

I'm not sure what type of snail it is, the closest I could find was the normal "grey garden slug" but mine are still very small and have no distinct texture/colour. (They're still at the "aw cute" point, haha.)

Had it been summer, I could have scoured my garden for a carabid bug to eat the snails, haha, but oh well.

We do have something called Ferromol here, for snail poison. It's safe for plants and other animals/insects apparently. Just worried that if there is a lot of snails, all of them dying at once will me a problem. (Sort of like massive deaths in fish tanks)

edit:

I attached an image of one of the snails. They are all about the same size.
Currently I've caught six I think. I've only seen one in the plant viv after that but of course I'm suspecting more, haha.


Last edited by sparrow; 01-30-2017 at 05:27 PM. Reason: adding image
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

I would try again with a beer trap for them. Since you don't have any frogs to worry about, all you need is a small container without a lid. Bury it so the top is level with the substrate and pour an inch or so of beer in it. They are attracted to the beer and will drown in it. You will probably have to do this on a routine basis to keep them under control.
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

I tried again with the beer, in a smaller container and more on ground level. Already it's attracted to baby snails, so it's working better this time around! Now I just need to stop feeling so bad for killing baby snails, hahah oh man. But thanks for the tip! I'll keep on this for some time and maybe put down some snail poison later on if I keep seeing snails.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Just wanted to give a small update!
I've been doing the beer-thing and I've probably killed 30 - 40 or more snails with that. I've drowned and manually picked them out and tossed them out (in -20*C which made me feel a bit bad haha) abut half and half. I haven't seen an "adult" or big one in maybe a week. Or well, I saw a fairly big one today but mostly it seems to be only the really tiny ones left.

I've bought Ferramol or something too, but I haven't dared used it yet. Said on the package I needed a full body suit to protect me while using it etc and not to touch it etc, so putting that in the tank felt weird since I sometimes touch stuff in there.


Another question I have, is - I have what I think are spider mites? I've seen a few "silky strands" on my english ivy, but they're not eating the ivies I think. They look like super tiny white bug that walk across the strands. I haven't seen them spin any webs though. Could it be other types of mites that make strands? They make these "short cut" strands between the tips of the leaves on the english ivy, haha.

I have those white, bigger mite-things too, the ones that eat any rotting debris. They seemed to pull back when I had the snails, but now they are thriving again. I have a piece of bog wood they love eating at, but all through January they were gone. Not sure if there was any connection between that though.

Anyway, those crawling on the bog wood, I quite like. They are great at eating away at decaying matter. They did a great job at eating the fungi and stuff when I started the plant. The ones with the silky strands, I am not so sure of. Are these really spider mites, and if so, should I combat those? (due to my orchids?) or just let them live?
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Just wanted to post a quick note - I also have slugs in one or two of my tanks that look just like the one that you posted above.

I did not have any luck with the beer trick, so I had to use dry ice to kill them all off. (Maybe they just didn't like the beer that I offered?)

Before I started to kill them off I was able to find an egg mass from these guys - small clear marble - similar in size to an american "BB" - maybe a little smaller. Anyway, I let the egg case hatch - gestation was around 14 days and when the egg hatched it produced 2 babies.

I thought that this info might be of interest to you as it enabled me to time my treatments to not only kill adults, but to follow up with another treatment about 16 days after the first to kill off any newly hatched slugs.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Greetings,

You can also rent C02 canisters from welding or restaurant supply houses (they're used for tap drinks and kegs). The welding supply place here in Berkeley charges ~$25 to rent a cannister big enough to treat a very large viv 3 or 4 times. At least in this case, they charge only for the gas - you can keep the canister for several weeks to use it for spaced-out treatments. I was able to eliminate my slug problem using this method in my 3' x 3'x 7' viv.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

ONE way to fix this once and for all is sterilize the whole vivarium and then take the plants, give them a chlorine bath for a like 20 seconds. I did this and it was worth it in the end, no snails and plants are looking good
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Yeah, I'm almost tempted to just to that - sterilize it and begin again, haha.
(This was my first setup and well, we all know how we want to do things differently after the first one)

But I've got pure cork plates glued to the glass as backgrounds, and one of those hard styrofoam backs with the silicones coco husk etc on it, not sure how I should sterilize these without ruining it. (Maybe spraying with diluted bleach and let it evaporate?)

I've also considered getting those snail eating beetles. We have a few of the sorts here "in the wild", but springtime is a long way ahead, so I'd have to wait a few months until I can find one. (I couldn't find any to buy online either) - Would have been great with one or two of those roaming around the tank.

As for spider mites, (I'm guessing, although these are white I believe), I could also have gotten some ladybugs, but alas - winter time.

With CO2, I'm tempted to try the home made brew. I made it once for my aquarium, but couldn't get it warm enough to start up. (was in a drafty area of the room) but the tank is in my livingroom with me and my cats and I'm afraid it's going to seep out of the tank and do a number on us - and I'm not too sure about how to vent it out afterwards - wouldn't it be harmful to vent out into the livingroom?

edit: ah, very helpful about the time for the eggs to hatch. I didn't know. Is it true they only lay once a year, though? As in the same snail wont lay twice in a year?
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

I had never heard that they only lay eggs once a year.

I know that the populations that I have in some of my tanks grew pretty rapidly. I would suspect that they lay eggs more than once a year - but I don't have any facts to back that up.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Haha, I went back to the web page where I thought I read it, and I had it a bit mixed up. They live for about a year. There was some insight in how long eggs take to hatch in various degrees, etc. Oh well.

I've got the next week off and I'm contemplating just doing it all over again. A bit annoying because this had hardly any time to settle and I just sprinkled some moss spores all over, but what can ya do. The great thing about being new to vivs is that each setup will be better than the last - mostly atleast, haha.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Sparrow,

Carbon dioxide is not particularly dangerous - certainly not in the way that its cousin carbon monoxide is. And not in the amounts needed to treat a small to medium vivarium.

CO2 is heavier than air, so in a sealed container or compartment without airflow and lots of CO2, it sinks to the bottom and can create an anoxic, suffocating layer (this is the principal of the CO2/ dry ice bomb). But in a living-room sized area with airflow from a fan or HVAC and connected to other rooms, the excess CO2 that might escape from the viv mixes and spreads enough to be harmless.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Haha, thanks for the thorough explanation! I was never very good in chem. class, especially with names.

It's good to know. Is this the same treatmeant that is also supposedly good for plants? I'm considering ripping eveyrthing out, boil/bleach everything and re-do the tank with a more stone-approach for the background rather than what I have now.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimcmich View Post
Sparrow,

Carbon dioxide is not particularly dangerous - certainly not in the way that its cousin carbon monoxide is. And not in the amounts needed to treat a small to medium vivarium.

CO2 is heavier than air, so in a sealed container or compartment without airflow and lots of CO2, it sinks to the bottom and can create an anoxic, suffocating layer (this is the principal of the CO2/ dry ice bomb). But in a living-room sized area with airflow from a fan or HVAC and connected to other rooms, the excess CO2 that might escape from the viv mixes and spreads enough to be harmless.
Or why not just do a carbon monoxide gassing , Just get a car hooked up to your vivarium(and old car without a catalyst), seems easy enough. Although it might as well kill your plants
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Snails in plant-only viv. What to do?

Hah, gave me a chuckle. Could you imagine the neighbours.
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