How To Get Rid Of Bladder Snails

Kevin & Greggs Fishtank 2189Creative Commons License courtesy of PKMousie

Lettuce Trap

You can use the lettuce trick to collect the bladder snails. I can tell you that a romaine lettuce leaf will attract most of the bladder snails if it is left on the bottom of the tank. Then you can collect them, and if you have enough, give them to one of the fish stores, or post them, and someone with a puffer or loach will want them. People that have puffers sometimes come in just for the little snails. You will make somebody very happy.

Killer Fish

Or, if you have the space, you can get a puffer fish. As long as you don’t have fish with long fins, the puffer should do fine in the tank. Another option is to get at least 2 clown loaches. Clown loaches love snails. They come out at night and go crazy, but be careful there, too - they get pretty big.

Assassin Snails

If adding a puffer or clown loaches is not possible, get some assassin snails. They will clear your tank of unwanted snails. Just make sure you don’t have snails that you do want in the same tank.

My ornamental shrimp tank was so infested with bladder snails I was beside myself until I brought home the assassin snails. It took a few weeks, but it is now snail free and has been for months now. The assassin snails do breed, but slowly. My tank is not overrun with them either, and I’ve had them for about 2 years. I only had to get them for that tank, and it worked.

When introducing new plants, I really wouldn’t do anything that uses chemicals. Just look at the leaves of the plant; if it has small jellylike substance on it, scrape it off, then get the assassin snails. They will work; I promise.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: Thanks for the tips! Are bladder snails the same as pond snails?
  • Randi: No bladder snails are the small oblong shaped usually black or dark gray but don’t Befooled some of them are a light blue. But they are always small and if you have one you have many more than you think. They come on live plants and also if you buy an ornament or piece of driftwood from the tank of a Fishstore you most likely will get them.
  • Vale: Thanks for the description!
  • Randi: Always happy to help
  • Tropics: The only reason I am not getting assassin snail to control the population of the pond snails is because of the 2 shrimps in my 55 gallon. I was told that assassin snail would possibly eat my shrimps. But with this blog you are giving me a green light I guess. Your assassin snail didn’t touch your shrimps ?
  • Randi: Tropics that is not true , the only tank my assassins are in is my shrimptank they will not harm them in anyway they have lived together for a very longtime
  • Tropics: I have also noticed that my julli corys Love to eat this small jellylike substance - snails eggs - from the leaves, rocks and glass. I love my jullii corys :)) good job.
  • Tropics: Amazing, thanks for sharing this important info !
  • Cynthia: Thanks Great Blog and information. I might get some just because the assassin snails look really COOL!
  • Randi: Thank you Cynthia , they are really cool and very cute when they are so little :0)
  • JerryMAC: You’re right Randi the baby assassin snails are so cute to watch! I don’t mind having them in my tank versus having the pond snails. They worked out great in cleaning out my tank. Tried everything you mentioned but only assassin snails were effective for me.
  • Janna: I think i have bladder snails starting to appear in my turtle tank , will the assassin snail harm my turtle ?
  • JerryMAC: Assassin snails will only eat other snails and even some big ones get left alone like I’ve had a nerite cohabitate with 20 plus assassins and it’s not been harmed. The turtles will probably try and eat the snails. :)
  • Demeter: Hi
    thanks for that. I am new to all this and I seem to have a lot of these critters in my tank (bladder snails). I bought a trap but its not working! Im going to try some cucumber as I want to do it without using chemicals. I only have small 5 gallon tank with 6 Tetras and dont want these pests in there.
    I feel nervous about putting in assassins!! Dont want to be overrun with more snails! I wasnt warned about plants carrying eggs so didnt think to wash and check them. Im learning fast! These sites help a lot! Thanks.
  • Carley: Assassins breed very slowly for snails. You need a male and female for too. Hard to tell the difference between them. They lay a few single eggs that when hatched bury themselves in the substrate. You won’t see them for a long time. I don’t think you have to worry about them overrunning your tank.
  • Demeter: Thanks will give it a try.
  • Cricketcarreon: What do you feed your assassins once the snails are gone
  • Carley: You can feed them Bloodworm, Brine Shrimp. I think they need the protein to keep breeding. They will eat flakes, algae tabs etc if necessary, but I think egg laying will stop until protein is added.
  • Cricketcarreon: Thanks carley

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