How Can I Get Rid of Snails in Spiky Moss Aquarium?

Spiky moss, otherwise known as the Selaginella species, is a bright green moss used in aquariums because of its scenic fluffy, layered, and clustered growth nature.

With simple maintenance requirements and many hiding spots in the moss growth, it becomes the ideal plant for aquariums with small fish, fish fry, and even shrimp!

Can I Get Rid of Snails in Spiky Moss
Can I Get Rid of Snails in Spiky Moss

This, however, also means that there will be plenty of hiding spaces for aquatic pests like aquarium snails.

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Is it good to have snails in my Spiky Moss tank?

Yes! Having snails in your tank is good for your aquarium. The problem starts, however, when the number of snails in the tank starts increasing uncontrollably to the point where your tank becomes infested with snails!

In short, snails are scavengers. This means they will feed on any leftover food, the debris of dying and decaying plants, and also on algae.

This is an advantage when maintaining any aquarium because they will get rid of any leftovers and help keep the aquarium tank clean.

A snail-infested tank though is not always a happy sight to be seen.

How do snails enter an aquarium tank?

Knowing how snails enter your aquarium is important to know so that you could prevent them from entering your tank in the future.

The two main ways snails could enter your aquarium are through an aquatic plant that was newly introduced to the tank, or a fish that was introduced.

It could be snail eggs that were attached to the plant that you missed to see and clean, or it could be a snail caught in the net when transferring a fish to a different tank. Either way, do keep a sharp lookout when introducing new plants or fish into a new tank.

Can I get rid of snails permanently from my Spiky Moss aquarium?

Yes, you can.

Introducing a snail-eating variety of fish to your aquarium will be the best solution to rid your tank of snails permanently but following either one or a combination of a few other steps mentioned below will also help you limit the number of snails and then permanently remove them from your Spiky moss aquarium.

How can I get rid of snails in Spiky Moss aquarium?

Getting rid of snails in an aquarium may sound like a tedious and time-consuming task, but there are a few tips and tricks that you could use to limit them or even completely get rid of them for good!

  • Limiting the amount of food given to fish: The higher the amount of food leftover after your fish are fed, the higher the rate of snails breeding in your tank.
  • Proper tank maintenance: A tank not maintained is a tank that could have dying leaves of plants, leftover food, and also algae growths. This is a feast for snails! Regular maintenance of removing dying leaves and leftover food is a must to limit the snail population in your tank.
  • Remove by hand: This is the simple task of using a net and scraping off or fishing out the individual snails from your tank, but keep in mind, for a heavily snail-infested tank, this method can be quite time-consuming!
  • Introduce predator fish: Including a variety of fish that feed on snails is another option for keeping your aquarium snail free. Fish such as Pufferfish, Cichlids, or even Loaches are known to help keep your tank free of snails.
  • Use a trap: Using a food trap is also an effective way of removing snails from your aquarium. This can be done by inserting a bottle or fish net into your tank with a few snacks (like spinach or lettuce leaves or even pieces of cucumber) which snails love to feed on. Leave this submerged in the tank for a few days until most or all of the snails are feeding on it and then remove the bottle or net from the tank with the snails still feeding on the food.
  • Pesticides: Using worm pesticides or even copper-based treatments will help kill the snails in your aquarium. Although using a worm pesticide may not be as harmful to your fish and plants, a copper-based treatment will definitely kill your aquatic plants and fish. This method is not recommended as the first option to rid your tank of snails because of this reason. However, if you still do feel the need to do so, make sure you remove your fish and plants into separate quarantine tanks prior to using the pesticides.

How do I get rid of tiny pest snails on Spiky Moss?

Getting rid of snails on your Spiky moss plant can easily be done by following the methods mentioned before. Especially, by the means of:

  • Limiting the food leftover in the tank,
  • Constant maintenance of the Spiky moss plant as well as the tank,
  • Introducing a predator fish,
  • Removing by hand, and
  • Using a snail trap.

Using a pesticide to remove snails from your Spiky moss plant can bring harm to the plant. However, to prevent any snail eggs from being attached to the moss, you can gently wash the moss in a salt or hydrogen peroxide solution and then thoroughly rinse it with water to remove any remaining solution.

What happens if a snail lays eggs on my Spiky Moss plant?

If snail eggs are laid on your Spiky moss plant, the eggs will stay attached to the plant until the baby snails are ready to hatch.

If by any chance you remove that part of your Spiky moss plant and reintroduce it to another tank without thoroughly cleaning the cutting, the snail eggs will be transferred to your new tank as well!

How do I remove snail eggs from my Spiky Moss plants carefully?

Removing snail eggs from your Spiky moss plant is not as hard as it may sound. You could either remove them by hand or use a small brush to gently brush them off once you take the moss out of the aquarium so that no snail eggs get left behind in the tank.

Do Snails eat Spiky Moss?

No, pest snails do not eat Spiky moss. In fact, they don’t feed on any live plants, but they do feed on algae that could be growing on your Spiky moss plants.

Do Snails Eat Dead Spiky Moss?

Yes. Pest snails are known to eat dead and decaying plant matter. This includes your dead or dying Spiky moss leaves or even the entire dead moss plant.

Do baby snails eat Spiky Moss?

No, baby snails do not eat Spiky moss plants. They do, however, eat algae, leaves such as spinach or cucumber leaves, fish food, or even shrimp pellets.

Can Snails live with Spiky Moss?

Yes. Aquatic snails will live in almost any aquarium tank and your Spiky moss aquarium will be no different. As long as they have a source of nourishment, aquatic snails will thrive in any tank.

Do snails hate saltwater aquariums?

Freshwater snails may not entirely prefer living in a saltwater aquarium and it could even kill them if the level of salt is in very high concentrations.

Snails like Mystery snails or Ramshorn snails survive better and well in freshwater, while snails like Turbo snails survive better in saltwater.

What is the best snail killer for a Spiky Moss aquarium tank?

If you wish to introduce fish in your Spiky moss aquarium to get rid of any pest snails in the tank, the best varieties of fish to include would be Pufferfish, Loaches, or even African Cichlids.

If you prefer the use of pesticides, you could choose from a highly concentrated salt solution, hydrogen peroxide, alum, worm pesticides, or even a copper-based treatment.

However, since pesticides do have the possibility of damaging the ecosystem of your aquarium tank by hurting or killing your fish and plants, the use of fish to permanently remove any snails is recommended.


The invasion of your aquarium tank by pest snails can be sudden and rapid, and while some aquarists may prefer having snails in their tanks, some of us may not.

So do attempt a few snail control tips and tricks mentioned and limit or even permanently get rid of your aquatic snails today!

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.