How to Get Rid of Bladder Snails- Learn 6 Effective Methods

Yesterday one of my friends rushed to my place screaming, “Baby snails appeared in my fish tank.” He wanted to know how to get rid of pest snails in aquariums. Then, I asked him for detailed information. Later, I understood that he was searching for ways of removing bladder snails from his aquarium.

However, bladder snails are a common type of freshwater snail found in aquariums and outdoor ponds. The distinctive bladder-like sac on the end of their shells allows them to float to the surface of the water.

Though many people keep them willingly in their aquariums, some want to remove them forever. My friend was one of them. I am sure that you are also one of those who are bothered by snails. That’s why you are here on my site. Hence, let me share with you how to get rid of bladder snails in aquariums.

6 Ways to Remove Bladder Snails From Aquarium

1. Remove Manually

Remove Manually

I can suggest to you several ideas on how to get rid of invasive snails in aquariums. Among them, I want to describe the manual removal methods first.

In the case of hand-picking, you should check your aquarium or pond for any visible snails.

Bladder snails are small and brownish. Commonly, they are found on the substrate, plants, and aquarium walls. Whenever you can see them, remove that by hand. After that, simply pick them up and place them in a separate container or dispose of them.

Else, you can use a fine-meshed net to catch any snails that you may have missed. Move the net slowly and carefully over the substrate and plants to avoid disturbing the aquarium or pond too much.

Besides, you can try a siphon hose or a snail catcher to reduce bladder snail infestation. Snails that are found in aquarium walls can be easily removed by a snail catcher.

But, if you have a large infestation of bladder snails, manual removal may not be effective. In this case, you have to consider other methods. Let’s be introduced to them.

2. Less Amount of Food

If you can’t control the snails by hand picking, you can lower the amount of fish food. You should provide a moderate amount of food that fish will consume instantly or within a few times. Thus, the snails would not get food for their livelihood and reproduction system.

On the other hand, the fish also won’t produce much waste. Consequently, the snails will lack food and their generation will be prohibited.

Else, you have also to be careful of algae production. Snails love to eat the algae in the aquarium. So prune them regularly so that all the sources of bladder snail food can be demolished. 

3. Bladder Snail Trap

Bladder Snail Trap

Next, I will discuss bladder snail traps. It can be an effective way to reduce the population of these snails in your aquarium or pond. So have a glance at the steps on how I make a simple bladder snail trap-

  • Take a small container. It can be a plastic cup or a bottle cap. 
  • Then, place a small piece of fish food or vegetable (such as lettuce, broccoli, sweet corn, turnip, cucumber, etc.) inside it.
  • Cover the container with a mesh material, such as a fine net or pantyhose. Also, secure it with a rubber band or string.
  • Place the trap in your aquarium, making sure it is close to where the bladder snails are concentrated.
  • Wait for a few hours or overnight and check the trap to see if any snails have been caught.
  • Remove the snails from the trap and dispose of them.

Repeat the process as needed until the population of bladder snails has been reduced to a manageable level.

Further, if making a snail trap is a hassle for you, you can also purchase a trap and use it to remove bladder snails.

4. Snail Predators

One of my neighbors asked me, “What kills bladder snails?” The answer is bladder snail predators. There are many fish and invertebrates that eat bladder snails in aquariums, including loaches, pufferfish, gouramis, assassin snails, and some species of shrimp. Adding one of these species to your aquarium can help to control the snail population.

But before selecting them, you have to research which predators are compatible with your aquarium and will not harm other inhabitants. Once you have identified appropriate snail predators, introduce them to the aquarium.

Depending on the species, it may take some time for them to start feeding on the bladder snails, so be patient and keep an eye on the population of bladder snails and the behavior of the predators.

The important thing is to be noted here. If the bladder snail population begins to decline, but the predators are not eating them, it may be necessary to supplement their diet with snail pellets or other food sources.

5. Regular Cleaning

If you want to know how to get rid of aquarium snails naturally, I will suggest the regular cleaning process. Regular water changes and keeping the tank clean can also help prevent the growth of bladder snails in the future.

Removing any excess debris from your aquarium or pond will make the environment less hospitable for bladder snails and help to prevent their population from growing.

Bladder snails tend to thrive in dirty or poorly maintained aquariums, so maintaining a healthy and clean environment can help to control their population. Besides regular water changes, cleaning the substrate is also important in this case.

6. Quarantine

Lastly, you can follow the quarantine method to get rid of bladder snails. If you have a small aquarium, you can move all the fish, plants, and decorations to a separate container with fresh water.

This will allow you to clean the aquarium without harming your pets. If you have a larger aquarium, you can isolate one section of it using a plastic divider. Thus, you can get rid of bladder snails humanely.

In the case of disposal, you can give the snails to anybody who wants to keep them in an aquarium or as food for predator fish.

Ways You Should Not Use To Remove Bladder Snails

Using Chemicals to Kill Bladder Snails

Well, as a guide, my primary responsibility is to provide accurate and helpful information about removing bladder snails. However, I can recommend copper sulfate for killing bladder snails.

But, the use of chemicals in an aquarium can harm not only the snails but also other fishes. Additionally, the use of chemicals can be hazardous to your health, particularly if not used correctly.

I am one of the worst sufferers of this case. At the initial level, when I was not experienced in this sector, someone suggested chemicals to me. I applied that unconsciously and could not save my fish so I had to buy a new aquarium.

That’s why, instead of using copper or other chemicals, you may consider other methods of controlling bladder snails in your aquarium that I suggested before.

If you are still having difficulty managing bladder snails in your aquarium, it may be helpful to seek advice from a reputable aquarium store or an aquatic specialist who can guide the most appropriate methods for your specific situation.

Using Paradise Fish

Furthermore, I will not suggest you paradise fish to control snails in your aquarium. Though paradise fish is a good predator of snails, they have to be kept hungry for a long time and then they will start eating snails.

But keeping a fish like a paradise is dangerous as it may kill your aquarium fish as well. So, try to use other predators or other ways of control instead of using paradise fish.

Why Should I Get Rid of Bladder Snails?

Bladder snails can be a nuisance for you from several perspectives. 

  • It can become a problem in aquariums or aquatic environments because they reproduce quickly and can quickly overpopulate an aquarium ecosystem. 
  • They also tend to eat aquarium plants, which can be havoc for those who want to maintain a beautiful and healthy aquatic environment.
  • In addition, bladder snails can contribute to poor water quality if they die and decompose.
  • As their bodies release excess nutrients into the water, leading to an increase in algae growth and potentially harmful conditions for fish and other aquatic animals.
  • They can lead to competition for resources and potential problems.

Therefore, it’s generally recommended to control the population of bladder snails in an aquarium to prevent overpopulation and maintain a healthy ecosystem.

How to Get Rid of Bladder Snail Eggs?

If you ask me how I permanently get rid of Bladder snails in my aquarium, I will suggest that you should destroy their eggs. You may notice clusters of small, transparent eggs on the walls or on decorations that belong to those snails.

The process of removing the bladder snail eggs is almost similar to the methods that I explained before. You can physically remove the eggs from the tank using a scraper or a sponge. This can be a tedious task, but it is effective in preventing snails from hatching.

Additionally, you can decrease the aquarium water temperature. Bladder snail eggs hatch faster in warmer water, so keeping the water temperature cooler (below 75°F) can slow down their development and reduce the number of hatched snails.

Most effectively, you can prevent those eggs from hatching by keeping the aquarium clean. It helps to control the population of bladder snails and reduce the number of eggs they lay.

How to Get Rid of Bladder Snails in Shrimp Tank?

Bladder snails sometimes become disastrous in shrimp tanks. In this case, remove as many snails as you can manually. You can use a small net or tweezers to pick them out of the tank.

Else, you may increase the frequency of water changes to remove excess nutrients that feed the snails. Trying processes similar to the removal ways in aquariums may also facilitate you.

If you are still having problems, you can keep an eye on my writings to get more updates about removing bladder snails in shrimp tanks.

Are Bladder Snails Beneficial?

While some people consider bladder snails to be pests due to their ability to reproduce rapidly and sometimes overrun aquariums, they can also be beneficial in certain situations.

  • Bladder snails can help to clean up excess food, algae, and debris in an aquarium or pond, which can help to improve water quality.
  • They also serve as a food source for aquatic animals, such as fish and turtles. 
  • Additionally, bladder snails can be used as a biological control for certain types of plant pests, such as algae and cyanobacteria.

However, it’s worth noting that bladder snails can also have some negative impacts in certain situations. Overall, whether or not bladder snails are beneficial depends on the specific situation and context.

If you’re considering adding bladder snails to your aquarium or pond, it’s a good idea to research their potential impacts and make an informed decision based on your individual needs and goals.

How Can I Prevent Bladder Snails from Becoming a Problem in My Aquarium?

To prevent bladder snails from becoming a problem in your aquarium, you can avoid introducing live plants or other materials that may be contaminated with snails or their eggs. You should strictly follow the causes that can make snail pests in the aquarium.

Additionally, regularly cleaning your aquarium and maintaining good water quality can help prevent bladder snail populations from getting out of control. You can use brushes or other cleaning materials to keep your aquarium clean.


How do bladder snails reproduce?

Bladder snails are hermaphroditic, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. They lay their eggs in clusters on hard surfaces such as rocks, plants, or aquarium glass.

How do bladder snails get into aquariums?

Bladder snails can be introduced to aquariums in a variety of ways, such as hitchhiking on live plants, being introduced with new fish or other livestock, or through contaminated equipment or water.

How do I know if I have bladder snails in my aquarium?

Bladder snails are small, usually around 1/4 inch in size, and have a pointed shell with a spiraling pattern. They are often seen crawling on aquarium surfaces or floating in the water column.

Final Words

So, finally, I have reached the endpoint of my discussion on how to get rid of Bladder Snails. Bladder snails are small species, but they can do a lot of harm to your aquarium if you don’t keep them under control. If you can see that the water quality is getting lower, you should immediately kill them.

I always believe that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Hence, you should be careful so that your aquarium may remain free from bladder snails. If you like them, you can adapt any of the methods I mentioned, especially the third one. Thus, you can get an aquarium with a healthy atmosphere. 

Howard Parker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *