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FAQs about Pest Marine Snails Identification and Removal 3

Related Articles: Gastropods, Sea Slugs, Mollusks, Abalone,

Related FAQs: Pest Snails (Pyramidellids, Heliacus, Murex...) Identification and Removal 1, Pest Snails 2, Pest Snails 4, Snail Compatibility 1, Marine Snail Compatibility 2, Marine Snail Compatibility 3, & Marine Snails 1, Marine Snails 2, Marine Snails 3, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, Mollusks, Sea Slugs, Abalone, Marine Algae Eaters,


Hitchhiker snail?       7/28/19
Hi Crew!
I got these ninja snails and one has this weird hitchhiker on it. I thought it was a Stomatella but doesn’t quite look like it. Would you be so kind to identify? Thank you in advance!
<Mmm; no image attached! BobF>
Hitchhiker snail?       7/28/19

If I had to take a guess—maybe a limpet?
<Mmm; looks otherwise-shaped>
It seems to not move, just sits on it. Just worried if it’s parasitic and possibly harming the snail. ��.
<I do agree; think this may well be a predator on other snails. There are several. See here on WWM:
I released the others I got, and I have him isolated in a container for now till you can let me know. Thank you again in advance!
<I would carefully examine all the snails you want (have put in here) and remove the hitchhiking ones. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hitchhiker snail?      7/29/19
Oh wow thank you for the advice! Glad I kept him isolated. I will remove the hitchhiker. Again thank you kindly for your wisdom!
<Glad to share w/ you Dani. BobF>

Pyramidellid snails      1/22/19
Hello Crew! Thanks in advance for your help with my question!
I recently got a new Astraea snail. It had been in the tank about 24 hours or somewhat less when I watched it cleaning the front glass and noticed that it had some Pyramidellid hitchhikers on it.
I promptly removed the snail and cleaned off the Pyramidellids before replacing it into the tank. Now this is a fairly small tank (20 gallons) with the only inhabitants being a Fiji blue devil, 1 Lysmata amboinensis,
2 Astrea snails, several Nassarius snails, 1 small rock flower anemone (E. crucifer, a small colony of zoanthids, 1 pom pom xenia, and 1 small green tree Nephthea, and several small blue leg hermit crabs. No Tridacnids, and I'm not likely to add any additional critters to this small tank.
<Ah, good>
How likely am I to have trouble from these pest snails?
<Maybe not. Could be that these are not Pyramidellids that feed on snails... Can you take well-resolved pix of them and send along?>
Are any of the current inhabitants likely to prove delicious to them?
<Possibly the other snail species>
My current limited understanding of this species is that they are primarily predators of other mollusks, not soft corals, but I am far from certain of this. If they are gastropod predators, can I remove my snails to a "safe space" for inspection and decontamination, and hold them in quarantine until the Pyrams are starved out?
<Mmm; yes; though this may take a very long time. Better to occasionally remove the other snails and inspect, brush the hitchhikers off, dispose>
And how long would it take to eliminate the pests?
<Perhaps months to... forever>
Thanks for your help with this! Until recently I was under the impression that Pyramidellids were only an issue for Tridacnids so I was not as careful as I should have been when introducing the new snail. Now
I know better but want to make sure I deal with this situation before it gets out of hand.
<Ah yes; better to isolate, quarantine all... to avoid unwanted HHs as well as other benefits>
*Joanne White*
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Pyramidellid snails       1/23/19
Thank you! Unfortunately I freaked out when I spotted them and disposed of the little suckers before thinking to take a pic. However they look exactly like other pics posted on your site and I'm sure they are Pyramidellid snails (rather than the Zoanthid predator snails).
<Rats! Ok>
I looked through other posts and interestingly, it seems like a big majority of Pyramidellid snails either come in on a tridacnid clam, or on Astrea snails.
This makes me speculate that the ones coming in on the Astrea snails may be specific to that species, or at least possibly specific to gastropods.
<I'd count this as likely>
Since I only have the two Astrea snails in the tank, it will be fairly easy to check them every few days or so for any new parasites. Will be a little harder to check the Nassarius snails since they burrow, but ought to be able to do that as well.
I'm hoping they are specific to the Astrea snails, because that should make it a lot easier to deal with.
*Joanne White*
<Do keep us informed Jo! BobF>

Selecting a proper wrasse    1/3/19
I’ve already spent a bit of time reading and searching, but in doing so I’ve come full circle and confused myself. I have the dreaded Pyramidellid snails. I have a 30 gallon cube tank with peaceful inhabitants (pair of Perc clowns, Firefish, hectors goby, diamond watchman goby, pair of peppermint shrimp, misc CUC snails and hermits). My infestation is light and I’ve been manually removing as many as possible, but last night after lights out I saw why I’ll never get them all gone: the Pyramidellid snails are also feeding on the small army of Collonista snails that swarm the rocks after lights out. My thoughts are a wrasse May be my only hope to keep my desired - aka purchased - snails alive. I’m in a tough spot, however, to find a wrasse that is suitable in my relatively small community tank. It seems most wrasses which will eat Pyramidellid snails need a far larger tank, and those which fit my tank do not eat Pyramidellid snails (possum wrasses for example).
<This is so>
I’ve come up with a few options, and would like some thoughts and maybe help think of other options. First, Melarnus <Halichoeres melanurus?> wrasse. I know it gets too big, but for a Halichoeres wrasse which eats Pyramidellid snails, it also just might leave my shrimp alone. I would revoke this fish responsibly once it gets too big. Next, Pseudocheilinus evanidus - secretive wrasse. It is a better fit for the tank size, but more difficult to find and unfortunately it is not nearly as chromatically gifted as most other wrasses. It’s in the same family as the mystery wrasse which eats bugs like crazy, but a bit smaller so hopes are higher that it’ll leave my shrimp alone.
<I doubt this last...>
I do not want a 4, 6, 8, lined or a (name your color) chorus wrasse as far too many have become bullies. Maybe this is overly wishful thinking, but if the unicorn wrasse I’m looking for does not tank my pods, it will significantly help my hectors goby - whom I’ve never seen eat any food I’ve fed, yet remains fat from picking at the rocks all day.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you could give me to get rid of my scourge (DIP YOUR CORALS!!)
<Mmm; well, there are several hundred species of Pyrams... some larger/smaller; some more species/predator specific... I'd either stick with a regimen of removing what I found three nights a week, about an hour after lights off... or remove your Collonista snails to elsewhere in the hope that the Pyrams will die off due to starvation (months). Any Labrid is going to be too large (and are diurnal; whereas the Pyrams are nocturnal), and will eat your shrimp. Some crabs and hermits might eat your Pyrams, but would eat other desired organisms. Bob Fenner>
Re: Selecting a proper wrasse    1/3/19

Thank you for the very fast reply! Unfortunately, removing the Collonista snails is all but impossible. The little hitchhikers are not only tiny, but number in the hundreds. If I’m inferring correctly from your response, I should not look to a wrasse to fix my Pyramidellid snail problem for at least three reasons, 1) snails and fish are awake opposite light cycles, 2) any appropriate wrasse to eat the snails gets too big, and 3) any appropriate wrasse may also eat my ornamental shrimp.

Bunny Snail Problem - Valentini Puffer?      7/6/18
Hi Crew!
<Hey Dave>
60g shallow reef, 2 Picasso Clowns, Canary Wrasse, Yellow Watchman Goby, Rose BTA, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 6 x Nassarius Snails, maybe 15 blue legged hermits, one banded serpent starfish. Corals: Toadstool, star polyps, frogspawn, Kenya tree, and a variety of custom Zoas. I had a
terrible Aiptasia issue, and one peppermint shrimp fixed that in a week!
Now, I have this bunny snail issue. They don't seem to harm anything, but somehow they manage to get into my pumps, my protein skimmer, etc...
They're going to cause a pump failure! Two different people on Facebook forums suggested a Valentini Puffer. I Googled it, and another forum post on ReefCentral indicated their Valentini Puffer left all corals, shrimp, their BTA, and crabs alone, but devoured every snail in the tank and decimated their bunny snail issue. I can remove the Nassarius snails easily enough. Without bleaching all my liverock, I have no idea how to get rid of the bunny snails. To be clear, I'm not after a Valentini Puffer... I want
rid of these bunny snails. It seems like a Valentini Puffer might be my best choice? Thoughts? Recommendations?
<Any Toby/Canthigaster/ine, Sharpnose puffer species will do; but yes to their employment here. Bob Fenner>

Palythoa- sundial Heliacus. Removal       3/16/18
<Salve Marcelo>
I want to remove Palythoa naturally.
<A fave, oft-misused adverb...>
My tank is only 16 gallons but due to corals on the live rocks and not easy to take them out I wanted to try a natural method.
I read on your website that sundial snails only eat Zoas and Palythoa.
<Mmm; not only>
However another place online also mentioned they eat sea anemone.
This made me nervous as I have a mini-maxi carpet anemone in my tank.
I wanted to get a sundial snail to naturally eat my Palythoa but do not want to irritate or have the sundial snail try to eat my mini-maxi carpet anemone. There are Palythoa on the same rock as my anemone and the anemone has been on the same rock for about 6-7 years so don’t want him moving of course.
Is there anyway to get verification from your experience?
<Not from me unfortunately; no>
Secondly- will they also eat clove polyps? Not worried if they did, just curious.
<Again; I don't know>
Lastly, I searched online and cannot find anyone selling the snail should I even want to try one. Are they illegal to bring in or just not sold since most hobbyists don’t want them since they eat Zoas?
<Considered pests, yes; not illegal. Have only seen/encountered as hitchhikers>
Look forward to any assistance you can provide as not interested in covering with Kalk, trying to chip off rocks, injecting with hot water or lime with a needle, etc.
<I STRONGLY encourage you to read/investigate further, and use an "unnatural" means to rid your system of Zoanthids. As this is a small tank, likely little rock involved to be replaced, I would remove the desired organisms and put the Zoanthid containing rock outdoors, some place where animals can't get to it... Allow it to dry, process for re-use as just rock, or toss it>
I do run carbon and gfo which helps neutralize the poison which is perhaps I have never had any issues the 10+ years I have had them but I don’t want to take a chance after reading more stories about how they can become airborne or even affect experts unexpectedly at times.
<You are wise to be cautious here. Bob Fenner>
Best regards,
Marcelo Rodriguez

FW: Sent from Snipping Tool (SW) snail control       10/31/14
Hello Crew,
I have been having a snail issue for about 9 months.. In the photo are these snails. They never seem to get much larger than this.. but in 9 month I think I have taken out more than 2000 in my 125 gallon tank... I just can't get rid of them, they breed fast and when they are small I can't really see them in the gravel... Can you tell me by looking at the photo what type they are
<Can't tell if this is even marine or freshwater...>
and how to get rid of them.
<Yes; how I would. Biological controls... some Labrid choices if salt...>
Any fish that would take care of these to the point of actually getting rid of all of them.... I have another tank that does not have this problem at all. I use a small siphon tube that works good
<... well>
and I do that when I change the water and lately whenever I see one.... please help me because they are a huge pain and got into my protein skimmer and clogged up the air intake too.
<Oh; so is marine>
Thank you for any help you can offer me.. The tank is a FOWLR.
<Read on! Bob Fenner>

Re: FW: Sent from Snipping Tool      10/31/14
Hi Bob
So the Labrid will pretty much eat these up right down to the smallest ones and eventually get rid of these for good (I hope)..... how are they with shrimp then???
<Depending on the genera, species of both... possibly. Look to the smaller Wrasses... Pseudocheilinus...>
Thank you very much for your help Bob.... I could move the shrimp to the other tank for awhile too while the Labrid eventually seeks out all these snails...
How about a yellow Coris wrasse or a 12 line/4line wrasse?
<All good choices>
Thank you again Bob.
<Welcome Paul. BobF>

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