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    Thread: Pond sterilization - killing snails?

    1. #1
      lowfi is offline Member
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      Pond sterilization - killing snails?

      Hi all,

      Im restarting my pond after many months of being dry. Apparently I still have ramshorn snails in there! There are no fish in the pond. I need the snails dead!

      My question is what is the best way to kill off the snails without having to drain and refill the pond before adding fish?

      I was thinking bleach.

      I don't want to drain and refill since it is pretty big. Please let me know!

      Thanks

    2. #2
      cottagefog is offline Senior Member
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      Bleach would kill them. Bleach will kill everything in the pond including good bacteria. I am not sure how soon you plan on re-introducing your koi back into the pond after treatment.

      If it was me I would try some of the chemicals to treat koi issues like Dimilin. Use this to kill the snails, but not harm the filters.

      I also believe Potassium permanganate would kill the snails, but not sure the dosage.

    3. #3
      lowfi is offline Member
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      dimilin is nasty stuff, slightly concerned about using it.

      fish are a long way off so it's not a concern.

      do you know what the dose would be for bleach?

    4. #4
      cottagefog is offline Senior Member
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      Not sure how much bleach. If the internet couldnt give me an answer, I would slowly keep adding bleach until I could physically see the snails dying.

      Then you have snail eggs. They hatch in a few weeks. Will the bleach kill the eggs? I would think so. Might have to wait until they hatch?

      Look on the bright side. You will have some very clear water for a few weeks!

    5. #5
      lowfi is offline Member
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      Thanks so much!

    6. #6
      two_wheeled is offline Senior Member
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      Here's an idea..... How about salt?

      Without draining, a chemical would be needed. I haven't had any luck with the chemicals for snails, but you might be open to using a higher concentration than me since you won't have any fish in the pond.
      This past year I treated my pond for ich with a 0.6% solution of salt. I noticed that my heavy snail population was reduced about 90% during the 3-4 weeks the salt was in there.
      You could easily double or triple that salt solution (or more?) to kill off the snails, then change out as much water as needed to reduce the salt below 0.3% before adding koi back in.
      Just an idea. I'll be curious how you solve your snail problem. Keep us posted!
      -Steve in Phx.
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    7. #7
      Roddy Conrad's Avatar
      Roddy Conrad is online now The Koiphen Chemist
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      The most effective snail killer I have observed is formaldehyde, meaning dosing the pond repeatedly with the formaldehyde/malachite green combination.

      An article on this subject is at:
      https://www.chemservice.com/news/wha...-molluscicide/

      I observe the formaldehyde kills the live snails but not the eggs so doesn’t really solve the problem.

      since none of the chemicals kills the eggs, and it may take up to 5 weeks for all the eggs to hatch, I have never found a way to eradicate snails from my settling tanks in my ponds filtering system. The primary downside of the snails is their bodies plugging up the pump traps in my filter system. So I have to clean out the snails from the pump traps every two or three weeks, no big deal versus trying to fight the no win battle to kill them.
      Last edited by Roddy Conrad; 08-01-2021 at 07:30 AM.
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    8. #8
      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      I would use saturated salt. No chemical except water can be safer than salt.

      Though I don´t know if the snail has tough eggs that cannot be killed so easily.

    9. #9
      Roddy Conrad's Avatar
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      Salt is practical and cheap to kill snails, I agree. But to be effective, the salt level should be maintained for 6 weeks to kill the life cycle through all eggs hatching, and in Summer months so the eggs all hatch in 6 weeks. For this purpose I would use salt in the range of 0.3% to 0.6% so the koi can tolerate the salt water. At 0.3% you need to add 25 pounds of sodium chloride salt per 1000 gallons water in the pond system, for 0.6% salt use 50 pounds of salt per 1000 gallons.

      “Salt saturation” at 26 weight % would be 2158 pounds of salt per 1000 gallons, and there is no need to go above 0.6% in my opinion.

      Dumping this salt water on your yard will kill the grass, and it is likely to kill pond plants if you are combining water plants with fish, so decide what you value and where the salt water will go before using this preferred option to simply kill snails. Salt will also kill most koi parasites, a good thing.
      Last edited by Roddy Conrad; 08-01-2021 at 08:32 AM.
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    10. #10
      aquaholic is offline Junior Member
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      Copper is very effective against invertebrates, cheap and easily available.

    11. #11
      cvostmyer is offline Member
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      If copper was used, would they need to drain and rinse the pond before adding the koi? (https://www.sancoind.com/news/koi-and-copper-sulfate)

    12. #12
      Roddy Conrad's Avatar
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      Also the copper would need to be present for 6 weeks for all the eggs to hatch so the snail life cycle is stopped.

      Salt is much safer than copper for the koi.

      https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/fa165

      Another copper discussion at the link above.
      Your koiphen chemist and environmental scientist.

    13. #13
      two_wheeled is offline Senior Member
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      As a follow up, in case you're wondering, salt is also extremely cheap. and readily available. Home Depot sells 40 pound bags for around $5 each.
      -Steve in Phx.
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    14. #14
      cottagefog is offline Senior Member
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      How large is this pond?

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      danbo is offline Senior Member
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      I have many snails in my pond/river system. Spotted one the size of a big hen's egg the other day. Never thought of them as a problem before. Are they?? (a problem that is..)

      Dan

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      A few snails are kinda fun. A million snails are less fun.
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    17. #17
      aquaholic is offline Junior Member
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      Copper very easy to chelate out, adding sodium thiosulphate for example would lower the dissolved copper strength quickly, cheaply and without much effort. Dissolved copper is easily manipulated by pH, hardness, organic load etc. So adding salt would also rapidly reduce dissolved copper availability. I would recommend a dissolved copper test. There is a huge difference in tolerance between vertebrate & invertebrates.

      Don't need to maintain copper long to kill snails. A second dose several weeks later to remove hatched snails before they can reproduce is a good idea.
      Last edited by aquaholic; 08-05-2021 at 05:27 AM.

    18. #18
      lowfi is offline Member
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      Thank you all so much. What is the suggested ppm for copper kill? I'm very concerned about being able to get it out later. I didn't know thio reduced copper levels.

    19. #19
      aquaholic is offline Junior Member
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      The normal difficulty with using copper medicinally is trying to maintain a sufficiently high enough level of active copper as so many facyors tend to reduce copper availability/effectiveness.

      While it may be good to have a theoretical concentration, in practice the safest method is to make up a stock solution and use this in a smaller container (known volume) of your pond water with a test fish & targeted enemy. Slowly increase the copper in smaller container until the snails die. You could continue adding copper until the test fish shows discomfort which will provide you the safety margin.

      In your case, you have no fish so treatment is simplified. Just work out the effective dose of stock solution for your pond water and treat. You don't need a copper test kit in this situation but as they are so cheap, you might as well get one.
      You will be able to monitor the natural decline in copper level after say 2 weeks.

      Then wait a few weeks until any snails eggs hatch and re-treat to kill those before they can reproduce. Snails will find their own way back into your pond over time though. I'd probably embrace them rather than try to eradicate them.

    20. #20
      nmtsaki's Avatar
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      Just as a question: if you used bleach, wouldn’t it naturally dissipate after a week or so, or with the aid of a dechlorinator? When we’re you planning on adding koi? If 6 weeks isn’t an issue for adding back fish, I would probably use the salt (although switching out can kill lawns, or the copper. We used to throw pennies into our aquariums to get rid of snails. Probably would need a ton of really copper pennies to do that!!!

      Let us know what you decide, and how it works.







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