How Do You Get Rid Of Snails In Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a fun and easy way to grow your own food. But as you know, aquaponic systems are also home to small creatures like snails. 

While some people don’t mind having them in their tank, others would prefer not to find one coming out of their fish’s mouth! 

Luckily there are ways you can get rid of these pests for good. Here are some steps you can take:

How to Get Rid of Snails (4 Easy Steps)
Key Takeaways
Snails can be beneficial in an aquaponics system, but can also become a pest if their population grows too large.
Preventative measures, such as using copper tape around the edges of the tank and using a filter to remove snail eggs, can help keep snail populations under control.
If snail populations do become too large, manual removal or using a natural predator, such as a pea puffer fish, can be effective.
Chemical treatments should only be used as a last resort and with caution, as they can harm other organisms in the system.
Regular monitoring and maintenance of the aquaponics system can help prevent snail populations from getting out of control in the first place.

Manual Removal

Bucket: You can use a bucket to physically find and remove the snails. This method is effective for small infestations, but you’ll need to be thorough in your search for potential hiding spots.

Net: A net is another good choice for removing snails from an aquaponics system, especially if you want to avoid handling them with your hands. 

You should be able to find one at any aquarium supply store or fish market; simply sweep it over the plants and fish tank until all of the unwanted creatures are caught in it!

Are you interested in learning more about aquaponic gardening? Our article on what is an aquaponics system and how do they work? provides a comprehensive introduction to the system and explains how it works. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to aquaponics and want to learn more.

Use Snail Traps

For the most part, snail traps are used to capture snails and then relocate them from your aquaponics system. 

Snails tend to be attracted by the presence of food; therefore, a bait can be used to lure them into the trap. Once in the trap, a gate mechanism will shut them inside for you.

Once you have captured all of the snails in your system using these traps, it is important that you dispose of them properly so as not to release unwanted pests back into nature or onto your property.

Snail TrapCostProsCons
Beer TrapsLowEasy to makeNeed constant replenishment
Predatory Traps (e.g. Assassin snails)HighOffers permanent solutionCan harm other aquatic life
Copper StripsMediumWorks well in the long-termInitial cost might be high
Potato TrapsLowCheap and easy to makeNeeds to be refreshed regularly
Citrus TrapsLowNatural and can be effectiveInconsistent results

In aquaponic gardening, snail infestations can be quite common and can 

Introduce Predators

Introduce predators: Snails can be controlled by a variety of different predators. Some examples include ducks, geese and chickens; frogs and toads; saltwater fish like bluegill, bass and catfish.

Monitor the effectiveness of your predators: Once you’ve introduced one or more predators into your system, pay attention to their behavior in order to determine if they are eating any snails. 

It may take some time for them to become familiar with their new environment before they start eating significant quantities of snail eggs or juveniles.

Add Boiling Water to Your Fish Tank

If you don’t have a fish tank, but you do have a big pot of boiling water, pour it into your fish tank. 

Your snails will be gone by tomorrow morning. Make sure the water is not too hot, though, or the fish might get hurt. 

And remember to make sure you don’t spill any on yourself or in places where you don’t want it to go!

For best results: Do this before the sun comes up or after it goes down so that there’s no sunlight for long period of time.

If you’re curious about the different types of vegetables you can grow in an aquaponic garden, check out our article on what vegetables can be grown in aquaponics?. It provides valuable insights on the types of plants that can thrive in an aquaponic system and is a great resource for anyone looking to diversify their crop.

Copper Barrier

You can use copper as a barrier to keep snails from entering your growbed. Copper is toxic to snails, so they will avoid it. 

The downside is that copper does not work for all kinds of snails. It’s best for slugs and some types of pond snails, but not all species.

For the most part, copper should be used in conjunction with other deterrents like sluggo and diatomaceous earth (DE).

Copper BarrierCostProsCons
Copper TapeLow to MediumEasy to installRegular maintenance required
Copper MeshMediumDurable and long-lastingHigh initial cost
Copper FoilMediumEffective for smaller areasLimited coverage area
Copper NettingHighDurable and versatileExpensive option

Stop Overfeeding Your Fish

A common mistake many aquaponics enthusiasts make is overfeeding their fish. While it’s true that you want to make sure your fish are getting enough food, overfeeding can cause problems in your system. The extra waste produced by overfeeding can lead to an increase in the number of snails in your system.

To avoid this problem, try feeding your fish less but more often instead of giving a larger amount at once. 

You could even add more plants to the system, which will absorb some of the fish waste and act as an additional nutrient source for them.

Keep Aquaponic Growbeds Covered

Row covers are a great way to keep snails out of your aquaponics system. You’ll want to make sure that you choose the right type of row cover for your growbeds and then put it in place.

Row covers should be placed over the top of growbeds before planting starts, and should remain there until harvest time. 

You can leave them in place all year long or remove them when nighttime temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4°C).

Maintaining good water quality is crucial to the success of an aquaponic garden. Our article on how often do you have to change the water in aquaponics? offers practical advice on how often you need to change the water in your system to keep your plants healthy and prevent snail infestations.

Clean Your Aquaponics System Regularly

The most important thing to remember when dealing with snails in your aquaponics system is to clean it regularly. 

Snails are attracted to the ammonia and nitrites that are produced by decaying fish waste and plant debris in your system. 

They will also attach themselves to the sides of growbeds or even cling to plants, making it easy for these pests to spread throughout an entire system if you don’t stay on top of them.

To clean your tank:

Use a magnet net or a piece of screen mesh over the surface of your tank so you can easily remove any snails that have gathered there without having them just get swept up against the walls again (they’ll just come right back down).

Remove all fish from their tanks using nets and buckets, then wash/rinse/clean out all equipment thoroughly before putting it back together again.

To clean growbeds:

Set up an old aquarium filter with an airstone attached at each end (you could also use a pump if you prefer), then place one end near where plants grow upwards out of gravel beds towards sunlight; one end should be placed slightly above where water drains down into gravel beds after being filtered through media systems like Biofalls or Rockwalls™

DailyObserve fish and plants for any signs of sickness or infestation. Check water temperature, pH level, and dissolved oxygen.
WeeklyClean the fish tanks and remove any dead fish or debris. Test the water for ammonia and nitrate levels.
MonthlyFlush the grow bed to remove any unwanted solids. Clean filters or media beds. Check pipes for any signs of blockages or leaks.
QuarterlyEmpty and clean the sump tank. Inspect the system for worn or damaged parts. Check the electrical connections.
AnnuallyConduct a comprehensive system overhaul. Replace worn or damaged parts. Deep clean the entire system.

Reduce Humidity Levels in the Tank

The first step in getting rid of snails is to reduce the humidity levels in the tank. Snails thrive in very humid conditions, so reducing humidity will help prevent them from multiplying and spreading.

To check your fish tank’s humidity levels, simply use a hygrometer (a device that measures relative humidity). 

You can find these at any hardware store for about $15-$20. Be sure to check both your growbeds and fish tanks for correct levels before testing them!

If you find that your humidity level is too high, consider using a dehumidifier or an air conditioner if necessary but be careful not to make it too cold because this will kill off some of your plants’ vital bacteria colonies needed for proper plant growth!

Are snails causing problems in your aquaponic garden? Our article on are snails good for aquaponics? explains how snails can be beneficial to your garden under certain circumstances and offers strategies to keep them under control. Learn more about the role of snails in your aquaponic system and how to manage them effectively.

Cut Back on Overgrown Vegetation and Weeds

Snails are attracted to overgrown vegetation and weeds in your aquaponics system. So, it’s important to keep your aquaponics system clean and free of debris. You might also want to remove any debris that is in the fish tank.

Snails can also be a problem if you have an underdeveloped biological filter in which the bacteria are too slow-growing or inactive to break down ammonia and nitrite properly. 

The result is that these compounds can build up in your system, causing severe damage to plants or fish if left unchecked for too long – this could lead to snail infestations!

Remove Organic Debris from the Tank and Growbeds

Snails are notorious for their ability to multiply quickly, and if you’re not careful in controlling them, they can overrun your aquaponics system. 

The best way to prevent snail populations from taking over is by removing organic debris from the tank and growbeds. 

Remove any algae that may have grown on surfaces of either system, as well as any dead fish or plants that are present in the water. After doing this, inspect your growbeds for any snails that may have made their way inside them.

If there aren’t any visible snails in the system yet but you think some might be hiding somewhere under rocks or other objects (like wood chips), use a flashlight at night when you check on your fish to see if there are any shiny reflective eyes peering back at you!

Don’t forget about those pesky insects too these guys love snails just as much as we do! Get rid of them by pulling them off with tweezers before they get caught up in all those beautiful plants growing underneath LED lights next door!”

Review Your pH Levels and Make Adjustments as Needed

Before you get started with your snail-killing regimen, it’s important to make sure that your water is at the right pH level. 

pH refers to the measure of how acidic or alkaline your water is on a scale of 0-14. Lower numbers indicate higher acidity and higher numbers indicate higher alkalinity. 

Snails are less likely to reproduce in water with low pH levels (less than 7) and will die off more quickly in high-pH waters (higher than 8).

If you suspect your aquaponics system has too many snails because they’re multiplying faster than they should be, adjusting your system’s pH may help control them better. 

If not, try some other methods like using chemical controls instead!

Maintaining good water quality in your aquaponic garden is essential to the health of your plants and fish. Check out our article on the aquaponics biofilter explained to learn more about the importance of the biofilter in maintaining good water quality and how to ensure it’s working effectively.


If you’re still struggling with snails in your aquaponics system, try these tips. You can also consider adding some predators to the tank like minnows or shiners. If all else fails, there are commercial snail traps available at most garden centers.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful if you are interested in learning more about aquaponics:

How Do You Use Aquaponics at Home? Find Out!: This article provides an overview of how to set up and maintain an aquaponics system in your home.

How Do You Grow Vegetables in Aquaponics?: This article explains which types of vegetables are best suited for aquaponics and provides tips for growing them.

How to Make Your Own Aquaponics System: This article provides step-by-step instructions for building your own aquaponics system.

What Vegetables Can Be Grown in Aquaponics?: This article provides a list of vegetables that are suitable for growing in an aquaponics system.

How Often Do You Have to Change Water in Aquaponics?: This article provides guidance on how frequently you should change the water in your aquaponics system to maintain optimal conditions.

Aquaponics System Explained: This video provides a visual overview of how an aquaponics system works and the benefits it can offer.

How to Build an Aquaponics System: This video provides a step-by-step guide on how to build your own aquaponics system.


What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture that combines the cultivation of fish and plants in a symbiotic environment. Waste produced by the fish is broken down by bacteria and transformed into nutrients that are used by plants to grow. In turn, the plants filter the water and provide a clean environment for the fish.

How does aquaponics work?

In an aquaponics system, fish are raised in a tank and their waste is pumped into a plant bed where it is broken down by bacteria and transformed into nutrients. The plants absorb these nutrients and use them to grow, while also filtering the water and providing a clean environment for the fish.

What types of plants can be grown in aquaponics?

Many types of vegetables, herbs, and fruits can be grown in an aquaponics system, including lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and more.

What types of fish can be raised in aquaponics?

Many types of fish can be raised in an aquaponics system, including tilapia, trout, catfish, and more. The choice of fish will depend on factors such as water temperature, pH levels, and the type of plants being grown.

What are the benefits of aquaponics?

Aquaponics offers several benefits, including the ability to produce both fish and plants in a small space, reduced water usage, and the ability to grow crops year-round in a controlled environment. It is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly method of food production.