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Do you have trouble with vermetid snail infestation? Are they bothering your corals, and you don’t know how to deal with them? If so, you are in the right place. In this article, you will learn everything about vermetid snails, why they might be bad for your corals, and several ways to get rid of them.
There is nothing worse than dealing with reef tank pests. They undoubtedly take the joy out of this hobby. However, as much as we don’t like them, they are part of our reefing journey.
If you stay long enough in the saltwater aquarium hobby, chances are you will encounter a lot of unwanted pests. Some of them are tolerable others need immediate removal.
In what category do vermetid snails belong?
I am afraid that this type of pest requires immediate removal. Why is that, you might ask yourself?
Keep reading to find out.
What are vermetid snails?
Vermetids resemble tubeworms but are small to medium size snails that belong to the family Vermetidae. Vermetid snails grow their shells on hard surfaces or coral skeletons.
Sometimes is difficult to distinguish them from regular tubeworms, but experienced reefers should not have trouble recognizing them.
Are vermetid snails bad?
Vermetid snails are one of the most undesired reef tank pests. Vermetids don’t look good, especially in large numbers, but that’s not their worst threat.
The worst thing about these pests is the way they are feeding. Since vermetid snails can’t move, they found a way to take food particles from the water column.
They are filter feeders but don’t feed like the other filter feeders in our reef tanks. Instead, they spew a sticky slime that forms a net.
This net is not harmful to the water chemistry, but it will irritate the neighboring corals causing them to retract their polyps.
If you don’t regulate their population sooner or later, you will have a hard vermetid infestation. If you notice a vermetid on your frag or live rock, the time to act is now.
You should get rid of the vermetids before it’s too late.
How to get rid of vermetid snails?
It’s very challenging to remove vermetid snails from your system once they get in. However, it’s a task you need to do to protect your corals.
Here are some of the most popular methods of vermetid snail removal.
Vermetid snails are filter feeders, so high nutrient systems are heaven for them. If you feed heavily, you’ve probably created a perfect environment for these organisms to thrive.
Reduce your feeding and observe whether the vermetid snail population declines. Reducing the feeding is not a method for removing vermetids but for controlling their population size.
There is no guarantee that this will work and reduce their population, but it’s worth trying.
Manual removal is one of the best ways to eliminate vermetid snails.
However, manually removing the vermetid snails is daunting when you have a large infestation.
But if you notice a vermetid on your frag, you can remove it with bone cutters or any other tool able to crush the shell.
It’s necessary to remove the base of the vermetid snail as well, as that’s where the snail lives.
You can glue the tube of the snail, blocking its exit to eat. The snail will soon starve to death. The superglue method can also help in the vermetid snail battle, but it has downsides.
If you have a large vermetid snail infestation, the massive dying will cause a nutrient spike which can cause other unwanted problems in your reef tank.
See Also: How to get rid of Spirorbid worms
What eats vermetid snails?
There aren’t species that will strictly eat vermetid snails in reef aquariums. Bumble Bee snails are known to eat vermetids, but that is not their only food source. If they have other preferences, they won’t touch the vermetid snails.
I have always been a fan of dealing the reef tank pests with natural predators, but it seems vermetid snails have none.
Some people report that some fish might eat them like certain species of wrasses, but I am yet to see that.
Vermetid snails are the menace of the saltwater aquarium hobby.
It’s very challenging to avoid them, so sooner or later, you will probably see them in your reef tank. How you act will determine whether you will have an infestation or not.
Whenever you spot a vermetid snail in your reef tank, you should immediately remove it. It might not look like a big deal if you have one or two, but trust me, if you ignore the vermetids, you will have a big problem in the future.
Make yourself a favor, and remove them as soon you see them.