Can Snails Get or Carry Ich? {Treatment & Prevention}

If you have a snail in your aquarium, could they be attacked by the protozoa that causes ich? Can snails get or carry ich?

In this article, we’ll look closer at snails in the tank to see if they are carriers of this infection.

Can Snails Get Ich?

No, Snails cannot get ich, but they will carry it.

Ich will attach to the snail’s shell and will then possibly be spread around your aquarium.  If your fish are healthy, they shouldn’t have any issues.

While snails cannot contract Ich, they frequently carry parasites that do. To avoid giving your fish Ich, separate any new snails before introducing them into your tank, and maintain adequate water conditions and a clean tank.

Can Snails Get or Carry Ich

The Life Cycle Of Ich

The ich on the snail infects in three stages. These are:

1. Feeding stage

It is the primary stage of the attack. The active protozoan also is known as trophont feed in a nodule that it forms on the skin of the snail or stays inhabited on the shell. The snail carries it and when touch to gravel or other fish transfer the trophont to it.

2. Dividing stage

In this stage, the trophont falls and becomes the tomite. In this level, it divides and starts adhering to nets, gravel, or other objects present in the aquarium.

3. Binary fission

The tomite, after attaching to the object, becomes more active and divide ten times more through the process known as binary fission. At this stage, it produces the theronts. It divides so fastly and starts attacking fish and snails.

How Ich Protozoa Spreads To Snails

The life cycle starts when the protozoa get optimal conditions. That is the 25-degree temperature of the water is ideal for the division. In that case, it starts dividing, and in eight days, the life cycle completes.

Causes of ich attack

Ich is a common disease among the aquarium pets. According to experts, ich is present in the aquarium environment. There are several reasons due to which snails carry the parasites

The research shows that almost all creatures in the aquarium get the ich and suffer from the disease. The causes of getting the ich in the snail are:

  • Inappropriate water temperature
  • Transfer from one creature to other
  • Improper diet
  • Unhealthy conditions
  • Dirty environment
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Symptoms of Ich in Snails

When the snails get or carry the snails, they show unusual behaviour. In the start the ich is present on the snail shell afterwards it may attack the whole body. The common symptoms of the ich disease in the fish or snail are:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hide abnormally behind decorations
  • Rubbing against the objects
  • Stay near the surface.

Treatment Strategies For Ich Disease

Protozoans are treated at the tomite stage. It is because during encapsulation they are inert and cannot be released. So, when the caretaker suspects that there is an attack of ich to snail or other fish.

It is important for him to raise the temperature to about 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. In this range, the protozoan releases quickly and start dividing. Moreover, they complete their life cycle quickly.

1. Tank shifting method

The treatment needs care as the primary purpose is to get rid of ich, not the snail. So, one has to use the quarantine tank, remove all the fish and raise the temperature so that all encapsulated fish in the tank attached to the objects die due to high temperature.

It is important to make sure all objects are cleared, and not a single parasite exists in the object. It is because if we shift the snail on the tank, it may get infected and the whole cycle will start again.

2. Chemicals for ich treatment

To treat the ich chemically, first one must be aware of it using directions. Moreover, it must not be harmful to fish or snail health. The common chemicals that are best to get rid of ich and non-toxic for the aquatic creatures are

  • Formalin
  • Malachite green
  • Copper
  • Methylene blue
  • Sodium chloride
  • Quinine hydrochloride

Will Ick treatment Kill Snails?

No.  When someone uses formalin treatment, they should use the freshly prepared formalin. It is because the stored formalin gets converted to paraformaldehyde that is dangerous for the aquatic animals.

So, be careful. Use the fresh one to kill ich only. The indication about formalin is that it is a clear solution while the paraformaldehyde has white precipitates.

Similarly, while administering the malachite green, you should adjust the strength according to the fish species in your tank. When you are using the malachite green or formalin, it is important to remove carbon from the filter.

  • Shut down any UV filters if your aquarium has for sterilizations.
  • Moreover, remove protein skimmers as well.
  • It is because the presence of these can remove the medicine and lead to treatment failure.

How To Prevent Ich In Snails From Infecting Your Fish

Ich is a common disease, but it is to prevent. If you get the snail with ich, then you can get trouble. Therefore, to avoid hassle and prevent the aquarium creature from this parasitic disease, you must apply the following preventive measure.

  1. Try to keep the fish and snails that are free of the parasite. When you purchase these creatures make sure that they don’t contain the infecting agents on the.
  2. Don’t buy the snail from the tank that has a disease or got the death of fish. It is because there are chances that your snail carries the parasite.
  3. Before you introduce snail to the main tank, keep in the quarantine tank to check that is it healthy or not.
  4. Keep the temperature, pH and other nutrient value stable.
  5. Feed healthy food to snail and fish. Avoid overfeeding as the leftover food gets infected and becomes the cause of spreading disease.


Ich is quite common in aquarium animals. Snails do not get Ich, but they may transport it. So, before introducing fresh snails to your aquarium, quarantine the snail for at least two weeks.

If snails brought Ich into your aquatic life, take fast action to save your fish since Ich is a terrible disease.

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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.