Can Snail Get Or Carry Ich? Save Your Fish!!

Ich is the very first and a constant nightmare of any aquarist around the world. Can you imagine seeing white spots all over your fish body and your fish struggling to even live? It is horrifying and the way this Ich multiplies is a real horror. But does Ich get in the tank without any help? I don’t think so. Most of the time, infected fish, aquarium plants, decorations, etc. bring the Ich in the tank. However, there is another question that often runs among the aquarist. What about the snails? Does this aquarium snail get or carry Ich to the tank?

Can your aquarium snail get Ich or carry Ich?

Aquarium snail getting infected with Ich isn’t something that I have heard of. However, there are many instances where the snail plays the main role to carry the Ich to the tank and infecting the fish present in the tank.

You have to make sure that snails are Ich-free and it is necessary to quarantine them before adding them to the tank with fish.

You will have to know more details about this and essentially have to gain more knowledge about the connection between Ich and snails.

Here is an entire article that is dedicated to this very purpose. This article will help you understand the role snail can play when it comes to fish getting Ich.

With further Ado, Let’s dive in.

Can Snail Get Ich Or Carry Ich?

I have not really heard of aquarium snails getting Ich though. It is quite rare or I say impossible to find where the aquarist is complaining about the Ich in snail.

So, aquarium snail does not get Ich and this is an established fact. I have dealt with Ich but none of the snails were ever affected when all the other fish were gasping for life.

That’s why do not worry about your snails whe4n it comes to Ich though. But remember to maintain the tank condition optimum to avoid any other problems and diseases related t5o aquarium snail.

Now, I have pointed out the fact that snail doesn’t get Ich. It is time to find out if they carry Ich or not. You might be hoping for the same answer as snails getting Ich.

But sorry to disappoint you my friend, your snail does carry Ich from one place to another. Ich can attach themselves to anything around them.

Hence, if there is a snail in the premises where the Ich is busy multiplying, then the snail will have Ich trophonts in its outer body.

How Does Snail Carry Ich To The Tank?

If you are familiar with the fact that Ich cannot survive without the host or transmit from one to another without a carrier, you will get the idea of how snail plays the main role to carry the Ich to the tank.

When the Ich is done killing the host, they will immediately leave the host body and will not go directly towards another host.

These Ich trophonts will be free swimming and will attach themselves to the substrate they can find. Hence the snail present in the tank by the side of the infected fish will give away their body as a substrate for the Ich.

Hence, the Ich will stay attached to the outer body of the snails and encysts thereafter for 2 to 18 hours. And after eight or 12 hours, the encyst tomont will divide into more than thousands of them.

They are still present in the outer body of the snail which will then transmit that Ich to other fish. Hence when you move the snail with Ich in them, the fish in the new tank will get Ich.

You are also one of the factors that will main role in carrying Ich from one tank to another. However, the carrier of Ich will still be the snail that is hiding thousands of Ich down its sleeves.

How To Prevent Ich Present In The Snail From Taking Over An Aquarium?

Getting the Ich in fish is really scary and the scarier it gets when you find out, you will be one of the factors that will help the Ich to infect the healthy tank.

I have always been so scared of Ich even though I have been doing this for so many years. Even the simplest mistake while handling the tank will invite Ich and destroy the healthy and happy lifestyle of your fish.

You have to be extra careful with the things you are putting in the tank. Your carelessness or slightest hint of overlooking can result in the real chaos and mess in the tank.

There is always a safe and easier side to the story but people often walk through the harder ones. The belief of a harder path leading to the destination is quite not right all the time.

If you follow some simple and easy procedure, you can prevent the snail from carrying the Ich to the tank for the fish to get.

Quarantine Your Snail Before Adding Them In The Tank

During this Covid-19 pandemic and amid this chaos, people have been more aware of the importance of Quarantine.

This has become a new lifestyle now where everyone either infected from the virus or not, is forced to stay in isolation for 2 weeks to avoid any more transmission.

Hence, this is what you need to do with the snail that you are recusing from the tank with Ich infected fish.

Beginners often make the mistake of placing these snails directly to the new tank as they do not show or get Ich.

This is where they go wrong and invite the nightmare for themselves and their fish. That’s why keep a calm mind and think rationally.

Quarantining your snail even though it cannot contract Ich is quite essential and even an easier way to stop Ich from transmitting.

Ich cannot survive for that long without the presence of fish in the tank. The lifecycle of Ich needs fish to get complete.

Hence, if you are able to keep the distance between snail and fish for a while, then your fish will be safe. As the lifecycle of Ich needs 7 to 24 days to be complete, keep your snail in the quarantine tank for these many days.

If you want to stay on the safe side, quarantine your snail for 2 months i.e., 60 days. This time interval will eradicate every bit of Ich present in the tank, 99.9 percent to be precise.

You can simply quarantine your snails for 2 weeks and then they will be okay to live in the tank with fish.

Maintain The Temperature Slightly Higher

The free-swimming Ich trophonts need to find a host within 24 hours to survive. But there is something as important as finding the host for the Ich to survive in the tank.

It is a definite temperature between 75 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. If they do not find the host and have the temperature mentioned above, they will die.

Your snail can adjust itself to the temperature around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, your Ich will not be able to handle that high temperature.

After 2 days, your Ich termites will succumb to death when they will not be able to find the host at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Treat Ich In A Tank?

When you see your fish struggling to get rid of the parasites from their body, it is quite heartbreaking as well as nerve-wracking.

I have been there and I had this deep feeling of taking the fish in hand and pick up all the Ich out of them.

Well, I couldn’t and cannot do that as it is impossible to pick the Ich with a hand from the fish. But there are ways that I have tried and are effective as well when it comes to getting rid of the tank.

The main goal here is to avoid your fish from getting infected in the first place. But we often fail to do that and there will be Ich laughing at us and tormenting our fish.

It can be quite hard to cure the infected fish but there are ways that can help you cure the tank of the infestation of Ich.

Treat The Infected Fish

First, let’s talk about the way we can cure your fish. You will have to be careful when it comes to the health of your fish.

Be attentive and look at your fish for any signs of diseases. Never ever overlook the symptoms that your fish shows.

That is their tell-tale sign suggesting there is something wrong in the tank. And if you are careful and attentive enough, you will be able to save your fish from dying.

As soon as you see the white spots on them, call your vet and ask for the medications you need for your fish.

Raise the water temperature immediately to speed up the lifecycle of Ich and make them vulnerable to medications.

Use those medications for 10 to 14 days but it is necessary to turn off the carbon filtration during this time.

Not whole filtration, just the carbon filter as it will suck up all the medications while cleaning the water. Also, perform the 25 to 30 percent water change once in a when the treatment is going on.

Increase The Tank Temperature

As I have mentioned earlier, Ich cannot survive when the temperature is high. Some parasites have the breaking point when the temperature increases more than they can handle.

However, Ich can be the quite resistant, and the only difference that will take place in the tank, will be the sped-up lifecycle of Ich.

Hence, you have to be clever and keep the temperature a little higher till all the Ich present in the tank die.

While you are treating your tank with a high temperature, make sure there is no host present. The absence of host and higher temperature will kill the Ich within 48 hours.

Use Aquarium Salt

Aquarium salt is most often the common and simple way to treat the Ich present in the tank. But remember your freshwater fish are not okay with the presence of salt in the tank mostly.

Hence it is better to separate the infected fish and healthy fish. Keep healthy fish in the different tanks while you are using salt in the infected tank.

Now, put 1 tablespoon of salt per 2 gallons of water present in the tank. Continue this for nearly 10 days and you will see the result quite sooner.

If the symptoms and condition of fish are getting worse, you can increase the concentration of salt per gallon of water.

Can Snails Survive Ich Treatment?

While you are treating your infected fish from Ich, you have to consider the presence of snails in the tank.

Your fish might be able to handle the medications and treatment you are using. But your snail is not used to handling the medications.

They will react negatively to the presence of chemicals in the tank. You might be indirectly inviting the death of a snail while saving your fish.

So, be a savior as well as a caregiver for your fish as well as your snail respectively. Go for the Ich treatment that will be okay with your snails too.

Do consider the life of snail equally as the life of your fish and make sure you do nothing harsh for any of them.

You can go for API Liquid Super Ick Cure. This Fish remedy is very safe for snails and effective for fish. But do not go overboard while using this.

You have to stay within the limit and use the medications half the dosage than you usually do. This is the safe limit for your snails present in the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the FAQs that people often stumble upon. I hope this will help you solve your queries as well.

Can Plants Carry Ich?

Well, if your snails can carry Ich, then anything that stays in the water with Ich will carry them. Aquarium plants are no different.

Hence, yes, aquarium plants do carry Ich from one place to another. If your aquarium plants have been in the water that was contaminated and dirty along with a whole load of Ich, then there is a chance that they are carrying the Ich in their leaves and stems as well.

Hence, when you transfer these very plants to another clean tank, they will carry the Ich along with them.

This will make the fish present in the new tank prone to the Ich. Aquarium plants will most likely help the Ich to infect the fish pre-existing in the tank where these plants are newly planted.

That’s why make sure you clean the plants thoroughly and keep them in a separate quarantine tank till they are free from Ich.

It is necessary to take precautions beforehand rather than regretting it later. Prevention is better than cure.

How Fast Can Ich Spread?

If you are familiar with the microbes present in the air or water and the way they colonize from one to many, you will not be surprised to know that Ich is no different.

Within 24 hours or less, you will be dealing with thousands of Ich at once. Parasites have the potential to reproduce quickly and it is quite faster than you think.

If your tank has one mature Ich trophont, then you will be dealing with thousands of them within or less than 24 hours. When the water temperature is between 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, these parasites will get the exact condition to reproduce and multiply into thousands and thousands of them.

That’s why it is necessary to make sure there is no Ich present in the tank. And do not let the tank conditions fluctuate even the slightest while you still have fish in them.


In a nutshell, snail may not get the Ich, not that I know of, but they will definitely carry Ich to your tank towards your fish. It can be troublesome for you if your fish contract Ich from this snail. Ich is a nightmare of any aquarist that is highly avoidable in every case. You have to be careful with the Ich and do not try to risk your fish life just because you are desperate to keep the snail in the tank.

You better quarantine your snail for few weeks in a different tank and see if they have any sign of Ich in them. After this interval of time, even the Ich present or stuck in the body of the snail will wear off. Maintain the water parameters optimum and temperature a little higher to kill the Ich from the snail.

Make sure there is no Ich in the snail before you hurriedly place them in the tank with fish and other aquatic animals.

If you still have the query related to snails or Ich, you can drop it in the comment box below.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!

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