Originally Posted by shadowaquatics
LAST TWO QUESTIONS!
First, I would like to thank you all very much for your help and constant support today! Here are my final questions:
- Can MTS survive while a tank is going through a fishless cycle? I know I can add plants first, and I have heard of how Ramshorn Snails do fine, and how hearty MTS are.
- Will I only need a sponge filter for filtration? I can purchase one tomorrow if that is the case, as well as any other filtration things I will need.
- it's hardy, not hearty
MTS are extremely hardy. Moreso than ramshorn or any other snail I've ever kept. I must warn you, MTS is like the plague. Once you introduce one, they multiply extremely fast! I hate them with a passion.
I had them once... I had some substrate that was basically 90% MTS and 10% Seachem Onyx. They've obviously been thriving in there for decades. I cleaned the substrate. I had the substrate in a cooler and poured scalding hot water into the cooler then closed the lid. I let it sit for about 30 mins and then manually sifted the substrate with a strainer and tossing out the MTS. When it set up my tank and put the substrate in, surely enough, I found a bunch of MTS sliming up the sides of the tank. There were even baby ones that survived that. They were reproducing again at ridiculous rates, so I dumped the substrate and went barebottom.
The reason why snail population booms is due to one reason: overfeeding. If you fed just enough for your fish or shrimp, you won't have a snail invasion. And snails are good, not bad. They're the cleanup crew for leftover food so it decreases the chance that microorganisms will grow (hydras, planaria). And they tell you about the condition of the tank, whether it's good or bad (changes in water parameteres).
I'd put two sponges in the tank on opposite sides, but that's my odd mind. It really depends on the size of the type you put in. If it is big, you only need one. But smaller ones you could use two, and overkill never is bad.
And yes MTS will survive. Lol trust me.
I started with 1 sponge filter in my 10 gal RCS tank, then I got a HOB when it was on sale. I personally like having water disruption on both sides of the tank, and the mechanical filtration.
I agree on using used media. It will surely speed up the cycle by a ton! If you were to put some used gravel from another tank into the new one, it would help too. I wouldn't put any livestock (excluding plants) in, until about 2-3 weeks. To make it safer for the livestock, I usually plant the heck out of the tank, then trim/sell them for money, for more shrimp! Floaters will definetly help, since they suck a lot of nitrates/ammonia out of the water, and shrimp like to hang on the bottom of the roots. I test if it's safe by adding a guppy to the tank, and if it survies 1-5 days, it's good to go. Even though it's "good to go", I just add some snails in to create a good trail of food for the shrimp.
If you use used gravel/sand, make sure to wash it in a vinegar solution. Reasons that the person may not want their sand or gravel could be: just changed to a different colour/type, druged tank with something, then livestock didn't do well, bacterial infection and things died, BBA and can't get rid of it, etc. Make sure to ask why they're getting it before buying it used.
And if you're getting a guppy, check for bacterial infections before putting it into your tank. Guppies are easily susceptible/carriers of a lot of bacterial diseases. I'm not completely sure about that, but I remember someone telling me about that before (Added 1 or 2 new guppies, and the guppies they originally have got infected)