|02-02-2015 07:15 AM|
My healthiest tanks are ones I have let common aquarium pests run rampant in and here's why:
Much like a regular ecosystem, I believe that aquariums should have a diversity of organisms to remain healthy. I like to think of organisms balanced in a pyramid for this diversity. At the bottom are the various bacterial colonies that play a role in nitrogen and decomposition cycles. Up from there are the freshwater copepods, ostracods, flatworms, and detritus worms. In the middle are the shrimp and snails and finally, at the top are the fish. As this pyramid suggests, you should have a higher population of organisms the lower you go on the pyramid.
Now to test this what I did was I left one of my aquariums for a month to go on vacation. This tank was rampant with various algae and pests. When I came back, most of the algae was eaten by pest snails and none of these "pests" were numerous. Interestingly, as I added shrimp and my own snails of choice, these critters became even less numerous.
TL;DR: If you have a snail or any pest problem, be patient. Many times doing nothing is the best action. "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience" - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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|02-01-2015 09:27 PM|
My wife and I had an explosion of MTS in our 20T tank. The substrate was literally covered in MTS. It looked like maggots on a carcass. And that was in full daylight. Four different species of loach and a few assassin snails did nothing.
We kept apple snails for a while. But quickly learned that they aren't the best option for a planted tank. They will eat healthy plants. Though we noticed that they tended to eat only needle-leaf plants or other fine plants like hair grass. We officially quit apple snails when one of the egg sacs hatched. At first it was amazing watching all the teeny snails crawl around. But then they got bigger. We pulled the plug on them when we found the 1/4" babies swarmed all over our bamboo shrimp. One of the shrimp was completely devoured. We still have the other shrimp. But he lost his fans in the attack.
The bladder snails never really bothered us other than just cluttering up the tank. The loaches took care of them though.
We still have nerites. And we plan to get more of them when we stock our new 75g. They seem to do a good job with the algae and we've never seen them touch a plant. I do wish they could breed in fresh water though. We've seen their eggs in our tank. Maybe it's possible to transplant the eggs to a brackish tank to hatch them.
I've also thought about getting a few rabbit snails. They are interesting critters. But for now, at least, we are sticking with nerites and shrimp for our cleanup crew. Maybe some scuds.
|08-05-2014 03:10 AM|
|MABJ||They do in fact breed. Their eggs are square.|
|08-05-2014 03:09 AM|
I'm going to have to trap some mts on my next day off. I have 2 tanks that are going into population overload. I have 2 assassins in each tank but not making a dent in control.
Can assassins breed? I think they are more interested in each other than the other snails.
Can't tell if they are fighting or mating. Lol
|08-03-2014 06:30 PM|
Nothing will eliminate a planted tank faster than an apple snail. Also little known fact, they are toxic to humans and this is new data as far as I can tell. I dont have much more data about it but did hear a report recently and they are incredibly abundant where I live.
I still consider trumpet snails the biggest tank crasher that never gets diagnosed and leaves the hobbiest confused to what happened. The silent killer as I call them. Just an enormous time bomb of ammonia should they have a die off and most of the time its underground where disturbing the area releases it into the water column. The sheer numbers of them if nothing else is adding a bioload that isnt outweighed by their soil turning benefits. Is this something only I think? I think this cause one or two are cute but at night they come up like the walking dead and their numbers are always WAY higher than I thought they were. Remind me of homeless people that roam the streets late at night but remain unseen largely during the day Good thing they arent too bright and a simple rock and kale leaf does the trick everytime.
|07-02-2014 12:42 AM|
|07-01-2014 10:13 PM|
|07-01-2014 05:54 PM|
|MABJ||Yeah they seem to play a part in the cycle of the closed system really well. I agree.|
|07-01-2014 04:47 PM|
I have trumpet snails (gobs),and pond snails in my tanks and they along with the shrimps have a job to do.
When they get too numerous,I simply reduce feedings and trap them until numbers are more to my liking.
Have never seen any of the snails attack healthy plants,but they make quick work of leaves I trim from plant's and leave for them and the shrimps.
|07-01-2014 04:18 PM|
|MABJ||Thanks for your contributions! Horned nerites are also my favorite, and I won't get mystery snails :p.|
|07-01-2014 02:02 PM|
Great post! I don't agree with everything you said, but a lot of the information was really good.
I have ramshorns in almost every tank, and I love them. I have seen them go after my shrimp on occasion, but only if the shrimp are having trouble molting and laying on the sand for too long. They don't bother healthy shrimp. They never seem to bother any of my plants with a few exceptions. They pretty much wiped out my camboba (I have read other reports of this too), and they will occasionally eat younger java fern leaves if they can't find enough food.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails:
MTS are another that have found their way into most of my tanks, though not intentionally as the rams. I have grown used to them, and no longer worry about it. They actually do eat algae in limited quantities, although they're not going to make a significant impact as certain other snails will. I have not confirmed whether they eat holes in any of my plants. If they do, I think it's rare.
Not a fan of these guys. I have seen them eat holes in various plants. Assassin snails love bladder snails more than any other type of snail, which is good. I have also found that ramshorns will rapidly outcompete them and keep the population very low.
In addition to the rams, my other personal favorites are horned bumblebee nerites. Great algae cleaners and not too heavy to clean the leaves of plants. I have had very good luck with them. They're hardy and can survive a wide range of water parameters. I also have three olive nerites that have been workhorses for over a year. I had poor luck with the larger zebra and tiger nerites. They kept flipping over on their backs constantly and couldn't right themselves again. If I was out of town or not paying attention, they died before I could flip them over again. I eventually lost all of both varieties. They're beautiful, but I just don't have patience for high-maintenance snails!
I was hesitant to take the plunge, but I eventually bought a purple mystery snail to live with my betta. He has done a great job cleaning up the algae and hasn't bothered my plants. As I only have the one, I have not seen any eggs or babies, so I'm happy about that.
|06-12-2014 05:57 AM|
I like pond snails, they just aren't always the most attractive.
Thanks for your response! Happy we're getting good discussion in here.
|06-12-2014 05:55 AM|
Pond snails are the only ones I really don't like. They tend to lay eggs on Crypt leaves in my tanks and the Crypts throw temper tantrums about it and melt on me.
But I purposely put MTS and Nerites in most of my tanks. They're both workhorses.
Rest of 'em I just live with. LOL
|06-12-2014 05:46 AM|
|06-12-2014 02:26 AM|
|Strategy||When I see a few baby ramshorn snails, i just crush them with my finger and my embers eat them. Haha. I don't think they are pests. They help keep my tank clea|
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