Can a single nerite snail keep a 3.7g cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Question Can a single nerite snail keep a 3.7g cycled?

I apologize if this is a stupid question, but I have a 3.7 gallon tank (Imagitarium Pro) that used to hold a betta and a nerite snail before they were upgraded to a 5 gallon. The 3.7g went a week or two empty and then I put the nerite snail back in there since the bigger tank didn't have enough algae yet (or at least, the kind of algae it likes to eat; it leaves the brown stuff alone).

Will the tank remain cycled with just a nerite snail in there? If not, I guess I have to consider the alternatives, of either getting a handful of dwarf shrimp or dosing ammonia directly.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 05:30 AM
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Yes, but the snail will create a minimal bioload so only a minimal amount of bacteria will stay alive.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 01:19 PM
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The cycled bacteria colony will roughly match the amount of waste produced, and waste produced is also roughly related to what food you put in the tank.

A single snail will keep a tank cycled to the amount of waste a single snail generates based on the food you feed that snail.

It wouldn't then be able to cope with you adding lots of fish and enough food to feed them. Although the bacteria colony would grow faster than starting from complete scratch in a pristine new tank.

Best option is to stick a sponge from the snail tank in your main tank, then you can transfer that back to your snail tank any time time you want to instantly cycle it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I won't be putting any fish in this one, a 3.7g is too small for anything to live in (the livable space isn't even a full 3.7g either, since there's a compartment blocking off the filter). I toyed with the idea of it being an emergency quarantine tank in case a fish did get sick, but at one point the betta living in there had some tiny outer parasites so it's probably unsafe to reuse this tank. The parasites didn't seem to bother shrimp or snails, so I could probably just stick with them.

Mainly I just want to make sure the tank will remain cycled for the snail itself, so that she's healthy and safe. I have been considering possibly adding 5-10 cherry shrimp to it later.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 12:10 AM
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That would be too small for a shrimp colony too. Is your profile pic the betta? They are really beautiful fish.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't thinking of developing a colony but instead just getting males of different colors. If five is too much though, I'll just stick with the snail.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 05:21 AM
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That should be good with 5 males. Just keep in mind that shrimp have relatively short lifespans.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 01:49 AM
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If the tank was left empty for 2 weeks the bacteria is probably already dead and the cycle lost. I would keep an eye on ammonia for a few days, but 1 snail doesn't make much bioload .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mosby View Post
I won't be putting any fish in this one, a 3.7g is too small for anything to live in
Isn't this the nano tank forum? I have 1g and 2L tanks with happy inhabitants.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoT View Post
Isn't this the nano tank forum? I have 1g and 2L tanks with happy inhabitants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mosby
I won't be putting any fish in this one, a 3.7g is too small for anything to live in (the livable space isn't even a full 3.7g either, since there's a compartment blocking off the filter).
As in I only keep shrimp and snails in anything less than 5 gallons, not fish. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:40 PM
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3.7 gallons definitely isn't too small for a solid shrimp colony. Especially if it's well-planted, there's plenty of hardscape and you stay on top of parameters. Larger water volumes are obviously more ideal but I have thriving colonies in smaller tanks.

Though most dwarf shrimp only live 2 years or less, it's still possible to have a colony nice enough that you'll never notice the death of a shrimp.

@Ryan Mosby: If you can temporarily move the Nerite to another tank while you you test things out, you can easily feed your tank an ammonia/ammonium source to keep it cycled enough for 5-10 shrimp. But if you don't want to add shrimp, your snail should be fine in the tank by itself.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
@Ryan Mosby: If you can temporarily move the Nerite to another tank while you you test things out, you can easily feed your tank an ammonia/ammonium source to keep it cycled enough for 5-10 shrimp. But if you don't want to add shrimp, your snail should be fine in the tank by itself.
Questions!
#1. I can't just add (drip-acclimate) the shrimp to the tank (with the shrimp inside) because it won't have enough beneficial bacteria for them, right? I'd have to remove the snail and dose to (4?) ppm until I get the shrimp?
#2. Can I keep the nerite with the shrimp once they're added? If not, I'll scrap the idea of getting shrimp and just keep the snail in there.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 03:01 AM
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I'd remove the snail and dose to 2 or so PPM and see if your tank can process it. If it can't, then you'll want to go through the fishless cycle process. I think 2 PPM is a good level for shrimp - especially for so few.

Definitely keep the Nerite with shrimp once the tank is cycled. They're just sometimes more sensitive than other snails and being in a tank with ammonia/ammonium at high levels may harm them. That's why I suggest temporarily moving it.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
I'd remove the snail and dose to 2 or so PPM and see if your tank can process it. If it can't, then you'll want to go through the fishless cycle process. I think 2 PPM is a good level for shrimp - especially for so few.

Definitely keep the Nerite with shrimp once the tank is cycled. They're just sometimes more sensitive than other snails and being in a tank with ammonia/ammonium at high levels may harm them. That's why I suggest temporarily moving it.
Oh, I wouldn't dose for ammonia with the snail in there, that'd be messed up. I have 2 snails in a 5 gallon betta tabj already, two is too many as it is, so I'll move it to the newer 5 gallon and feed it some bits of cucumber since there isn't much established algae yet.

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