To many snails? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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To many snails?

I have a ton of pond snails and MTS snails in my tank. Like, a TON. I really don't mind them, I find them interesting to watch and the MTS do a great job of aerating the sand substrate. So while I know many consider them pests and esthetically don't like them, I have no problem with them in that sense.

But...

In those high numbers, can they do damage to the tank? Can they upset the balance of water quality or anything? Is there any reason to try to cull them a bit? My tank seems very happy, no unexplained deaths, no algae, plants growing. I appreciate the saying "if its not broken don't fix it", but I also want to be proactive in avoiding any issues.

I will throw an assassin or two in there if there's reason for it, otherwise I'm happy to just let them be. Thanks!


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 06:12 AM
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Snails are dependant on a food source and are an excelent indicator of overfeeding. Cut your feeding waaay down because your fish obviously do not eat all of the food you give them.

Soon you'll find hundreds of shells and your fish still thrive plus your tank is cleaner


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:51 AM
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Like ridethespiral said, and make sure that all food is eaten and not lost in gravel.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:59 AM
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I have tanks with no fish that still have snails in them. If there's no food, they just eat algae and biofilm. More food makes them grow much faster and reproduce much more though. They don't hurt anything, but in large numbers they can be unsightly. If you are overfeeding, then adding assasins will just be trading one snail type for another. Usually if there's no extra food laying around in the tank, the population will stay fairly low. I never bother killing or removing them. I do crush one occasionally so the fish can eat it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! I thought of overfeeding, but I give one small pinch of tropical fish pellets once a day (using my little lady fingers, my pinch is much smaller then my husbands pinch, but I'm the one that feeds them). There is a betta, five guppies, and 3ish shrimp (I seem to be missing two).

Other then skipping a feeding, I'm not sure how I can feed any less? A lot of the food does seem to fall quickly to the bottom, but I have no idea how to avoid this. The betta loves to eat off the bottom, and usually the guppies figure it out after a couple minutes and start eating off the bottom too. Would switching to flakes help at all? Maybe they're lighter and will stay floating longer? Or should I just start feeding every other day or something?

Thanks!


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:19 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about this if you currently like the snails and do not currently have any problematic effects from their presents then why worry?

If they get to out of control you could buy a singular Assassin snail to take care of the numbers. Vacuuming more will also help cull the numbers from what I understand.

I would simply try to monitor their population and if you see a massive increase that is troublesome invest in ONE Assassin (pretty sure they cannot produce asexually).

Out of curiosity, why are these things considered bad anyway?

I could understand wanting them gone if you had Puffers as MTS can break their teeth but if you have no puffers they seem like a helpful cog in the machinery of your tiny ecosystem...but that's just me.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:31 PM
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I had lots and lots of pond snails. They weren't being a problem per se, but I get a lot more enjoyment out of them now that I have some killer snails in there! It's another fun dynamic in the tank.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:34 PM
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If you're system is running fine with the snails present then you shouldn't have much to worry about. I was talking to a pet enthuasist and he suggested for snail removal (if you ever decide to do that) to anchor down a piece of lettuce, leave it overnight, and in the morning remove it. Most of the snails will have gone onto the piece of lettuce. It's something to keep in mind if the snail population ever gets out of control.

I haven't tested the technique but it seems simple enough to give it a shot


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, they're really not bothering me, I'm just surprised by the numbers recently. Was worried that maybe they'll disrupt the balance or something.

Thinking about it, the big increase seems to coincide with when I seem to have lost two of my amano shrimp a few weeks ago. Maybe they were helping to eat up the extra food on the bottom?

I'm going to try to get a few more shrimp today, that might help to keep any food waste down.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaStudent View Post
If you're system is running fine with the snails present then you shouldn't have much to worry about. I was talking to a pet enthuasist and he suggested for snail removal (if you ever decide to do that) to anchor down a piece of lettuce, leave it overnight, and in the morning remove it. Most of the snails will have gone onto the piece of lettuce. It's something to keep in mind if the snail population ever gets out of control.

I haven't tested the technique but it seems simple enough to give it a shot
I've been doing this with strips of carrot. Works great. I'm pulling out 30-50 baby snails a day . . .


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 12:28 AM
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New life spectrum sells semi sinking pellets which will allow them to slowly fall to the bottom


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet View Post
Thanks for the replies! I thought of overfeeding, but I give one small pinch of tropical fish pellets once a day (using my little lady fingers, my pinch is much smaller then my husbands pinch, but I'm the one that feeds them). There is a betta, five guppies, and 3ish shrimp (I seem to be missing two).

Other then skipping a feeding, I'm not sure how I can feed any less? A lot of the food does seem to fall quickly to the bottom, but I have no idea how to avoid this. The betta loves to eat off the bottom, and usually the guppies figure it out after a couple minutes and start eating off the bottom too. Would switching to flakes help at all? Maybe they're lighter and will stay floating longer? Or should I just start feeding every other day or something?

Thanks!
I had a lot of food sink and get stuck in gravel when I used to leave my filter on during feeding. Bubbles and moving water mix the food into the water and it falls down and feeds the snails. Now I turn everything off during feeding and back on 5 or 10 minutes later. The food stays on the top where the fishes get it. I feed less and don't have excess food floating around.

The only hard thing: remembering to turn the filter back on after 5 minutes.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns View Post
I had a lot of food sink and get stuck in gravel when I used to leave my filter on during feeding. Bubbles and moving water mix the food into the water and it falls down and feeds the snails. Now I turn everything off during feeding and back on 5 or 10 minutes later. The food stays on the top where the fishes get it. I feed less and don't have excess food floating around.

The only hard thing: remembering to turn the filter back on after 5 minutes.
Depending on setup, turning off filters is not always necessary. I have 1750 gph worth of movement but surface is relatively calm and flakes stay on surface. I never dose flakes with fingers because in that way flakes are powdered and sinks faster, its beter to dose from box food is in to have bigger pieces.
And for the sinking tabs i reccommend something from Hikari. More expensive but dissolves slow so everything is eaten.
And BTW i like snail but cant have them
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