removal of snails in 4 gallon shrimp tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 3 Post By Blue Ridge Reef
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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removal of snails in 4 gallon shrimp tank

Having an issue with too many MTS in my 4 gallon nano shrimp tank. When I remineralize my RO water, I do so to a KH of ~3-4. All my other tanks read this level when I test water parameters, but this little nano tank consistently reads ~1 KH.

I think this may be due to the huge numbers of MTS that are in the tank. I've tried manual remove of the larger snails and baiting the tank with spinach or cucumber, but so far I'm not able to effectively remove them. Would love advice on how to get rid of shrimp (as simply reducing population will just mean I arrive at this same issue a few months down the line).

Normally, I'd be fine with the snails, but I've noticed of the last couple of months what seems like a decrease in the shrimp population and I'm worried they don't have enough calcium to build their exoskeletons. Of course, this may all be my imagination (don't think it is, I don't see a bunch of baby shrimp in the tank even though I do see berried females) or it may reflect the shrimp population reaching a new steady state.

Other solution would be to manually adjust up the KH for this tank individually. If I wanted to raise the tank ~2 degrees KH, I arrived at adding .72 grams baking soda (based on 1 tsp baking soda in 50 L raising KH 4 degrees and 1 tsp baking soda weighing 4.8 grams).

Might reduce that in half at first to see how it affects KH in the tank.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 04:58 PM
snails are your friend
 
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Generally speaking, if there are too many snails then there has been too much food added to the aquarium. Nothing breeds beyond its resources, even MTS. They do use calcium developing their shells, but I'd suspect it would take scores of them to have an impact on water chemistry in a 4 gallon tank. And regular water changes and maintenance would be expected to offset that somewhat. Are you using a buffering substrate or anything that could drop your KH and pH?

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 05:05 PM
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I've never seen a "normal" population of MTS in any tank. MTS always get out of control while other snail populations will slow down when you decrease food or remove them manually.

I'd just relocate the shrimp to a new tank if I were you. MTS burrow into the substrate and are hard to eradicate. I never allow a single MTS into any of my tanks. People always claim they're important for aerating substrate/sand, but I've never had a single MTS-free tank die from "poisonous" gas. I have no idea where the MTS propaganda comes from. They're no good.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 05:11 PM
snails are your friend
 
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I simply couldn't have a more different experience. I have them in all 11 tanks I own and they never overpopulate. Not sure if there are different strains or what I'm doing to avoid hoards of the things but it doesn't happen to me. Same with pond and bladder snails. I have some of each, but it's never been a problem. Perhaps OP should add a couple of assassin snails. I do agree that it's near impossible to remove them all manually.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 06:36 PM
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You have a population explosion because there's too much for them to eat. Cut back and their numbers will decline.

To remove them, dunk a piece of zucchini or something into the tank at lights out. Come back an hour or so later and remove the snails that come out and feed.

Shrimp are getting plenty to build their shells.

Snails aren't removing kH from the water - that's likely because of substrate, plants and any driftwood you've got in the tank.

It's not propaganda that Malaysian Trumpet Snails don't overpopulate if they don't have overabundant food sources. It's also not misinformation. It's factual - something thousands of hobbyists have experienced and documented here and elsewhere for at least twenty years. To control their population, make sure they have less to consume. Having less food doesn't mean you have to feed less in all cases - it means you have to cut back all of their food sources. Algae, decaying plant matter, detritus, critter waste, shrimp molts, dead snails, dead fish, dead shrimp. Anything they consume.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 08:16 PM
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As already asked, what substrate is in the tank?

If you are lacking calcium, then what is your GH at?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 04:13 PM
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I was overrun with MTS in 3 tanks (40g, 20g and 25g), with a few starting in another 20g. The only effective way to eliminate these for me was the addition of assassin snails. The MTS won't disappear overnight and I used dozens and dozens and dozens of assassins over a very long time, but it worked. (for a time, I kept losing assassins, too) My tanks are virtually clear of MTS for the past year or longer and I still have assassins in all tanks to keep them clear.

In a 4g tank, I would start with adding 5 assassins and just let them get to work. Once the MTS are gone, you can better assess what, if any, issues you have with the shrimp.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueD View Post
I was overrun with MTS in 3 tanks (40g, 20g and 25g), with a few starting in another 20g. The only effective way to eliminate these for me was the addition of assassin snails. The MTS won't disappear overnight and I used dozens and dozens and dozens of assassins over a very long time, but it worked. (for a time, I kept losing assassins, too) My tanks are virtually clear of MTS for the past year or longer and I still have assassins in all tanks to keep them clear.

In a 4g tank, I would start with adding 5 assassins and just let them get to work. Once the MTS are gone, you can better assess what, if any, issues you have with the shrimp.
Thanks for sharing this. Are your assassins breeding for you? It would seem all snails would reproduce to the level of their food source, no? I've put in 3 assassins into my 75 that was overrun with an MTS zombie horde during a series of algae blooms after tank start up. Algae is mostly under control (still a fair bit on the walls I have to scrape), and a pea puffer eliminated all the bladder & ramshorns--but didn't have much effect on the MTS since they only come out at night. I've seen some eggs on the glass, but haven't noticed any hatching. But the assassins stay under the substrate hunting the MTS, so I rarely see them unless I turn the tank lots on in the middle of the night and look for them. So it's hard to know how many they are, or what they're doing under there. Hooking up obviously if they're producing eggs. But the MTS numbers are going down.....
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 08:31 PM
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Something to keep in mind... if you introduce assassins into a tank with other snails... and they consume all the other snails, thus effectively running out of food to consume, they can start preying upon other tank inhabitants... including shrimp.
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