Just some questions... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Just some questions...

I currently have a planted, dirted 10 gallon tank (1 inch of dirt covered by an inch of gravel) and I would like to know whether or not I can add organisms to it, particularly snails (ultimate plan is red cherry shrimp, but that comes later once tank is fully cycled).

My current parameters are:

pH: ~7.2
Ammonia: ~0
Nitrate: ~5.0
Nitrite: ~.25
Temp: ~76 degrees

So basically my tank is nearing the end of its cycling process, with the nitrates rising as the already spiking nitrites are being eaten away (ammonia spike ended sometime since last week, was originally very high last wednesday but by the beginning of this one they were basically down to zero).

I was hoping to get some malaysian trumpet snails to help sift through my gravel, but was unsure if they'd be fine in the water as is. I ask as I currently have one stowaway snail (I assume pond, but can't be positive) that I've seen from time to time and which seems to be doing fine (today I noticed it was slightly bigger and darker in color), and that I've heard that snails are pretty hardy and resilient.

Also, any suggestions of inverts that would do fine in my tank as it is now?
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 08:12 PM
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Snails are a great addition to a freshly cycled tank just to help get it to that "aged" point if you will. I think a handfull would be safe for now, if concerned i would recommend using tetra safe bacteria when adding. I've recently started using this with new tanks and it really helps cycle the tank, however you do need some critters in there for the bacteria to have some food. Just continue to monitor and once you have a week or two of solid numbers you should be good to add some shrimp, again start out with a few. Also, you may want to invest in a TDS meter, and a GH/KH test as these are very useful numbers to know in successful shrimping. Goodluck!
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll take those into account.

I've heard word that california blackworms can make good tank inhabitants, especially in a dirted tank as they can help aerate the substrate and will feed on detritus hidden in it as well as any food that falls their way. Is this true? Also I've heard mention of freshwater limpets. Are these ok or are they as bad as pond snails when it comes to breeding in abundance, especially when excess food is available?

Also I have been putting a pinch of crushed fish flakes into the tank every couple of days, just to help with the cycling.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 09:23 PM
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Freshwater limpets are not a good idea. Every once in a while there is a thread on here asking how to get rid of them. MTS are a bad idea because as they move through the substrate they will mix the dirt and gravel together. You could risk adding snails to the tank but without your tank being cycled I wouldn't do it unless they were snails I wouldn't miss.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 09:39 PM
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MTS are great snails IF you don't care if your substrate gets mixed though.


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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I figured that limpets would be bad. As for the MTS, I guess they'd mix the dirt and gravel up? If so, how would ramshorns do instead?


This is the layout, just to give you an idea.

Also, I may have been mistaken before about the snail in my tank... by which I mean how many. Turns out I may have a few pond snails, at least 3 including what appeared to be a newborn. I should be fine as long as I don't overfeed, correct?
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 12:53 AM
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Yes, if you don't over feed you should be ok. I still hate pond snails though. Ramshorns would be fine in your tank, they do not disturb the substrate. They do breed prolifically if overfed.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Went to a fish store and got some plants, driftwood, and rocks to upgrade my tanks appearance. They didn't have tetra safe bacteria, but I did get some beneficial bacteria-laden water for free from one of the cycled tanks.

Made a little 'cave' that should make a good shelter for shrimp hopefully.



The store owner mentioned that it would be ok to add red cherry shrimp to the tank now (I had written down and shown him the tank parameters I listed previously) and that they would definitely help with the tank cycling. Would they be ok, or is it better to wait?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 01:18 AM
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Shrimp have such a low bioload that they won't help with cycling. That alone should tell you that the owner doesn't know about what he is saying. heh


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My thinking has been invert-ed!

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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So I should wait on adding shrimp then? That's what I thought.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 01:52 AM
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ive never had mts cause a prob by mixing substrate. i use soil and gravel and also soil and sand and never had them mixed by mts. i say get a couple mts. as for limpets i love them and if they get over poppulated a couple shrimp help take care of it
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Do you use an inch of soil and an inch of gravel?
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:28 AM
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Just some questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by res34 View Post
So I should wait on adding shrimp then? That's what I thought.
The pet store owner would like you to do this, kill the shrimp then buy more lol.

Yeah don't.

*Retired for now*
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|My Tanks ʌ | Shrimp advice v|
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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So today I believe I saw what I took to be a planarian (a tiny white worm that was flat) crawling on my tank glass. I assume that since nothing is living in the tank save for plants and some pond snails, that is why it is there. I assume it should be harmless, and is possibly there due to I've been putting in a few flakes every twice a week in order to help with the tank cycling.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by res34 View Post
So today I believe I saw what I took to be a planarian (a tiny white worm that was flat) crawling on my tank glass. I assume that since nothing is living in the tank save for plants and some pond snails, that is why it is there. I assume it should be harmless, and is possibly there due to I've been putting in a few flakes every twice a week in order to help with the tank cycling.
Uneaten flake food is a great way to introduce worms in fish tank. I always cycle tank with old sponge filter, 30% of old tank water, or buy bait fish and let they cycle it. But by feeding your substrate with flake food that's just bad.
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