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Snail Infestation
January 26, 2010
5:01 am
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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Hi everyone!

It's been a long time since I've been on here, but busy with a new job and moving and finally... some new snails!

I bought some plants from my LFS and ended up with a whole herd of new snails as well. There appear to be several different species, some are like ram's horns and others are like garden snails.

Here's one:
[Image Can Not Be Found]

There is another one that looks rather similar, but has a lighter opening and a dark spiral at the top, it is very distinct, like black and white.

So I did some research on your lovely forum and I was glad to read that I can dip the plants in saltwater for next time, however, I am wondering what to do now.

In addition, with my new snails, my heater has crashed! D: So I am running to get my spare from the office (had a tank there for a time) tomorrow, and I hope everyone's alright till then! It is very warm in my apartment... I digress... but I figured all things should be considered.

So my sword plants (Echinodorus amazonicus) have shed all of their leaves and do not have the best coming in. Being a beginner, I am unsure if the new snail infestation is the cause for them losing their leaves or if I need to fertalize etc.

I do have some algae that I have been tackling with a scraper and if the snails are beneficial, I would prefer to keep them, but if they are the cause of the fall of my swords, I would like to get some assassin snails to help me keep them in check.

So, my invertebrate friends, any advice? Do the swords just need a longer photo-period, fertilizer? Or are the snails the cause of their woe, despite the healthy amount of algae?

Am I just looking for an excuse to get some awesome assassin snails?

Thank you so much for your time and help!

January 26, 2010
8:18 am
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Bully
South Wales
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Whether or not snails are considered a pest is down to personal preference I find, usually they can be controlled by ensuring you do not overfeed the tank and, by keeping on top of tank maintenance, however, if you need to feed sinking foods and/or tablets to your fish, it is next to impossible to stop snails from hitting pest proportions.

Echinodorus sp. are heavy root feeders and will appreciate some form of fertiliser delivered to their roots. Most species only require medium levels of light to do well but, I would be looking to give them 7-10 hrs of light daily. They do grow slowly so it may be some time before you see a full recovery.

January 26, 2010
7:06 pm
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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QUOTE (Bully @ Jan 26 2010, 08:01 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whether or not snails are considered a pest is down to personal preference I find, usually they can be controlled by ensuring you do not overfeed the tank and, by keeping on top of tank maintenance, however, if you need to feed sinking foods and/or tablets to your fish, it is next to impossible to stop snails from hitting pest proportions.

Echinodorus sp. are heavy root feeders and will appreciate some form of fertiliser delivered to their roots. Most species only require medium levels of light to do well but, I would be looking to give them 7-10 hrs of light daily. They do grow slowly so it may be some time before you see a full recovery.

I feed sinking pellets to my coolie loaches and cories. I do not feed sinking pellets every day, but enough I am sure to create a problem.

The sword's problem makes sense now, I recently shortened the photo-period because someone at the LFS suggested I do that to help with my algae... I appear to be all over the place with suggestions it would seem.

The LFS also suggested I put my dojo loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) into my tropical tank for a bit to clean up my snails, but this suggestion seems like it will be stressful to my loach (from a cold water 40 gal to a tropical 25 gal).

If I get assassin snails, will they take care of all of my snails? Only certain species and/or will the eventually be competing for the sinking pellets as well? Do assassin snails eat algae at all?

Thank you so much for your time and help! It is truly appreciated!

January 26, 2010
8:58 pm
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Bully
South Wales
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Photo periods and algae control, and good plant growth need a fair bit of research. It would probably be better to start a whole new thread for that one /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I don't recommend adding the loach to the tank and it is unlikely to have much success with the Malaysian Trumpet Snails that you appear to have, judging from the photo. Assassin Snails will indeed, slowly but surely, take care of the snail problem but, you won't see immediate results. Their success will also be dependent upon the number of Assassin Snails you put in. The Assassins will breed but, it will be nowhere near as much as any other types of snails, they will not eat algae and they will eat fish food.

January 28, 2010
9:04 am
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Bluedave
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Removing the snails by hand is the easiest way if you don't want to add loaches. The snails will tidy up uneaten food and will eat some types of algae from your plants - not enough to make a difference - they don't damage plants generally.

Your Ech. problem is probably down to a lack of ferts (especially to the roots as Bully said) and photo period. The more light the better for plants and the same goes for Ech species. Although they do grow well in even low light systems, the more the better. Again contrary to popular belief a lot of algae prefers low light levels so reducing light doesn't help - it only inhibits the growth of your plants which helps the algae out!

Strong plant growth is the best protection against algae, so maintain your 10 hours of lighting and feed the plants. To stop algae growth in new tanks I often add a lot of fast growing plants like hygrophilia, egeria (elodea) densa and limnophilia - these can always be replaced at a later date with slower growing plants once the tank is established. You can always just float these plants as well rather than plant them if they are just for the short term.

January 28, 2010
4:35 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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For the past several months I've been using flubendazole as a standard preventative treatment for all new fish in quarantine. It's easy and it doensn't seem to have any ill effects on anything in the tank except parasites, and snails. it kills them all! If you really want to eradicate them it's worth a thought.

February 24, 2010
2:15 am
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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QUOTE (Bully @ Jan 26 2010, 09:41 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Photo periods and algae control, and good plant growth need a fair bit of research. It would probably be better to start a whole new thread for that one /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I don't recommend adding the loach to the tank and it is unlikely to have much success with the Malaysian Trumpet Snails that you appear to have, judging from the photo. Assassin Snails will indeed, slowly but surely, take care of the snail problem but, you won't see immediate results. Their success will also be dependent upon the number of Assassin Snails you put in. The Assassins will breed but, it will be nowhere near as much as any other types of snails, they will not eat algae and they will eat fish food.



Thank you for the response! I was very uncomfortable with moving fish around and am glad I didn't.

Some of them are definitely Malaysian trumpet snails (but I am not 100% that all of them are) and I did research and discovered that of all the snails to get infested with, these are the best. They are the least likely to bother your plants out of so many other aquatic species apparently.

Or, so says this site:

http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Bu.....,%20Snails,...n%20Trumpet.htm

It appears their burrowing activities are beneficial to plant roots, according to the article and the snails will be more likely to clean up algae on the plants.

I was wondering, what are some snails to look out for? Snails that I wouldn't want in my tank because they are notorious plant eaters etc

I have decided not to get the assassin snails for now /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Thank you again!

February 24, 2010
2:17 am
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jan 28 2010, 09:47 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Removing the snails by hand is the easiest way if you don't want to add loaches. The snails will tidy up uneaten food and will eat some types of algae from your plants - not enough to make a difference - they don't damage plants generally.

Your Ech. problem is probably down to a lack of ferts (especially to the roots as Bully said) and photo period. The more light the better for plants and the same goes for Ech species. Although they do grow well in even low light systems, the more the better. Again contrary to popular belief a lot of algae prefers low light levels so reducing light doesn't help - it only inhibits the growth of your plants which helps the algae out!

Strong plant growth is the best protection against algae, so maintain your 10 hours of lighting and feed the plants. To stop algae growth in new tanks I often add a lot of fast growing plants like hygrophilia, egeria (elodea) densa and limnophilia - these can always be replaced at a later date with slower growing plants once the tank is established. You can always just float these plants as well rather than plant them if they are just for the short term.


Thank you very kindly for the wonderful response! I have increased my photo period and have added some fertilizer /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I'll keep a look out for the plants you recommend as well!

Thanks again, you are ever so helpful!

February 24, 2010
2:23 am
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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QUOTE (plaamoo @ Jan 28 2010, 05:18 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
For the past several months I've been using flubendazole as a standard preventative treatment for all new fish in quarantine. It's easy and it doensn't seem to have any ill effects on anything in the tank except parasites, and snails. it kills them all! If you really want to eradicate them it's worth a thought.

Wow! Thanks for the tip /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> I shall keep that in mine. So far, research suggests they may just be helpful and it looks like some people want to be infested with theses kinds of snails. Only time will tell, this is an excellent tip.

Thank you again!

February 24, 2010
10:41 am
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Bluedave
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June 28, 2008
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QUOTE (WaterRaven @ Feb 24 2010, 02:00 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank you very kindly for the wonderful response! I have increased my photo period and have added some fertilizer /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I'll keep a look out for the plants you recommend as well!

Thanks again, you are ever so helpful!

]

Just remember that Ech. can take a while to get going once they've lost their leaves so don't give up too quickly - it may take a few weeks to get them looking like they did before.

February 24, 2010
6:13 pm
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WaterRaven
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May 22, 2009
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Feb 24 2010, 11:24 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
]

Just remember that Ech. can take a while to get going once they've lost their leaves so don't give up too quickly - it may take a few weeks to get them looking like they did before.

Thanks again /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

June 10, 2010
3:08 pm
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bungy
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February 26, 2010
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If using a snail preventative medication ensure that you do not have any inverts like shrimp in the tank as most snail eradicators contain copper and it will kill your shrimp too....! Copper in the doses supplied in usual medications will only deliver a knock-out blow to the snails meaning you have to hoover them up from the bottom before they come round again. Higher dosing will kill them them but if you are trying to eradicate a higher problem population of snails remember that any dead snails left in the tank will begin to fester and may cause water quality problems.

Im a Malawi and Shrimp breeder - my shrimp tanks generally have a lot of troublesome ramshorn snails however by placing a weighted lettuce leaf on the bottom for a couple of days the leaf becomes a major attractant for the snails and thus this can simply be lifted out with the snails - it never gets rid completely but does at least allow you to control them without meds.

Good luck.

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