FishFinatic77

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My tank has a serious algae problem. The only place to put my betta tank was by a window, and now there is a constant film of algae covering everything.
Now, I wanted to add a nerite snail to the tank to help eat some of the algae, but, after moving around for a day, he stopped moving and died a few days later. I then added another snail a few months later, who again, after a few days of moving around and eating, stopped moving, and died, this time about a month later.
The only thing that connects these two deaths, is that, just before they stopped moving, I found them upside down. I picked them up and turned them right side up again, but then they stopped moving. This is why I have come to the conclusion that my betta must have bitten them while they were upside down. He is kind of territorial, and doesn't like it if anyone or anything comes too close to his tank (except at feeding time of course ;)).
Now, I would still love to have a snail in the tank to help with algae, but I don't want to buy an animal just to it get killed. Is there a way I should introduce a snail to my betta, to show that the snail is no threat? Should I maybe at two snails so that any aggression isn't just focused on one snail? Or would this be too much of a bioload in a 5 gallon tank?
Any advice is very much appreciated.
 

Salty&Onion

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Your algae problem is caused by excess nutrients in the water. I would suggest scrubbing off the algae and doing 50-75% water changes without over feeding or having excess waste rotting at the bottom of the tank and without using any fertilisers.
You always could gravel vacuum up any rotting waste and uneaten food.
 

JuiceBox52

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Is there a chance they could have been turned over somehow (other than the betta)? Nerites can not turn themselves over so will die if they roll over
 
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FishFinatic77

FishFinatic77

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As I said, they were flipped over, but I turned them right side up as soon as I saw them. They could not have been on their backs long enough for it to kill them.
 

Colin_T

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Put a picture on the back of the tank to reduce the light and subsequent algae growing on the glass. If you have a light above the tank, reduce the time it is on for.

All snails can right themselves if they fall on their back.

Bettas don't kill snails. He might have a go at them but they should retract into their shell and close their operculum. After a while they will come out and crawl around again.

To see if snails are alive, try to open the operculum with your fingernail. The operculum is the small door they have to cover the opening of their shell. If the snail can be pulled out of the shell it is dead. If the snail holds the operculum shut, it is fine.

Make sure your water quality is good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, less than 20ppm of nitrate, pH above 7.0).
 
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FishFinatic77

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My water quality is fine. The tank had been set up for several months before I added a snail, and I made sure to do a few extra water changes after I added the snail to make sure the bioload didn't shock the system.
I have already tried putting a picture on the side of the tank towards the window, but it did absolutely nothing to stop the algae growth.
Now, if my betta didn't kill the snails, then why would they have died? There was plenty of food for them, my water was fine, and I acclimated them nice and slowly. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
 

Colin_T

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The easiest way to control algae on the glass is to reduce the light. Have the tank light on for less time. Add live plants, in particular, floating plants.

Are you sure they died and simply weren't just closed up?

A major change in water chemistry (between the shop and your tank) could kill them.

Something leeching out of the substrate or ornaments might affect them.
Something in the tap water could affect them.
 
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FishFinatic77

FishFinatic77

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The easiest way to control algae on the glass is to reduce the light. Have the tank light on for less time. Add live plants, in particular, floating plants.

I will try shortening the time the light is on, but as I said, the tank is by a window, and light shines into the tank until the sun goes down.
I also have lots of live plants in the tank, as well as a pothos plant growing out of the filter.

Are you sure they died and simply weren't just closed up?

Yes, I'm sure they died, as they stunk like rotting flesh and when I picked them up, their operculums came off.

A major change in water chemistry (between the shop and your tank) could kill them.

Yes, I read this so I took my time acclimating them. I don't think the change affected them, because they both moved around and ate for a few days.

Something leeching out of the substrate or ornaments might affect them.

The substrate was imagitarium aquarium substrate from petco, so I assume it would be safe for all aquarium inhabitants. All the ornaments are made out of terracotta, and I made sure they were 100% clean before I put them in the tank.

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Something in the tap water could affect them.

The water I use in my tanks is osmosis water, then I have some cichlid sand dissolving in the filter to buffer the PH. I don't think there could be anything wrong with my water, could it?


Normally, I like mysteries, but this one is kind of driving me crazy. I would really like to get another snail or two, but I want to figure out what killed the ones that I had first. Thank you for being so patient! :)
 

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