Softening my stance on snails

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FishyD

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What a difference a week makes in my attitude. :D I was just hating on snails on another thread. Putting up some tanks and I had eradicated snails thoroughly as best I can see. I bought a few plants and threw some extras in an empty 10G for now, then I put it too close to a window and they caught too much light. The plants liked it for a few days, then various forms of algae absolutely buried them, in just a few days. I moved the tank to a low light area yesterday. This morning I noticed one medium sized bladder snail in the tank. He had already cleaned three largish crypt leaves and was writing his name in the amazon sword algae. I never had an algae problem when my tanks were last setup, and they catch a little sunlight off a skylight. The presence of snails was probably much of the reason as livebearers don't clean that thoroughly in just hours. Thinking I might just go back to manually controlling snails instead of trying to eradicate them The 45% vinegar I sprayed in the tanks glass did wipe them out, but I brought them back with new plants to nobody's surprise.
 
I feel I can use the snail count as a gauge of my overfeeding
I shut a 60G tank down with no fish in it for over two years, but didn't drain it. Topped it off every few months and left a couple very tiny plants that melted a bit. Apparently enough to feed snails for over two years to my surprise because they didn't go away. Population dipped very little actually. They are resilient for sure.
 
I find bladder/pond snails a good indication of tank health. Personally I wish I could have them but my cichlids eat them like popcorn on movie night...
I need to allow nature to have some balance. I believe I can limit the snail population to something reasonable, but eliminating them wasn't a great idea. They'll be back. Only takes a couple riding in on on new plants. I literally only have one or two in each tank now and can see all the work they are doing.
 
I feel I can use the snail count as a gauge of my overfeeding
That's a great way to look at it. Snails are a bellwether. If you have a lot of them, it's because something needs addressed. Whether it's overfeeding, excess algae or dead plants.
 
I have freshwater limpets in both of my nanos. For many months I tried to exterminate them relentlessly but just had to give up in the end. I'm okay with them now and actually, they do eat a little bit of algae. Since i put a nerite in each tank there's a lot less algae available to the limpets so the numbers have crashed.
 
I stick with nerites and shrimp so I don't have to worry about having too many.
How do Nerites do on small plant leaves? They seem a little large for the job. I think some of my fish probably like your shrimp suggestion a lot. :D
 
How do Nerites do on small plant leaves? They seem a little large for the job. I think some of my fish probably like your shrimp suggestion a lot. :D
LOL! I hear what you say but way back when I had a candy cane shrimp, only shrimp I've ever had, that was in a tank with predators. The shrimp, also referred as a pistol shrimp, would literally kick butt on the fish if bothered and fish quickly learned to leave it alone. ;)
 
How do Nerites do on small plant leaves? They seem a little large for the job. I think some of my fish probably like your shrimp suggestion a lot. :D
They don't seem to damage any leaves. I occasionally see some red root floaters missing parts of leaves but I don't really know what does it.
 
If nerites are too big look at the smaller Clithon species of snail.
 
It's a slimy slope. I keep my ramshorns in check, but every pond or bladder snail I see on the glass goes into the turtle tank. The turtle's the only being here, other than the snails, that likes the pests. I would love to have a snail free set up, but after 57 years keeping fish, they just don't go away and stay away.

I used to keep a group of molluscivore Cichlids with very good snail eating skills. They would poke a hole in the shell, then slurp them out. With smaller snails, they just crushed them. But I no longer have those fine fish (Steatocranus) and their tanks have slowly been re-infested.

I bear them no ill will because Spongebob named his pet snail "Gary". That's not their fault.
 
If nerites are too big look at the smaller Clithon species of snail.
I am good with the very few hitchhikers that snuck in on new plants. I only see a few per tank, but there are surely more. In any event they are doing a good job. I will try to keep them very limited before I lose the war. They have enough to eat so I am sure they are laying eggs for the real invasion later. I just asked about the Nerites because I used to have a few. I didn't have too many small leafed plants then. I imagine they would target larger plants to clean anyway if they had a choice.
 
I love snails but our water is too soft and they don’t survive. Probably about to jinx myself but never had a problem with pest snails, it’s hard enough keeping the one I do have alive.
 

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