Badman's Tropical Fish

All-Water Boards => Other Aquatic Pets => Topic started by: Artega on July 17, 2012, 12:13:58 PM

Title: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Artega on July 17, 2012, 12:13:58 PM
Hey all, been awhile since making any posts but the 60g shrimp tank is all set up and running beautifully. I have somewhere around 200+ RCS so far and many many fry that should be hatching soon. I have added some live floater plants and ended up having some hitchhikers amongst the plants. I am wanting to get some assassin snails to take care of the colony of snails I have been so happy to see pop up  >:(. In your opinion how many would you recommend I get for my 60g shrimp tank and for the 37g community tank that is showing signs of a colony also.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: steffelem on July 17, 2012, 04:52:30 PM
Here's what I found:

Clea helena are known as Assassin Snails and Snail-eating Snails precisely because they’re so good at catching and killing small snails. Are they worth using though? In short, yes, but you will need quite a few of them.

In the author’s experience, controlling a runaway Malayan Livebearing Snail (or Malayan Trumpet Snail, Melanoides tuberculata) is to use 4-6 Clea helena per 60 litres (about 15 US gallons) of water. While they won’t exterminate every last one of the Malayan Livebearing Snails, the Clea helena will keep the population of them small enough that they’re no longer troublesome.

But they also breed so when they've finished off your pest snails limit the food they get so they don't become your next problem!

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Artega on July 18, 2012, 11:43:37 AM
Interesting so I would need like 20 assassin snails having that many I should be ready for snail fry. Hmm what to do.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Wheels on the Bus on July 18, 2012, 01:17:04 PM
Reduce the amount you are feeding and increase the amount you are vacuuming the substrate. You can then bait the snails with weighted lettuce (providing the rest of your fish don't eat it) overnight and then remove it in the morning, with the snails. This is something you have to do many, many times. :)

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Artega on July 18, 2012, 07:52:39 PM
@Yesteb, I do not vacuum the substrate at all. I have tons of RCS Fry. As far as feeding I drop 3 algae waffers in once a day, 2 for the shrimp and 1 for the plecos. They are the only thing in the tank.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Spuds on July 19, 2012, 06:38:49 AM
what type of 'pest' snail have you got...?

I used to breed assassins few years ago... a started off with about 7 and after a year i had about 40 +.. not even fully grown yet.

It takes about 3-4 months before you can even see the baby assassins after they hatch... and they only lay a single egg about every 10 days.

They only breed at this rate with a constant supply of live snails... I ran out of Malaysian trumpet snails after a few months so i decided to breed them in a separate tank for the assassins.

The Assassins also eat frozen foods and fish foods but wont breed as fast if this is their only diet. This is good because once you run out if pest snails the Assassins wont become a problem themselves.

Assassins would be prefect for your 60gal... 15-20 would be more then enough.

I have pest snails in all my tanks.. i like to have them.. once you don't overfeed and clean the gravel regularly they wont become a problem  ;)! They can be easily controlled in your 37g!

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Wheels on the Bus on July 19, 2012, 08:44:19 AM
That explains why you have snails, then, and why they are multiplying. At least it's a relatively easy fix, and your shrimp will love the improved water quality that comes from weekly substrate cleaning.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Artega on July 19, 2012, 12:00:50 PM
@Spuds, The pest snails I have accumulated are ramshorn that I must have gotten from some plants I bought.

UPDATE: I now have 4 assassins in the 60g tank and 2 in the 37g skittles tank. Do you think I should up the numbers of assassins in both tanks?

I read that there is a chance the assassins would go after the RCS if there is not enough food/snails for them to eat. I would not mind having the ramshorn available for the assassins as long as the assassins are able to maintain the tanks and not let things get out of control. Right now I am feeling that we are kind of lying more on the out of control side rather than the under control side which is why I am inquiring about the assassins. I have been picking out the pencil eraser sized ramshorn snails that I see when they are close to the top of the tanks anytime I pass by to help reduce breeding. Should I not do that so that the assassins can hopefully eliminate them?

I have approximately 200 juvenile to adult RCS Shrimp and lots of fry all over the place. How exactly would I clean the gravel with out killing/sucking up fry? I don't feel I am overfeeding but I could be wrong. I drop the wafers in the 60g tank and all 3 are gone within a couple hours. For the water quality I am doing tests every week with the master kit and changing approximately 25% of the water making sure I don't have any fry what so ever in the water that is removed and numbers are within acceptable limits. I mean they could be better but they are atleast in the safe area if you know what I mean, I chalk it up to the possibility of waste that is in the gravel. But the shrimp are scavengers so I am ok with where the numbers are. In the skittles tank we do 50% water changes and gravel vacuuming every week and we only feed them once a day except for Wednesday we don't feed them at all.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Josh40 on July 19, 2012, 12:33:59 PM
When I kept a Cherry Shrimp Tank, I also had the Siphon problem. Have you tried Pantyhose over the end of it, to stop the fry being sucked up? I used to spend hours fishing microscopic shrimp fry out of the dirty water bucket until found a Sieve to put in the bucket to catch them before they went in.

Also, If you cut back on the algae wafers until you get rid of the snails - it won't harm the Shrimp, the live plants will provide microscopic food for them to graze on.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Wheels on the Bus on July 19, 2012, 01:56:37 PM
I think the algae wafers are more for the pleco than the shrimp. :) Try Josh's suggestion of a panty hose sieve. You can get really cheap panty hose at any dollar store, or ask a female relative for their snagged or old cast offs. How have you been removing the pleco poop without a gravel vac- turkey baster? How do you complete your water changes without sucking up the fry?

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Spuds on July 20, 2012, 03:05:54 AM
4 Assassin snails wont be able to control Ramshorns in a 60gal if you have a big problem... Id put all the assassins in the 60gal considering your having a problem cleaning the gravel (panty hose trick sound like a plan). You dont need to worry about Assassin snails eating baby cherry shrimp...  ;)!

Here is how you control a snail problem.... This could be done in your 37gal.

1:You need a clean and balanced tank!
 Every tank is different but for standard fish tanks i find the below method will leave you almost snail free!

1) clean the gravel every week.. every week it gets easier and easier if done properly.
2) rinse out your mechanical filtration every week in aquarium water (white fine floss)
3) Clean your whole filter every 3-4 months in aquarium water.
3) 50% water change every week.
4) 6-8 hrs of light (you don't want algae for them too eat)
5) Feed small amounts at a time... don't let the food scatter all over the tank.
6) If you have a basic planted tank with medium light and low Co2 only use half doses of fertilizers.

2: Other methods....
These can be done if your snail population is already out of control.. Having a balanced and clean tank is the most important thing to keep it under control long term.

1) You can remove all your gravel and ornaments from your tank and boil them... It wont solve the snail problem but it helps!!
2) You can leave some Veg in the tank overnight and remove it in the morning when its full of snails... Personally i prefer to put a glass in the tank and leave a algae wafer in the glass overnight, Works great!!
3) Some fish eat snails... Loaches are the best snail eaters. There are a few small species that would be OK for a 37gal... People commonly get clown loaches to solve their snail problem but they get way to big for most tanks. Other fish also eat snails but none will suit your tank.

Good luck!!!  :)

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Artega on July 20, 2012, 02:21:24 PM
First of all just want to say thanks for the replies I am getting so far but I think some of you are misunderstanding what I am talking about. I do 25% water changes on the 60 gallon every week. The reason I only do 25% water changes is because it is only housing shrimp and 2 plecos, I don't feel that they would need 50% water changes every week. When I do the water changes I do have the end of the siphon covered with panty hose so that I don't suck up any shrimp fry but again I am only sucking up water and not doing a gravel vacuum because shrimp fry like to hide in the gravel and being shrimp they are scavengers and with my way of thinking which could be wrong they can hopefully maintain the gravel waste/excess food if any heck they will even eat there own exoskeleton as they grow and shed just for nutrients. Both filters on the 60g tank have panty hose on the end of the siphon also that I swap out on a regular basis due to debris and plant pieces that get sucked onto it, I just make the panty hose turn inside out as I pull it off the intake pipe so nothing falls off the panty hose.

@Spuds, thanks for your opinion on the assassins I will buy a few more and bump up the amount to 10 in the 60g and 4 in the 37g and continue to do the weekly maintenance on it (37g) like I have been. Like I said in the first post the 37g is beginning to show signs of a snail population due to the live plants I bought. If there are tricks I can do for the 60g gravel cleaning and not harming any fry I am all ears other wise the only thing I can do is believe that the way I am doing things is sufficient which again I could be wrong :-). I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer you know.

The reason I got pest snails to begin with was solely due to the live plants I bought and added to the tanks. I feel that I caught the pest snail population in both tanks soon enough that assassins could take care of it which is why I asked how many you all thought would be ok.

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: Spuds on July 20, 2012, 06:08:44 PM
Honestly snails or not a big deal.... Most tanks have them and they only become a major problem if you overfeed and your tank is filthy.... It doesnt sound like you have that problem =D.

I agree its not easy to do a gravel Vac with lots of little shrimplets running around... If 25% weekly water changes can keep nitrates down then no need to increase  ;).

Since you only recently got snails Im sure the Assassins will help control them.... I did find my Assassins didnt bother much with Ramshorn snails though... they are very small. They love trumpet snails!!

Title: Re: Question about snails in my shrimp tank
Post by: boredbody on July 21, 2012, 02:33:40 PM
My betta hunts the baby pond snails, I'm happy to have them, it gives him something to do!