Snail eater suggestions? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Snail eater suggestions?

Can anyone suggest a good snail eater for a tank with an aggressive red veiltail? I've got assassin snails but they don't seem to be doing much; some of the snails are now the same size if not a tiny bit bigger. I'd rather put something in that would eat them than get rid of them myself or use chemicals.

I was thinking about zebra loaches but I figure they'd nip my betta's fins?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 11:38 AM
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How big is the tank?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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125 litres. So no clown loaches for me as much as I would love them :(
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 12:37 PM
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That is a bit over 30gallons...right?

What else is stocked in the tank

Personally-unless I really like and want the species of fish that help with snail control and most of the loache are shoaling fish and need at least 3 or more to do well or at least to see more natural behavior and less stress-I would not get any and do a manual removal of the snails by baiting them, I wouldn't use any chemicals for over population either.

Decrease the amount of left over food can be helpful-I use a glass jar and put either lettuce leaf or algae wafer in it at night and remove in the morning full of snails, destroy the snails and toss in the trash...never release them into the environment ...but you know that already...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:07 PM
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I agree with OFL, I would not get a fish simply for the purpose of snail removal, you should get it because it fits into your setup and you genuinely like and understand the species. After all, even snail-eating species often don't eat many snails because they develop a taste for prepared food and may decide to eat only that. I have a school of kuhli loaches in my 29G, and they do eat some snails now and again, but overall they rely on prepared food.

If you have room for a full school (6 or more individuals) of small loaches, kuhli loaches will eat snails and stay small. Dwarf chain loaches are another option, though they are harder to find than kuhlis. Keep in mind that loaches spend most of their time scooting along the substrate, so the substrate in the tank should be smooth so that they don't injure their bellies or the whiskers on their faces. Sand is best but small, smooth gravel will also do.

Trapping is a good option, they seem to love a bit of lettuce and you don't have the problem of the fish in the tank eating the lettuce leaf like you would the algae wafer.

The best way to control snails in your tank in the long term, though, is to control their access to food. You can get all the snail eaters and do all the trapping you want, but if all of the egg clutches left over hatch and have access to plenty of food, the cycle will continue endlessly. The size of the snail colony can only be as large as the food availability in your tank will support--so try not to overfeed and decrease your photoperiod to help get rid of algae.

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Last edited by Adastra; 11-01-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! Yes my tank's probably about 33 gallons. There are a fair few things in there, I've got my betta, two sunset platies, 11 neon tetras, 3 three-line corys (soon to be another two), a couple of assassin snails and my fairly substantial pest snail population, and two african dwarf frogs. I also have amano shrimp but I'm not sure how many... I saw one today, but I put five in and I NEVER see them. I have a bad feeling my betta Diemos has gobbled the rest up, as he is quite aggressive, though I've no proof to suggest he would apart from that.

I do really like the zebra loaches, but I wasn't sure they'd be compatible with a betta, I was worried they'd fin nip. Also, I'm not sure if, if I added say 5 to my tank, I'd be overstocking quite a bit? I have a big massive juwel internal filter which came with the tank, but I'm not sure how efficient it is.
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