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Old 07-21-2012, 08:36 PM   #1 
Lost Eventide
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Betta and snail bioload

Hey all! Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place seeing I suppose it's technically about stocking.

Anyhow, I had a question regarding the bioload of a single male betta and a couple of Malaysian trumpet snails. I am currently working on getting a 5g hexagon tank ready to house a male betta and, after discovering how pretty pool filter sand is when I put it in the 29g I converted to a planted community tank, I used some of the leftover sand as substrate in my 5g.

Now, I was going to look at some of the chain stores around here to see if maybe I could pick up a couple of trumpet snails for my 29g seeing I've read nothing but good things about them in a planted, sand-bottom aquarium (aside from them breeding like rabbits if the food's good, but I tend to be pretty careful about not overfeeding). However, I also wanted to put some in my 5g to aerate the sand and tend to any decaying leaves on the live plants I have in there (which currently consist of some hornwort, anacharis, and a small bit of crypt lutea that broke off of the main plant I got and has been growing nicely).

About how many should I put in there with a single male betta as a tank mate to avoid overdoing the bioload? I'm aware you can kind of push the limit if you are willing to do daily/every-other-day water changes, but seeing this tank is going to be my little aquarium away from home in my dorm this fall, between classes and coming home during some weekends I don't want to risk the health of the tank and fish by being unable to keep up with such frequent water changes.

I do have a Hagen Elite sponge filter (which I'm hoping I set up right; I only have experience with HOB filters, but I didn't want to risk my boy's fins), and I am building up the plant population, so that should help.

I just have no idea how much waste these little snails produce xD

I was also considering shrimp seeing I think the little guys are adorable, but after reading some other experiences with bettas eating the little guys, I'm not sure if I want to risk that. I might just pop a couple in my 29g planted, though does anyone know how well some of the more common species get along with tetras, a clown pleco, and a redtail black shark? (My full current stock can be seen under my tanks. I'm aware the tetra schools are terribly small; I had losses from less-than-healthy stock and I've been waiting to get more until my QT tank is up and running so I can avoid any issues in the display).

Kind of went off topic at the end, but I figured hey, why not ask while I'm typing xD
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:15 AM   #2 
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oh gees. I had this long response and now it's gone.

I'm too tired to type it again.


I don't think you have enough hiding places for cherry shrimp to survive for more than 30 days, your shrimp, will get stressed out by the attention from the fish, die an early death from not getting enough food, or get eaten while they're trying to find a piece of algae. Whichever comes first.

Odd are not good with a shark, tetras & pleco.

Kudos for using PFS. I've been mentioning "Pool Filter Sand" as a substrate option. But most people still end up going with the typical store brands.

  • Most fish love to dig in substrate if on occasion they uncover food that their other tankmates might have overlooked.

I may add some useful information tomorrow when I'm more coherent.

Apologies in advance if my post doesn't make much sense.

It's been a long day.

Gnitey
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #3 
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Okay. I'll stay away from shrimp for the time being then. Maybe in the future I'll have a ten gallon shrimp tank or something seeing the little guys are cute, but I would hate to put them in an environment where they wouldn't survive (hence why I figured in with the betta was a no-go, just wasn't sure about the 29g seeing most of my stock consists of small tetras other than the shark and pleco).

And yes, I love the pool filter sand. Originally I was going to go with play sand or just the stuff from the pet store (seeing I was sort of eyeing up black for a colour), but PFS was so much cheaper, didn't float all over the place, and I haven't had issues at all with it getting sucked up in the gavel-vac seeing most of the time if my hand slips it just goes halfway up the tube and settles again with the exception of some of the really small pieces.

No worries about your post. I understood it fine, and I hope you got a nice rest if you were that tired <3
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:48 AM   #4 
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The other day instead of sleeping, I did the sorority tank introductions around midnight and their nonstop fighting kept me up till about 3-4am.

I shut the light on them and threw a heavy black jacket over the tank to restrict the light until I woke up.

They've settled down nicely now. No one DIED or terribly injured.

Today was officially their 2nd group feeding.

  • My halfmoon Akoya ate at least 30 of my cherry shrimps & probably about 2 dozen guppy fry before he was transfered to his own solo tank. I tried to give the survivors time & space to repopulate, but it was too late.
  • You need to get a very WELL established shrimp tank before you introduce fish in a attempt for cohabitation.

  • The ONLY tank that I've seen in person where that worked was at least a 40 or 55 gallon long tank. With guppies, betta, 100 cherry shrimp, TONS of plants, on a trickle filtration system.
  • The only thing I didn't like about E's multi-critter setup was he didn't really have it on a proper stand, so the tank was on floor level instead of eye level. So it made it hard to really observe & appreciate the complexity of his tank. I think there was an algae problem too since it was sitting below a 4 foot long double window
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #5 
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Oh wow. Sounds like you had an eventful night, yeesh! I hope you can get a good rest soon after that. I'm glad they ended up settling down though!

That's too bad about that tank being stuck on the floor though. I'm sure it would have been wonderful to look at if one didn't have to lay on their belly to see it well xD I'll definitely keep that in mind though if I ever choose to try and combine shrimp and fish. Though, seeing I see smaller aquariums (10-15g) all the time at garage sales and stuff, I may end up just shooting for a little colony down the road. Thanks for that insight on the matter though!

Don't suppose you know anything about the malaysian trumpet snails? I definitely want to add a couple of these to keep the sand aerated and such, but I'm not sure how many to go with. I'm a bit worried seeing the stock calculator I was looking at basically said anything more than 3-4 or so was going to crash my stocking capacity. However, on that note I'm not sure how accurate that calculator would be in this case as it didn't have the sponge filter I have in the tank as an option in filtration (or any sponge filters from what I could see) plus I have been putting fast-growing plants in there.

Though would three be enough to aerate the sand? Seeing I'm new to using sand I don't have much of a knowledge base built up yet I'm not sure how much aeration it would really need.
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