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Old 12-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #21 
colorxmexravyne
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So, almost two months later, I've found the answer to my problem. The "debris" is actually thanks to my Mystery Snail. The majority of it is leftover/decomposing waste.

I ended up completely cleaning out my tank a day after my last post here and there was no debris or mulm or anything left over in my tank. It stayed clean for about two and a half/three weeks, and then the debris started building up again. Also, during that time period, I had a little algae outbreak but my snail ended up taking care of most of that, which in turn upped her waste production and well, now I'm back right where I started.

The whole thing is disgusting, really. When I use the turkey baster, I stick it all the way through the gravel until it touches the bottom of the tank, and the water it sucks up has a rather nasty brownish tint to it. The water column in the tank itself, however, is crystal clear. I knew mystery snails produced a lot of waste, but this is outrageous. I don't even feed her anything extra. I just let her graze on whatever dead/decaying plant matter there is in the tank with a supplemental spinach leaf or algae wafer every week.

So now my question is, would changing the substrate to something finer make cleaning this up any easier?. I'm gradually switching this tank over to a planted tank anyway, and some of the plants I'm looking at will need something slightly better than large gravel.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:19 AM   #22 
Hallyx
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Snails are like that, I've heard. I have a Nerite snail in a couple of my tanks. Those tanks are messier but the walls are cleaner.

I run bare-bottom tanks---no substrate---so it's easy for me to siphon the debris. I hear sand is pretty easy to keep clean because the waste and debris sit on top and are easy to siphon out. Plants grow well in sand or in gravel.

You'll get a better answer if you ask your question in the planted tank section.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #23 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
Snails are like that, I've heard. I have a Nerite snail in a couple of my tanks. Those tanks are messier but the walls are cleaner.

I run bare-bottom tanks---no substrate---so it's easy for me to siphon the debris. I hear sand is pretty easy to keep clean because the waste and debris sit on top and are easy to siphon out. Plants grow well in sand or in gravel.

You'll get a better answer if you ask your question in the planted tank section.
Smart move on your part with the bare-bottom tank, haha. I had been looking in to getting another snail (a nerite, actually) for my upcoming NPT but I'm sort of reconsidering it now. While this whole debris thing isn't really a problem, it's rather aesthetically unappealing and it's just something I'd like to avoid in the future, you know?

In any case, thanks everyone for your help!
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:00 AM   #24 
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If you're planning a true soil-based NPT, I hear Malaysian Trumpet snails are used to aerate the soil. Consult OldFishLady's NPT articles and Aokashi's expertise.

There are other planted tank experts on the forum. See the plant section.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #25 
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If you're planning a true soil-based NPT, I hear Malaysian Trumpet snails are used to aerate the soil. Consult OldFishLady's NPT articles and Aokashi's expertise.

There are other planted tank experts on the forum. See the plant section.
I've skimmed through OFL's articles before, but I'd definitely planned on giving them a good thorough reading before I go and start buying anything specifically for that tank. I am planning to do a soil-based NPT; haven't done my research on MTS yet so I'll look into those too. Thanks again for your help ~
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #26 
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i have a cycled 5g with gravel substrate. i do have one nerite on 1 side to deal with algea and have the same dirty problem. i did do some 100wc just to get rid of most of the snail's presents in the past. id like to go bare tank but its something i have to deal with now ie the gravel.

the most recent WC i did i reused the water from the tank to clean it. i siphoned/gravel vac it into a 1g jug and returned 80% of the water to the tank. the other 20% with detrius was tossed. i repeated the process to siphon more debris from the tank. when i removed enough of it, i drained the water needed for the actual WC. you could try this method until you get a soil based tank ready.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:39 PM   #27 
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i have a cycled 5g with gravel substrate. i do have one nerite on 1 side to deal with algea and have the same dirty problem. i did do some 100wc just to get rid of most of the snail's presents in the past. id like to go bare tank but its something i have to deal with now ie the gravel.

the most recent WC i did i reused the water from the tank to clean it. i siphoned/gravel vac it into a 1g jug and returned 80% of the water to the tank. the other 20% with detrius was tossed. i repeated the process to siphon more debris from the tank. when i removed enough of it, i drained the water needed for the actual WC. you could try this method until you get a soil based tank ready.
Thanks for the tips, but I think just gonna deal with it for now. There's no way I'm doing that thorough of a cleaning again just to have it look exactly the same two weeks later, haha. I'm changing the substrate to something finer for funsies after Christmas to see if it helps and if not, then I'm just gonna take it with a grain of salt and mark it down as one of the downsides of having a snail. Like I said, it's not really that big of a problem, it's just gross when you sit down and think about it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #28 
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same here, i dont like it that the snail poops so much but it just comes with the package. lol i moved out of my parents house a bit over a year ago and made a goal to use less water than when i was with my parents. it didnt go so well, i got my first betta a few months before moving out lol. i dont like using all the extra water for the fish but i cant avoid skimping on WC just bc i was to use less water.
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