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Old 01-25-2013, 09:55 AM   #1 
Fin Fancier
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possible snail tank mate

With my birthday coming up I've been looking for an excuse to improve my current set ups. I have a single male betta residing in a 5 gallon mini bow, it has a plant light so he has some wisteria and anacharis for water quality, as well as an anuibas. I have a female in a 6 gallon pillar which also has anacharis and wisteria. Both set ups are heated, un-filtered, and receive a 100% change every Wednesday with conditioned water.

I would like to know if either of these environments would be 1) large enough to support the bioload of a snail without a large hit in water quality (would be willing to add in a 50% mid week change). 2) what type of snail have you found fun to own/ basic care for the species.

I'm planning on getting 1 snail. If he doesn't get along with 1 betta I could add him to the other tank for his safety, but I'd like an idea of which might be more suitable before I consider bringing home a new pet. (I'm sorry I can't provide pictures. A camera may also be in the works for my birthday considerations).
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #2 
Laki
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Hi and pre-birthday wishes!!
Snails are great little things. Apple/Mystery snails are pretty common and cheap and very popular. They can grow quite large and have a large bioload as well. They sometimes succumb to a bettas picky nature and have their eyes and siphon bitten.
This is why I prefer the nerite snails! They are slow moving and most eat algae exclusively (which would mean no more scrubbing the glass wall of the tank). My nerite does not eat algae wafers, though some will (separate it from the betta bc it will end up in bloated bellies).

Nerites also have eyes that barely come out from under its shell. Therefore, they are safe from pecking bettas. And they have a smaller bioload somehow. Nerites are pretty popular and are becoming more common to find. Tiger nerites are the most common and then you get the spiked ones which are so cool looking! And the stripes on their shells is ranging from infinite to beyond. They are all so different.

Yes a 5 gallon that is not cycled should be cleaned twice a week. Not fully, just 50% water changes.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:57 PM   #3 
OrangeAugust
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I agree with Laki!
In my experience Mystery snails are too vulnerable to betta attacks. I had one once that got its eye stalk bitten off by my betta. I recently got some nerite snails, though, and they don't really come out far enough from their shells to be damaged by a betta. And because they mostly look like a gliding rock from a betta's POV, they are less likely to attack it. My girl pecked at hers once, and stared it down a couple times, but they pretty much ignore the snails now. Nerites are really good cleaners, too. So that's a plus. Although one of mine is a great cleaner and the other one isn't. One of them cleaned all the brown algae off all the surfaces in his section, and the other snail just makes skinny trails through the brown algae. lol
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:00 PM   #4 
Laki
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lol it's true, they are great. I forgot to mention though, nerites can climb out of a tank if there is not enough algae in it.. So, nerites go missing and last for a few days heaven knows where. It's a good idea to bar off any openings. Milly has never escaped, however, she goes over the top of the divider like it's not even there. Pretty soon the bettas are going to catch on!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #5 
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Thanks for the advice on nerites. I actually just got a siphon so I very well may switch to the 50% changes, but so far all of my plants haven't minded the full changes. With a snail, would plant matter keep it busy? I'm open to supplementing with wafers/etc but my bettas are greedy little buggers.
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