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Old 02-18-2014, 01:02 PM   #1 
Valentino14
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I'll admit it: i'm impatient!

I began to grow algae for my new snail... but is there something else I could put in the tank in the meantime? I'd like to get him on Friday... and does anyone know how long algae typically takes to grow?
Also, could I put a snail in with my baby betta? he has no filter but he does have a heater.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:26 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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What tank size are we talking here? Snails shouldn't go in anything smaller than a 5.5 unless you know exactly what you are doing. It also depends on the kind of snail you are getting as to what they will primarily eat.

And if your baby is in a 1 gallon still, big no-no on the snail with him, especially without a filter. Snails have relatively large bio-loads (they poop a lot!) and so you would have to clean that tank twice a day for it to stay healthy. Best to just leave the snail in a larger 10 gallon at minimum for ease of keeping them.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:41 PM   #3 
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I put him in a 2.5 recently but that's what I was thinking... Nerite snails, and I would get a filter for the one without first
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:22 AM   #4 
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Okay, Nerites are okay but I still wouldn't put it in anything under a 5.5 since it would most likely stave. Nerites are really bad at eating algae (which aren't even actual algae) wafers and veggies like cucumbers, they just want all the biofilm and algae so if you don't have sufficient algae or biofilm in your tank, they'll die :-/ Also depends on the quality of your water as well, preferably harder water rich with calcium is what they like so they can grow their shells better. You can put in a calcium buffer of course but still the whole food issue comes up.

Even though Nerites don't poop as much as the other snails, they still have a relatively large bioload comparatively so that's another reason you shouldn't have a snail in an un-cycled tank without a filter. Do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle and how it works?
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:25 AM   #5 
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I'm beginning to understand it... but usually people get hung up that I only have 2.5's and don't give me any real advice. If the lid is partially open to allow for a filter, won't the snail crawl out? there is already some algae growing on a few items, so I can wait.
I will probably just end up getting one soon and wait until the baby is an adult.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #6 
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I'll admit it: i'm impatient!

Yes it's a shame that people get hung up on tank size. There's an idea floating around that tanks under 5 gallons can't be cycled and so the focus becomes on how to keep the fish in an uncycled tank. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Any tank can be cycled - all that's needed is food, real estate and circulation. The fish provides the former and a filter the latter two.

I can certainly understand people who have not kept a cycled tank thinking that it's easier to keep an uncycled tank, but without understanding the other side how can one even make a comparison? And the funny part is is that the steps you need to do to cycle your tank is exactly what you would do if you are keeping an uncycled tank. All it takes it time for the bacteria to colonize the filter media, and then you'll be free from being a slave to water changes. I have a tremendous peace of mind knowing that my fishs lives are not dependent on me changing the water all the time.

As far as the snail is concerned, it should stay in the tank. If it knows what's good for it anyways
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:02 AM   #7 
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That's okay, I don't mind helping you understand the cycle a bit more, it's important that we all understand it regardless of what tank size we have

So do you get the part that there are good bacteria (Beneficial bacteria or BB commonly abbreviated) that grow in the tank, mostly in the filter so that's why it's important to have a filter; they like the fast moving waters and the sponges provide lots of good place for them to grow on. These good bacteria help keep our fish safe by turning ammonia (fish poop and other rotting stuff) into nitrite which then are turned into nitrate and taken out of the water with water changes.

The cycle is the same through any tank size, so in your 2.5 all you need is a filter and once your bacteria grow in the filter you can just change water once a week or once every two weeks (for an ADULT fish though, for your baby you will still have to change water daily until he is an adult fish). These good bacteria eat ammonia and so without ammonia, they will starve just like your baby if you don't feed him! So this is why there are a few different methods to feed your bacteria.

First method is the most used method called the Fish-In Cycle, you've probably seen that one before? As well as Fish-Less Cycle? Well in Fish-In, it is as it sounds; you are using your fish as an ammonia source to feed your colony. In the Fish-Less cycle you have no fish in there so your bacteria doesn't have food yet. You have to supply the food by using something ammonia based, often we use 10% ammonia from a hardware store as long as it doesn't have surfactants in it and doesn't bubble when you shake it. So that ammonia is dropped in the tank with a dropper, that is the bacteria's food; kind of like a liquid diet if you want to think of it that way :) Other ammonia sources, you an use a regular shrimp you would find in a grocery store, like ones that people eat. You can get a mesh bag (easy clean up when you want to take the shrimp out) and put it in there, the dead shrimp gives off ammonia for your bacteria to eat.

Does this make sense so far? So basically you want good bacteria, they grow in your filter and keep your fish safe. To grow your colony you need ammonia to feed them. With me so far? I'll explain more if you understand this part :)

And as for the snail crawling out, it depends on the kind of snail. Nerites are escape masters but generally I've found they don't crawl out if there is enough food. Mystery snails will go out of the water but they don't tend to wander far out of the tank. Some snails cannot survive long out of water at all so they never go out. Also, take in account that Nerites are exeptional cleaners, one Nerite can clean an entire 10 gallon out of algae and biofilm in just one day, just think about how much food it will need in your little 2.5 gallon. I suggest you get a small tank or vase and put it on a window sill with smooth rocks on it, this will allow algae to grow on it for food for your snail, you can switch the rocks out weekly or so to feed them and then let the new rocks get algae on them. You want a really nice coating of green algae. I would start this now so you are prepared.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:38 AM   #8 
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I'm growing "algae rocks already... it's doing pretty good! I can see the layer starting to form... So, i'll probably get a filter for the tank this weekend. I've been doing water changes every 3 days in both tanks... (obviously Baby gets some water changed every day, about 20%... then a larger one on the scheduled days)
The problem I encountered now is that Valentino seems to only be glass surfing when his light is on, and he's further away from the window. So, it's pretty dark. I don't want to stress him out so i'm trying to find an alternative.
I'm with you so far... i've read a good amount about the cycle, I'm just trying to determine how long it is going to take me to have a steady cycle.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #9 
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Tank surfing isn't always an indication of stress, sometimes they like to do it. I have a boy who does it when he's begging for food lol. Just give him time to adjust, that's the best thing you can do for him. You'll need the light if you want a snail, just for the algae I mean, light isn't really necessary for them to live, just to grow the algae to be sufficient for the snails. Also, I don't know if Nerites will particularly eat this but I know Mysteries do; look up 'snail jello for newbs without great kitchens' and that will give a you a good recepie for snail jello ^_^ always worth a shot!

And for stable cycle, it usually takes around a month. I know that seems like a long time but it really isn't and if you want your snail to be happy and healthy then it is worth it. He should be fine in the tank without the cycle at the moment since you are doing lots of water changes, although 20% is kind of low, you should try to bump it up to around 40-50% optimally every day. Trust me, the growth stunting hormone is a killer in more ways than one :-/

However, since you've got this tank up and running already, you may already have a little bacterial growth going on and so that will help when you get the filter. I suggest, if you can buy online, to get this filter; http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...21&pcatid=9821 it is my favorite small filter of all time and cheap! I use it in all my 5.5 and under tanks! And there is looooots of space for your bacteria to grow happily. Also there is no set filter cartridge like in many Tetra, TopFin, and Aqueon filters so you can just buy some filter sponge from anything and cut it down to size to fit into your filter
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:14 AM   #10 
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A month for the cycle to complete, yes. However it takes several months for the tank to mature, which IMO is what a stable cycle is. Newly cycled tanks can be fragile, but mature tanks are all but bulletproof.
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