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Old 10-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #1 
Schwannsee
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Exclamation Snail eater?

I have a snail population that I am unhappy with, too many free hithchiker snails to count. Potato method isn't working too well, as my fish are at the office and they turn the light on earlier than I get there. And potato goo is icky. I hear the potatoes in my area are softer, so maybe that's the problem.

Tank-10G planted, with a huge sword, anacharis, java fern, and couple round leaf plants banded to wood whose name I can't remember ATM. :) Filtered with the stock Aquen filter that came with the tank, heated to ~80 deg. Big wood pieces & plants make for lots of hidey holes. I could always add another chunk of wood/more plants. :)

Water chem is finally right again after accidentally making fish & potato soup out of my tank. (Everyone survived, thanks to water changes and the miracle that is Prime)

Residents: 2 fat little otocinclus, 1 male halfmoon betta, 18 gazillion hitchhiker snails. Oto's are shy, but industrious and adorable little critters, but are not eating the algae fast enough..and I don't feed Fluffy the Betta when I see that he's already full of snail babies... but he needs help controlling the population.

I'm interested in finding a tankmate that can handle snail management. I don't mind them being in there, but there are so many they really block the view!
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:38 PM   #2 
Silverfang
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assassin snails will take care of the rest, or even just one assassin. They kill other snails
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:21 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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I agree with Silverfang....assassin snail would be the only good choice in a 10gal tank...not big enough for loaches or suited for freshwater puffer fish along with the Betta......it really isn't ideal for a proper school of Otos's...but 2 should be fine since it is planted...they don't eat all species of algae either...any left in a 10gal tank is most likely a species they don't eat to start and will need supplemented feeding with manual removal of the algae along with your weekly water changes....
Depending on what species of algae it is....you may not be balanced in either nutrients or light....some algae is expected and normal in a container of water that has both light and nutrients anyway and some can even be a sign of a healthy system and help make the tank look more natural by softening edges...the snails also will eat some of the algae unless overfed-which can also cause over population.
What kind of algae is it....

Although common snails can be helpful in a planted tank-they can over populate as you are finding out and look unsightly.....lol....I know...I have thousands.....lol.....but they all have a job in my NPT......
I have had pretty good luck in trapping my excess snails by using a small glass jar baited with blanched spinach-in at lights out and out at first light....if you used a lot of spinach you may be able to trap some even with the lights going on before you get to work.....might give it a try.....

I bet the plant you forgot the name to is either java fern or anubias.....

Love to see a pic....
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #4 
Schwannsee
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Red face Thanks!

I guess I'll hire an assassin then! Thanks!
OFL-This is my Tank today: Name:  102811-Tank.gif
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This is what it looked like when I added the fish back in June!Name:  061011-Tank.gif
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:07 PM   #5 
Schwannsee
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And, yes, thank you, anubias is the one I couldn't remember. :) I figured the algae they didn't eat is ickytasting or something, so I just suck it up with my water changer thingy when it looks gross. I like a little algae, free decor, IMO too. :) Just not oodles of the brown kind.
They are getting 1 algae wafer each in the evening, I just drop them in either side of the tank. I do water changes 1-2 times a week depending, about 20%-30% each.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:16 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Nice job...you tank is lovely.....

I would cut back on the algae wafers to 1 every other day or every couple of days...1 for each oto daily is way too much food for them...this may be part of the snail population and algae problem too-but its also a good plant food....lol.....water changes...I would do 50% weekly with a very, very light vacuum in all areas that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.......

Your tank looks great.....
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #7 
Schwannsee
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Thank you! I love it, and it makes for a great conversation piece, everybody likes to talk to/about the fish!

Thank you as well for the advice on feeding the Oto twins. I was worried that they would be too hungry, since everything I read early was on how they have to eat & eat & eat. :) Glad I can cut back on the wafers, that will help with tank cleanliness!

I have to vacuum carefully to avoid sucking my gravel up already, so I can work a little more plant-specific-cleaning in. I usually only have to get close to the plants, and all the "extra" algae goo just slides right in. :)

Because big water changes are more difficult, do I need to do 50% at a time or can I divide between 2-3 20-30% changes?
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:26 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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A single large is better than a lot of small ones...but with planted tanks with active growing plants like yours.....weekly 25-30% should be fine.....the fresh water helps by adding more nutrients to the plants.....but you don't want to do too many....its a balance.....
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