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Old 10-04-2012, 09:17 AM   #1 
OrangeAugust
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Can I cycle with snails?

I mean live snails- the nuisance snails that hitchhike on plants. I think I'm going to get a 50 gallon tank for my planted sorority/community tank when I move into my new house in November. (yay! )
My 5 gallon was cycled in less than 3 weeks with my betta in it, but I know with a bigger tank it will take longer. BUT I was wondering if it would speed up the process if I used snails as my ammonia source. Do all snails produce a lot of ammonia or just certain kinds? Snails are hardy so they won't die easily from ammonia spikes, right? Would I have to have plants and sand in it while I cycled or could I cycle it with just the snails in it? If I use sand I think it would be more difficult to find all the snails to remove them again (and hopefully give them away or sell them to someone on here). But I know the sand and plants also holds a lot of the BB in a tank so will it mess up my cycle when I add in the sand and plants?
Or is this a really dumb idea because even if I think I've gotten all the snails out I probably didn't and will continue to get overrun with snails?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #2 
MyRainbowBettaFish
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Hmmm.. Well they do produce a lot of ammonia, so you would kinda be adding to the toxic levels of ammonia, wouldn't you?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #3 
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So what are you saying?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #4 
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That the snails will just add to the already toxic ammonia levels and possibly die since they are somewhat fragile.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #5 
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Ok. So their own ammonia will be enough to kill them even while doing water changes?
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #6 
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Anything organic with help or hold the nitrogen cycle.....Fish, shrimp, snails, live plants....anything alive......
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #7 
MyRainbowBettaFish
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Oh i guess not haha! Thanks OFL for correcting me!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #8 
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IF you had a problem with ponds after cycling, you can get assassin snails to eat them u or remove them manually and with lettuce traps. I think in a tank that size, pond snails would be beneficial and actually help you clean it. If you're using sand as the substrate opt for MTS instead.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #9 
OrangeAugust
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Thanks, everyone.
OFL- you mentioned live plants... can they help start a cycle even without ammonia? I had my 5 gal running with live plants for a few weeks before I put my betta in it and then it took less than 3 weeks to cycle, which seems abnormal. Was it because I had the filter running and there were plants in the tank already? Just curious.

Laki- that's a good idea with the lettuce traps. The only thing I don't like about keeping some in there would be that they keep multiplying. I'm thinking of getting a couple of nerite snails for algae. What is MTS?
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #10 
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Malaysian Trumpet Snails. They are the cone shaped ones and they help aerate the sand to prevent gas from building up. Their shells are a lot harder so they're harder to control. I assume assassins would be able to eat them since they would liquidate their meat first.
Nerites are good for algae. Mine are so slow and dumb lol I'm again hoping my pond snail (I think there's only one left in my tank) lays eggs so I can gain a population and they can clean up my dead plants and then release the assassins lol. I'm playing god with my tank.
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