Pretty new to this forum but addicted already going through posts.
I have in a 5 gallon tank - one male betta (Gandalf), and two apple snails (Brownie & Gertrude).
We got Gandalf after Jose's passing. He was in our friend's care while we were gone for two weeks in Maui. Jose's tank was fully established (he didn't die in there) so we just did a water change, then we got Gandalf a week after - January 2018 sometime. It already had two moss balls in it but I decided to add four lucky bamboo stalks at this time.
Then last weekend, we decided to get two apple snails (3/3/2018). Now we are wondering if we made a mistake. I did not realize HOW MUCH they poop. Poop everywhere, do they poop every other second passing?
I did a water change one day before their arrival (45-50% on 3/2). On Sunday evening, I noticed how much poo there was on a small glass jar we had in there. I did another 15% water change. Monday evening, I felt their blanched pepper dirtied the water and did another 20% water change. I do my water changes with a siphon. There was a LOT of poop in the waste water bin. How is this possible?
Gandalf really enjoys their company. He will go right up to them and just stare at Brownie then go to Gertrude and check out what she/he's doing. He does not poke /nip /attack them whatsoever.
I plan on eventually upgrading them to a different 5-10 gallon, planted. My partner is set on keeping it at 5 gallon but what's he going to do if I buy a 10 gallon and make a beautiful planted tank in secret and switch them out one day, hm?
Finally, my question. How often should I be cleaning the tank? Do I have to clean more often now? I normally change anywhere from 30-50% of the water depending on how many poop I locate in the tank. At this rate, I'm going to be doing 100% water changes and that's not good.
My original plan was to build a planted tank after we buy a bigger home (in about 1-2 years), hence justifying my upgrade to 10 gallon. Would their poop act as plant fertilizer when that time comes?
Sorry, I know this is a handful to read. Thanks for your input in advance!