Snails and Bettas! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Snails and Bettas!

Hi all! I have a Betta named Rupert. He lives in a 6.5 gallon tank that's heated and filtered. I have Indian Almond Leaves and salt in the tank as well (he was very ill when I rescued him so I've been doing all I can to keep him well and healthy)

Today I bought 3 snails.
An Apple Snail
Trapdoor Snail
Zebra Stripped (nitrite) snail

I love them!

Bettas and snails are compatible from what I've read and been told so I hope Rupert is gentle with them.

My question is about the Apple snail- j read that he needs high pH? He likes hard water, yes? My betta does not like high pH, right?

Can I add calcium tablets with a betta? Are calcium tablets necessary? I don't want my snail to end up with damaged shells.

I don't have much algae. Rupert has been the only occupant until the snails arrived and I've done a good job of keeping his tank fairly clean. How do I feed my snails regularly that is also compatible with my Betta?

And snails poop alot I've heard...?? Is doing a 30-50% water change weekly good enough with one betta and 3 snails?

I didn't really do much research before buying my snails. I'm sorry. But any and all help/advice is so appreciated!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Or maybe all snails need high pH? I have been doing some reading on line and may have mixed up my snails. I am getting sleepy.

How do I combat the differences between my Betta and my new snails?

Thanks again ☺️
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 03:01 AM
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First welcome to the forum.
Second, as far as PH and Betta, The PH level for betta and snails would range from 6.0 to 8.0 So any PH level that you have in those ranges would be fine, as long as they are constant. Any rapid change or constant change would defiantly affect both snails and betta in an adverse way.
As far as calcium, Yes snails need hard water or a harder water. Betta will not be affected by hard water. Instead of calcium tablets (which can be very expensive ) use egg shells. Just make sure they are washed very well before you scatter them in the tank.
Another thing that will control your water parameters would be to use live plants, They also give your snails more food. any leaves that drop from the plant to the bottom of the tank would be used by the snails. You also need some what of a green algae growth in the tank to keep the snails fed and happy.
I'm sending you a link, I'm sure this will answer your questions about your snails, https://www.fishkeepingworld.com/mystery-snail/
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 03:21 AM
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I often fed my Mystery snails algae wafers and bits of vegetables. I tried feeding calcium tablets and egg shells at different times and didn't notice much difference other than that the tablets were a little less messy. I even used fruit flavored tums at one point with no ill effects. I never fed cuttlefish bone, but it's also easily obtained at most pet stores and makes a good choice as well.

Congrats on your snails! They were so fascinating to watch!
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Seraphina - female halfmoon
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 04:36 AM
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Yep, cuttlefish bone is another good source. However the snails will crawl over it along with the egg shells, but I don't know if they feed on it, or that it just dissipates into the water, and they get the calcium that way.
I don't have to add calcium to my water in any of my tanks since moving into North Western PA. the water here is very hard, so there is no need to make it harder. And yes you will spend hours watching their antics. They do put on quite a show.
I have heavily planted tanks and some of my plants have very delicate leaves, or very thin stems. It amazes me how that big snail will climb to the top of a delicate plant and never bend it or break it. And then when they move on they just drop off and free fall to the next plant lower.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 05:43 AM
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I would agree that you first need to know how hard your water is, coming out of the tap.

Mine is so hard that I get calcium deposits on the waterline of every tank, each week, and have to wipe it away during water changes or it builds into a white crust. No way do I want to add to that!

On the other hand, I lived in Wales for 20 years, where the water is softened and slightly acidified by peat. If I had had snails then, their shells would probably have dissolved. lol.

So first check your water out.
I am a firm believer in not adding anything to the tank unless you have to, and then only adding the minimum needed to get the balance right.
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70litre tank: mature setup; betta, purple rasboras, male guppies, amano and wood shrimp. Heavily planted.
22litre cube tank: (Tagawa); betta, yellow dwarf shrimp. Pond snails and 1 assassin. Heavily planted.
Midnight in the 57litre tank (Midnight) ember tetras, 1 amano, 1 ghost, 1 nerite, pond snails, 1 assassin, doing his thing. Heavily planted.
200litre tank; honey gourami, cherry barbs, green neons, otocinclus, nerites, pond snails, amano. Heavily planted.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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I love this site! I love waking up to all the help! Thank you! @Old Dog 59 @Twist @bluesamphire

I will get my water tested this week. I live in California and have no clue about my water. There are so many things I'm learning contained inside the world of fish life! I'm really getting into this hobby ❤️

I will do my research on my water, and if it's not hard enough I will look into these options you guys gave me. I live in a small town and will have to travel most likely but I don't mind. Or maybe I can order something online.

I was also reading up on snails, and I read that the Apple snail will eat other snails and sometimes fish?!? What?! He better not attack Rupert.

The vacuuming and water changes with all the poop- how many times a week would you say and what water percentage of change? I don't want my water to get bad or full of amonnia or anything like that.

Rupert and I have some so far, I don't want to do anything to compromise his home or health. Above all, this is Ruperts home!

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by RupertBetta; 03-03-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 12:48 PM
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My Apple snails never bothered my other fish, they're not very fast, for one. They're fast for snails, but not at all fast compared to fish. They will feed on a dead fish, as I discovered after one of my fish passed away while I was gone for a weekend, but other than that I always found them peaceful.

Bettas owned:
Seraphina - female halfmoon
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RupertBetta View Post
I love this site! I love waking up to all the help! Thank you! @Old Dog 59 @Twist @bluesamphire

I will get my water tested this week. I live in California and have no clue about my water. There are so many things I'm learning contained inside the world of fish life! I'm really getting into this hobby ❤️

I will do my research on my water, and if it's not hard enough I will look into these options you guys gave me. I live in a small town and will have to travel most likely but I don't mind. Or maybe I can order something online.

I was also reading up on snails, and I read that the Apple snail will eat other snails and sometimes fish?!? What?! He better not attack Rupert.

The vacuuming and water changes with all the poop- how many times a week would you say and what water percentage of change? I don't want my water to get bad or full of amonnia or anything like that.

Rupert and I have some so far, I don't want to do anything to compromise his home or health. Above all, this is Ruperts home!

Thanks again everyone!
Water testing and changes are the most important things that have to be done religiously. Get a test kit, and test the water every day. The test results you want are PH 6.0-8.0 (7.0 is ideal). Ammonia levels must be 0 PPM (parts per million) Nitrite 0 PPM, and nitrate (with no live plants) 0 PPM. Nitrate (with live plants) 10 PPM and no higher than 20 PPM.
I would highly recommend getting a SeaChem Ammonia alert to put in the tank. Your new test kit will give the results of total ammonia in the tank. The ammonia alert will only read toxic ammonia in the tank. Yeah I know WHAT??? There are two types of ammonia in your tank. Toxic (or free) ammonia and then there is locked ammonia (ammonium) The locked ammonia is being broken down by the beneficial bacteria that builds up in your filter . That breakdown is breaking down the toxic ammonia to ammonium and from there is broken down into Nitrite and nitrate. When the nitrite is broken down and filtered out you are left with nitrate in the tank, If you have live plants the nitrate is what a plant will feed on. (good free plant food) Yeah it's confusing but that is the simple explanation. When you do your water changes of 25% to 50% per week. Those water changes will help reduce the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. There will always be these three in your tank at any given time but by doing the water changes it will keep those parameters to where they should be. Now IF the parameters stay high from the water change wait 24 hours Test again and if they are high do another water change. When your tank is finally cycled you will find the parameters staying at 0 PPM ammonia, 0 PPM nitrite, and 0-20 PPM nitrate.

Now how else can I confuse you??
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:14 PM
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People who claim, grrrrrrr, that snails kill fish are seeing opportunity feeding; i.e., the fish was already dead or compromised and the snails do what snails do. Same with people who label their Betta "killers" when they find them opportunity feeding on dead/compromised shrimp.

As all of the Betta I have had are algae wafer fiends, I stopped feeding them. Instead, look for a good, nutritious snail/shrimp food with calcium. I buy this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ABF-VEGGIE-...72.m2749.l2649

My Betta ignore them but if Ruper doesn't, hide them under a plant that is difficult for the Betta to reach.

Water parameters should be 0ppm Ammonia and Nitrite and under 15-20 Nitrates. In a 6.5 one weekly 25%-50% water change + vacuum should keep them at that. Test *before* you do a water change for three or four weeks and you will know how often to and how much you need change.

You can find the API Master Test Kit online for little. Or, get a SeaChem Ammonia Alert and the API 5-in-1 Test Strips. Some claim the strips aren't as accurate as the liquid. However, I have tested water from the same tank with both and found no significant difference.
https://www.apifishcare.com/product....4#.XHxraJh_OM8
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