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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Snails! AHH!

I have a 3 month old freshwater tank. It's a 9 gallon biube, planted tank with 7 guppies.

I noticed a small snail on the log one day about 2 months ago, but I never saw it again so I figured something had killed it. The other day, however, I saw about 40 little snails crawling EVERYWHERE! I have not bought any new plants lately, so it must be descendants of the one I saw. The biggest ones are about 1cm long, and the smallest ones are microscopic. They don't really bother me that much - they're helping with the algae problem. In fact they're sort of cute... until there's 500 of them. Will they keep multiplying until there's so many of them I can't see through the glass? Or should I just leave them alone?

And for some reason all of my ghost shrimp have died. I had about 20~30 of them all well fed; "feeders"... the fish guy didn't count them and gave me half for free. They were thriving and breeding... but in less than 2 weeks they all passed away. I've been testing my water and there's no changes. Same thing happened with my granny's tank. She bought 5 ghost shrimp and they all passed away around the same time too. Can anyone think of why this might have happened?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 06:49 PM
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Besides possibly clogging the filter (a rare occurrence) they aren't really anything to worry about. Generally the population will just crash...they don't really get out of control unless something is wrong with the tank (over-feeding is probably the biggest cause of snail population explosions).

Like you said, they'll help with algae. I would just leave them .

As for the shrimp, you need to remember that they are invertebrates. Sometimes things get into the water that are fine for fish but harmful to shrimp. You tested the water but probably not for copper, right? Copper is sometimes present in tap water and can kill shrimp...so that's one possibility. Although if there was copper in the tank I'd imagine it would have killed the snails too.

What were you feeding the shrimp?

Also, these were "Freshwater Ghost Shrimp", right? There's another species of "ghost shrimp" which are also used as feeders...but they need brackish/marine conditions to live. It's unlikely that this was the case but I'm just throwing it out there!

Since the ones you bought were supposed to be feeders it's also possible they were just unhealthy to begin with. You probably didn't do anything wrong.

Did you find the bodies? The fish also could have eaten them (depending on how large the shrimp were).




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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply! I really appreciate it!

I sometimes find the shrimps little remains stuck in the filter, but other than that I don't find much. I figured that they could have been unhealthy to begin with, but even the babies that hatched inside the tank died.

I didn't think to test for copper. I do use tap water for my tank, but my granny has neon tetras so she uses RO water. All of her shrimp passed away in the same time frame. I'll buy a copper test, just in case. I'm going to try for ghost shrimp again since I almost liked them more than my guppies lol. I'll talk to my fish expert guy at the fish store next time I head there. Maybe there was problems with the local tap water.

And as long as the snails don't take over my tank like they do at Petsmart I'll be happy. They have plenty of places to hide [meaning I don't see them as much] and they're keeping the algae in check. I don't overfeed and once I have more shrimpies in there, there should be no worries about "excess food" [waste, etc]. They actually look like mini-versions of the snails I originally wanted so I'm pretty happy about it... I'm aware that I'll probably never be able to get rid of them -- gotta be optimistic, right?

And I have one more question. You seem to be knowledgeable. It's just something that bugs me a bit, but I wasn't gonna mention.
My water turns a brownish-red about 3~5 days after a water change. I also get this brownish-red "algae" on the glass and the leaves of my Amazon Sword. I have to use an algae scrubber to get it off of the plants [which I'm sure isn't good for the plant...] -- just rubbing it off doesn't work. I changed out the activated carbon which seemed to help for about a week. I have no clue how to fix this besides frequent water changes. I took my mom's advice and did a 10~15% water change every other day for a week, and it came back. I've looked online to try and find out what this is, but I haven't had any luck. Might know a direction I could head in to try and solve this mystery?

Edit: I forgot to add... I was feeding the shrimp I feed my fish --TetraMin tropical flake, OmegaOne freshwater flake, Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp flake, Ocean Nutrition Freshwater flake, and something else... granny and I rotate our foods. I made sure they all had full bellies.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 12:03 AM
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I have been there! Snail explosion! POW!
A good way to do away with the snails is to buy a clown loach if you are able. If you can buy at least two because they like to have company of the same kind.

They LOVE to eat snails and do a good job cutting down the population. They also will eat regular fish food diet of flakes, pellets and algae discs etc...Clown loaches are also very cute, too!


Read here about them.
http://www.wetpetz.com/clownloach.htm

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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I'm afraid my tank is too small for clown loaches. I remember they get kind of big... and I've already got full stock... But thanks for the idea! I'll keep it in mind when I finally [someday] get my big freshwater tank. I want Ghost Knives! =D In like... 10 years... lol

The snails aren't really a problem, yet. They're the ones that stay fairly small for pest snails, and don't seem to be much of a bother. I was just worried about BOOM! 500 snails overnight! AHHH! And what I should do if that happens.
But if the population stays fairly small all I have to worry about is the abundance of snail shells at the bottom of my tank as they die off... I hope...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooCowing View Post
Thanks for the quick reply! I really appreciate it!

I sometimes find the shrimps little remains stuck in the filter, but other than that I don't find much. I figured that they could have been unhealthy to begin with, but even the babies that hatched inside the tank died.

I didn't think to test for copper. I do use tap water for my tank, but my granny has neon tetras so she uses RO water. All of her shrimp passed away in the same time frame. I'll buy a copper test, just in case. I'm going to try for ghost shrimp again since I almost liked them more than my guppies lol. I'll talk to my fish expert guy at the fish store next time I head there. Maybe there was problems with the local tap water.

And as long as the snails don't take over my tank like they do at Petsmart I'll be happy. They have plenty of places to hide [meaning I don't see them as much] and they're keeping the algae in check. I don't overfeed and once I have more shrimpies in there, there should be no worries about "excess food" [waste, etc]. They actually look like mini-versions of the snails I originally wanted so I'm pretty happy about it... I'm aware that I'll probably never be able to get rid of them -- gotta be optimistic, right?

And I have one more question. You seem to be knowledgeable. It's just something that bugs me a bit, but I wasn't gonna mention.
My water turns a brownish-red about 3~5 days after a water change. I also get this brownish-red "algae" on the glass and the leaves of my Amazon Sword. I have to use an algae scrubber to get it off of the plants [which I'm sure isn't good for the plant...] -- just rubbing it off doesn't work. I changed out the activated carbon which seemed to help for about a week. I have no clue how to fix this besides frequent water changes. I took my mom's advice and did a 10~15% water change every other day for a week, and it came back. I've looked online to try and find out what this is, but I haven't had any luck. Might know a direction I could head in to try and solve this mystery?

Edit: I forgot to add... I was feeding the shrimp I feed my fish --TetraMin tropical flake, OmegaOne freshwater flake, Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp flake, Ocean Nutrition Freshwater flake, and something else... granny and I rotate our foods. I made sure they all had full bellies.
It sounds like some sort of brown algae (which is not an algae at all, but rather diatoms). It's almost always caused by high nitrate or phosphate levels. If your water tested out ok as far as nitrates go then it's probably the latter. You can get phosphate-removing filter media or just perform large (40% or more) water changes. If it's the nitrates, then adding fast-growing plants should be helpful...java ferns and water sprite are favorites of mine.

Brown algae is usually seen in newer tanks...so if you keep up on water changes the problem may correct itself .

Do they eat all of the TetraMin? I've noticed that some fish don't like the pink flakes for whatever reason and they'll go un-eaten, causing nitrate spikes. If you wanted to you could actually not feed it at all...it's not a very good food to begin with. Omega One and Ocean Nutrition are great brands though, I bet you have some very healthy fish.

(Oh, and I wouldn't add loaches to your tank. It's already about fully stocked with the guppies and loaches like to school. Clown loaches would especially be bad because of how large they get.)




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 01:58 AM
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Ooops, my bad... I didnt realize the size of your tank!
Good idea for when you can get a larger tank because, yes, they do get quite big!

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the replies!

I completely forgot about diatoms. My mom had a diatom problem in the saltwater tank several months back, but it's since then corrected itself. I can't believe I forgot about that...

I do about 25% water changes once a week... it's a little more than recommended, but it's only 2~3 gallons and so far it hasn't harmed anything. It seems to keep the brown algae down for the most part, but it comes back pretty quickly.

Okay, so my "things to get" list now consists of a phosphate test and a copper test. I think my fish store tests for those, so I'll take a sample of water in to see if I actually need to buy in-home kits right away. If I remember correctly they can be a little pricey.

About the TetraMin... [I can't remember if it's TetraMin. I think 'Min' is the brown and yellow cans. I have the blue one.] I noticed my fish barely ate any of it and mostly just the red flakes. I gave it to my granny, but we hardly talk about our tanks so I'm not sure if her fish eat it either. I don't have plans on buying any more Tetra food products. For now my fish get OmegaOne in the morning and Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp Plus at night. I wait until they're no longer excited about breakfast before switching out their food. They're always excited for dinner tho, so I haven't needed to swap out the Brine shrimp formula yet. I read Brine shrimp should be a guppy's main diet so I'm glad they like it.

And yeah, my tank is pretty small. Here's a picture of my tank so you'll have more of an idea of what I'm dealing with. You can't tell that the water's brown in the pic... but when you compare the tank to the white wall it's pretty obvious. This was about a month ago before the snails.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 04:13 AM
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You could try feeding a bit less, two meals a day is a lot. Adding more plants may help too .

I have a feeling it'll correct itself, though!




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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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I only give a small pinch of food twice a day. I think two small meals is healthier for anybody than one big meal.

I'm also thinking of getting more plants =D. My fish love to bounce off the leaves of the sword plant, and swim through the grass plants. So I was thinking of getting a couple of taller grass plants for the back. The sword has more than doubled in size since this pic was taken...

Ah, I'm sleepy. I'm gonna make this a quick, short reply.

Again, thanks so much everyone who's helped! I wasn't expecting this many replies so quickly!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 09:30 AM
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Oooo pretty!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 02:44 PM
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Get fresh water puffers. they cost up to 10 bucks, but they live on parisitic snails.

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Please click MY EGGS so they don't Die!!!! PLEASE
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazykittenmoon View Post
Get fresh water puffers. they cost up to 10 bucks, but they live on parisitic snails.
Except that they don't make very good community fish. Sure, they'll eat the snails but they'll eat the guppies' fins too .




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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 02:08 PM
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its an easy fix, take guppies up, put puffer in, puffer eats snails, take puffer out put back guppies

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Please click MY EGGS so they don't Die!!!! PLEASE
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