Deal with snail population explosion (or fish selection)

Hanuman

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Hi everyone,

I have this nano tank (36x36x36cm). It's heavily planted. I bought the tank with the scape from someone as is. It had a betta, shrimps (10 or more), blue neons tetras (~6/8), nerites snails (~6/8) and otocinclus (~4/5) I think. Soon after I purchased the tank the betta died and I moved all the tetras to my 90 cm tank. I believe that the betta was not suited for that tank. Anyway, I didn't add any fish since that event as I had my hands full with my 90cm tank and a new bucephalandra-only tank I have been setting up.

Some time passed and I purchased some Bacter AE to feed the shrimps and nerites in that tank. Not sure if it is related but very soon after I saw an explosion of pond snails. There are eggs everywhere. There used to be a few of them before but really nothing much. Now there are countless eggs everywhere.

So here goes the question. What should I do in your opinion:

1- Add a fish. If yes would a Carinotetraodon travancoricus (dwarf puffer) be suitable for that tank size considering it is also heavily planted? Obviously this means I have to remove shrimps and nerite snails.

2- use some chemical nuke like gastropex and add some other fish type in there?

What do you guys say? Any other options you see?

Thanks in advance for the ideas.

IMG_0594.JPG
 
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Hanuman

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If so what fish would you recommend to be added afterwards?
I have also been reading about this product on the net but I see a lot of mixed reviews. It doesn't seem to be effective for everyone. Any ideas why?
 
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akwarium

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the snail population explodes because there is more then enough to eat. A few survivors or eggs can be the start of a new population. So as long there are enough leftovers for snails, they will return sooner or later. That does not mean that gastropex does not work, assuming it is dosed correctly and there is no absorbing filter media it should work. Trying not to overfeed is the best way to prevent snail problems but it can be tricky to find the right balance especially if you have other snails and shrimp to keep happy and well fed.

Any fish will probably eat some baby shrimp. If you are ok with that, a pair or trio of sparkling gouramis (trichopsis pumila) might be nice in there.
 

Keith GH

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Hanuman

Over the years I never saw a snail in any of my tanks, reason being I never bought any fish or plants that were in a tank that had snails, I always soaked/washed my plants to remove any eggs.
My suggestion would be buy 3 or 4 small young Clown Loaches they will not only eat the snails but also the eggs. Many say they grow too big yes they can but only about 15cm over many years as they grow on average 1cm or less per year. Once they have done the job sell them.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

Hanuman

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the snail population explodes because there is more then enough to eat. A few survivors or eggs can be the start of a new population. So as long there are enough leftovers for snails, they will return sooner or later. That does not mean that gastropex does not work, assuming it is dosed correctly and there is no absorbing filter media it should work. Trying not to overfeed is the best way to prevent snail problems but it can be tricky to find the right balance especially if you have other snails and shrimp to keep happy and well fed.

Any fish will probably eat some baby shrimp. If you are ok with that, a pair or trio of sparkling gouramis (trichopsis pumila) might be nice in there.
Yes that's what I said. The snail population exploded shortly after I added the Bacter AE. I usually feed that tank very sparingly as it is heavily planted and there is no fish so all decomposing plant matter and algae is usually enough. I simply wanted to diversify the shrimp's diet. That was a mistake to add the Bacter AE I guess. Perhaps I jut added a bit too much although I was very careful not to. In my experience though in a heavily planted tank snail will develop no matter whether one adds external food or not. This is usually due to plant matter decomposing.

As for fish I have 3 pearl gouramis in my main tank (90cm) and never have a I seen them eat snails unless I crush them. Perhaps sparkling gouramis are better at it. In any case don't you think the nano tank is too small for sparkling gouramis?

Hanuman

Over the years I never saw a snail in any of my tanks, reason being I never bought any fish or plants that were in a tank that had snails, I always soaked/washed my plants to remove any eggs.
My suggestion would be buy 3 or 4 small young Clown Loaches they will not only eat the snails but also the eggs. Many say they grow too big yes they can but only about 15cm over many years as they grow on average 1cm or less per year. Once they have done the job sell them.

Keith:wave::wave:
When my main tank was set up all plants came from ponds. So no choice there. As for the the nano tank there wasn't a single pond snail in there when I bought it. I suppose all plants were culture grown or treated beforehand. It was me who mistakenly introduced the snails. One day I added some floating plants in the tank in an attempt to de-stress the now gone betta. As soon as I added the plants in the water I knew what a stupid mistake I had made. Since then snails have reproduced but at a rather slow rate.

I have the same comment as with the sparkling gourami. Are the clown loaches adapted to such a small tank?
 

Keith GH

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Hanuman

Tank Capacity:
Litres: 46.7
US Gal: 12.3
UK Gal: 10.3

46lt less your hardscape you very roughly have a 40lt tank. That is the reason I suggested the small Clown Loaches if you decide to get them ease off on the food but a clean washed lettuce leaf now and then will help. Keep your filter clean as there could be baby snails there as well.

wn%20Loach%20babies%20eating%20lettuce%20back%20up.jpg

Remember they are very slow growers. A pair of young CL's I had

Aqu%20Clown%20loach%20eating%20lettuce%202%2011-03.jpg

If I remember this one lived for about 20 years in the 5ft tank.

Keith :wave::wave:
 

Hanuman

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Thanks for the information. I would need to see if I can source that fish here but I guess it shouldn't be an issue.
A question though. I mentionned earlier the Carinotetraodon travancoricus. Isn't that fish acceptable for the task?
 

Hanuman

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Yes I had already read the whole profile of that fish on the seriously fish website but didn't see any red flags. In fact several aquascapers here in Thailand had already recommended that fish in the past to me but I refrained from using it as I didn't have any real issues. I will look at Zozo's comment though. Might give some more insights.

Thanks as always Tim.
 

Hanuman

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Interesting experience Zozo had. They seem rather difficult in fact. Seriously Fish does not describe that fish in that way. Clown loaches might be more suited to the task then or simply just Gastropexing the whole dam thing and get over it!
 

Tim Harrison

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If you go down the Gastropex route, don't forget to remove absorbent filter media, and to take in to account the capacity of the filter too.
It's not always successful first time around. So I usually dose a second time a week or two later after a big water change. And even then it's not always 100%, but it's still a very effective method of control.
I've also added Assassins a month or so afterwards to mop up survivors and that's worked well too; eventually 100% effective. Good luck I hope it works for you.
 

Hanuman

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Yes I don't have any chemical filtration so no worries on that side. In case of using Gastropex the idea was to remove as many shrimps and of course all nerites prior treatment for peace of mind.

Not sure I want to add assassin snails to that tank as there is no sand and the only open area is covered with carpeting plants. And Clea Helena will also reproduce eventually so don't want to remove an issue to then add another one, specially for that tank which I want to sell.
 

mort

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I'm sorry but I disagree with the advice to add clown loaches. They are a social species which for one should rule them out as you need to keep them in groups of 5 minimum and preferably 10 and over. I also disagree that they are slow growers, they can grow relatively quickly if kept in a spacious tank with appropriate food. I've had my group for 25 years now and the bigger ones are 9-10". The smaller adult size of others is likely due to lack of space or improper feeding, this is why we see short, fat clowns in tanks rather than the strong slender clowns that live happily in the river.
@sciencefiction has a large pond with them in and can attest to their needs.
 

Hanuman

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After I posted my last post I started watching this video and it does concur with what you are saying. Although the idea here was to use them to clean the tank of snails I usually don't like the idea of just using a fish for a temporary task as it might be difficult afterwards to deal with the fish once the task has been completed.

 
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I'm surprised no one has suggested assasin snails, you'll have to move the nerite snails to your other tank first, once they have done there job you can most likely sell them back to your lfs
 

Hanuman

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Pick them out and feed your fish less. Use chemicals as a last resort.
You might want to read above. There is no fish in that tank.

I'm surprised no one has suggested assasin snails, you'll have to move the nerite snails to your other tank first, once they have done there job you can most likely sell them back to your lfs
It has. You might also want to read above. That’s not an option for me. As for selling them have a read at this thread I created a few days ago.

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/clea-helena.57260/#post-558184
 

Hanuman

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I don’t usually overfeed the shrimps. I just added once some Bacter AE but that was enough for the snail population to explode. I won’t be adding anymore of it obviously. I think that a chemical treatment will be the best course of action as I have no intention of spending months and months for those snails to disapear. I want to sell the tank asap so that it is spotless.
 
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