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Loaches

johnnypy

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Joined
7 Sep 2008
Messages
61
I've been researching best species of loach to eat small snails which are damaging my Aponogeton leaves. I've had conflicting advice from several shops about how big different species will get and how aggressive they can be. I ended up finding the www.loaches.com site which I found very helpful - made me go for Botia striata rather than the Pakistan loach which was recommended by one shop - I understand these can get big and antisocial eventually. The B. striata have attacked the snails in a very businesslike way in a couple of days and seem very well behaved.
 

Themuleous

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Joined
6 Jul 2007
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4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
B.striata are great and shouldn't get much bigger than 3-4" I reckon most shops say fish will get bigger than they actually do, firstly as in the wild they probably do get bigger and also to cover themselves. Which is fair enough I guess.

Those loaches will make short work of your snails ;)

Sam
 

Henrik

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Joined
16 Nov 2008
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67
Location
Chester, Cheshire
Just to set my expectations right after finally managing to obtain 5 botia striata (it took me 20odd phonecalls and a two-hour return journey through all of Cheshire to get a group of 4, plus luckily I spotted a lone hidden survivor at my LFS that even the staff did not know about!):
Will they eat snail eggs and very small snails only (thus limiting the 'newcomers'), so that I still need to siphon off the medium to larger ones, or do they manage to somehow crack open bigger snails that I imagine would not fit into their apparently quite small mouth?
Thanks, Henrik
 

Nick16

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13 Aug 2008
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1,761
Location
Surrey, UK
it depends what snails, if they are MTS then its more difficult whereas they will make lightwork of adult ramshorns as they have thinner shells.
 

Henrik

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16 Nov 2008
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67
Location
Chester, Cheshire
A few too many for me in my tank, which I used to siphon off, but the ramshorns seem to be breeding faster than I can do water changes!

The botia striata, which I originally got introduced to because of their snail eating nature, are great little fish that are very different to the South American catfish I used to always go with (I still have some Corys!), that fill a similar ecological niche in their native habitats I guess. Interestingly at a recent tank revival, I chose Gouramis over angels, SAE over Otocinclus, and now loaches over more Corys - I am going Asian...I had always been very careful to keep species choices limited to one continent only (South America in my case), but I really like my 'community' tank now that has become very cosmopolitan - two types of Tetras, the Corys and a couple of peckoltia vittata make up the rest of the population now.
 

johnnypy

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Thread starter
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7 Sep 2008
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61
I don't know how these loaches tackle the larger snails, their mouths seem tiny - but mine have removed all of the ones in my tanks. large and small. I don't agree that a few snails are no problem -they made a terrible mess of an expensive Aponogeton by chewing many small holes in the leaves. Since I've had the loaches no leaf damage
 

Henrik

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Joined
16 Nov 2008
Messages
67
Location
Chester, Cheshire
How long did it take them to get into snail eating mode...I have ben observing mine for the last few days, they just take a sniff at the snails and swim on...They might still be settling in, or eat all the ones hidden behind the plants, but I am still to observe a meal!
 

Henrik

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16 Nov 2008
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67
Location
Chester, Cheshire
Sadly, one of my Corys was found with a bloody wound in the chest today and did not survive. Is there any chance the Botia striata could be reponsible, the Cory was still quite small?
 

johnnypy

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Thread starter
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7 Sep 2008
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61
In my tank the snails disappeared gradually over a few days = I never actually saw how they did it. They are constantly hunting all round the tank picking at the leaves and gravel so I guess they tackle eggs and tiny snails. I have never seen any of the loaches take any interest in other fish - I have Brochis and Otocinclus as well as small tetras and barbs. My B. striata have never shown any interest/aggression towards any of their tankmates.
 
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