Eradicating MTS and Baking Substrate - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 02:53 PM
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There are many different ways of target feeding then using you hands. I target feed my Dwarf Puffer and Scarlet Badis with a Pipette. I suck up Live blackworms and slowly squeeze them out near the fish. Thy got soo use to that now they attack the pipette before I can even get the worms out. Some ppl even use tweezers.

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post #12 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 04:21 PM
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It take a LONG time to bring their population back in check through food control. They basically have to starve to death, and when one dies it is eaten by others.

For the fish, you could try converting them to floating foods. For the frog, target feed as was mentioned, or you could try training the frog to eat from a fish, that way it there waiting for the food.

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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #13 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 08:16 PM
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I can't really think of a safe way to kill them without killing everything else in the tank, they're almost indestructible.

Honestly the only option I see if it's really so bad, would be to completely break down the tank and toss all the substrate, bleach all the decorations, and leave them outside for a few weeks.

I don't know how effective baking/drying the substrate would be, if you're really determined to keep it I suppose it's worth a try, and perhaps even if you don't kill them all you'll have a manageable population.

I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with them :(

Do you think you could post a pic?
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post #14 of 31 Old 05-21-2013, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Do you think you could post a pic?
You know how sometimes your car will start to make this terrible sound; eventually it's annoying and worrying enough to take the car in for a second opinion. Your car stops making that terrifying sound the moment you make it to the mechanic. He drives the car around and returns it to you saying, "The engine purrs so sweetly I'd give it a pat on the head if it had one." Three miles away from the shop your car makes that sound again, but if you return the car, you're that crazy lady who thinks her car is making sounds.

Yeah. So last night I go to take a photograph, having seen snails all over my tank earlier that day. All quiet on the western front. I bait some lettuce; one snail jumps on around midnight. Really? Now I sound like a liar. I took what I could get, but I can attest [and so can some others] that when I uprooted all the plants on Saturday, my top layer of gravel was ALL snail. Seriously.

Sounds like a stupid query, but how do you condition the fish and frogs to target feeding, especially when I feed so infrequently already. I don't want them to miss out on a meal because they didn't eat when I decided they should eat. I know conditioning takes time, but aside from pipettes, tweezers, and fingers, how do I make sure the animals eat what and when they need to via whatever method I select?

Also, I did read up on someone who boiled his substrate to kill off the snails. He mentioned that the dead snails floated, so he was able to skim them off of the surface of the pot, avoiding dangerous ammonia spikes. IF that's the case, between the boiling and letting the birds pick off the dead snails when the substrate sits outside, the majority of the problem should be taken care of, no?

A tear down, however complete, is kind of necessary in the 72g. It's rocking a bad algae problem thanks to the general end of semester neglect that it received, and the wood-rot has made the substrate something awful. Also the glass scratches, oh my the glass scratches!, are on my list of things to take care of ASAP. Algae festers in them something atrocious.

Snails and the eggs won't be free-floating in the water or attached to the livestock I like, will they?
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Last edited by downerbeautiful; 05-21-2013 at 12:39 PM.
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post #15 of 31 Old 05-21-2013, 10:29 PM
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MTS don't have eggs, they give birth to live young, so you'll just have to try and keep an eye out for teeny tiny babies in the pot/outside. Not quite sure what you mean by attached to livestock, are you asking if they'll get on the fish? If so, no, they won't, no need to worry :)

Are you keeping the EC because of costs/looks/enriched-ness? If it's the last one I kind of wonder if boiling wouldn't force out whatever nutrients are left (eventually the gravel stops being effective as a fertilizer for root feeding plants). :/

Hmm. Do you gravel vac every week? As in pull out the detritus that's in the substrate? I think that maybe that's what they're surviving on - fish/plant/excess food that's gotten down into the gravel.

If it's for cost you could look at doing sand, Quikcrete playsand works pretty well though it needs a good rinsing. And it makes cleaning a breeze, nothing can get down below the surface. There's also Black Diamond Blasting sand, although I have no personal experience with it.

Just a few ideas. Good luck with whatever you decide to do :)
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post #16 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 07:44 AM
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Ditto Jen's comment about sand. If you are removing the substrate I'd seriously consider going to sand at that time instead. I have MTS, pond snails and tiger snails. I bought some MTS in December when I set the tank up and barely ever see more than six at a time, same thing with the pond snails. I feed everyday, I am sure that I overfeed, I leave plant material in when it dies (other than very large leaves like swords) and I don't vacuum the tank anymore, haven't in months as there is nothing to vacuum so I stopped wasting my time trying. Last time I saw some MTS they were quite large too, obviously healthy buggers.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #17 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
For two-ish weeks a bag of pool sand and a bag of play sand have been sitting in my trunk, waiting for June, when I'll have the time to give this an earnest go.

The 72's switching to all sand because the black background, black substrate. black/brown wood, and black/brown/silver fish really make my tank look super dark. Super super dark. It's also getting a new background and decor, scratch removal, et al, so I don't especially mind tearing that apart. Well, I do mind losing a well-established aquarium over snails, but that may be how it has to go.

I want to keep the EC because I like the black in the tank with fish who have flashier colors and because isn't it a bit easier for plants to grow in that as opposed to the Black Diamond Blasting sand that you mentioned? Regardless, I'll look into that.

But good, the snails won't be on the fish themselves. Hey snails could be to fish what moss is to sloths..? They shouldn't free-float in water, should they? Since I do plan on saving some/as much of the water as I can, would filtering it through a cheese cloth be a good way to strain the water of any possible snails?
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post #18 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 06:01 PM
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Why do you want to save as much water as you can?? All you'd be doing is transferring nitrates back into the tank.... The only amount of water that you should save is the amount that is in the bucket containing your fish. Once you are done setting up the tank and filling it back up with water, simply acclimate the fish to the new water like you would if you were bringing home new fish.

The baby MTS will not be free floating - they are just miniature versions of adults.
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #19 of 31 Old 05-23-2013, 09:19 AM
hmm I have snails and I would never want to get rid of them! hehe but if you do I was thinking maybe you could try removing plants and all that could give oxygen and simply cap the aquarium up for a week or 2 ! not sure how long they can last with out oxygen!
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post #20 of 31 Old 05-23-2013, 09:24 AM
or maybe a quicker solution would be to pour in a bottle of flourish excel! hehe altho im not sure it will work ...
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