New 55g snail / plant questions
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New 55g snail / plant questions

This is a discussion on New 55g snail / plant questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I've aquired a 55g tank and will begin setting it up this weekend. The only fish I know will be in the tank so ...

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New 55g snail / plant questions
Old 06-19-2009, 06:06 AM   #1
Xathine's Avatar
New 55g snail / plant questions

I've aquired a 55g tank and will begin setting it up this weekend.

The only fish I know will be in the tank so far will be a rainbow shark.

As far as that I'm open to any suggestions. I'd like to keep the max size of the fish under 8" I'm not a fan of bigger fish.

I will be using a sand as a substrate, and I've been reading I should look at putting snails into my tank to help keep the sand stirred up. But what kind of snails? What do snails eat?

I've also been pondering the idea of having real plants in my tank, but I'm completely oblivious as to how to take care of them. Any input here?

And last but not least, I'd like to make some sort of plateau or higher level to the tank. Has anyone ever made any kind of cave or something that isn't on the bottom of the tank?
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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The snails you refer to are Malaysian Livebearing snails; they will burrow through the substrate and are a good addition in a planted aquarium. Terraces are easy to arrange with rock or bogwood.

Live plants in aquaria with suitable fish are important as a major source of filtration. The type of plants that will grow well in your aquarium depends upon your light. Plants need adequate light (intensity and duration) and nutrients to grow, and different plants have different requirements. "Nutrients" includes carbon dioxide (CO2), macro nutrients and micro-nutrients which are minerals; CO2 comes from the fish [or adding a CO2 system] and some minerals come in the water but others have to be added through liquid fertilizers. The most important thing is the light.

With 1-2 watts of full spectrum light per gallon you will have good success with rooted plants (Echinodorus, Cryptocoryne, Vallisneria, Sagitarria, etc.), Anubias, Jave Fern, Ceratopteris floating, and some of the stem plants. With more light (4+ watts per gallon) you will see faster growth and stem plants will thrive, but added CO2 will probably be required to balance. What type of light do you have [type, wattage, number of tubes, etc]?
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
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I will try to answer some of your questions.

For fish, have you considered a group of tiger barbs? Thinking they would work well with the shark.

The snails are malaysian trumpet snails. They will burrow under the top layer of sand and will come out at night to feast on food scraps. If your sand is very deep, you will still have to shift it during tank maintenance. The snails do make a great clean up crew for any food that the fish may have missed. You do not want to target feed the snails unless you are looking for them to reproduce. Lots of availabe food=lots of baby snails. They will not eat your healthy plants.

I do not have any plants growing in sand, so I can't offer any advice there.

For the different levels.... Check out They sell something called Caves and Cliffs. I don't have it myself, but it looks cool in the pictures. Another idea, I bought some soap dish holders with suction cups. I painted them with Kyrlon fusion paint. I am still waiting for the paint to dry. I am going to create a new level with the soap dish. Maybe try to grow some short plants on it or grow some moss on it.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys guys!

I am wondering, if I decided to just use silk plants. Would I still be able to have the snails?
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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You do not need real plants to have snails, the snails will be just fine.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:40 PM   #6
I agree with all the replies that have been said and as for the different leveling, i did do a leveling that went from 2inches of gravel at the front of the tank to like 5-7 inches at the back of the tank, I also have rocks that have wholes in them that kind of look like caves in colorado that are sold at any LFS.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:52 AM   #7
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Guppies are small, you could fit tons in there :D
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