Freshwater decomposers?
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Freshwater decomposers?

This is a discussion on Freshwater decomposers? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello, I was wondering if there are any freshwater fish, snails, etc. that will eat fish poop and other waste to help keep the ...

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Freshwater decomposers?
Old 10-14-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
 
Freshwater decomposers?

Hello, I was wondering if there are any freshwater fish, snails, etc. that will eat fish poop and other waste to help keep the tank clean so i do not have to clean it so often. I have a bristlenose pleco that takes care of most of the algae, so i just need something that might help with the poop etc.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #2
 
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I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there is nothing that fits that description. There is absolutely no replacement for a tank cleaning. Think of it this way: anything that eats, poops. Even if it eats poop. You're still going to have to remove that poop somehow. If you're putting nutrients into the system by feed the fish, then you have to take waste out of the system by water changes.

Last edited by thekoimaiden; 10-14-2012 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
 
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Agree absolutely. During the weekly water change--which is essential for healthy fish--vacuum the substrate.

If you have live plants, the waste in the substrate can be left as it will get broken down by bacteria (and here snails help) into nutrients for the plants. But the water itself still has to be changed weekly.

And in case you haven't noticed yet, all pleco produce a lot of waste compared to most other fish of similar size.

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
 
I vacuum the gravel every time i do a water change, its just that there is so much poop that i have to do 2-3 water changes just to vacuum it all up, meaning that the bucket i use to do the water change is full before i can get all the poop. I heard that there was a type of snail that would help with the waste, but i'm not sure where to get it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
 
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Hmmm. Have you every heard of the python water change system? Aqueon makes a similar one. It's basically a siphon attached to a 25 foot hose. Instead of siphoning into a bucket (which is very limited; I know as I still have to use that method with one tank) you siphon into a sink or a bathtub. And once you are done, you use the hose to refill your tank. You can take as long as you need to suck up all the poop and then have an easy refill.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
 
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Agree with Izzy (naturally).

On the snail, all snails do eat detritus (waste from fish, dead fish and dead plant matter, uneaten food, etc) but they obviously produce waste too, so it just gets broken down into smaller bits. But this makes it easier for the bacteria to tackle. so you do get rid of the solid faster. But this is only a step in the entire process.

Malaysian Livebearing Snails are great for planted tanks because they burrow through the substrate and get into spots nothing else can.

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
 
I have been looking for the malaysian snail but I can't find any at my lfs
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
 
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A lot of LFS don't carry them because some people do consider MTS a "pest snail." I actually got my colony from another hobbyist. Because they reproduce so well most people aren't amiss to giving away about 20 or 30. You could try putting an ad in the classified section here.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
 
I have three MTS that came as hitchhikers on my plants and they burrow happily in my gravel. Most of the time you don't see them, and I'm pretty sure I have babies.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
 
How do i find the classifieds?
thanks
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