Snail vs. pleco question
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Snail vs. pleco question

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Snail vs. pleco question
Old 08-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
 
Snail vs. pleco question

I am relatively new to keeping a fish tank (less than a year). A few months ago, I added live plants to my tank and now I have snails all over the tank (from pics on the internet and on this site, I think they are ramshorn snails). I actually don't mind the snails so much because they keep the algae under control better than anything else I have tried.

My question is that I have a pleco in the tank. Is there anything I can feed the pleco that the snails won't devour first? Now that all the algae on my tank is cleaned up, I am not sure what or how to feed the snails and the pleco.

Also, if I clean the tank and my vacuum sucks snails up in it, then do I need to kill all the snails that come out with the water change or will they just die when I dump the water?
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by montepb View Post
I am relatively new to keeping a fish tank (less than a year). A few months ago, I added live plants to my tank and now I have snails all over the tank (from pics on the internet and on this site, I think they are ramshorn snails). I actually don't mind the snails so much because they keep the algae under control better than anything else I have tried.

My question is that I have a pleco in the tank. Is there anything I can feed the pleco that the snails won't devour first? Now that all the algae on my tank is cleaned up, I am not sure what or how to feed the snails and the pleco.

Also, if I clean the tank and my vacuum sucks snails up in it, then do I need to kill all the snails that come out with the water change or will they just die when I dump the water?
Might I ask what type of pleco you have and how big your tank is? Many plecos that are commonly sold grow far to big for the common aquarium.

If it is a common pleco it will probably eat most anything it finds on the bottom. From uneaten fish food to algae or algae wafers you place under there. Odds are the pleco will get to it before the snails do if it is hungry unless it is a smaller species that likes to hide a lot.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
 
Honestly, I am not sure what kind of pleco. I picked it up from petsmart when I was stocking my tank. My concern was just that the snails seem to clean everything up because there are so many of them and I don't see the pleco out as much so I am just worried that there is enough food to go around. I am going to clean out a bunch of the snails, but I want to keep some of them in the tank because they do clean it up so easy.

My tank is a 50 gallon.

Last edited by montepb; 08-05-2012 at 04:05 PM.. Reason: first try not as clear as what I wanted to say
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
 
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If you what to kill all the snails get some copper fertilizer.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by montepb View Post
Honestly, I am not sure what kind of pleco. I picked it up from petsmart when I was stocking my tank. My concern was just that the snails seem to clean everything up because there are so many of them and I don't see the pleco out as much so I am just worried that there is enough food to go around. I am going to clean out a bunch of the snails, but I want to keep some of them in the tank because they do clean it up so easy.

My tank is a 50 gallon.
Odds are it is a common pleco then, there are three species traded under this name if i remember correctly. They tend to be able to break a foot long easily and can often get to the 20" mark.

If you want to get less snails but keep some (you might laugh at this) but i recomend getting more snails.

Ok soo the snail i recomend is one i have just gotten so it isnt the best advice or should i say experienced advice but rather what i have read. They eat other snails as a primary food source, but wont eat so many as to kill your entire population off. A lot of people use them to keep their snail populations from over expanding. If you do this then you wouldnt have to worry to much after a little while about your pleco getting food. Tbh if he is hungry he will beat the snails to the food nearly everytime though. Another way is to feed less for a while. Snail populations tend to grow with their food source. If you limit their food source they will slowly die off.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
 
I don't want to kill all the snails, though. My tank has had a problem keeping the algae down and I have spent a lot of time cleaning it and trying everything I could think of to keep the algae under control. The snails concerned me at first, but then I saw how much of the algae they were eating - including the areas that I couldn't clean like the leaves on the plants and the hard to get areas of the decorations. I couldn't scrub the decorations before because the paint would scrub off. Right now my tank is completely clean of algae and personally, I would rather look at my tank and see snails climbing the glass, then algae growing all over it all the time. My main concern right now is that everything else in the tank remains healthy and I realize that at some point, I have to figure out how to limit the population of the snails so that they don't overrun the tank too much.

Again, I admit I am new to all this and am looking for pointers and suggestions and I appreciate everyone's comments.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
 
Sorry Phil, when I posted that last comment I hadn't refreshed my page and didn't see your last post before I typed it up. I appreciate your comments.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
 
Then if they die off, do I just vacuum their shells out of the tank? Also, these snails will die if removed out in fresh air right? I need to vacuum out the tank and do a water change and I know i'm going to suck a bunch of these things up with my vacuum. I'm just wondering what the best way is to dispose of the water when there are a bunch of live snails in it. Usually, I just go and dump the water out in the yard, but I've been a little afraid to do it since the snails showed up.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:40 AM   #9
 
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Then if they die off, do I just vacuum their shells out of the tank? Also, these snails will die if removed out in fresh air right? I need to vacuum out the tank and do a water change and I know i'm going to suck a bunch of these things up with my vacuum. I'm just wondering what the best way is to dispose of the water when there are a bunch of live snails in it. Usually, I just go and dump the water out in the yard, but I've been a little afraid to do it since the snails showed up.
They can live for a while out of water, they are resilient little guys for sure. and yes if you got assassin snails theyd leave empty shells that would be easily vaccumable
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