Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Dtld9 02-09-2008 10:58 AM

cycling with snails?
Is this going to be ok? I'm cycling a tank for a dwarf puffer and I want him to start out with snails to snack on. Also can I cycle with otto's? I really hate looking at an empty tank.

It'sJames 02-09-2008 12:40 PM

A fish-less cycle is always better, IMO. What size tank is it?? Are you using all new filter media/substrate/ect? Cycling with snails may work... They sure make enough of a mess. I wouldn't put ottos through that though; they can be fragile, and I just wouldn't want to expose them to such high ammonia levels.

Dtld9 02-09-2008 02:20 PM

it's a new 5g I really don't care if some of the snails don't make it, they are gonna be puffer food anyways.

SST 02-09-2008 03:48 PM

Snails are sensitive to the nitrite levels. They likely won't survive a cycle.

It'sJames 02-09-2008 09:36 PM

Even if they don't survive, some deads ones in there would still cycle it. If they die and start to decay that will also bring up the ammonia/nitrite levels.

msjinkzd 02-13-2008 09:38 AM

I assume you are talking about "pest" snails like common ramshorns or pond snails? If that is the case, they are pretty indestructable when it comes to cycling. I keep extra java moss in vases in my window sills which are chock full of snails. I never do any water changes on the excess plants and the snails all do fine, reproduce, etc. I would never recommend cycling with a more delicate snail like the pomacea bridgessi (apple snails) but the pest snails should be ok.

Dtld9 02-19-2008 01:11 PM

Should I do water changes while cycling with snails? I know it slows down the cycling process, ut I don't want the water to get really nasty.

SST 02-19-2008 03:50 PM

Which kind of snails?

Dtld9 02-19-2008 04:16 PM

pest snails, It's been cycling for about a month but the ammonia is still really high, has been for like a week.

iamntbatman 02-19-2008 08:45 PM

Definitely don't put any Oto's in that tank for at least a few months to get some good algae growth going. Our puffer tank went through four different Oto's before we got one that survived, so don't feel too bad if it takes you a while to get a "keeper."

If you're breeding pest snails for puffer food, resist the temptation to add ghost shrimp to the tank. We thought ghost shrimp would also make good puffer food, but the puffers ignored them (at least at first) and the ghost shrimp ate the snail eggs.

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