Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ollecram 06-10-2008 12:28 PM

snail or shrimp?
 
i have a new unpopulated tank. I'm getting a couple fish and im thinking of getting either a snail or a shrimp. whenever i think of having a snail, i think it'll crawl outta my tank and be lost forever. so I'm leaning more on the side of a shrimp. i have a 20 long tank and i do have a few (around 10) plants on one side of my tank that i set up for the fry to hide in. its a freshwater tank and i don't know what type of snails/ shrimp to put in it. i want maybe one or two. i don't want them to reproduce like crazy and my tank be swarmed with them either. anyone have any suggestions?
-ollecram

msjinkzd 06-13-2008 03:28 PM

What fish are you going to be stocking? You could get amano shrimp, they are good algae eaters and also do not reproduce in freshwater. Other wise if your tank has high flow you could get a fan filter shrimp in the future. They need an established tank however. Or you could get a couple neocaridina species as they are colorful and relatively inexpensive but do reproduce readily (examples of these are cherry shrimp, snowballs, yellows, blue pearls, etc).

ollecram 06-14-2008 05:38 PM

what about snails? i just got back from petco and while i was there, i saw some tiny snails in the tanks. mostly in the tank with plants. i asked the guy about them and he said " oh. you dont want those sails. we dont even want them. the thing is that we cant get rid of them. they take over your tank." i asked him if even if you had one snail in your tank would it multiply. he said yes. i found that odd. i should have taken a picture of it to show you guys to ID it. maybe i should go back there tomorrow and ask him if i can have some of them for free if he doesn't want them. they were almost a centimeter long but i dont know what type they are.

okiemavis 06-14-2008 06:11 PM

Hehe, those are pest/pond snails. They're hermaphroditic, so yeah, they'll reproduce like crazy. They do kinda stink, unless you have a puffer like me, then they're free food!

Apple snails are very nice, and they won't reproduce without a mate. Probably the best bet if you're NOT looking for more snails. They grow very large, which is rather fascinating. The only drawback is they will eat plants if you have them. They'll also eat algae though!

Ramshorn snails are pretty cool as well. They will reproduce, but they lay their eggs pretty conspicuously above the water line, so it's easy to wipe them off when you see them.

You don't have to choose between snails or shrimp either, as you could put both in your aquarium.

ollecram 06-14-2008 10:26 PM

i like the idea of watching an apple snail grow. but how big do they get? i think the biggest size i would have would be something about the size of a golf ball or so. would the snails be ok with 1 dwarf gourami and some mickey mouse platy and maybe a bristle nose pleco?

iamntbatman 06-15-2008 12:55 AM

Common pond snails are hermaphroditic, but they still can't reproduce on their own. They reproduce sexually. Malaysian Trumpet Snails are technically all female and can reproduce asexually, so those are really the only type of snail that can reproduce from a single specimen in your tanks.

Pond snails are pests because if you have more than one, they likely will reproduce and your tank will become crowded quick. Not to mention common pond snails munch on your vegetation. Malaysian Trumpet Snails won't eat your plants and are beneficial in sandy-bottomed tanks. However, pet stores often view both pond snails and MTS as pests. Heck, I got a bunch of MTS free from two different Petsmarts. Neither one had any clue as to why I'd want them. Oh well...their loss.

What most people call "apple snails" will also eat your live plants and get very very large. I'm talking softball sized. The more common "mystery snails" are a type of apple snail that will get to be the size of a golf ball or a little larger. They'll leave your plants alone, as well. They generally make good tank inhabitants as they do a good job eating algae (although they won't clean your glass to a fine polish) and excess fish food, but they do produce a lot of waste.

herefishy 06-15-2008 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollecram
i like the idea of watching an apple snail grow. but how big do they get? i think the biggest size i would have would be something about the size of a golf ball or so. would the snails be ok with 1 dwarf gourami and some mickey mouse platy and maybe a bristle nose pleco?

I've got two apple snails larger than baseballs. Both are almost 10 years old.

Quote:

Originally Posted by okiemavis
Hehe, those are pest/pond snails. They're hermaphroditic, so yeah, they'll reproduce like crazy. They do kinda stink, unless you have a puffer like me, then they're free food!

Apple snails are very nice, and they won't reproduce without a mate. Probably the best bet if you're NOT looking for more snails. They grow very large, which is rather fascinating. The only drawback is they will eat plants if you have them. They'll also eat algae though!

Ramshorn snails are pretty cool as well. They will reproduce, but they lay their eggs pretty conspicuously above the water line, so it's easy to wipe them off when you see them.

You don't have to choose between snails or shrimp either, as you could put both in your aquarium.

A.) Probably not pond snails. Were they cone shaped or were the shells roun and in a spiral? If they were cone, or trumpet shaped, they are MTS's. Prolific breeders but good for your substrate. If they were the round spiral ones, bad snail. Good puffer food as mentioned. Some cichlids like them and so do some loaches.
B.) Not all apple snails will eat plants. The common apple snail, not seen in the hobby any more because of the laws governing them and their sale.
C.) Ramshorns are neat. Some are translucent and colored. I have a few tanks with color schemes. I have RCS with transparent red shells and red colored bodies. I also have a tank with yellow shrimp and gold ramshorns. and so on.
You may also want to consider "spixies", another breed of snail. Snails and shrimp make for very interesting tanks, but you will need to be cautious when deciding on your fish stocking list.

SST 06-15-2008 07:51 PM

Apple snails are mystery snails.

Canas are the apple snails that grow to soft ball size and eat your plants.

Brigs are the apple snails that grow to golf ball size and do not eat your plants.

Even if you have only one apple snail, you still may get egg clutches several months down the line as the females can hold the fertilized eggs for that long before laying them.

Brigs lay their eggs above the water line and it is very easy to scrape them off and dispose of them. I don't remember how cana's lay their eggs.

Apple snails are really cool additions to an aquarium. When figuring out space issues, count on 2.5 gals per grown brigs. They are teriffic poop producers, but their poop is often good for fry to munch on.

I bought my brigs at PetCo or PetSmart. They had plenty to choose from.

For more info, check out www.applesnail.net.

ollecram 06-15-2008 08:11 PM

thanks! thats good. i think im gonna get the golf ball sized one. what do you have to feed snails? and does stuff they eat off of surfaces count as some food for them or do you still have to feed them twice a day like the fish?

SST 06-15-2008 08:36 PM

My dude eats blanched veggies: yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, plus canned green beans. I use a veggie clip so they drop to the bottom. I drop in a calcium tablet once in a while or a weekend feeder. You'll need to have a high pH to help prevent shell erosion. I use crushed coral in my tank to help with that. He also eats left over food that falls to the bottom and the crud that gets stuck to the sponge filter.


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