Eradicating MTS and Baking Substrate
I'll sound snappy or demanding here but the intent is not to sound rude or unpleasant, it's to express frustration, I think.
Anyway, I need to eradicate the snail infestations in my 72 and 29 gallon tanks. I do not plan to do these simultaneously because one tank will provide temporary housing for the livestock in the other tank. You get the idea.
Now, I don't want to know how to control the snail population.
I don't want to be told to use a loach; I don't like them and they will overstock my aquariums. I don't want overstocked aquariums.
I don't want to be told to get a puffer fish because I'll cite how effective he was when the gourami wasn't terrorizing him. Fish didn't last the week before gourami stressed him to death.
If you tell me about the assassin snail, I'll inform you of the nominal progress they've made in any tank. All mine do is mate, and frankly I do not care for an infestation of assassin snail.
Copper dosing? Did it not once, not twice, but four times I overdosed in copper. No noticeable effect.
Lettuce leaf? I want the snails all gone, not managed, gone.
Ammonia? I soaked my tank in it. I trashed all my plants. I bleached the rocks. I removed the driftwood. I still have snails. Snails that now have survived a bunch of copper and a bunch of ammonia.
Get over it? No. I'm going to do this properly or otherwise. Let's minimize the damage together.
Now, many of my searches on baking substrate have been fruitless. I have pretty much gathered that, to kill snails, I need to bake substrate in the oven for 350-500 (f) for x time, where x is the time it takes to throughly dry out gravel. This sounds sketchy but plausible. The precise details I am unsure of, such as should the gravel be covered and can the gravel have a bit of depth to it so that the 100lbs of Eco-complete don't take FOR-EV-ER.
So please, help me with the query; again, I don't want to maintain, I want to eliminate.
If you want to eliminate them completely, then your best bet is to break the tank down completely and start over, with all new substrate and all new filter media. Equipment must be cleaned to like new condition.
I have the opposite problem - I want the snails in my tanks. Since moving the zebra loaches to my 125, they have DECIMATED my MTS population. I have to net out the empty shells....
There is no quick and easy solution that I know of. How long did you have copper/ammonia? An alternative to using the oven would be just to let it sun dry outside. You would have to spread the gravel out in a thin layer, possibly doing several 'batches' to get the job done.
Maybe kicking an ant hill, but may I ask why you want them eliminated? I'd propose that they are actually very healthy for your aquarium, and any overpopulation of them is due solely to an overabundance of food. I purposely have MTS in all 5 of my tanks.
The copper was in for two weeks for each of the four doses. The ammonia soak was over an hour, stirring the substrate. Ammonia's still pretty high in the tank right now, showing that green-apple color on the API test thing.
MTS out competing your fish for food, such that you have to move the fish to another tank to feed them?? I've never heard of such a thing!! How awful.
How can feeding be overfeeding if the snails get to it before the fish? They really need to be gone. I recognize their benefits, but they're too prolific.
There must be something else in the tank that they are feeding on, for the population to get that big on such a limited feeding regimen.
Have you ever tried to target feed your fish/frog? I can see where this could be the case where the snails find it before the fish/frogs do. Since they do have poor eye sight and have to rely on other means to finding their food.
The 29 had a lot of plants of offer them; these plants have all been trashed as of Saturday, so I understand that has little bearing on their current numbers.
As far as target feeding is concerned, I know a long time ago when I first got my frogs, I tried it for a while, I'd target feed, but they weren't especially responsive. They'd mow over the food, flit about for a bit, and then eventually return to the food and consume it. The ghost knife has had some rather unsuccessful hand feed attempts. His driftwood has holes in it that are longer than his body, so he just burrowed and then the food melted in my hands.
I'm not trying to make excuses as much as I am just relating my experiences. The knife likes those sinking Aqueon mini cichlid pellets and won't touch the expensive frozen foods (or much else for that matter), so each fish is special, unique and different, whatever.
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