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-   -   Eradicating MTS and Baking Substrate (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/eradicating-mts-baking-substrate-183609/)

downerbeautiful 05-20-2013 01:48 PM

Eradicating MTS and Baking Substrate
 
Yo!

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.

Thank you

jaysee 05-20-2013 01:53 PM

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....

downerbeautiful 05-20-2013 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaysee (Post 2102641)
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. Everything must be cleaned to like new condition.

Which is exactly what's happening with the 72g. I'm just hoping to salvage some of the Eco-Complete for the 29g since that's not going for the biotope feel and the black on black looks pretty nice.

Geomancer 05-20-2013 01:58 PM

wow

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.

downerbeautiful 05-20-2013 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 2102705)
wow

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.

I feed 1-2x a week, which has been my habit for the past year, and the massive overpopulation of MTS find the food before the twig cat, dwarf frogs, and ghost knife do. This makes it really hard to control the population of snails in either tank. I'll grant that when there weren't that many, I didn't mind MTS, but the only way to ensure fish get food and not the MTS is to remove the fish from the aquariums, feed them, and then return them to their respective habitats. I'm not doing that; I'm getting rid of the snails. The assassins, though, I'll debate over keeping/exterminating. They don't seem to reproduce as quickly and they have market value.

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.

jaysee 05-20-2013 02:22 PM

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.

downerbeautiful 05-20-2013 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaysee (Post 2102953)
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.

My grazing, blind, or bottom feeding fish and frogs are slow to recognize the fact that there's food. If I remove what I fed them 5 minutes after the food went into the tank, then I'd be removing either while or before they have a chance to really respond and locate what they've got. The snails, since they're everywhere, are all over the food in no time; the fatties in the tank are, too.

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.

jaysee 05-20-2013 02:34 PM

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.

Boredomb 05-20-2013 02:35 PM

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.

downerbeautiful 05-20-2013 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaysee (Post 2103049)
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.

Unless they eat wood, there's not much else in the 72, which is stocked with two angels, one 6-8in ghost knife, one twig cat, and one rainbow shark. It has mesquite, something, and Eco-Complete. I removed the plantings early this years.

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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