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Snail Population Help
So, I am purchasing a new aquarium for my platies, either a 40 or a 55 gal.(mine is getting overpopulated with platy babies, but I love it) I want to put sand in there for the subtrate. I was doing some research and it said to keep the sand moved around for air to control toxins. It said to get a trumpet snail to burrow. Fine idea but here is my problem, I have seen to many tanks be taken over and "suffocated" by snails. I want just 1 to do its job and no more. Is there any way to control this without getting millions? If I bough a very small snail like 1/2 inch and let it grow would it be to small to populate my tank? Did that make sense at all? In other words I guess does the male have to be there or can a female just lay eggs and bam there they are. I really dont think I am making any sense but hopefull someone can understand this and give me some help.
Lupin would be the best to know about the habits, but I highly doubt that one 1/2" snail in a 55G would do anything.
One trumpet alone is not enough to do the job of stirring the substrate effectively. Now, the population of the snails is influenced by your routine. How often are the inhabitants fed? How often do you clean your tank? Do you vacuum the bottom for leftovers? Dead pockets in substrate can indeed release toxins if disturbed. The toxin is called hydrogen sulfide and can cause acute respiratory problems to the fish.
Malaysian trumpet snails are all livebearers and I believe are all asexual so can still breed even singly. Even one alone can produce a sufficient number of babies but this can be influenced by the abundance of the food supply. Cutting the food supply severely can result in dieoff of several snails. Funny thing though my previous experiences with MTS dictate increased food supply can cause their population to boom but my newest batch of MTS never reproduced much or the babies are probably around but remained hidden from view. The apple snails were just chowing down all the food rather quickly than the poor MTS can.:lol:
You might notice some MTS may have shell erosion sooner or later. This is noticeable by white patches on the shell especially the tip. It can be corrected by replenishing the water with new one and adjust the pH and hardness levels by adding plaster of Paris blocks, broken eggshells, liquid calcium by Kent, cuttlefish bones, marble chips or calcium pills. The MTS aren't too bad. If they overpopulate, just remove them manually and bait them with veggies. They have pretty shells if you have the particular species you like. I have some MTS with rather pink shells looking quite pretty when they mingle with my purple and pink Pomacea diffusa.:wink:
Trumpet snails IME can multiply rapidly. Just this morning I removed nearly two hundred by placing a large net containing algae wafers and red bell pepper in the tank last night. I laid the net on the bottom of the tank and this morning they were all over the aigae wafers and bell pepper. I simply removed the net with the snails inside. This tank has been up and running since June with no previous attempts made at removing the snails. I rather like the benefit they provide but too many can contribute to the organic waste in an aquarium and one must be careful not to use any medications that will kill them or elevated ammonia levels could be the result. I learned this like most things, the hard way.;-)
Will adding a group of Loaches will help keep the snail population under control?
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