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PaperclipGirl 04-14-2010 09:37 PM

Goldfish and Snails
So now that I have a snail infestation starting in the betta tank - when the snails get bigger, can I move them to the goldfish tank or will this just be another snack?

I'm worried the betta tank (14g) with snails with starve the otocinclus unless I get some plants ASAP.

(p.s. got the snails from a failed attempt to plant anacharis)

bettababy 04-15-2010 12:52 AM

That will depend on a number of things, such as...
What species of snail is this?
What species of goldfish is this? (comet or fancy?)
What is the average water temp in the goldfish tank? How does that compare to the temp in the betta tank?

I raise ram's horn snails in most of my tanks, and since early last year, also in my cold water goldfish tank. The GF tank temp goes as low as 50F in the winter time, which is fine for the goldfish... it took me 3 yrs to get the ram's horn snails from the tropical tanks to acclimate and survive in the goldfish environment. The snails now breed more, grow much larger, and live much longer in the cold water, and can tolerate the 50F in the winter. Trumpet snails, on the other hand, cannot handle the lower temp of the goldfish environment.

If you can answer those questions, then maybe we can lend you some insight.

kelly528 04-15-2010 11:11 AM

If they're pond snails or mini-ramshorns... either the goldfish won't notice them or they'll eat them. Which isn't a big deal as they can grind them with their pharyngeal teeth.

Trumpet snails however are very hard and I would be worried about the goldfish choking should they decide to try to eat them. Not sure how likely that is though.

If you're heating the tank, the snails should be fine and if your aren't... you might want to check into buying one. It will 'buffer' the temperature of the tank so it doesn't yo-yo all over the place as the temperature of your house goes up and down. The general consensus is that fancies do best in the 70s... at those temps the efficiency of the biofilter is greatly increased while not comprmising the dissolved oxygen in the water.

bettababy 04-15-2010 12:56 PM

Goldfish should have cold water. 65F - 68F is the ideal temp for both comets and fancies... but comets tend to handle higher water temps better than fancies do. Above 70F - 72F is a danger zone for fancy goldfish.

Adding a heater to a goldfish tank is a no no.

kelly528 04-15-2010 01:21 PM

Here is a good, well-referenced, objective mythbuster from aquariacentral on why (reasonably) high temperatures have been confirmed to be undetrimental (and somewhat beneficial) to goldfish health: Myths About Goldfish and their Care

An excerpt from Fancy Goldfish: Care and Collecting by Richard E. Hess and Erik L. Johnson:


The temperature at which we should house our goldfish collections is the subject of debate. While it's true that goldfish of most varieties are extremely adaptable to a wide range of temperatures, there is considerable evidence that goldfish do best in water in the mid to high seventies. This temperature range has several clear advantages.

First, it ensures that the water still carries sufficient oxygen. Water warmer than this carries far less oxygen.
Temperatures in the seventies also ensure adequate function of the nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter. Colder temperatures jeopardize the efficiency and capability of the nitrogen cycle.
Since goldfish are "cold-blooded" animals (poikilotherms), this temperature range ensures the proper functioning of fish metabolism and normal levels of activity without unduly increasing their oxygen demand. Different varieties of Goldfish also demonstrate different degrees of adaptability to temperature. The hardiest varieties, including Comets, Shubunkins, and Wakins, will survive winter in North America unless the pond freezes solid. The more highly selected varieties such as Orandas, Ryukins, and Ranchus may survive a temperate winter in North America when left outside, but in my experience they do this with less and less success as they mature. For further discussion of temperature, see Chapter 5.
From This online excerpt form the book.

I find that higher temps (my guys are kept at 76) increase the speed at which the bacteria break down ammonia and nitrite, not to mention it accomodates the temp preferences of most plants which aid in the reduction of nitrite. The fish are also less lethargic and more active. Furthermore my tank is at a constant temperature when controlled by the heater so I don't have to worry about stressing the fish out with heat goes off at night.

Plus, if you are filtering your tank adequately (10x the tank volume in GPH) there is no reason for a temp in the 70s to compromise dissolved oxygen.

I believe Lupin is on the heater bandwagon, perhaps he will offer his thoughts?

bettababy 04-15-2010 04:50 PM

Someone should tell this to Freddy, my 8 1/2 inch ryukin/oranda mix. As soon as hit temp gets up as high as 70 he starts to lay around the bottom of the tank, the red veins appear in his fins (stress) and his breathing becomes labored. He is not the only fancy goldfish I have seen this same problem with... I have seen it over and over during the past 20+ yrs. There is nobody out there who will convince me differently because 20+ yrs of experience with goldfish of all types tells me that fancy goldfish do best in cold water, comets do better in cool water but can tolerate warmer temps for a period of time.

(and no, there is no issue with the filtration in Freddy's tank, nor is there an issue with bacteria colonies at the lower temp)

In the winter months here, Freddy's tank temp goes as low as 50F, and this tends to be when he is the most active and healthiest. During summer months it can be a challenge to keep his water temp cool enough to keep him happy and active.
I have also noticed feeding differences at the different temps, and he (along with many others) tend to feed better when the temp is colder.

If Lupin disagrees with me then we'll simply have to agree to disagree.

kelly528 04-15-2010 05:40 PM

Stress is not uncommon in goldfish when the temperature changes in excess of as little as 4F, which is incidentally why I like heaters (the goldie room faces south :/ )

For what personal anecdotes are worth (nothing lol) my goldies thrive at 76 and don't seem to like the lower temps. I added a heater on the advice of people who have been in the hobby of goldies for more than 20 years. Erik & Richard, who advise it in their book are a world class Goldfish & Koi Vet and owner of Goldfish Connection respectively. I recieved similar advice from multiple members, breeders & mods on Koko's and the GAB.

PaperclipGirl 04-15-2010 06:38 PM

Well - regarding the heat - I do have a heater and keep the tank at 73-74 (the lowest adjustable setting) I basically did that to keep the temp stable. At this point I don't really plan on keeping anything more fancy than a fantail which can be kept with comets and commons so I'm not sure if its really a true "fancy"

Regarding the snails - I had to wait to hear back from the seller what kind of snail it was - they said it could be a mystery snail, trap door, or pond snail (lots of help there, huh?)

As of right now they are very very small, so I cant tell which yet - either way I still wonder if my otto's will starve if they are in a 14g with snails

I figure if I get over run with them - into the pond and into the goldies tank.

PaperclipGirl 04-15-2010 06:40 PM

I'm pretty sure that even at 73 degrees I shouldn't put my otto's in the goldie tank, although there is a lot of algae there to keep them fed for years!

PaperclipGirl 04-15-2010 06:44 PM

@bettababy - Is there any reason for me to be concerned about the snails in with the betta???

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