Question for you loach experts
My question is simple.. are there ANY loaches that can conquer the MTS? I have a 55 gallon tank that is pretty much stocked, but honest to goodness, even the assassin snails can't keep up.... and they are staying so full they are nearly comotose :-)
I've read that some loaches can overcome the MTS by sucking the snail out rather than trying to crunch its hard shell.
And before I get scolded, I do do manual removal, taking out a couple dozen if not more each week... I just waited too long before I decided enough was enough.
In the tank already are 4 angels, 6 female cherry barbs, 1 ABN pleco and a huge and happy family of adorable cories, all live plants, slate rock cave and driftwood.
I've loved loaches anyway, so this isn't necessarily buying fish just because I need them to help with the snails... I think they are amazing little creatures too.
The loach best suited for the job in 55 gallons in my view, would be the Yoyo loach. They don't get too large (arounsd six inches), and do a fair job of keeping numbers down along with reduced feeding of fishes,and manual removal.
I have three YoYo loaches and three clown loaches in 75 gallon tank with MTS and they keep all but the tiny snails in check. I feed the fish once a day and the snail numbers are manageable.
My Botia kubotai seem to keep snails in check, and I'm meaning Malaysian Livebearing snails. I have hundreds in all my tanks, I don't mind, they are there for a very good reason and handle issues better than I ever could. But in the tank with my five Botia kubotai [click the shaded name to see this species profile], I seldom if ever see MLS out and about, they remain in the substrate (if they are there, and I'm sure some must be, I keep adding them deliberately). I also find empty shells from time to time, about 1/2 inch long, so as 1077 mentioned the larger snails are probably easier to get at.
thank you both for your replies.
1077 I have read somewhere (not here) that yoyo loaches are semi-aggressive. That scares me off.
Maybe Im just not understanding the full benefit from these snails. I mean I must have more than 100, in spite of the manual removal.
Isn't that just too many??
Maybe Im missing something and I should just let them be. I admit, I was guilty of overfeeding in the beginning, but now I do not. There is never any left over food vacuumed up like there used to be.
I did go out and get a few assassin snails... I know they are doing what they can, and I suppose I could get more of them, but they aren't near as nice as loaches to look at.... nor do they have the personality.
So, is it that they keep the substrate stirred up and the plants get benefit too or is there more than meets the eye with them..
It just seems like Im over run..
Even in my spare plant tank which was a 33g with just plants growing out, no fish and no food ever, I had dozens of snails continually. What this tells me is that they are eating stuff that we don't even know is there, and that has to be good. Which is why I never worry about snails. They are obviously performing a necessary task in the aquarium, which must be an advantage for the fish and plants. And of course, MLS burrow through the substrate like nothing else, keeping it healthy. This limits anaerobic spots; they even get under wood and rocks.
On the loaches, I am not a fan of adding any fish to deal with a problem, unless of course you really like the fish and want it for it's own value as a fish. Sometimes these fish have undesirable habits than can cause trouble in spite of the initial benefits. For instance, some loaches are said to chew holes in certain plants, especially Echinodorus. Some can be aggressive. All are playful and their constant charging around may unsettle some sedate fish like discus, angels, gourami, etc. Loaches need hiding spots, lots of them; they like to select their own individual "home" so aquascaping needs to accomodate them. All this has to be considered before adding a species.
I like the activity of the smaller loache's and the tank they reside in, was designed for them mostl'y.
I also like the Malaysian Trumpet snails for the reasons's Byron has noted.8-)
+ two. I love loaches and keep four different species. I have no MTS in any of my loach tanks but TONS in my shrimp tanks. So many in the shrimp tanks that I added an assasin snail to each of those tanks. They only eat one MTS a day so I doubt I will see them consuming the entire population. I was just tired of seeing so many MTS all over the front of the tank. The shrimp tanks are small little 6 gl tanks. All loach tanks have had MTS added purposely as I wanted the sand turning abilities of this particular snail. If the snails are still there I never see them. I do find the occasional empty shell.
As far as yoyos, I keep a herd of seven yoyos in my display tank. I've never seen them be aggressive to any other fish in the tank other than amongst each other. My yoyos have TONS of driftwood and half the time I don't even see the yoyos. They are too busy playing behind the driftwood that is up against the back wall of the tank. This display tank also has a shoal of discus and I've had two different pairs of discus form in this tank, both actively spawning every week, so obviously the yoyos don't bother the discus in the slightest if they are cozy enough to spawn. I love my yoyos. :-)
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