Should I introduce MTS to my aquarium?
After locating a renegade pond snail in my aquarium, I began to research "nuisance" snails and have become rather fascinated with the MTS. I have a planted 15 gal aquarium with a mixture of small and medium sized gravel, a male Betta and a golden Apple Snail.
Yesterday I noticed that one of the tanks at my LFS had quite a large population of MTS crawling about and I'm sure they'd be willing to donate a few. Before I do anything rash that I might later come to regret, I thought I'd lean on the expertise of this forum.
1) Given the tank setup described above, is there any reason not to intentionally introduce MTS into the equation?
2) Are the benefits that I perceive correct and worthwhile? Specifically, will they help control algae and detritus while aerating the substrate?
3) Will the MTS out-compete the less desirable pond snails?
Mts will aerate the substrate as they do burrow into it. They help with breaking down decaying matter down to where bacteria can easily handle it. I personnel see no downside of having MTS in tanks. I have them in every tank. Though I don't know if they help with algae as they mainly stay on/in the substrate or on some plants/driftwood. I hardly ever see them on the glass of the tank.
I have MTS in all my tanks. They are great for the substrate but not so much for the algae. I have a tank that gets afternoon sun when I forget to drop the shade, so it has a problem with algae. The MTS really don't do much for the algae. I use ramshorns to take care of that.
Long story short, provided the snails come from tanks with clean fish, I see no problem with introducing them to your tanks. All you'll need is a few. You'll soon have more than you can handle.
With gravel a anaroebic[sp.] substrate is very unlikely. Before you add them. I would think about if you ever will want them out. I had them in my forty and little baby snail covered everything. The only way I could get rid of them is to buy Botia Loaches and I have to say, they are a nice addition to my tank.
do a quick search for assassin snails. http://www.invertplanet.com/helena.html they will keep the population in check and are burrowers. BUT once the population is eliminated (pond snails) you will have to deal with the assassin snails.
Adding 1 biotope to a tank to compete with another biotope is not good in my opinion. Having said that, an easier to keep cleaner would be a loach. They will eat the snails, and when they run out they will take flake food.
Plus zebra loaches look awsome.
My thanks to all of you for sharing your insights and opinions. I have opted to proceed with the introduction of half a dozen hand-picked MTS from the local fish store. We will see how it goes! Ultimately, I'm fairly limited in the number of life forms I can house in a 15gal tank, so having a couple species of snail to look after might be fun. If I should live to regret the decision, there's always loaches and/or manual removal!
MTS don't eat green spot algae. I fed mine with a ball of hair algae though and they started swarming all over it. I guess GSA kinda seems tricky for them.
Their population control is based mostly on how much foods you are giving them. A massive population can deprive your apple snail of its calcium so you may need to add calcium to your apple's diet since MTS do absorb a large amount of calcium in their shells.
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Tums or Caltrate is fine. I actually suggested tums before. The only disadvantage is cloudy water as a result but no harm done.
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