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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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There are many different ways of target feeding then using you hands. I target feed my Dwarf Puffer and Scarlet Badis with a Pipette. I suck up Live blackworms and slowly squeeze them out near the fish. Thy got soo use to that now they attack the pipette before I can even get the worms out. Some ppl even use tweezers.
 

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It take a LONG time to bring their population back in check through food control. They basically have to starve to death, and when one dies it is eaten by others.

For the fish, you could try converting them to floating foods. For the frog, target feed as was mentioned, or you could try training the frog to eat from a fish, that way it there waiting for the food.


Sent from Petguide.com App
 

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I can't really think of a safe way to kill them without killing everything else in the tank, they're almost indestructible.

Honestly the only option I see if it's really so bad, would be to completely break down the tank and toss all the substrate, bleach all the decorations, and leave them outside for a few weeks.

I don't know how effective baking/drying the substrate would be, if you're really determined to keep it I suppose it's worth a try, and perhaps even if you don't kill them all you'll have a manageable population.

I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with them :(

Do you think you could post a pic?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Do you think you could post a pic?
You know how sometimes your car will start to make this terrible sound; eventually it's annoying and worrying enough to take the car in for a second opinion. Your car stops making that terrifying sound the moment you make it to the mechanic. He drives the car around and returns it to you saying, "The engine purrs so sweetly I'd give it a pat on the head if it had one." Three miles away from the shop your car makes that sound again, but if you return the car, you're that crazy lady who thinks her car is making sounds.

Yeah. So last night I go to take a photograph, having seen snails all over my tank earlier that day. All quiet on the western front. I bait some lettuce; one snail jumps on around midnight. Really? Now I sound like a liar. I took what I could get, but I can attest [and so can some others] that when I uprooted all the plants on Saturday, my top layer of gravel was ALL snail. Seriously.

Sounds like a stupid query, but how do you condition the fish and frogs to target feeding, especially when I feed so infrequently already. I don't want them to miss out on a meal because they didn't eat when I decided they should eat. I know conditioning takes time, but aside from pipettes, tweezers, and fingers, how do I make sure the animals eat what and when they need to via whatever method I select?


Also, I did read up on someone who boiled his substrate to kill off the snails. He mentioned that the dead snails floated, so he was able to skim them off of the surface of the pot, avoiding dangerous ammonia spikes. IF that's the case, between the boiling and letting the birds pick off the dead snails when the substrate sits outside, the majority of the problem should be taken care of, no?

A tear down, however complete, is kind of necessary in the 72g. It's rocking a bad algae problem thanks to the general end of semester neglect that it received, and the wood-rot has made the substrate something awful. Also the glass scratches, oh my the glass scratches!, are on my list of things to take care of ASAP. Algae festers in them something atrocious.

Snails and the eggs won't be free-floating in the water or attached to the livestock I like, will they?
 

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MTS don't have eggs, they give birth to live young, so you'll just have to try and keep an eye out for teeny tiny babies in the pot/outside. Not quite sure what you mean by attached to livestock, are you asking if they'll get on the fish? If so, no, they won't, no need to worry :)

Are you keeping the EC because of costs/looks/enriched-ness? If it's the last one I kind of wonder if boiling wouldn't force out whatever nutrients are left (eventually the gravel stops being effective as a fertilizer for root feeding plants). :/

Hmm. Do you gravel vac every week? As in pull out the detritus that's in the substrate? I think that maybe that's what they're surviving on - fish/plant/excess food that's gotten down into the gravel.

If it's for cost you could look at doing sand, Quikcrete playsand works pretty well though it needs a good rinsing. And it makes cleaning a breeze, nothing can get down below the surface. There's also Black Diamond Blasting sand, although I have no personal experience with it.

Just a few ideas. Good luck with whatever you decide to do :)
 

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Ditto Jen's comment about sand. If you are removing the substrate I'd seriously consider going to sand at that time instead. I have MTS, pond snails and tiger snails. I bought some MTS in December when I set the tank up and barely ever see more than six at a time, same thing with the pond snails. I feed everyday, I am sure that I overfeed, I leave plant material in when it dies (other than very large leaves like swords) and I don't vacuum the tank anymore, haven't in months as there is nothing to vacuum so I stopped wasting my time trying. Last time I saw some MTS they were quite large too, obviously healthy buggers.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
For two-ish weeks a bag of pool sand and a bag of play sand have been sitting in my trunk, waiting for June, when I'll have the time to give this an earnest go.

The 72's switching to all sand because the black background, black substrate. black/brown wood, and black/brown/silver fish really make my tank look super dark. Super super dark. It's also getting a new background and decor, scratch removal, et al, so I don't especially mind tearing that apart. Well, I do mind losing a well-established aquarium over snails, but that may be how it has to go.

I want to keep the EC because I like the black in the tank with fish who have flashier colors and because isn't it a bit easier for plants to grow in that as opposed to the Black Diamond Blasting sand that you mentioned? Regardless, I'll look into that.

But good, the snails won't be on the fish themselves. Hey snails could be to fish what moss is to sloths..? They shouldn't free-float in water, should they? Since I do plan on saving some/as much of the water as I can, would filtering it through a cheese cloth be a good way to strain the water of any possible snails?
 

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Why do you want to save as much water as you can?? All you'd be doing is transferring nitrates back into the tank.... The only amount of water that you should save is the amount that is in the bucket containing your fish. Once you are done setting up the tank and filling it back up with water, simply acclimate the fish to the new water like you would if you were bringing home new fish.

The baby MTS will not be free floating - they are just miniature versions of adults.
 
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hmm I have snails and I would never want to get rid of them! hehe but if you do I was thinking maybe you could try removing plants and all that could give oxygen and simply cap the aquarium up for a week or 2 ! not sure how long they can last with out oxygen!
 
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