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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I just did a water change so I don't really have a picture of this.. but Here's the situation.

I have a 46 gallon bowfront with a pond snail infestation.
Months ago I added 4 assassin snails.
this tank also houses: 5 khulii loaches, 5 glass cats, a handful of pygmy and dwarf corydoras and their babies, 2 dwarf sunset gourami (both female) and a parkinsoni rainbow.

Soo.. on water change day I start the process smooshing every pond snail that is on the glass. I don't worry about the plants or substrate. I then start cleaning the glass and after a couple minutes I start my home-made python system and get that poop out of the tank.

Heres the mystery: In the back right corner of the tank, almost 5" from ANYTHING (decor, plants, driftwood) there's a pile of snail shells. All white and empty. I have pond snails and trumpet snails in my tank. These are always pond snail shells. I do find them around the tank because my fish do eat them. This pile always shows up. Every week, same spot reguardless of the tank flow. I've changed the filter position 3 times now so it's not that the shells get caught on anything. These are whole shells and not smooshed so they're not the ones I got.

I clean up this pile every week. I can't get all of the shells but I figure they're like crushed coral, it'll help my KH... eh couldn't hurt right?

So.. who do you think is piling these shells up?

I'm thinking it's the loaches. I read that they like snails and aren't a cure for them, but I think once I started smooshing them, they learned the flavor. This pile started after the assassins were added but the loaches were only added a short time before that.

Aurie

PS.. the pile usually contains up to 100 pond snail shells of various sizes.. some up to the size of a pea.
 

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Hidden camera time :p
Could be the assassin snails, maybe they all sit in that corner and wait for the snails to go past... But I have assassins too and I don't have a snail graveyard.
 

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Sounds pretty loachy to me. I've even had a loach jump to a neighboring tank to munch down on snails. They're pretty crazy about snails by nature.
 

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agree with agent. sounds like loachs. no snail bone yard for me either. the shells are everywhere in my tank. and now i have an infestation of assassins lol.
 

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I can almost guarantee you it isn't the loaches. The eely loaches aren't as snail-hungry as the botine loaches. In all the five years of keeping my kuhli loaches I have never seen them go after a pond snail or bladder snail (others I keep have operculums). Nor have I ever seen these piles in my tanks. I have a bit of a snail problem and have to remove the snails on my own.

I don't know what else it might be, but I really don't think it's the kuhli loaches.
 

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I can almost guarantee you it isn't the loaches. The eely loaches aren't as snail-hungry as the botine loaches. In all the five years of keeping my kuhli loaches I have never seen them go after a pond snail or bladder snail (others I keep have operculums). Nor have I ever seen these piles in my tanks. I have a bit of a snail problem and have to remove the snails on my own.

I don't know what else it might be, but I really don't think it's the kuhli loaches.
I've seen my Pangio cuneovirgata eating pond snails on multiple occasions. I don't know if the snails died of other causes or were killed by the loaches, but they were definitely eaten. The pond snail population in that tank has been wiped out for months. In a similar planted tank without any loaches I still have snails. So it's either coincidence or the loaches killed them all. Really can't rule either out. MTS are gone from that tank too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've read in some forums that assassin snails poison their prey. Just circumstantial evidence but maybe the loaches are eating the sick or dying snails. All of the fish in my tank go after the smooshed snails but not many go after the live ones. I was INFESTED an now I can say I'm at a level I'm OK with. It just took 6 months and learning to feed my guys less. I personally witnessed my dainty and pygmy corydoras eating snail egg pouches so I don't have as many babies because I don't feed my fish as often. I feed 2 days n a row and skip a day on flakes and every day throw in 3 small shrimp wafers for everyone.
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