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Re: MTS dying

Hi Chuck,

See you got that bushynose. Hope he's handling your algae.

FWIW, a 20 gallon that I use CO2 on seems to have a snail die-off also. I 
have a 55 gallon with no CO2 injection, and plenty of (live) snails. On my 20 
gallon, I only started CO2 in November. It was at that time that I began to 
see snail die-off. There's enough in there multiplying so I don't mind a 
little environmental control. I also find them congregating in the power 
filter, alive. Usually when they die, I find their shells stuck to the filter 
intake, as there's relatively strong filtration for a small tank.

Initially, I thought it might be due to the softness of my water (lack of 
calcium for shells??) but upon further thinking, I realized that the timing 
had to be more than coincidental. After all, if they weren't dying off in 
soft water prior to the CO2, why after? And I pondered the effect of acidic 
water--in the range of 6.2. But then, both tanks went that low in the past, 
due either to high fish load or use of peat.

While I'm aware that the pH drop from a heavy fish load may be due to some 
respired CO2 in the water, I believe that heavier nitrification (due to 
increased ammonia and waste) also causes acidity in the water, both leading 
to a drop in pH. So, the tank with a ph of 6.2 from a high fish load does not 
contain the amount of carbonic acid as a tank with injection of CO2. 

Thus, I theorized that it has something to do with CO2 injection (and 
resulting levels of carbonic acid) causing snail die-off.  Of course I am 
open to criticism and correction . . .


 I seem to be having problems with MTS in my 75g tank.  I spot very
 few of them on the glass at night, and even fewer moving around the
 gravel during the day.   I can spot lots of shells on the gravel
 surface.  I'm not positive their dead, but they are closed up and
 not moving.  Although later, the shells appear to have moved, but 
 I don't know if the snails are alive, or if something is pushing
 the shells around.
 The tank parameters are:  GH=7d, KH=3d, pH=6.8, Ammonia and Nitrite=0
 Nitrate is around 10 ppm.  I've been using Seachem Flourish, and recently
 started using pmdd, based on Microplex trace mix, with KNO3 and Epson salt
 added.  The snail problem has been going on for several weeks (at least,
 possibly longer, I didn't really notice the lack of snails..).   The 
 substrate is locally collected river gravel/sand from the Platt river,
 boiled and well rinsed before it was added to the tank.   All fish in the
 tank are doing very well.
 In my 29g tank, which uses the same water, but doesn't get CO2 or
 fertilizers, I've got tons of MTS.   Breeding and growing as fast
 as possible.   
 I'm going to pull a bunch of the shells I see sitting on the gravel
 out of the 75g, and put them in a container to see if they are still 
 alive.  If they are, something is making them pull back into their
 shells.  If they are dead, then somethings killing them.  Either way,
 I don't have any guesses as to the cause.  I don't have any known
 snail preditors.  My fish consist of: Rainbowfish, Cories, Otos, SAEs,
 a Farlowella, a Bushy nosed pleco, a couple algae eating shrimp (which
 have been alive in the tank for several months now), and a singapore
 wood shrimp.