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Re: snails (MTS and "other")...

on 01:48 AM 6/10/00 , heinesen wrote:

>The MTS's are invited residents, but somehow I ended up with other snails
>that I don't want.  They have round, dark shells, and I have been picking
>them out by hand, usually when they're still small (alive).  I even found
>one living in the bottom of my filter when I cleaned it out yesterday.  Two
>were also stuck in the Eheim surface skimmer intake.

Sounds like garden-variety pond snails. In my experience you're wasting 
your time by picking them out; once you've seen a few it's too late to 
eliminate them that way.

>  They seem very
>fragile; as soon as I touch them, the outer parts of their shells seem to

This makes me think your water is soft. That's one way to cut down on the 
snail population.

>   I read in Baensch that the flesh of dead snails will poison a tank,
>so I don't want to use any chemicals to kill them.

I think it's talking about a larger biomass of snails - say, a few dead 
apple snails. But chemicals would kill your MTS too, and quite possibly 
your plants.

I've found three things to be true in my experience with snails:
1. If you get the MTS population to increase, they seem to out-compete the 
pond snails and drive their population down to a low level.
2. If any type of snail breeds like crazy in your tank, you're probably 
overfeeding the fish.
3. Neither MTS, pond snails, or red ramshorns have ever had any detectable 
effect on my plants. All three eat algae, but none is terribly effective at 
eliminating algae.

I have all three types and rather like them all. BTW, if you want to 
encourage the MTS to reproduce without encouraging other types, bury a few 
shrimp pellets under the gravel once a week.

michael moncur   mgm at starlingtech_com   http://www.starlingtech.com/
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
                 -- Professor Irwin Corey