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snails missing

I had one of those lucked-into-it-balanced little tanks too, a 3 gallon
eclipse, with biowheel, 6W lamp, and variety of plant refugees from the
goldfish (anubias, anarcharis, wisteria, sagittaria, pennywort, even some
java moss), a few guppies and some small snails.  When the snails got a
little out of hand, I'd harvest some as goldfish snacks, and things were
nicely balanced.  I did not have to scrape algae off anything for several
months.  Things were so lovely that I wanted even more colorful fish (after
losing a series of LFS fancy male guppies to a territorial female, I went
with a happy pair of feeder guppies that were reproducing like crazy) and
got a few Endler's livebearers.

My snail population mysteriously went to zip and a nasty algae (?black
hairgrass) is all over the place.  Plants remain green and growing, fish
are bright and females are looking pregnant, and since the rest of the
system looks good, I am wondering:  do Endler's eat snails?  and then the
algae took off because the snails were gone?  or perhaps were the snails
the victim of the new algae?  BTW, they were small brown snails, none ever
got larger than 7-8 mm long before becoming goldfish snacks, brought in
with some random early plant purchase from the LFS.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Diane Brown
brown_d at kids_wustl.edu