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Re: Snails

Amy Ayukawa says:

> I too have been experiencing explosions of MTS in all my tanks. I've tried
> removing them by hand, with cantaloupe rind and cucumber, and with
> snail-eating fish. These methods keep them in check temporarily, but they
> rebound as soon as my removal efforts slacken. Drastic as it seems, I'd like
> to rid all my tanks of all snails forever!

I would like to politely ask why you want to get rid of them? I have
kept fish-only tanks for years, and have always considered them a pest,
and nuisance. This was mostly because they would eat eggs of fish that I
was trying to breed. Even if I wasn't breeding fish at the moment, I
always thought of them as an eye-sore. Now that I am into planted tanks,
I realize that snails have a valuable function in my tank, and that I
actually want them present.

Snails help eat extra waste food and keep the tank clear of debris and
such. In planted tanks, they are part of an important algae fighting
team. The Malaysian Trumpet Snails are also good at keeping the gravel
clean and loose as they continually dig through the bottom.

Your explosion of MTS can be an indicator of excess food. I now consider
my snail colonies to be like one organism each. The organism will expand
with available food, and will also contract when food becomes less
available. Consequently, at times I have found many empty snail shells
in my tank when I change an important parameter and algae is reduced.

You might consider this. I bet there are lots of hobbyists out there who
would like to have some MTS and cannot find them. I remember looking for
them a while back in pet stores and couldn't find them anywhere because
the pet stores also consider them a pest. You might find a few takers on
this list even.

Just some thoughts!


PS Still looking for someone with any information on Zebra Snails. They
look good, but are they good for plants?