Re: snail-eating fish

> I`ve been using clown loaches for snail control in my 55g planted tank,
> but now they`ve grown too large (4 inches +).  Rather than trade them in
> for smaller ones every year can someone recommend another good snail
> eater that stays under say 1.5 inches or so.

My Botia lohachata has been doing a very good job of snail removal in
my little 33gal tank.  He's about 2.5" now and isn't expected to get much
larger.  Although he can't eat the larger snails, he cleans up the spawn
and the smaller snails, preventing the snail population from getting
out of hand.

The B. lohachata can grow to the same size as the clown loach (i.e. over 4
inches), so that will not solve your problem.  You could keep just one of
two of these, since unlike the clown loach, they do not particularly care
about for schooling.  Another possibility is to look for the ``dwarf
loach'' (max. 2''), which is not all that common in the stores
unfortunately but does show up periodically.  You should get several of
these, since they are definite schoolers.  Of course, I can't remember the
scientific name of this botia, but if you need it, let me know and I'll
look it up.

BTW, I have one 4-5 inch B. lohachata and 3 ``dwarfs'' at home.

Jean Opsomer

| Jean D. Opsomer                                                 |
| Department of Statistics                                        |
| Iowa State University                                           |
| Ames, IA 50011                                                  |
| jopsomer at iastate_edu                                            |
| http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jopsomer/                        |
| tel: (515)294-8196                                              |
|                                                                 |
|                          "There once was an old man from Esser, |
|                         Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser. |
|                                       It at last grew so small, |
|                                         He knew nothing at all. |
|                                   Now he's a College Professor. |