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Re: Snails and Cycling

Keely wrote:

>All of this talk about cycling has got me wondering if it is possible
>cycle a tank with snails.  I have read about cycling without fish,
>an amonia additive found in pet stores, but I also read this wasn't an
>eficient method.

For the original reference, see:


This details Chric Cow's process.  The ammonia, clear ammonia w/o
colorants, additives, perfumes, etc. should be available at grocery
stores and drugstores.  It is commonly the cheapest house or gereric
brand.  The bacterial imput is best provided by rockwool potted plants
that are fairly fresh to the LFS.  For whatever reason, the rockwool in
these plants seems loaded with nitrification bacteria and provides a
good starter culture.  Let the substrate planting wait until after the
cycle, if you are using only a few plants.  I ran three test tanks using
his  techniques- the first was slow (3 1/2 weeks), it used potted plants
from my existing tanks.  The last two trials used potted plants from the
LFS and went much faster- 14 and 17 days respectively.

If you have additional questions, Nomad (Chris Cow) usually hangs out at
AL and Tom's:


All that said, if you are setting a heavily planted tank for low fish
load, you probably will see little evidence of a conventional cycle.  If
your plants are healthy and their needs are met, your ammonia and
nitrite readings are unlikely to hit dangerous levels.  I would suggest
giving the plantings a few weeks to settle in.  If you run the fishless
process during this you would do no harm to the plants.

I've never tried using snails for cycling.  It could depend on the
numbers involved and the amounts of food offered.  If you run it this
way, post back and let us know the results, I'm curious.