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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1271

>From: Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com (Aquatic Plants Digest)
>To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
>Subject: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1271
>Date: Sat, Sep 11, 1999, 11:48 PM

>Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 13:56:58 -0700
>From: Keely <kbays at home_com>
>Subject: snails and cycling
>All of this talk about cycling has got me wondering if it is possible to
>cycle a tank with snails.  I have read about cycling without fish, using
>an amonia additive found in pet stores, but I also read this wasn't an
>efficient method.  Would snails produce enough ammonia to start the
>bacteria colony?
>Thanks in advance,
>from sunny British Columbia

Yes, they will do this just fine. A point that needs to be addressed is how
many fish you'll be adding later. Are you adding a 30 fish all at once? Are
you planning on adding 6-8 fish at a time?
Or are you interested in only 1-2 fish at time to add to your tank?
   The point is this : it takes time for the colony to adjust to each set of
conditions/amount of fish load. The slower you add fish, the more time the
bacteria have to grow to suit the tank's need.

I assure you that you do not *need* any cycling crap from a store. Old tank
water, perhaps some vacummed gravel water, would be far better to cycle the
tank. This will do better than anything you'll buy. Most folks wouldn't mine
if you borrowed some old water from them<g>.

I used snails for algae control for several years and still do today but am
using SAE's and other fish to help now. Snails will produce quite a large
amount of feces in mass. This(snail feces) is the only additive to my gravel
in my 90 gallon tank at home. I added fish later but they don't contribute
to gravel like the snail population does. Snails can be abused more than the
fish so there's no worry about losing that prized fish when cycling. If you
have Botia sp or other snail eaters you can get rid of them later if you
wish. Personally, I think they are very underrated and extremely useful for
plant tanks.
    There is a colony already there in most situtations unless you
sterilized everything before hand but it's just small and in shock somewhat.
It'll get going and grow to suit the amount of available waste with time.
Old tank water works the best for cycling!
Hope this helps,
Tom Barr