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Re: Digest V3 #1382/snails ?

>Subject: Aquatic 'worms'
>I have some beginner questions that I hope the more experienced of you might
>help me with...
>Is there a tropical freshwater equivalent of the terrestrial worm (grub,
>snail, fish etc); i.e. something small & benign that spends a lot of time
>digging around in the gravel at the bottom of the tank & keeping it loose &

MTS snails, horseface loaches, small spiny eels,some tubifex worms but MTS's
will give the best results for a fully planted tank. Worms can die and rot,
loaches and eels sometimes do too much moving around and digging and can
uproot plants. I had a two foot fire eel in a fully planted tank for about 2
years. He/She never uprooted a thing the whole time but could this happen
twice? I doubt it nor would I recommend doing it<g>. Clams and mussels can
be used too. Using chop sticks to aerate the soil can also help. Plant roots
are what you likely want to aerate the soil<g>. Critters aren't a necessity.

>Also, does anyone know what snail/fish poo is actually made of (not how it's made
>- - I know that already)?  Also, in an aerobic environment what happens to it
>over time (apart from the fact that you seem to get more of it!)?

Gastropod waste is very similar to fish waste although it has more fiber
from all the plant/algae in their diets. It breaks down from bacterial
actions slower (from the fiber) than fish waste generally.............
perhaps making it more available to plant uptake in the soil? There is
plenty of protein in the form of bacteria covering the algae so they are
getting a good amount of this(protien) even though at first glance it might
not seem as such, just like tadpoles that also eat algae and grow fast.
Check out some fertilizers(fish emulsion perhaps!) for more info. Eventually
it works into the substrate and makes up some of what we call mulm
which is extremely good for plants and a good bacterial colony in plant
>Final question - Apart from plants, what do aquatic snails eat & what waste
>products (solid & liquid) do they produce?

They are omnivorous and will eat almost anything they can rasp, namely algae
in our tanks(the non-plant eating ones!). Not sure about the solids and
liquids waste but it can't be too awful for plants<g>.
Tom Barr