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Re: [Killietalk] Clean-up Crew
The small red or brown ramshorn snails (Planorbis species) or the small pond snails (Physa) are quite useful around fry and even can be used in the planted, so called natural set-ups if they are not too plentiful. These snails are easily introduced with plants. Starts can be had for the asking.
Velvet will be far less of a plague if the snails in with the fry are plaguing you by their numbers. At least that means they are scarfing up all of the uneaten bbs (baby brine shrimp). Uneaten shrimp seems to provide a perfect environment for a velvet bloom.
Stay away from the Malaysian livebearing snails if you ever want to save an egg.
If you have breeding quarters separate from where the fry are kept and adults are conditioned, leave all snails out there. It's hard for a hungry snail to resist a freshly laid egg.
It is also difficult for shrimp to resist preying on fish eggs and even small fry. Don't blame them, it's the nature of the creatures. ;)
for images see
Tom is so right about snails not being a substitute for changing water. (They metabolize too...) If you have gravel, use a gravel vac. If you are concerned about siphoning out killie eggs, run the gravel vac - or grunger - through a fine meshed net of the sort used to collect daphnia.
Rinse and sort the eggs. That can be easier than picking them. There are a couple of killies which I don't bother to pick eggs of anymore. Using gravel about the diameter of one's little fingernail (to hide the eggs) I simply grab a clean bucket, fine meshed net and the gravel vac and have at it.
All the best!
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