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Snail test (Re: Ghost shrimps vs Amano's)

Tom Barr wrote:

 >>Otto cats easily, BBA with SAE's, Green water with Daphnia, green slimes 
with Ancistrus cats etc. May as well do a snail test while I'm at it. Pond, 
ramshorn and MTS's. 10 snails all the same ~ mass etc. I'd just like to 
have some comparison rating for each critter. <<

Just to provide you with my own experiences, I've found that ramshorns 
(Planorbis sp) will eat diatoms, BGA (after leaving the lights off for a 
few days), and though not high on their list of "favorite foods," they have 
polished off BBA from affected Anubias leaves. They even seem to do a 
reasonable job at slowing down green spot. I think they try to scrape at 
it, but cannot remove it completely. The one type of algae that I've seen 
MTS's really go at is what I believe to be called "green film algae." It 
was growing on the sides of a 2.5-gallon tank (in which I kept only a male 
betta and some artificial decor), almost to where I couldn't see inside. 
The light green, wispy film was undulating with the movement of the water 
current, and there were lots of thin, white worms nestled in it, against 
the glass. I threw a few MTS's in there, and when the population had a 
chance to grow, I noticed that the algae was being mowed away in little 
"trails." Eventually, they'd polished off every bit of the algae. I'd think 
that ramshorns would have been equally effective, and not as pestilent. 
Neither snail will touch staghorn, thread, or other varieties of coarse, 
filamentous algae. And most unfortunately, in my case, neither has a taste 
for hydra.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the ramshorns cleaning away the diatoms. 
Six little ones scrubbed a 2.5-gallon tank clean in one week. After about 
two weeks, they were no longer "little ones." I *always* get diatoms within 
about three weeks of setting up a new tank. I used to throw in some otos to 
take care of the unsightly brown spots, but I can't seem to keep the dang 
things alive for very long.

I'm interested in finding out how the pond snails rate for algae control. 
I've read some accounts of certain types creating problems in plant tanks. 
So Tom, I will leave the experimenting to you ;)... I used to be a real 
advocate of MTS's, but when I started the plant thing, this all changed. 
I'd spend hours trying to anchor annoyingly thin-stemmed plants (like 
Cardamine lyrata) into the substrate, cursing like a madwoman in front of 
my impressionable little kids, only to find the plants floating around the 
next day because the dang trumpet snails were disturbing the Flourite 
around the base of the plant. And once they find their way into your tank, 
there's no way to get 'em out, except maybe with puffers. I've heard that 
the poor things often break their teeth on MTS shells...

I may try to find some ghost shrimps to work on the hair algae; I always 
thought they looked creepy in comparison to C. japonica, but heck - if they 
do more work for less money, I'm game... Please keep us updated on the 
experiment(s). I'm always looking for new "housekeepers" for my tanks. Oh - 
and if you happen to see a pond snail eating a hydra, I will BUY THAT SNAIL 
from you ;).