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Re: snails

Hey Gang!,

Naomi posted in response to Mr. Barrs threat to test
the efficiency of different shrimps and snails as
algae consumers. She had some questions and I think I
can add some usefull input....

<<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.>> 

Myth. I have many, probably thousands, in my 4 tanks
and never have I had an issue with them destroying
plants or mosses. They are attractive, and
utilitarian. They are, IMO, indespensible for three

1. anything that shrimp of fish miss these snails will
certainly take care of. Ie: fish food, dead shrimp, or
decaying plant matter

2. They will eat diatoms and spot algae, but you need
a ton to make a difference.

3. The young make great fish food while you're away
from your home and can't feed

<<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...>>

Hmmmm...Naomi, it sounds like you need a good pair of
tweezers for planting stems. You'll wonder why you
tried it any other way. I got mine at the hardware
store for $2 on the front counter. They should pinch
together with no effort, and also be 6-8" long with a
pointed tip. Glossostigma and Cardamine will no longer
be a challenge to plant.

<<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.>> 

IME, ghost shrimp were a bit disappointing compared to
C. japonica, but maybe that was just my algae
scenario. Japonicas have been worth the 2-4 dollars
each I have been spending. BUT, ghost shrimp are very
interesting and usefull, especially if you don't have
a ton of snails. They seem almost comic in nature in
contrast to the insect like nature of the Caridinia
sp. and Neocaridinia sp.  

<<Oh - and if you happen to see a pond snail eating a
hydra, I will BUY THAT SNAIL from you ;).>>

Remember I posted about mysterious killifish appearing
in one of my tanks? I've been pretending that they are
juvenile black bass. They would probably eat hydra;)

John Wheeler

p.s....get some tweezers!

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