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[APD] Re: Goldfish as snail control

From: MJPinckard <MJPinckard at lbl_gov> Subject: [APD] Re: Snails To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

The bit about goldfish being "coldwater" fish and therefore not suitable
for a heated tank is over exaggeration... there may be other reasons why
a goldfish isn't suitable (size of fish, omnivorous eating habits etc.)
but temperature isn't really one of them. Goldfish are widely adaptable
and are tolerant of quite cold temperatures (they semi-hibernate if in
an outdoor pond over the winter), but they don't require cold temperatures.

Quite true....my planted goldfish tank gets to mid-high eighties in the summer and my common goldfish are just as happy as when it's high sixties or low seventies in the winter. And they are super snail-hunters. The bigger problem with them as long-term snail control is that they eat your plants, and are far more destructive to most plants than are the snails.... So if you know someone who has some nice healthy small goldfish, drop one or two into your tank for a few days to snack on your snails, and if they don't seem to get it, lightly crack the shells of one or two with your tweezers or forceps and they'll figure it out pretty quick. But then you have to fish them out before they start in on your plants.....or you have to redesign the tank around their appetites.

I started out with a planted goldfish tank, and ended up with a bunch of other tanks full of happy plants, and one larger tank with very big pugnacious goldfish and a few sturdy, hardy, but still a little scraggly plants--net consumers of cuttings from the other tanks despite the same light, CO2 and fertilizer conditions that keep the other tanks producing plenty of cuttings.

Diane Brown in St. Louis

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