Re: snails and SAE

Yoadie yo ho !!!

Based on a message from John Y. Ching to All,
Let's talk about: Re:snails and SAE

 JYC> Clown loaches are good snail eaters, but I hear they can also damage
 JYC> your  plants. No personal experience though.

Clown loaches have a terrible habbit of digging out plants in
the following way: they come up to a base of the plant, pick up
piecee by piece of gravel by sucking onto it with its small
mouth, and move it away, until a groove forms, the roots let go
and the plant goes floating. They do this all the time since
they're bottom feeders and hope to find some food at the base of
the plant. I would rather recommend Macropodus opercularis as a
snail killer, although it is not as effective as a clown loach.

 JYC> You can also put a piece of lettuce in the tank and in a couple of
 JYC> hours  it will be covered with snails. Just remove the lettuce.

Another method - I used it with great success when my apple
snails bred and I had a couple of hundred of young ones in the
tank... However it does not work for burrowing snails
(Melanoides tuberculata) which are actually quite useful because
they move the gravel (but slowly, so it doesn't disturb the
plants), and they eat organic remains like rotten roots, etc.
Ok, here's the method:

Get a plastic sifter that floats on top of your tank (most
plastic sifters do, they stay just below the waterline, with
just a milimeter or two left in between the top ring of the
sifter and the waterline for a snail to come through). Put some
fish flakes into the sifter, and turn off the light. Within an
hour or two, turn the light back on - there should be snails
both inside the sifter (the smarter ones which figured out a
way), and also on the other side of the sifter. Now get a net,
put it under the sifter so that the snails don't fall back into
the tank, and take the sifter and net out.

 >> to know about loaches? Do they like to eat fry? Any other methods for

Clown loaches can be dangerous to fry, even very dangerous.

 >> dealing with snails? I'd still like to get some of those burrowing
 >> snails, if I could find a source in Vancouver or Bellingham WA.

I'm surprised you don't have them there... They're a plague in
every pet shop in Poland :) They breed FAST if they have enough
to eat, and can become a harmless plague... However, in a tank
where you don't have many fish and you don't feed them too much,
they shouldn't breed to fast... All mine died due to the water
being too soft for them to handle :(

 JYC> I have some Malayan Trumpets in my tank. They are reproducing. If you
 JYC> like, I can send you some when I get a few more (and if I can catch
 JYC> them;  they only come out at night). If I use snail-mail (g), it
 JYC> shouldn't be too expensive. 

The interesting thing about Melanoides tuberculata is that they
can live for many many days or even weeks without water, closed
up in their shells! So anyone should be able to send some over
to you by mail :)

 >> I put some sort of little alage eaters in the tank that I picked up here
 >> at a local pet shop. Not sure excatly what they are yet as they were
 >> sold as Alage Eaters. Need to go over the description of the SAEs and
 >> releated that I have. From what I can tell they definitly are NOT SAEs
 >> but they are cleaning up the tank.

Please e-mail me privately to the address said below telling me
exactly how they look like, I will help you identify them.

          ||/   -=< TONID >=-
     | /| |/   Tomasz Nidecki
     || |//    tonid at falcon_mimuw.edu.pl (FWD to FIDO)
     ||////    Tomasz.Nidecki at f78_n480.z2.fidonet.org
     /  /_
    |', ___
    |  /