Ramshorn - how many is too many

Discussion in 'Snails' started by Linwood, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. LinwoodValued MemberMember

    Lightly planted 45g tank intended for fish (primarily interest), currently cycling.

    A couple of Ramshorn snails snuck in on plants (I assume), in fact eventually 3 showed up.

    Today I noticed a large number of egg deposits (about 6-7) all along one corner of the tank, and at least one on a sword.

    So... I like the idea of a few snails cleaning up continually, adding a bit of interest.

    Ignoring the idea of "what is an aesthetically pleasing number", is there some guidance as to what is a good, healthy number of snails in such a tank? That balances their cleaning propensities against their bioload?

    And any idea how many of these eggs are likely to survive, I have 5 tetras and a raphael catfish in the tank -- if they all survive it's going to be a LOT of snails, so considering getting rid of some of the eggs (knowing that even if I got rid of all I can find, there are probably quite a few more also).

    So... assuming I can manage to control the population at all... what's a good number for a planted fish tank?
  2. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Linwood, I dont think there is a set formula I am aware of, It's strictly up to the aquarium owner, just be careful what you ask for, the population can get large.
  3. LWormy

    LWormyValued MemberMember

    If you do have a raphael catfish, you wouldn't have to worry about them. They eat snails so fast, that they'll be gone before you know it. Unless your catfish is super lazy and don't bother to hunt, you'll be fine.

  4. OP

    LinwoodValued MemberMember

    I haven't seen him eat a single one (of course I might have missed them).

    He's only about 3-4" long, small mouth - he couldn't eat an adult.
  5. LWormy

    LWormyValued MemberMember

    Well, in that case, he will still eat the babies, so your ramshorn won't be multiplying. When he got big, he will eat all the snails. What kind of tetras do you have? Raphaels go up to 6 inch so anything under 2" isn't safe. They are great hunters at night.
  6. OP

    LinwoodValued MemberMember

    Interesting. These snails came in on plants and were tiny, but maybe he wasn't comfortable and hunting at the time. Or he's named "Bubba" and just sits and waits for food to fall from the sky. :eek:

    Now you have me really curious. I have eggs EVERYWHERE, I'm seeing them on other plants now that I look. There's only 3 snails of significant size, I think, but there was one tiny one I can no longer fine. So maybe he's already at work.

    It will be very interesting as all these hatch. I also have two pregnant ghost shrimp, but I suspect the filter will get those before the catfish.

    The tetras are long finned red serpae; just looking at his mouth he's way too small at present, but it will be interesting if he grows. I don't mind a bit of cycle of life going on in the tank.
  7. LWormy

    LWormyValued MemberMember

    It's nice that you enjoy it. Best of luck to all your fish and snails! Be sure to feed your raphael though, they are so shy that they can starve easily. You can hand feed them. They are very interesting fish full of personality. :)
  8. OP

    LinwoodValued MemberMember

    A bit off topic but I do indeed worry about feeding him. I've asked on another forum (no replies) and at the life fish store ("he'll be fine, you can't kill them") without any real guidance. I always throw a few pellets in when I feed at night (the tetras won't eat them for some reason), and there's always a bit of food lying on the bottom from the flakes.

    By morning it's gone, but there are shrimp there, plus I expect flakes don't last long period. And I can't really tell about the pellets, as it looks almost identical to the ecco-complete substrate.

    He does not come out during the day. Originally he would move around, stick his head out briefly at feeding time. We've caught him at night in real dim light occasionally, or just as the lights come on, but mostly he just hides.

    So how do I know if I am starving him?

    By the way, I have no idea why, but so far today I can't find any snails. I'm sure they are just hidden, but it made me wonder if he was reading over my shoulder and saw what you wrote and said "Oh, I can eat snails too?? Great!".
  9. LWormy

    LWormyValued MemberMember

    That's a possibility :). I think that the snails might be hidden if the raphaels are small. They suck the snails out of the shells like loaches, so watch out for empty shells because those can mess with your water quality.
  10. OP

    LinwoodValued MemberMember

    I did eventually find two of the three adults, I suspect the other is in there. Set some pellets down right outside of the cat's save, and he wouldn't be lured out. But I did see him shifting positions. He looks fat (big belly) so hopefully that's a good sign.

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