Snail control, clay gravel substrate

  1. dtje2000 Initiate Member

    Greetings Fish People, and allow me to introduce myself! I'm DT, and while I'm not "new" to aquariums, I will say that until recently I have had 10 gallon tanks now and again for the last 30 or so years. Recently I lost control of my senses and got a 90 gallon with a beautiful cabinet and canopy (used), plus the sump, CO2 set up, some plants and a piece of driftwood. I've been reading and researching and poring over all sorts of forums and I have learned one thing in abundance. For 30 years I have done so much incorrectly. So, now I know. My fish will be in great care this time!

    So, after setting up my tank, with the help of the guy who sold it to me, the first thing I encountered after cycling it and adding a few fish was a horrendous crop of brown stringy algae. More reading, more researching...I cut down the light period to 5 hours, applied the full recommended amount of ferts, both macro and micro, and added otos, Amano shrimp, nerites, and two decent sized Siamese algae eaters. It took three weeks, a couple of water changes, and pulling some plants out to clean them but I am now free of that stuff and hope to never see it again.

    So now, finally, I am at my question. I have a pest snail infestation that is getting out of control. I was all set to add four or five kuhli loaches until I read that they should be in a tank with sand as the substrate. My substrate is the crushed clay gravel and I'd be lying if I said the gravel was smooth-edged. It is not. I was intentionally avoiding clown loaches because of how big they get at maturity. Since this is ultimately going to be a discus tank I am working hard to keep the bio-load small in anticipation of adding them later so I want to avoid other potentially large fish. Do I have any alternatives for snail-control via fish species? Should I consider, instead, the assassin snails? If yes, how many would be recommended?

    Apologies for the length of this. No one has ever accused me of being succinct. And thank you for any and all bits of advice!

    90 gallons freshwater
    9 neons, 2 danios, 1 rasboro, 2 SAEs, 5 otos, 6 Amano shrimp, 4 nerites, and a betta boy.
     
  2. Aquarium Newb Member Member

    For snail control, probably assassin snails. Probably 1, but I dont know for sure. I hear they are very efficient, and if you have multiple they may breed, however I dont know for sure about breeding them. Personally haven't had them, because I used the trap method, where you put a water bottle with cucumber of something like that in the bottle, and the snails will flock to it. Did it twice and now I have only seen one snail in about a week, whereas before I was getting 15 snails a day.
     

  3. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    If you go the assassin snail route, I'd add more than 1 for a 90 gal tank. 5-10 would work, depending on how many pest snails you have. I'm not sure I'd add them though, as they may kill your nerites too. Personally I'd do the trap method.

    You have some issues with your stocking now, and if you add discus you'll need to change your current stock too. If you want to talk about your current stock and your future stock with discus, let us know! We can help you appropriately stock your tank to keep your fish happy and healthy :)
     

  4. dtje2000 Initiate Member

    Thanks! I have a 30 gallon tank, sand substrate, that will probably inherit anything not appropriate for Discus as I go along. I will beg for some stocking advice soon so I don't get more than I can handle between the two tanks.

    Can you elaborate on my current stock, though? You have me uneasy...

    As for the snails...well...I saw another thread where some had an all snail tank. Interesting... I'm still not sure what I will do. There's always options...just need to find the ones that make the most sense for me.

    My attention has been shifted to the stocking topic... Should I post a new thread in a different section? I'm a bit of a forum rube...
     

  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    We can cover it here :)

    Your current stock:
    9 neons, 2 danios, 1 rasboro, 2 SAEs, 5 otos, 6 Amano shrimp, 4 nerites, and a Betta boy

    Neons, danios, and rasbora are schooling fish, and need to be in groups of 6+ of their own species. You're fine with the neons, but you need more danios and rasboras.

    What species of rasbora?

    SAEs and otos need to also be in groups of 6+.

    The betta isn't temp compatible with the neons, danios, SAEs, or otos, and they don't do well in a community tank or such a large tank either (the height can make it difficult for them to reach the surface). I'd move the betta to his own tank (heated, filtered 2.5 gal minimum).

    When you get discus, none of the species you currently have are temp compatible, but we can help you in the future when it comes time to stock them :)
     
  6. dtje2000 Initiate Member

    Ahh, I see now! It's not a matter of too many, but not enough!. Yes, I do know that the danios and rasboros need some buddies. They will get some soon. Mr. Betta Boy has his own tank (5gallon) cycling and he will be moved to it soon. Bless his heart, I do see him working his tail off to get to the top...then he makes a nose-dive back to the bottom. I can certainly add some otos but the SAEs, they are rather large and getting more at this point will make that issue worse. I will be returning them to my fish guy at the point when I get my discus. Then things will really change! My goodness, I may need another tank...

    Thanks for the advice. Getting Betta Boy moved is #1 priority and getting additional schooling buddies is #2!
     
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Agreed, maybe you should rehome the SAEs as they won't be able to be moved to the 30 gal as they get too big.

    Only 2 of the 3 schooling species (neon, danio, rasbora) will be able to move over too - 3 mid/top dwelling schoolers is too much for a 30 gal. Maybe rehome the rasbora and get more danios? You could do 8-10, and all would be able to move to the 30.
     
  8. dtje2000 Initiate Member

    Understood. As for the danios, my reading indicates various types will school together. I would very much like to get celestial pearl and leopard...and the two I have are zebras. Do you know if it's true they will school and be content?

    Geez, I have gotten waayyy off my own topic! This will be my last question!
     
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    You can ask as many questions as you want on your own thread!

    They'll school if they're the same species. CPDs won't school with leopards or zebras. Leopards and zebras are the same species and will school.
     
  10. dtje2000 Initiate Member

    Got it!!! Many :;thx !!