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 Snails in Community Tank with High Nitrites

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pufferpuggirl
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PostSubject: Snails in Community Tank with High Nitrites   Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:52 pm

[b] I am not certain where I should have posted this question, so I hope I'm in the right section.
I have a community tank, which until a couple of months ago, had mainly just fish in it. But I keep puffer fish (not in the community tank) and I wanted a continuous source of snails for them to eat. So I started buying snails from private sellers. I got Ramshorn and some Apple snails, but I only feed the Ramshorn to the puffers, not the Apple snails, they are nice and I like them. The Ramshorn sort of took over and were everywhere, and I noticed that my tank was getting a brownish tint to it. I have started taking out some of the Ramshorn and feeding them to my puffers, so the population isn't quite as bad as it had been. But during this time the Apple snails I've had have been breeding and I have eggs laid all up above the water line and they are just starting to hatch.

Here's my query: I'm now having high nitrite and ammonia readings. I just did a water change tonight, about 30% and then I retested my water, just to see if the water quality had improved. I was shocked to find that the nitrite and ammonia readings were double what they were before the water change!! Could me having all the Ramshorn and now all these baby Apple snails, plus about 6 very large adult Apple snails be causing my nitrite and ammonia to increase so dramatically?

I apologise for the length of this post, but I feel that I had to try and explain the situation as best as I could.
Oh, by the way, the tank is about 240-liters.

Hope someone can help me on this. If the snails are the problem, what should I do to correct the problem?

Thanks.
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Severum Boy
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PostSubject: Re: Snails in Community Tank with High Nitrites   Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:53 am

Ok, what are the other species of animal in your tank?

The best thing to do would be to:

1. Reduce your feeding by half, feed on every other day instead of every day for instance.
2. Perform daily/every other day water changes.
3. Check that your test kit is still in date. If not then it will give false readings.
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Megalodonmad
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PostSubject: Re: Snails in Community Tank with High Nitrites   Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:43 am

I agree with Severum Boy, sounds like your overfeeding. For ramshorns to breed like crazy they need to have a good supply of food. What filters do you have?
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pufferpuggirl
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PostSubject: High Nitrites   Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:02 pm

Thanks for the input.

I agree with both of you, I think I am feeding too much. I used to feed only once a day and then I read that you should feed fish twice a day, and so that's what I started to do. I didn't mind the Ramshorn snails breeding because I wanted my own supply of snails to feed my puffers.

But I think I will take your advice and try feeding only once a day. That will save me money in the end because I do go through food pretty quickly.

Thanks so much, I appreciate it. cheers
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Ceretrea
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PostSubject: Re: Snails in Community Tank with High Nitrites   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:01 am

Double check or replace your test kit aswell. Some fish shops will test for you and that is a good way to make sure the tests are still working otherwise, as already said, you'll get false readings.

Also test your tap water. Some areas have high nitrates coming out of the tap. I had an planted tank before and had severe issues keeping the nitrates down, not a problem now its planted. Could you add any plants to your tank? They also help stabilise the water parameters so they don't change so quick.

But obviously follow the other advice first to get the Ammonia under control as that will inevitably increase the nitrates anyway.
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