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 Ramshorn snails and salamanders

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musicinthepark
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PostSubject: Ramshorn snails and salamanders   Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:49 am

Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and have some questions. I have a 75 gallon tank with 3 Tiger Salamanders, some minnows, and a goldfish. I was having a lot of algae problems so decided to try some snails. I bought some, not really knowing much about them. I am assuming they are Ramshorns. One is about 3/4 inch and brown with darker brown stripes, one is smaller and quite orange. Anyway, when we added them I expected to see some movement and algae disappearring. Didn't happen. The snails rarely moved, I actually thought they were goners! he small one disappeared into the large rocks I had on the bottomw of the tank. I am now cleaning out my salamander tank and have moved the fish and snails to another tank. They are moving around like crazy and having a blast! So much for being dead!

So what was wrong in the other tank? Was it the salamanders? I watched carefully and I've never seen the sallies bother the snails, but maybe they have been? Does anyone know if these are friendly tank mates? Do I need proper ph for the snails? Proper water temperature? Or maybe proper tank mates?

Thanks for your advice in advance!
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Megalodonmad
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PostSubject: Re: Ramshorn snails and salamanders   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:09 pm

Hello and welcome to the Forum!
I will have a stab at this from the info you have provided. I have not kept newts before in captivity so cant really comment about them harassing the snails or viewing them as prey. I do have newts in my pond and they seem to live in harmony with the snails in the pond. I assume newts would prefer smaller, softer creatures should they be given the choice of live food.
You said you were having algae problems in your newt tank, this can be down to excess lighting, excess nutrients or both. Too much food or feeding a high protein diet can cause levels of nitrate and phosphate in the aquarium and its these which cause algal blooms. My guess is that the nitrate levels in your tank are high - this can damage snails over time and probably caused their lethargy or hiding in the short term. Moving them to a different aquarium with better water conditions made them 'come out of their shells' so to speak!
Try a 30% water change in your newt tank - this will help to dilute nitrate and phosphates (unless your tap water is high in these.) What filtration do you have in the tank? I would advise you to do a water test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate. Snails are sensitive creatures and their lack of activity is usually a warning sign for water quality issues.
Hope this helps! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Ramshorn snails and salamanders   Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:00 am

Thank you for your information. I am obviously new to this snail thing. I didn't realize how sensitive they were. My salamanders were my first priority but now that I know I could be killing the snails I feel like something has to be done.

You kept saying newts, and I know that the newts and salamanders come from the same family, but I do want to clarify that these are salamanders, my biggest one is 5 inches long and the smallest about 3 1/2 inches. Maybe you don't have salamanders where you are from? I am writing from Canada and in Alberta where I live they run free, the three that I have were rescued from the shop my husband works in. One was cover in grease, the other had an eye dangling, and the third wa at the bottom of a very deep pit...my brother took them in and now they are healthy and in great shape. Here's a visual of the tank...on one end is the waterfall which is the filtration system, and it takes carbon filters, then there is a large pool where the fish swim around and I had added the snails. On the other side is the land portion with a plant and cave for the sallies to sleep in. Surprisingly they do a lot of swimming, and that seems to be where they do their "eliminating", in the water, as I have almost never found I had to clean up after them. They eat crickets and meal worms, so I guess that would be considered a high protein diet? I also haven't done a thorough cleaning of the tank since October, just cleaned the filters, added new water, and wiped down the sides of the tank. The lights are also on for about 12 hours a day, so I guess that might be a little excessive? How do I check the nitrite and phosphorus levels? I am assuming I have to go to a local pet store and get some sort of kit? What shoud be the normal levels that is good for the snails? And are those levels ok for the fish and salamanders too? I guess I have a bit of research to do...

Thanks for your info. thus far...

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PostSubject: Re: Ramshorn snails and salamanders   Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:49 am

Sorry got it into my head that you said newts for some reason. We can get Salamanders over here, but not wild ones, just imported. You can get a test kit from a pet store for the water parameter tests. As far as results go, ammonia and nitrite should be 0, Nitrate should ideally be in the lower ranges of the chart, but the lower the better for snails. I dont know about the sensitivity of salamanders to higher levels of these toxins, but my guess is that they are hardier than snails if they survived being covered in oil and having their eyes poked out! Just because they are hardier though, it doesnt mean that they like poor water conditions, they just tolerate it better.
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