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Park Bear

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It is almost impossible to get rid of snails, unless you add some copper or a botia (snail eating fish). Snails have their place in the aquarium; they eat all of the food missed by the fish. The mulm on the bottom left from their waste is a great place to harbor good bacteria. The snails always find there way back usually, plants, gravel, digestive tract of the fish, etc

If you keep some of your old water from the tank and add it within a day, then you can add in fresh water as long and the ph and temperature is not too different from what the fish are use to. Endlers can be fussy at times, so I usually add new water by dripping is in with a siphon with a valve to reduce flow or just double the water each time you add fresh water. For example, you start with 1 gallon old water and add 1 gallon fresh, next hour you add 2 gallons and so on. When I acclimate my fish it takes me over 24 hours, just because I am paranoid.
 

likespaphs

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i was gonna suggest getting a clown loach. you wouldn't have any snails left after that.... the water quality might be an issue for them, though...
 

gonewild

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If you want to treat your fish with the most care remove them from the dirty aquarium before you disturb the gravel. There is all kinds of stuff in the gravel that could possibly harm the fish when it is suddenly mixed into the water. (bacteria, toxic gases).

In reality you could just put the fish into a bucket with an inch or two of your aquarium water and they would live just fine as long as they did not get cold. But that would not be very respectful now would it? :(

You only have a few small fish so it won't be hard to put them into a small container for a while. Here is a basic process we use to acclimate wild caught fish for aquarium life.
For you few fish....

Prepare one quart of room temperature water that is chlorine free and put it into a non clear plastic container so that it is about 1/2 inch deep. Add one quart of water from the aquarium where the fish are now to make the water level about 1 inch deep. Make sure the aquarium water you add has no food particles or debris in it. This should bring the temperature and pH fairly close to what the fish are in now. Add a big pinch of salt. Put the fish from the aquarium into the container and cover it so the fish are in the dark. Set the container aside so the fish can rest undisturbed. The next day change the water the fish are in but this time don't mix it with aquarium water but still add a pinch of salt. Let them set another day in quiet. DO NOT feed the fish during this process. The next day change it again and don't add salt. They are now ready for their new tank and they should be snail free. The fish could live in this quarantine for well over a month as long as it is quiet, dark and you do not feed them.

Once you have done the above process the fish will have acclimated to new water and completely purged their systems of all food and snail eggs they may have eaten. You could now put them into a quart sized plastic bag with 1/3 water and 2/3 oxygen and they will live for at least 72 hours. If you put each fish in a small bag by themselves they would probably live a few weeks.

To get rid of the snails replace your gravel with new snail free material. Sterilize the tank and all objects you will reuse. Bleach works well for this.

To eradicate the snails from your plants is more difficult. While you have them out of the aquarium is a good time to treat the plants with a chemical to kill the snails. It takes some effort and time but it should be worth it. Put the plants in a container (not the aquarium). Check to see what nasty chemical the local fish store sells to kill snails but won't kill plants. Treat the plants in a container with a strong dose, no worry about the fish because they are not with the plants. Copper compounds like Malachite green should kill the snails, but make sure your plant species aren't sensitive to copper.
Potassium permanganate or formalin might work to kill the snail eggs.
It would be a good idea to keep the container of plants under your lights.

Once you are in your new house just put the aquarium back together and hope you killed all the snails. :)
 

gonewild

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NYEric said:
Sounds a little severe.
It is a lot of work but it is not severe. The acclimation process greatly reduces mortality rates. But what the heck they are just guppies. :confused:

Like I said Heather could just put the fish in a bucket if she did not want to go to the effort.

If you are going to transport or keep fish in a small amount of water for an extended time the 3 day process will almost guarantee their survival.

I don't think it is right to treat fish kept as pets with any less respect than other animals. :D
 

Heather

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Thanks!
I've decided (based on my 2 hour commute during rush hour this morning) that I need to have the fish, plants, and cat moved to MA by the time I start my new job 3/12. Which means, I'll be handling all this over the weekend.

I bought new gravel today. :)

I will also say that I haven't had to clean the tank due to algae because of the snails, so I don't mind the few that I might not be able to get off the plants sticking around but the other 400 million of them are destined for their demise.

I agree with Lance, I love my wee fishies, and my cat loves watching them swim around. It was a little simpler when they lived in the rainbarrel though!

Any tips for netting them? I seem to have a hard time catching them and I have one brand new little fry I don't want to lose (literally) in this process.
 

dave b

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To eradicate the snails from your plants is more difficult. While you have them out of the aquarium is a good time to treat the plants with a chemical to kill the snails. It takes some effort and time but it should be worth it. Put the plants in a container (not the aquarium). Check to see what nasty chemical the local fish store sells to kill snails but won't kill plants. Treat the plants in a container with a strong dose, no worry about the fish because they are not with the plants. Copper compounds like Malachite green should kill the snails, but make sure your plant species aren't sensitive to copper.
Potassium permanganate or formalin might work to kill the snail eggs.


Good advice above.
Be advised.
Many of the snail killers sold in pet stores around here are not safe for plants, and usually say it in the fine print. One product that was popular, was Snail-Be-Gone. But, not safe for plants. i do not know what the chemical base was.
 

Heather

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Hi Tien,

I 'm just going back to my mom's for now. Got a new job working for New England Wildflower Society. They grow Cyps. There's even a Cyp. on the letterhead. :) Could you ask for much more out of a job? lol.

I'm pretty excited to work for them. In case you couldn't tell.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I say smush the excess snails and turn them into live food for the fish...that's what I always did as a kid. Take care, Eric
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
Another dumb question.

Can I buy six gallons of spring water?
The only empty bottle I have right now has had plant fertilizer in it.
Sure, just make sure it is free of chlorine. Also be sure to aerate it before putting the fish in as it may be low of oxygen in the bottles. Also the small amount of fertilizer drops in your bottles won't hurt the fish. It is just a little salt.
 

NYEric

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Heather said:
Another dumb question.

Can I buy six gallons of spring water?
The only empty bottle I have right now has had plant fertilizer in it.
HaHaHa! I used to pass by the yard of a major 'spring' water company and watch them fill the bottles w a common hose to the City water supply!! Use tap water if the supply isn't gruesome. If it tastes good it's probably OK.
 
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Park Bear

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The process Lance describes is pretty much what I do when out on a collecting trip.

The off the counter snail killers are also hard on catfishes, but the Endlers should be fine. As I mentioned before I don't mind snails, with all of my tanks I'd never be able to get all of them.
 

Heather

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NYEric said:
HaHaHa! I used to pass by the yard of a major 'spring' water company and watch them fill the bottles w a common hose to the City water supply!! Use tap water if the supply isn't gruesome. If it tastes good it's probably OK.
Don't laugh at me!
There is a fair amount of chlorine in my water and as I mentioned I don't have any empty water jugs to fill, and let sit to off-gas. So, I have to buy water anyway. Geesh!
 

dave b

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Heather said:
Any tips for netting them? I seem to have a hard time catching them and I have one brand new little fry I don't want to lose (literally) in this process.
Using 2 nets instead of one is the key. I worked at a aquarium shop for years back in the day, and it was mandatory that we do so. You spend less time chasing them around, and stresses them less in the process. With 2 nets, you can gently scoot the fish in between the 2, and easily scoop them. Especially if you have them up against the glass. There is no where for them to go. Sometimes they just swim right in. Ive watched people spend several minutes chasing a little fish around, when they could have done it in 10 seconds with a second net.

This may sound crazy, but i couldnt even begin to tell you how many tropical fish ive seen die from stress/heart attacks after being chased around, caught up in a net, poured in a bag, then waiting to be paid for. Suddenly there is a floater in the bag.
 

NYEric

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Heather said:
Don't laugh at me!
There is a fair amount of chlorine in my water and as I mentioned I don't have any empty water jugs to fill, and let sit to off-gas. So, I have to buy water anyway. Geesh!
I was 'laughing' at the idea of the benefits of "Spring Water". Buy Distilled water instead. It's probably cheaper at the supermarket too. BTW, do you have an R.O. filter?
 

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