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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, I wanted to hear your inputs. I am starting out with a newly planted 10 gallon aquarium a week and half ago using the Walstad's method. I started with no emergent plants and it's not heavily planted either. I started to see the onslaught of green algae and I know it will sooner take over the tank if I don't do anything. So I added duckweeds but it keep getting stuck under the power filter and is not multiplying either. I have a aqua-clear 30 on the 10 gallon. Maybe it's too powerful but I set the filter to the lowest setting since it could be use from 10 to 30 gallon aquarium. I just have the sponge filter and the biomass cylinders inside(not mentioned in walstad's book). I also bought some hornwort as emergent plants to soak up the nutrient. Walstad recommend snails as well so I went to the local pet store and grabbed some of the snails they have. They gladly gave me the pest snails. I notice three pest snails. One looks like the trumpet snail with ice-cream cone shaped shell about half inch in length. I don't know any snail of that shape other then trumpet snail. I put them in my aquarium and they slowly dug into the substrate so that's a good indication it's a trumpet snail. Walstad recommends the malaysian one. Not sure which one my is. I also notice a snail that looks like a football pointy on both end and is dark colored about quarter inch in size. Looking online it looks like the pond snail. This I threw away since they are known to each plants. I also see a quarter inch size snail with the shape of a ram and dark colored as well. I assume that they are ramshorn snail. The question to you guys is whether I should introduce the snail in the aquarium. It's tiny one but online, it say that they will eat plants as well but other places say they are nice to have in the aquarium. So what have your experiences like? Also the snail look exactly like the first picture on wikipedia ramshorn snail. Thanks for your input.
 

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Welcome to APC! :D

The snails that you saw burrowing into the substrate is most likely Malaysian Trumpet snails. As for the little football shaped one, you are right, it is a pond snail but I have never heard of them eating live plants before. I have a ton of them in both my 10g and 2.5g and they have never eaten any of the live plants. Only dying leaves, fish wastes, uneaten food and algae.

I don't know what to say about the Ramshorn snail though. If they are very tiny and it looks like their shells shift to the side when they are walking about then I'd say don't worry about it but there is a ramshorn snail(Marisa cornuarietis) that will eat all plants regardless of whether they are alive or dead. If you go onto the applesnail.net site, click on the Species link then click on the Marisa link underneath the map. Look for the name of the snail I mentioned and you'll find out more about them. :)
 

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Great to have you here!

Well its crucial you have lots of plants right off the bat, is it possible for you to get some more cheap plants like egeria najas or densa (if you can find it...) or hornwort? Its think that will help a lot with you algae problem.

Also I have a Aquaclear 30 and its way to powerful for a 10 gallon you may consider just taking it out and putting in more plants to let it catch up and in the mean time find a smaller filter.

It sounds as though you did find the right snails, if it looks simlar to a ramshorn you can always put it in and see how it goes if plants start to look really ragged take it out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Red and Krisp. Glad to be here. My local aquarium store don't have a whole lot to choose from and the only floating one was the hornwort. So I'll see how that goes. I read many places that the snail to avoid were the pond snail for aquarium such as this link http://www.fish-tank-guide.com/snailarticles.html. This also say that ramshorn eat plant as well and my snail definitely look more like them than Marisa applesnail. I will consider switching out the aquaclear with my old whisper for 10 gallon when the aquarium is more established. I feel like the bio balls in the aquaclear help keep the ammonia in check and not kill the two gold barb and two guppies I have left in there. I had a couple that jumped out of the open top aquarium since I switched to the naturally planted tank. And the remaining gold barbs doing this crazy frantic swimming pattern lately. The guppies looked fine though. They actually help remove the protein film on the surface of the aquarium. Nice fish to have to avoid skimming or whatever you do to get rid of the film on the surface. So I want to use aquaclear for now until the plant is more established.
 

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Thanks Red and Krisp. Glad to be here. My local aquarium store don't have a whole lot to choose from and the only floating one was the hornwort. So I'll see how that goes. I read many places that the snail to avoid were the pond snail for aquarium such as this link http://www.fish-tank-guide.com/snailarticles.html. This also say that ramshorn eat plant as well and my snail definitely look more like them than Marisa applesnail. I will consider switching out the aquaclear with my old whisper for 10 gallon when the aquarium is more established. I feel like the bio balls in the aquaclear help keep the ammonia in check and not kill the two gold barb and two guppies I have left in there. I had a couple that jumped out of the open top aquarium since I switched to the naturally planted tank. And the remaining gold barbs doing this crazy frantic swimming pattern lately. The guppies looked fine though. They actually help remove the protein film on the surface of the aquarium. Nice fish to have to avoid skimming or whatever you do to get rid of the film on the surface. So I want to use aquaclear for now until the plant is more established.
Hi Alex,

One of the reasons why people say to avoid pond snails is that they reproduce like crazy! Just add a few to your tank and you'll have a ton of them in a few months. The ones in my betta's tank tend to stay undercontrol because he loves to eat them. lol

As for the filter, if your tank is an El Natural then the only media you really need in the filter is the sponge and some don't even use that. I have the AquaClear 20 on my 10g with a baffle on the outflow to stop surface agitation and the only media I use in it is the sponge. I do have sponge on the end of the intake tube as well as a narrow piece inside that tube to help lessen the flow because my betta doesn't like strong currents. The only reason I use it is for some water circulation. The plants and the nitrifying bacteria in the soil will cycle the tank for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mandy,
Thanks for the link to a great idea. Simple and effective. I notice the plants sway a little before the baffle and now they are really calm. The hornwort is doing really nice too. I came home to the evening sunset (west facing window) and my aquarium were just bubbling all over the place. Very pleased with how quickly hornworts are having their intended effect. Definitely a nice plant to have to soak in all the nutrients of a setup tank. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/images/smilies/icon_eyes.gif
 

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Mandy,
Thanks for the link to a great idea. Simple and effective. I notice the plants sway a little before the baffle and now they are really calm. The hornwort is doing really nice too. I came home to the evening sunset (west facing window) and my aquarium were just bubbling all over the place. Very pleased with how quickly hornworts are having their intended effect. Definitely a nice plant to have to soak in all the nutrients of a setup tank. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/images/smilies/icon_eyes.gif
You're welcome, Alex. :) It's great to use for fish who are not fond of strong currents as well as for preventing CO2 from being released from the water.

Do you plan on posting pictures of your tank? I'd love to see how your tank looks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ohh, I might in the future, but it's not something I am so proud that I would show and tell. My setup is not exactly balanced yet with algae on the glass and the largest plants I got(outside of hornworts) were the crytopcoryne wenditti which is going through the emersed stage from the farm to the submerge stage of my aquarium. So they are slowly wilting right now but the algae is not getting too much worse at this time so a semi-balance is in place. I have four trumpet snails which I hope will exponentially grow so that my substrate and walls will be cleaned for me in the near future.
 

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Just wanted to add my comments.

1st: Welcome! You have found an amazing place with amazing people!

2nd: MTS aren't really known for their algae cleaning prowess. They mostly eat the detritus on the bottom of your tank.

3rd: Um, it's the "future" how bout some pics!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rohape, yes nice and helpful people here. I did notice my MTS are not multiplying after what 3 weeks now? I still see about 4. I started to notice some pond snails that hitched a ride on the hornworts. I got rid of a ramshorn snail when I first got the plants. With pressure to post pics I relented and snapped two. A side view during the afternoon sun and top view. I noticed what appears to be green hair algae covering the whole hornswort soon after I got it. As you recall I had algae bloom soon after I started my planted aquarium and so I decided to get an emergent plant. After a week, the water and glass seems to stabalize and not get worse but the hornswort was covered everywhere with this hair like algae. I decided to get some algae eating fish otto cat and black mollies, suppose to eat green hair algae. The next morning after I got my black mollies to my suprise I saw a dozen or so babies swimming on the top of the tank hiding in the hornswort. It was a pleasant suprise. Anyhow, it's been almost a week later and I snapped these two pictures. You can see the babies in both. I lifted the cover and they went hiding that's why you only see one or two in the picture. I didn't scrape the glass because I wanted the otto to have something to munch on. My chrypto pretty much have been wilting for the past couple weeks. I pluck one or two leaves every day. You can see some new ones growing back. The green hair algae is also disappearing on the hornswort. Not sure why, probably the aquarium is just stabilizing after all the things I have been doing. Always have the window open. So I didn't change the light condition and also noticed I added the baffle. Had trouble with pictures. Too much restriction. I set it to 720by540 and still complains. So I rename it to .xls. Sorry you have to rename to jpg.
 

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Oh wow, your tank looks great!
Congrats on the babies, that is too cool. I wonder if the fry aren't munching on the algae on the hornwort.
Have you checked your tank at night? MTS mainly come out at night.
There are few snails that actually eat algae. Fish too, and its usually either a specific kind of algae or just not enough to notice.
One snail that eats strictly algae, mainly the dust algae, like what grows on the glass is the Nerite. I have 9 in my 55gal and the glass and rocks are always clean. If you get any you should only need 1, 2 at the most for your size tank.
ombcat sells Olive Nerites, which is who I got mine from and they're still kickin'.
Again, that is one good lookin tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks rohape for your kind words, it gives me more motivation to learn and make it better the next time around. Which by the way is not too far off. I just purchased a 20 gallon off of craigslist. I wanted a long 20 gallon but it was a tall 20 gallon. Not the exact aquarium I wanted but it definitely will also be el natural. I will do that one in the near future. It has everything stand,filter, etc. So looking forward to a new build. Since it's tall, I could cosider taller plants as well. Olive Nerites sounds like an awesome snail to have as well. I will keep an eye out for it next time I visit my local pet shop.
 

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Look for something that looks like sesame seeds on the shells of the mystery snails. That's a definite sign of nerites. Take tonight for example, we stopped by our LFS just to look around. They had tons of Mystery's and I noticed the eggs. My search turned up 2 olive nerites which the employees had no idea what they were so I got away with 2 "pest snails". :D
I already have 9, so if your interested I could send them to you. They're still pretty small, only about dime size.
Or just get lucky like I did. If you consider buying my 2, you'll have the weekend to hit the LFS's and try your luck.

Congrats on your find on CL. I hate CL, it's so evil cause my wife has limited me to my 1 55gal. :)
 
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