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Fire-bellied + apple snail?

This is a discussion on Fire-bellied + apple snail? within the Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hi, I'm new at keeping newts, and I have a fire-belly in a 30gal. I just set up. I've had ...

Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) Perhaps the most famous and frequently bred newts in captivity, the fire-bellied newts and sword-tail newts are well known throughout the world as being excellent, gregarious captives.

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Old 31st May 2003   #1 (permalink)
purple
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Hi, I'm new at keeping newts, and I have a fire-belly in a 30gal. I just set up. I've had my fire-bellied newt for a couple weeks now, and he's doing really well.
My question is, would it be okay to add an apple snail to the tank? I didn't think there'd be any problems but I'd rather check with more experienced people.
Thanks!
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Old 27th October 2003   #2 (permalink)
robin
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I kept fire bellies & apple snails together for years until I added live plants to the tank & the snail devoured them all in a week! Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 2nd November 2003   #3 (permalink)
chris
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I recently put one in my juvenile verrucosus tank to clear up uneaten food. However, about every 3hours I had to clear up poo covering most of the tank floor. The snail is now in my tropical fish tank Click the image to open in full size.
In short - it created more mess than it cleared up.
Chris
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Old 3rd November 2003   #4 (permalink)
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Scavengers in your setups is always tempting. I used to think they would assist with the breakdown of waste, but they too excrete waste, therefore you always go back to a good filter. If I add anything to the tank live, it is food for the newts that may cohabitate for awhile until found (black worms, ghost shrimp, etc.)
Any other tank mates (crayfish, bottom feeding fish) pose a threat to your newts. Apple snails are very attractive I must say....but like mentioned, the plants always take the beating.
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Old 20th April 2004   #5 (permalink)
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FWIW, I thought I'd read somewhere that the droppings from the Apple snail were excellent at promoting Daphnia (should you try to breed that for your larva).
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Old 24th April 2004   #6 (permalink)
jesper
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The usefulness of scavengers(algae eating ones) pretty much depend on how you look upon algae.
Would you trade 1 volume of algae for 1 volume of waste? Thing is that since the scavenger will grow some of the volume of the algae will be consumed thus trading 1 volume of algae for say 1/2 volume of waste. That is a nice trade for a algae hater like myself.

The annoying point about algae is that they convert light into waste in my systems - Light - Algae - Algae eater - Waste.

That means that I will have to do more frequent water changes than if I would let the algae live in peace.
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Old 25th April 2004   #7 (permalink)
chris
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Also, rotting waste will encourage algal growth so just a vicious circle...
Chris
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Old 25th April 2004   #8 (permalink)
jesper
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Hey, what do you mean? It is not a vicious cycle!
The problem is that the vicious algae is constantly adding energy to the tank.
As I stated if you compare waste volume to algae volume the algae eaters are contributing by using algae energy to grow. I prefer plants to take care of light and excess salts over algae.

Sure they excrete waste but it is less energy than was present before in the form of algae(since they grow).

I am handling the problem by transforming algae to fish and waste, I prefer scavengers and waste over algae. Scavengers can be very pretty you know Click the image to open in full size.
The alternative would be to restrict light or let the algae overrun the tank. The absolutely best solution would be to add CO2, at least I think so.

I do not tolerate algal growth on my plants....

My otocinclus are doing a fine job on my plants and my ancistrus are making the glass shiny Click the image to open in full size.
The siamese algae eater are mainly just looking pretty even though they eat quite a lot of algae I must say that they lose to the ancistrus.

However, I believe the ancistrus(max 13 cm, currently 6cm) are more dangerous to newts than the siamese algae eater(max 15cm, currently 7cm)) since the ancistus have spines(it is a catfish) the siamese algae eater is not a catfish. The otos are kept with orientalis which are to small to eat the otos(max 4-5cm).
I keep the ancistrus with my ensicauda - too big to be eaten.

There is another quite common ancistrus species that become max 8cm but it is somewhat expensive (8-9 euros). I will try that one later.

I have chosen these species as they are peaceful but good algae-eaters. Watch out for the chinese algae eater - it is the most common species of algae eater here and it is known to suck onto other species in the tank damaging them. My local pet shop has long experience of catfish and light up when you ask anything about them!



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Old 25th April 2004   #9 (permalink)
chris
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Jesper - I agree that having scavengers making waste is the lesser of two evils, but by adding CO2 and cleaning glass, you can probably attain an almost algae free aquarium with only the newts waste...I personally would not trust the fish - european pond snails (something stagnalis???) and ramshorn snails do a good job, as they don't produce as much waste as fish and apple snails, and will readilly breed, providing small snails for the newts to eat aswell as cleaning algae. As long as there is algae around, they won;t touch most plants.
Chris
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Old 25th April 2004   #10 (permalink)
jesper
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Adding CO2 will usually enable the plants to outcompete the algae, however it is expensive and quite a lot of work since the plant growth with render some trace elements non-existant fast(need to add minerals). Cleaning the glass is counterproductive I think, what you will do is put algae from the glass on the bottom and on the plants. You still have the algae, just in places that are more difficult to clean.

About producing waste - If an animal consumes a lot of nutrients it will produce a lot of waste.
I wager that if you compare the amount of consumed algae / amount of waste excreted there will not be big differences between animals, correct me if I am wrong. My point would be that several ramshorn snail that eat as much algae as one apple snail probably will produce as much waste as that apple snail.

Anyway, I have tried with ramshorn snails, they can be pretty good algae eaters, unfortunately newts are even better ramshorn snail eaters.

I do not have one ramshorn snail in my tanks, what I do have is a lot of empty ramshorn snail shells ;)
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Old 25th April 2004   #11 (permalink)
edward
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The amount of waste produced is also dependent upon how efficiently the animal in question processes/digests the item in question.
I'm not sure about the efficency of the fish but apple snails at one time were known as infusoria snails as they were used to start and maintain infusoria cultures to feed larval fish. (They are also voracious plants feeders). They do not process the plant matter well and as a result it was great to start the cultures.

Ed
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