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Snail Waste?


jnewberry

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So here's the story:

I moved my two snails into a temporary 2 gallon tank because I am treating my 20 gallon tank with ich medication which would harm them. I have one goldfish who is going on 7 years old and I've only had the snails for a few months (they tagged along with some live plants and I really like them). I'm noticing that the snails poop way more than I ever noticed!

I'm concerned because I know that a 20 gallon tank is the minumun size for a single adult goldfish. Could the waste from the snails be overdoing it? My fish has never had ich or any sickness ever.

I will either return the snails to the tank once I'm done medicating it or I will give them away. What do you guys think?

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I've noticed this with snails too, I have an apple snail in a 5 gallon with a betta and boy can he poop! My sister had two tiny tadpole snails in a 1 gallon and they could cover the bottom of the tank in a day, I don't know where it all came from! Snails are messy, and so the recommended space for them is 2 gallons per snail for apple snails (the bigger snail types). If you've got something other than apple snails I would give them away. Apple snails are the only ones that aren't asexual, anything else you will get lots of them, they reproduce like crazy. Alternatively you could maybe set up a separate small tank for them?

What's your water change regime like? And is your fish a single or double tailed goldie? It's great that you got him to 7 and he's still going, hopefully he'll get through the ich no problem. What kind of medication are you using? We usually just recommend aquarium salt for ich on here, a lot of medications contain some very harsh ingredients which can kill your cycle and also damage the good bacteria in your fish. Maybe start a D&D thread if you haven't already? Good call removing the snails though :)

Whether or not the snail waste has been enough to tip up your fish will depend on your water changes and your parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) but I think it's unlikely. It can be caused by any type of stress, ich is present in a lot of aquariums all the time and doesn't tend to hit until the fish is weakened or stressed by something else. Has he had any scrapes or anything? Anything other than the snails different?

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I disagree with the assertion that ich is present in tanks all the time. It doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Ich cannot ultimately survive a treatment course that is persevered on. Most people cut their treatment process short allowing the protozoans to regain their population and return in full force again. It is exactly why the treatment process against ich must never be cut shorter than a week at the very least.

With that in mind, it is easy to suspect snails may likely carry the protozoans in their shells. Yes, they can since water can slip inside their shells. They don't necessarily contract the protozoans. If my assumption is correct, your snails likely carried the ich all along and the ich were able to establish themselves for months and manifest themselves only more visibly once they sensed your goldfish must be weakening due to various stress related factors in its environment. The snails aren't necessarily ones to be blamed though. Keep the snails separated for at least a week or two with temperature no less than 76 degrees. The protozoans won't have another host to feed on which will kill them eventually.

Use table salt (minus yellow prussiate/ferrous cyanide added) on your fish. A teaspoon per gallon added every 12 hours until you reach a total of three teaspoons per gallon of salt is essential. When you do your water changes, be sure to replace the amount of salt per the water volume changed. Keep temperature at least 78 degrees Fahrenheit and keep water well aerated. Goldfish are heavy oxygen consumers and oxygen tend to diminish quickly in high temperatures.

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I understand how to treat the tank with salt, but when I treated it according to the parameters I read online there wasn't any improvement. I switched to something called Coppersafe which is for external parasites a couple of weeks ago and the ich has cleared up, but the bottle says that the medicine will treat the tank for a full month and I figured it's probably best to treat it for that long. I do weekly water changes of around 40 percent, and I haven't had any bumps in the cycle (I use my testing kit all the time to check these things). I noticed while cleaning the water yesterday that there was markedly less waste, which made me think to post to this forum. I'm glad I did!

My snails are NOT apple snails- they are pretty small and are obviously not the same kind of snail (plus they haven't reproduced). I feel strange trying to give them away because they are small and ugly and poop so much but I guess that's probably the best option. :(

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