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Dead assassin snails

(35 Posts)
WeeMadArthur Fri 17-Jul-15 16:42:42

I've got a 40 liter tank with 2 platys, 6 Danios, 2 ottos, 3 shrimp and four assassin snails. Just after water change two weeks ago I noticed a baby snail (yay!) and then noticed a dead adult (one of the shrimp was trying to get it out of its shell) and last night I saw that another one has died (shrimp was again trying to get it out of its shell).

I have no idea what could be killing them, is it lack of food? I originally put them in to eat rams horns but they've been gone for a few months now. They seem to spend more time at the top of the tank now, whereas before they were always on the bottom, no idea if that signifies anything? Don't want any more of them to die -what can I do?

EauRouge Fri 17-Jul-15 17:12:38

Have you tested your water lately? You're quite heavily stocked. How long have you had the snails?

TreeSparrow Fri 17-Jul-15 22:58:44

In a tank that small,
1. I'd recommend at least weekly Easter changes of at least 50%;
2. Not keeping danios, they are one of the most active and energetic fish that thrive with lots of room.

That aside, it's unusual to lose assassin snails if the fish aren't showing distress. Do they have enough to eat and have you tested the water as EauRouge asked? I suspect your water quality is suffering.

WeeMadArthur Sat 18-Jul-15 08:11:04

I'll go and get the water checked but I was told I could have 18 fish in the tank so I didn't think it was overstocked!they said the shrimp and snails don't count when you work out fish per tank. And the ottos are supposed to be quite sensitive so I would have expected them to look unhappy if there was something up with the water quality before the snails were affected. I was told to put in a maximum of two algae wafers a week, so I've upped that to half of one a day and it does get eaten quite quickly, so maybe if the water is ok I will have to put in some other stuff they can eat, they are keen on cucumber.

EauRouge Sat 18-Jul-15 08:55:49

Hmm, not sure why they told you shrimp and snails don't count- they still produce waste! So you can't just have an unlimited amount. I would only keep a single male fighter in a tank that size tbh. Shops are notoriously bad for telling you you can have more fish than you really should. And I agree about the danios; they may be small but they need lots of space.

WeeMadArthur Sat 18-Jul-15 13:14:50

I had the water checked this morning and the nitrates were a bit high so they advised me to change the water today and again in a couple of days and then bring the water back in for a recheck, they did say again that the snails and shrimp didn't count towards the number of fish in the tank! They also thought that the ottos should have shown signs of distress before the snails and they seem fine.

I will stick with weekly changes for the future. Thanks for your advice.

WeeMadArthur Sat 18-Jul-15 13:19:47

Can anyone advise how much food three shrimp and three snails should be eating? I put in between a quarter and a half of a algae wafer per day and the shrimp are pretty quick to eat them, apart from plants, which I have and cucumber, is there anything else I can add?

TreeSparrow Sat 18-Jul-15 20:23:20

It sounds like you're over feeding to me.

Did the shop test for ammonia? You really should have your own liquid test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Personally, I'd do daily 50% water changes (dechlorinated) until you can get a bigger tank.

What is your filtration? I imagine, if you took shop advice, it's not enough for your bioload in that tank. You need to aim for a minimum of 200% filtration. So if the filter is rated for 80 litres it suits your 40 litre tank at normal stocking density.

Do you swill the filter in tank water or under the tap? The latter will reset your cycle which is very bad for the health of the tank.

WeeMadArthur Sun 19-Jul-15 13:55:13

They said that the filter looked like it was working fine, and I always clean it out in the just removed tank water . can you recommend a good testing kit, or are they all much of a muchness? I'll cut down on the food for now and see how things go.

TreeSparrow Sun 19-Jul-15 15:04:19

Any of the liquid test kits should do you fine. I've used Tetra, Nutrafin (or something that sounds like that), and API.

WeeMadArthur Sun 19-Jul-15 17:44:49

When you say liquid kit do you mean the packs of strips You can buy or something else's? I have an aquatics shop near work I could go into tomorrow.

TreeSparrow Mon 20-Jul-15 22:09:24

No. Strips are unreliable (and aren't liquid!) Accurate test kits are liquid (test tube, and one to three bottles of chemicals you add to the water sample in a specific order, timing, and amount).

TreeSparrow Mon 20-Jul-15 22:11:19

WeeMadArthur Tue 21-Jul-15 19:25:28

TreeSparrow I have ordered a kit but in the meantime popped into the local aquatics shop to get my water tested and they said it's fine so hopefully if I monitor and change weekly they will all be ok, and on a positive note it looks like two of the shrimp have eggs!!! Not sure if the baby shrimp will get eaten by the fish or not? But excited to have them anyway and looking at a nice 60 liter tank for a very early Christmas present!

Gunpowder Tue 21-Jul-15 19:30:50

No idea about fish but what a wonderful thread title! Am picturing molluscs in balaclavas with rifles.

WeeMadArthur Tue 21-Jul-15 19:58:33

Ah Gunpowder if only!

TreeSparrow Tue 21-Jul-15 20:50:23

A 120 litre won't be much more expense than the 60 you are looking at and will be better suited for your danios. It'll be worth it in the end and the bigger the tank, generally, the easier it is to keep your water parameters stable.

Well done on ordering a liquid test kit. Let me know what your readings are when you receive it.

WeeMadArthur Wed 22-Jul-15 15:29:01

Where do you advise going for a tank? We have a local shop which is quite expensive, it was £35 for the test kit instead of £20 from Amazon, and a Pets at Home. Is there anyone online I can go to for a good range?

TreeSparrow Wed 22-Jul-15 16:40:06

How much can you spend on a tank and do you need a cabinet to go with it? I'll find you something.

Gumtree has plenty of second hand tanks if you're looking for value.

WeeMadArthur Wed 22-Jul-15 22:13:42

If I was going as big as 120 then I would need a cabinet as well. I could probably go to £150 but it really would be my early Christmas present! I though Gumtree was just for local pickup?

TreeSparrow Thu 23-Jul-15 09:28:57

It is, and for 150 you can get a second hand one.

WeeMadArthur Thu 23-Jul-15 19:32:37

Hi again, I've tested my water and the ammonia and nitrite levels are 0, the nitrate is 40ppm, I did a pH test which came out at 7.6 so I did the High PH test which came out as 8. So what do you advise now , a water change? Incidentally I started using Tetra Easy Balance about a month ago, it couldn't be related to the snails demise? The staff at Pets at Home and the local aquarium are none the wiser, although one suggested that the ottos might be getting territorial, but I have never seen them pay the snails any attention.

WeeMadArthur Fri 24-Jul-15 12:34:43

Ive just bought a new tank and stand, it was a bit of a bargain (although more than I was planning on spending), its an Alpha one 200 litres reduced from 499 to 200 as it was an old design. I had words with DH and went for it! Now just have to work out how to get it home!grin grin

TreeSparrow Sun 26-Jul-15 10:00:00

Wow congratulations! That's a bargain and a great sized tank!

Glad your water readings were clear. 40ppm on nitrate is a bit high though so yes, water change. If the reading doesn't drop after that it's worth testing your tap water for nitrates. To see what your base reading is.

Let us know how you get on setting up the new tank. Those danios are going to LOVE the space!

WeeMadArthur Sun 26-Jul-15 21:16:22

I have tested the water again and it's down to 20ppm so I'm going to do another water change whilst I get the new tank set up and then test again. I've got a lot more advice on setting the tank up now so I've got fertilizer to go under the substrate which I'm going to get in tomorrow then get the plants in. I'm slightly bricking it that I've bitten off more than I can chew, but glad that the fish are going to be happier! I'm looking forward to getting some more too, the shop said I could get about 25 fish in the tank depend ant on their size, I'd like to get more shrimp but I am going to hold off until I see what happens with the eggs first.

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