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Old 09-27-2006, 12:04 PM   #1
cJw
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The Mystery of the Fat YoYo... (now w/ pic)

I've an interesting situation developing that I only recently figured out... but first, I have to warn you - I don't do 'short posts'. :g:

My yoyo loach has been in the tank for quite a while now, but over the last few months has started looking very very overfed. At first I was worried it was a parasite/bacteria/digestion issue and I tried not to overreact and waited to see how it played out.

Well, 3 months later, the yoyo still looks practically pregnant. Yes, its belly is that big - distended might be a better word for it!

Anyway, I noticed during the last gravel vac a snail shell... and another... and another. I pulled 4 snails (MTS - long, spirally shells - I checked online almost before my hands were dry ) out and tossed 'em. That night my wife and I were searching and found 4 more, hiding just under the gravel... from 1/4" to almost 1".

Anyway, all that said, it finally clicked in my head why the yoyo looked so overfed - because it had been chowin' on the snails!

So now I'm trying to decide if I need to get another loach or two (stopped @ the lfs tonight... ) to assure the snail population stays down and my one yoyo doesn't eat itself literally out of the tank or if I just give it another month or three and see what happens...

(I actually like having the snails the clean up extra food - and from what I've read in my searches today, many of you would love to have some MTS as well - so it's not a matter of ACK! HELP ME GET RID OF THE ICKY SNAILS!)

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Old 09-27-2006, 12:14 PM   #2
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LOL...I'd be more than happy to take 'em off your hands. MTS are perfectly suited for the planted (non-loach stocked) tank.

Good job on your investigation.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:21 PM   #3
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Well, I'm tempted to not get another loach and see if I can't grow a good little stockpile of MTS... and mebbe send some out someday. I do appreciate what they do for the tank, at the very least.

Do loaches only eat the smaller snails? I have some snails that are almost an inch long and apparently surviving just fine...
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30g long planted fw
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6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 09-27-2006, 01:17 PM   #4
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It's also possible the yoyo is a gravid female. I've seen pic's of those that were too big for their fins to touch the gravel.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cJw
Do loaches only eat the smaller snails? I have some snails that are almost an inch long and apparently surviving just fine...
From what I understand, they usually suck them outta the shells. Probably easier to get at the smaller ones than the larger ones.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:23 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what your yoyo looks like, but I have a really big one that I assume is female. Like said above...could be a gravid female. It probably still eats some snails, but maybe thats not the reason it is so fat.

Quote:
Do loaches only eat the smaller snails? I have some snails that are almost an inch long and apparently surviving just fine...
IME they only eat the smaller ones. I have alot of ramshorn snails in my tank and when I first got the yoyos I found alot of empty shells and they were all small. I didn't have any larger snails at that time. Now I have about 5-6 1 inch ramshorn snails that the yoyos don't bother but I still find small shells, so its not like they stopped eating them all together. I think they just enjoy the smaller ones.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:49 PM   #7
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@ Jchillin - I suspected as much, but I can't say I remember seeing any empty shells... so far.


@ JustOneMore20 - My dad actually suggested that some single loaches will produce eggs w/out any possibility of fertilization... is that a health concern for her? I'm not sure of the sex of this loach... as of yet - researching that currently.


I'll work on pics of the yoyo and see if I can't get a decent one...
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 09-27-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
From what I understand, they usually suck them outta the shells. Probably easier to get at the smaller ones than the larger ones.
actually i know clown loaches will actually crush a whole snail shell and swallow everything when they big enough
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
From what I understand, they usually suck them outta the shells. Probably easier to get at the smaller ones than the larger ones.
actually i know clown loaches will actually crush a whole snail shell and swallow everything when they big enough
I know they do that with ramshorns...not sure about the Malaysians though.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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My advice is, if you want MTS in your tank, lose the yoyo. They're literally too good at what they do. I had one dwarf chain loach in my tank, a lil guy 2" long or even less than that, clear out my 29g planted tank of all snails in probably a few weeks. Must have eaten hundreds of them, ever time I'd do a water change I would be pulling out several dozen empty shellls, and he's the only guy in the tank who eats snails. I actually bought him to try to reduce the size of my population (I was getting overrun, it seemed), but instead he's simply wiped out everything.

Made me think of a new analogy (for the Aquarium version of the SAT test):

Huge meteor impact:dinosaurs:ne loach:snails

Ok enough of me being nerdy for one day...
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:28 PM   #11
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I agree, the one yo yo loach will pretty much wipe out your snail population eventually. If you want the snails, I would find the loach a new home. I'm not a huge fan of snails myself, so I would be more inclined to add 2 more loaches and kiss the snails goodbye LOL! Just kidding, but seriously, yo yos are much more entertaining in groups. Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:00 PM   #12
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Snails or not, consider getting a couple more YoYo. 3 or more is best and they are very social Animals With two, the less dominant one will always be dominated/chased by the more aggressive of the pair.

With only one, you are really missing out one a lot of what these guys have to offer. As for them eating MTS, while possible, maybe, these guys do not tend to eat MTS IME. My troop of 4 yoyo's and 3 angelicus loaches are in a tank with MTS. I do not see empty shells. I have used these guys to clear out Ramshorn and pond snails. In fact most of my loaches started as a snail cleanup crew in a smaller tank. Then as they got larger they were added to the main troop.

MTS have a trapdoor on thier shell, thier shell is very hard, the opening can have "spikes", and they tend to spend a lot of time under the gravel. All loach deterants. when I have seen a YoYo eat a snail, he swims around wearing the shell like a mask while he sucks the meat out. Then spits the shell off...empty. BTW, if you really are getting 1" shells (did you measure with a ruler?) they might not be MTS, but another similar species that I have read about. For all intensive purposes they are the same as MTS, just bigger.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:27 AM   #13
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I've seen MTS a little longer than my cherry shrimp in my 10 gallon tank, some that were close to that size in the 38. Most are smaller, but they do grow that large.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:46 AM   #14
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Well, I don't see myself taking MTS over the yoyo... but I also can't really see the yoyo cracking open the bigger of the MTS.

I was estimating when I said 'almost an inch', but I'm a designer and ex-carpenter so I have confidence in my estimate... 3/4" is probably closer to the truth, though.


Now, then, as much as I'd love to have more yoyos, I'm afraid I don't have room for more fish in my tank. I have one yoyo right now and she (?) seems quite happy solo. The bottom of the tank is also quite busy with my 5 cories, pleco and ghost shrimp.

Here's a pic of the yoyo in question, btw:




It's a little blurry, but I suspect clear enough to attempt sexing the yoyo. She (?) has also slimmed down a bit as of late and isn't quite as huge as she was... confirmation of the 'with eggs' theory, perhaps?
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


There are no coincidences.
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:59 AM   #15
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Sexing of loaches? Goodluck
Not sure if anyone can really sex these, or has bred them in an aquarium. At fish farms, they just dig a big hole, toss in some loaches and get the young ones out the next year. I have seen it suggested that it takes a year of seasonal conditioning to get them to breed. Also, I have read of some accounts of hormone injection to induce breeding (like they do with rainbow sharks)

In my troop, occasionally two will do some kind of dance that might be a mating dance, but nothing seems to come of it. Also, with a lighter substrate (like ADA aquasoil) the loaches will dig tunnels/caves under driftwood and rocks. They will often be in there with just the tail hangin out as if the are saying "you can't see me"

Yours looks fairly young, i would vote for him being just well fed.

Here is a pic of some of my loaches, this pic is a year old. These guys are just over 3" long now. this pic shows the two basic types of YoYo's. the solid stripe kind, which you seem to have, and the "hollow" stripe kind.

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Old 09-28-2006, 01:08 PM   #16
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They are all very nice!
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:13 PM   #17
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It's hard to tell from the above image, but I've had that loach for over a year and it is about 2.5". It has also slimmed down quite a bit since I began to notice the 'gut'. :g:

As far as sexing them goes, from my research yesterday the females have a more rounded belly... and that's as close as I came to an indicator... :|

Regardless, I'm calling that yoyo a 'she', simply because I have already and now it IS a she in my mind.
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


There are no coincidences.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:20 AM   #18
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Absolutely MTS?


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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 09-29-2006, 01:20 PM   #19
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Ya, the shell is distinctive, no others have that shape.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:08 PM   #20
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theres no mistaking MTS
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