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Old 02-17-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
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Overload of tiny tiny MTS. Assassins have failed.

I am new to the forum and did my best to find a previous thread addressing my particular problem. I did not find any specific advice so here's my situation.

Tank details are in my profile. 55g with 35 fish as of last week. All tetra save 3 kuhli loaches. Roughly 30 plants, albeit small plants after a cross country move. Probably around 30+ assassin snails of various sizes

Over the holidays I went home for a few weeks to visit the family and my roommate took care of the tank for me. He told me that he noticed algae blooming and so he took the initiative to do a partial water change and scrape off some of the algae growth. There was some green algae on the glass and some brown/green beard algae dangling off my crypts and rock. My guess was that too much food was provided during my absence.

I've got the algae growth taken care of (some remaining but I've reduced it each water change over the past month) but there seems to be a new problem. As of the past months... the remaining algae is covered in what appear to be tiny MTS.

I've had my assassin snails for over 1.5 years, population of 10 wound up at near 50+ and I have not seen an adult MTS in over a year. These little snails are around .1" or .25 cm. There are hundreds on the rocks and the glass. I cleaned the filter and found over a hundred more.

There are some baby assassin snails roaming around and I assume they are attacking the baby mts. The MTS population seems to be blooming. I need help reducing the MTS population while not killing off my assassin snails.

Side note..I've lost my jeweler's lens and I cannot really decipher how many tiny mts I have vs tiny assassins. Some snails appear to be striped and I can assume they are assassins...but most are too tiny to tell. I assume they are MTS because they are breeding wayyyy too fast.

I had to replace the impeller on my Eheim because of these this tiny army.

I've considered...
1) keep reducing the algae with flourish excel dosing+pwc+buying more plants. in this way I could let the assassins reduce the mts population as the mts peak and run out of food. This seems to be my current course of action.
2)dwarf loaches (I want small community fish only)...problem here is that I do not want to kill off my assassins. I assume the snail eating loaches will eat my assassins. I also plan to add about 10 more cardinal tetra once I have added a few larger plants. I don't really want more loaches unless I find more kuhlis to give mine a few more friends. Kuhlis won't eat snails. I doubt other loaches will eat these tiny tiny mts
3)chemical solutions, but again this could kill assassins. possibly harm fish+plants too. this is my least preferred option so far.
4)daily vacuuming of the tank substrate. I suck at least a hundred out during my weekly 20% pwc. I've got a white 5g bucket that i've left to settle (to see what I find) and there is a huge population of tiny snails crawling up the side as I type this.

*bonus option* add a cheap and hopefully quiet filter to my 5g bucket and breed the mts to give away to local puffer/loach owners. I still want to get them out of my 55g though

All tips welcome
Why so many small MTS? How can I get rid of them? Should I buy a cheap sponge to cover the standard eheim intake screen (save my new propeller from disaster)?

*I didn't know that MTS could breed while so small. I cannot find anything larger than the ones in the pic.
*I will remove the algae off of the loach's rock on the next water change (bleach solution style).

Thank you all. I've been on this forum before but have never posted. I regret that the first time I do is for the dreaded mts problem.

picture of the problem, linked from my album.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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I have a friend who experienced a similar problem but she (purposely) bought her 10 MTS as babies(for her 90 gal tetra tank) . It was only after they started to breed she noticed what she had got into lol. With about 40 tetras(neons, cardinals etc.) she couldn't do much with chemicals or whatever.

She ended up putting the tetras into two 10 gallon buckets(hardware store) and removing all the MTS she could find into another bucket until she finally sold them to a family friend. After that she added her tetras back in and they're still great.

I'd suggest this strategy to remove the little snails but I'm not sure what you will do with them. Anyways, good luck!
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the reply.

Yesterday I took about 2% of the water out with the gravel vac and strained the contents through a net. I found my jewelers lens and learned that a bunch of the little snails are also assassins. For this reason I think I will halt the daily vacuuming (after 1 day..heh). I'll try to trade in/auction/sell these assassin snails down the road.

I plan to feed the fish every other day while dosing with Excel (learned about metricide 14 today, that's what I'll be working with once my flourish excel is used up). This should reduce the food scraps and algae that the MTS could feed on.

I was a bit unhappy when I typed up this whole post yesterday. Slept on the matter and I feel a lot more confident that my plan will work.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #4
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You can get a small ziplock plastic container for pretty cheap at the store, punch small holes in it using a small round headed screwdriver, add a few rocks to weight it down, then add a few algae wafers. Put the lid on it, let it sink to the bottom of the tank, give it a few days to fill with snails, take it out, do what you want with the snails, refill it, repeat the process.

Make sure the holes are big enough for the snails to get in it, but not big enough for fish. I heated up the tip of the screwdriver, went in real easy.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFish71 View Post
You can get a small ziplock plastic container for pretty cheap at the store, punch small holes in it using a small round headed screwdriver, add a few rocks to weight it down, then add a few algae wafers. Put the lid on it, let it sink to the bottom of the tank, give it a few days to fill with snails, take it out, do what you want with the snails, refill it, repeat the process.

Make sure the holes are big enough for the snails to get in it, but not big enough for fish. I heated up the tip of the screwdriver, went in real easy.
I'll try this with a plastic jar I have in the recycling bin. Just cleaned it out and am drilling some holes in it. I'll probably pick up a cheap tank at a thrift store/craigslist and start dumping the snails in it to see what grows up. Either way I'll find a use for these little guys.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:57 PM   #6
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No problem. Hope you'll get rid of the little critters soon enough. Try using an algae scraper to get the snails off since they're so little. Good luck
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:20 AM   #7
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You could remove as manny assassin snails as you can and put them in something for a little while. Find a friend or someone to "rent" a puffer. Or if you have a really good relationship with your lfs you could ask them for a puffer haha. Unless you have anything else that the puffer would eat like shrimp or something. Just an idea haha
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:03 PM   #8
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I microwave a thin slice of zuccini for abt 15 seconds and drop it in a baby food jar placed in the bottom of the tank. In the morning I simply remove the jar and the 50+ snails that moved in to have dinner. Repeat as many nights as necessary.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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Not sure if you still have this MTS problem, but I'm looking for some, and can't seem to find anyone selling them. Willing to send me any by any chance?
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