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.
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.