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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Home’s for sale…

A bit of unfortunate news today. First of all my original Trapdoor snail has died and all the babies that i posted about recently appear to have been the main course for someone.

Now the babies… i did return them to the main tank after initially removing them and putting them in a separate tub. I was contemplating setting up something to grow them out in, but instead decided to return them to the main tank where an abundance of food is available and i wouldn't have to make special care arrangements for them.

This could have gone one of two ways…

  • The snails went about their business, grew to a size where i could part them out, and do a job of helping hoover up crud from the floor, and get rid of any degrading plant matter (one thing i have noticed Trapdoors to be quite efficient at!) and keep the sand turned over when then burrow down for the daylight hours.
  • Or… they would be dinner for my Dwarf Puffers. I have known for a while that Puffers enjoy hunting and eating the odd snail, but i was always reluctant to add anything that would take over the tank.

The latter point seems to be the outcome, as i discovered a shell scrap yard in the tank in one corner!

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Hopefully the Puffers have enjoyed the feast, but it is kind off annoying that they have also ended up this way!

Anyway, my original big one, as said, has also passed away!

It spent quite a while not doing much at all, but i had hopes that it was just being lazy for a while due to its door occasionally opening and having a look round, only to go back to bed.

Over the last few days though, i have noticed the door receding down into the shell. So i decided to give him a nudge today to see if there was any reaction…

Sadly on further investigation, i tapped on the door with my tweezers to see if it moved… but it just fell off… and then that “dead snail stench” hit my sinus… a smell that only an aquarist would know!

RIP Stinky…

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Kind of a bad move on me i guess. I should have been a bit more vigilant and looked at helping him earlier… it may have been old age… but i will definitely keep a good eye on my remaining one to ensure it doesnt show any abnormalities. In which case its been motoring around like there is no tomorrow… so Stinky might have just had enough!

On an event like this i would always recommend a good water change, especially as my water smelt a bit “off” after this discovery… it may have been the snail smell lingering, but didn't seem right none the less, so i carried out a 30% (roughly 36l) water change on the tank…

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It was also part of my maintenance schedule for this tank to swap out one of the filter sponges. I generally tend to follow the Juwel recommended change intervals, and this time round it was time to switch out the coarse pad.

I do squeeze the top level of sponges out during every water change, but i do feel the very depths of the sponge will get to the point where it is clogged up and not clearing out as efficiently. I don't find them that expensive so switching out for a fresh one is no big deal.

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As a precaution i carried out a full set of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate tests to see if anything was amiss with the snail going belly up.

Thankfully the system is working very efficiently and nothing registered on both the Ammonia and the Nitrite.

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But my Nitrates have jumped up a little compared to the last couple of months.

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This may be down to the death in the tank, or it may also be a by-product of the new fish that have been added recently. I must admit i have upped the feeding quite a bit recently to get them settled and monitor what they will and wont eat. Thankfully the “wont” list has just been gathering dust! As they will pretty much devour anything! As a result the whole tank gets a varied diet between frozen bloodworms, white mosquito worms, daphnia, artemia, Hikari micro pellets, King British Algae wafers and the occasional treat of a slice of Nori seaweed.

I will keep an eye on the Nitrates and recheck them through the week. But don't think there will be any adverse affects from this.

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