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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have established plants and Calvus in my 38G. The Caudos are in quarantine way longer than necessary awaiting resolution of the snail problem.

It appears I have pond snails and ramshorn. Snails are eating my plants, just tiny holes in the crypts, but the vallisneria are getting eaten down to the roots in some spots.

I considered putting the Calvus in quarantine with the Caudos for a week or two and treating the 38G tank with something, until I read that the chemicals will harm the plants more than the snails.

I don't want clown loaches long term, but it seems there is no alternative to controlling these snails. Is there another loach or fish that will (a) eliminate the snails in this tank, (b) is smaller and/or more solitary than the clowns?

Somewhere I read Synos eat snails, is it true? I have a bunch of them, and they could move to this tank temporarily and then move back with the mbuna when the job is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do they like to be in groups or are they solitary?
 

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Here's an article I found on loaches.com

Yoyo" Loach (Botia almorhae)
by Mark in Vancouver â€" last modified Aug 13, 2007 08:50 AM

Summary

Scientific Name: Botia almorhae (Gray, 1831)

Common name: Yoyo Loach, Almorha Loach, Pakistani Loach, Reticulated loach

Synonyms: Botia lohachata

Distribution: India, Nepal, Bangladesh.

Sexual Dimorphism: Females generally plumper all over than males and can get extremely fat when full of eggs. Males exhibit redness around barbels and mouth.

Maximum size: 6 inches

Similar to: Botia rostrata, Botia histrionica

Care: In nature, the fish live in calmer water pool areas of highland streams. The young are usually found in more lowland waters. The tank should include lots of hiding places amongst rocks and driftwood. Excellent diggers that appreciate a sand substrate to protect the delicate barbels. Lighting should be subdued.

Feeding: Good quality flake, sinking pellets, algae wafers, chopped earthworms, thawed frozen Bloodworm, Mysis Shrimp, chopped cocktail shrimp. Avoid over-feeding as these fish are very greedy. This species is an avid consumer of snails.

Water parameters: pH:6.5-7.5 Hardness: Medium Max dh: <12

Temperature: 76ºF to 82ºF(22-27.7°C)

Breeding: Not bred in aquaria, but mature females regularly fill with spawn.

almorhae is a generally peaceful, robust loach that is regularly available. They should be kept in a group of their own species. Like Clown Loaches, they have a social structure, and a certain amount of in-fighting will be seen. For this reason, provide numerous hiding places so that less dominant fish may escape the attentions of more boisterous individuals. During times of fighting or sometimes at feeding time, a pair of fish may "gray out." The base colour will darken considerably, changing the contrast between the markings and the regular body colour, so that the fish resembles more the colouration shown in the picture of the highly reticulated adult below.

Body markings can be very variable in this species, and there is a marked difference between juveniles and adults. Adults develop more "in-fill" of the juvenile markings to a point where the whole fish may be reticulated, hence one of its common names.

Within the ornamental fish trade and in most countries in the aquatic community, the fish is now known as the Yoyo Loach. This term was coined because of the noticeable juvenile pattern consisting of alternate 'Y's and 'O's along the fish's sides, and is credited to our long-term Loaches Online member, Ken Childs while he was working at Dolphin International, a fish importers in Los Angeles.
You might note the water params. suggested.
:fish:
hth
Alicem
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I registered with that forum and posted my questions. So my question about "do they like to be in groups" is answered: yes. pH of 7.5 is shown as max, but not too far off from my 7.8 and my DH=7 which is well under their max.

Loaches.com is pretty strong about not adding loaches to cichlid tanks and making them acclimate to cichlid conditions. But from what I am seeing, cichlid conditions are a lot closer to loach conditions than the loach guys think!

Anyway, I agree fish shouldn't be added if conditions are not good for them, thus my hesitation and continued search for a way to get rid of the darn SNAILS!!!

Other reasons the loaches might not be a good fit: loaches like subdued lighting (no plant lights) and they like to dig up and eat plants. Saving the plants is the objective. We will see what Loaches.com has to say.
 

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Yes, specialized sites have strong opinions on their specific fish requirements.
Truthfully, we do here as well... :oops:
I have a friend on this forum who loves his loaches and Tangs. He has them in his tanks together.
He likes plants, but is not heavy into them. I'll ask him about the digging...
That snail thing is a pain...wish I had some advise for you...
I'll keep my eyes open and if I come across anything good, you'll be the first to know.
:)
Alicem
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it seems the specific requirements for some of the loaches are almost exactly the same as my tank! So far several responders on the loach forum are approving Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (Dwarf Chain Loach) as compatible.
 

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Sheesh, what a name. :lol:
I hope they have given you ideas where these loach can be purchased.
It's good you have some alternatives, too.
So nice when you get responses and advise from 'sperts that know about them.
:thumb:
 

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There are a few species of predatory snails that eat other snails including the Anetome Helena. They don't reproduce like the snails they eat do and they slowly destroy the pest snail population. They aren't bad to look at themselves and wont bother your plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had the impression they were not available in the US?
 

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I keep Botia kubotai in many of my Tang tanks, and they help to rid the snails that come in my plants. They dig around the roots to a degree, but don't up-root the established plants. I used to keep Yo-Yo's too with the Tangs but found I lost too many fry to the little....darlings.
The water requirments are at the opposite spectrums to Tanganyikans, but importers acclimatize them to harder waters and I've had no troubles with mine in our liquid rock type waters.

Snails are a pain, but, a great cheap food source for loaches.

:D
 

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I crush the shells of my ramshorns and feed them to my predatory fish. They love it. As the above poster said, cheap source of food if you wanna look at it in a positive light :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The problem is there are too many. I could crush 20 every day and still be overrun. And some are too tiny...100's of them the same size as the grain of the substrate. Plus I don't really have predatory fish.

So....I have been using the lettuce bait idea. For some reason some snails are attracted to the lettuce once the lights are off. I capture 12-20 daily doing this.

And I AM leaning toward adding a group of the Dwarf Chain Loaches to the tank. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks for all the input. Only thing holding me back is feedback from people who have kept Calvus with these loaches. The usual loaches (clown, yo yo, tiger, skunk) are more aggressive than these little guys.
 

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The only problem with adding loaches to keep the snail population down is that once they go through all the snails you have to find something else for them to eat :p. Not a huge issue but something you should plan ahead for. As for the legality of snail eating snails I dont know the regulations in the US because I live in Canada so you could be right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The loaches will eat NLS just like the cichlids when the snails are gone. I am soooooooooo tempted, they are very cute.
 

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DJRansome said:
Well, it seems the specific requirements for some of the loaches are almost exactly the same as my tank! So far several responders on the loach forum are approving Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (Dwarf Chain Loach) as compatible.
The sidthimunkis only get about 3 to 4 inches or so. Good for snails. They like to be in groups. I can tell you what if you find them they don't come cheap. Sometimes you can buy about 2 or 3 clown loaches (small size that is) for the price of one sidthimunki. The reason is that...well to be honest they are rare. They are protected in the wild as well. I've kept loaches in almost all of my cichlids tanks and never had a problem with the higher ph. Skunk loaches are good to and believe or not they are quite mean for a loach. So, they would work well for a tang tank. Sorry cichlids, loaches, and rainbows are the fish that I like a lot and know quite a bit about. Hope this helps for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well thanks. I think I'm not going to do it. I'm not interested in any loach other than the Dwarf Chain Loach, and for every person who thinks it would work there is another, very experienced person who would not try it with the idea that the Calvus, at least when adult, would be too aggressive for the sids.

I have come across some sources for them inexpensive in NY NJ area is anyone wants to PM me.
 
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