Friday, March 7, 2008

Snail Eating Fish

As I've mentioned, I am hoping to get a few Dwarf Chain Loaches for my 20 long planted tank that has become a snail haven. I've done a bit of research about what fish to get, using search terms like, "Fish that eat snails," "best snail eaters," "get rid of snails," etc. Loaches and Gouramis seem to be the favorites and in my small tank the only suitable fish would be the Dwarf Chain Loach. I'm still worried that they might eat my shrimp but I'll give it a test run.

Today I took some of my snails and dropped them into my 55 as a snack for my Yoyo and Gold Dojo Loaches. Before they could even get a sniff the snails were gobbled up by my Geophagus Steindachneri, aka the Red Hump Eartheater. Now I've named these two girls(I believe they are girls because neither has developed a hump) Mouth and Little Mouth for a reason; they eat absolutely everything and never stop trying to find more. Still, I have not seen anything written about them eating snails. But here they were, snatching them before they could hit the bottom and rolling the snails around in their mouths for a while until the meat was gone. They dropped the empty snail shell after a while.

I was very impressed with this and very surprised. It seems that they got the taste for it because a little while later Mouth found a snail that had slipped through onto the gravel. Mouth sucked that little guy right up into his mouth off of the substrate and did exactly what he had done with the other one. Now this still doesn't solve my snail problem in the small tank because the Steindachneris are just too big and would eat everybody in the 20 long, but it was sure an interesting thing to learn.

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