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Alum soak, treating for snails, effect on beneficial bacteria


Jennibird
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I have a question for you all about getting rid of pest snails. Unfortunately, I believed a plant seller on Ebay when they said they didn't have any pest snail only mystery snails, and so I didn't treat the plants. Now I have exploded with ramshorns, because I have to feed heavily because of my many many neocaridina shrimp. I am fixing to just tear apart my tank and start over, which is fine, I have been wanting to do a rescape anyway. I was wondering if you know, if I treat the sponge filter with an allum soak, will it destroy my beneficial bacteria? I don't want to risk carrying any snails over to the new tank. If it will destroy bb, what else can I do besides totally starting over with a new cycle? Any other suggestions? Thank you ūüėä

- info- many neocaridina shrimp, 4 amano, 1 mystery snail, 1 nerite, 6 emerald eyed rasboras, 3 norman's lampeye killifish plus hundred + tiny ramshorn snails (grrr)

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I'm not personally familiar with alum soaks. But some members of this forum experimented with, and did a great write up, on using a soda water soak to clear plants (and anything else you can soak) of pests, eggs & algae. It's completely harmless to the plants, actually appears to be beneficial. It may affect beneficial bacteria ( don't remember if that was addressed ), but is generally much more mild than other methods tested. 

 

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i tried Reverse Respiration with Soda water as linked above  and it work very well  with the snails and the algae ..  i like it better then Alum dip But i have only  done on new plants  out of the tank  in a tote but i have not  redid my whole tank ,,I am sure someone knows better then me and can help with the directions for  treating a whole tank 

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On 10/1/2022 at 9:02 PM, Bev C said:

i tried Reverse Respiration with Soda water as linked above  and it work very well  with the snails and the algae ..  i like it better then Alum dip But i have only  done on new plants  out of the tank  in a tote but i have not  redid my whole tank ,,I am sure someone knows better then me and can help with the directions for  treating a whole tank 

I'm not actually treating the whole tank, just the plants and some decor. I just need to know if I dip the sponge filter in alum, if it will destroy the beneficial bacteria causing me to have to recycle the new  set up, verses putting in the old sponge filter with established bacteria.

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As mentioned above Reverse Respiration for plants. Use grocery store hydrogen peroxide on decor just put it on let sit 15 minutes or so and rinse it off. Anything I know of that will destroy snail eggs will destroy beneficial bacteria unfortunately. 
Your sponge you are best to soak it in straight hydrogen peroxide. Reason is the sponge and decor can introduce to much water into the seltzer and dilute its effectiveness. Hydrogen peroxide is powerful stuff so dilution is not as much of a factor. It’s cheap so doable. Alum is hard on plants. We showed microscope photos of the damage alum does vs RR not damaging plants. 
 

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your rescape. 

Edited by Guppysnail
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On 10/2/2022 at 8:09 AM, Guppysnail said:

As mentioned above Reverse Respiration for plants. Use grocery store hydrogen peroxide on decor just put it on let sit 15 minutes or so and rinse it off. Anything I know of that will destroy snail eggs will destroy beneficial bacteria unfortunately. 
Your sponge you are best to soak it in straight hydrogen peroxide. Reason is the sponge and decor can introduce to much water into the seltzer and dilute its effectiveness. Hydrogen peroxide is powerful stuff so dilution is not as much of a factor. It’s cheap so doable. Alum is hard on plants. We showed microscope photos of the damage alum does vs RR not damaging plants. 
 

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your rescape. 

I briefly had a minor snail problem coinciding with a string algae problem.  I can't proof it but I believe the abbreviated Alum soak wiped out my Hornwort.

In part because the Hornwort is long gone, I don't have a problem with snails, so I recently tried the RR soak for spot algae on Anubia.  I was expecting the algae to die and brush/fall off.  It did not.  After re-reading the piece on Reverse Respiration, I suspect that my "sparkling water" was not up to the task.   Was I expecting too much?

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On 10/2/2022 at 10:08 AM, Tanked said:

I briefly had a minor snail problem coinciding with a string algae problem.  I can't proof it but I believe the abbreviated Alum soak wiped out my Hornwort.

In part because the Hornwort is long gone, I don't have a problem with snails, so I recently tried the RR soak for spot algae on Anubia.  I was expecting the algae to die and brush/fall off.  It did not.  After re-reading the piece on Reverse Respiration, I suspect that my "sparkling water" was not up to the task.   Was I expecting too much?

None of the algae brushed off. It dies and critters eat it or it gradually dissolved. Sparking water is not the same as seltzer. The ph that is a critical part is higher. If I remember correctly sparkling water is 6 and seltzer is 3. (Don’t quote me on that as it’s off the top of my head ). 

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On 10/1/2022 at 9:02 PM, Bev C said:

i tried Reverse Respiration with Soda water as linked above  and it work very well  with the snails and the algae ..  i like it better then Alum dip But i have only  done on new plants  out of the tank  in a tote but i have not  redid my whole tank ,,I am sure someone knows better then me and can help with the directions for  treating a whole tank 

Thanks everyone. I will try the reverse respiration technique. Sounds like no matter the method I will have to cycle the tank. Just nervous about it because I am heavily stocked and don't want to risk losing anyone. I've mostly done fish in cycles, but didn't have as many critters in the aquarium at those times.

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You could just do plants and decor and a deep substrate vac. It will not rid you of them but will reduce numbers. Cut way back on food because pest snails only reproduce to the amount of excess food available. 
They are beneficial to your ecosystem. I keep them in all 10 tanks plus a snail jar on purpose. My numbers stay stable unless I overfeed. 
You could also get assassin snails to control population. 
If you are heavily stocked and then trying to cycle that could be hard on your fish. 

Edited by Guppysnail
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