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Got some used gravel for my tank! What kind of snails are these?


mgudyka
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A stranger was kind enough to give me some used gravel from two of his tanks to jump start the cycle in my tank. Some commenters on another one of my posts said to use substrate from a trusted tank, but since I didn't have animals in the tank anyway, I figure I don't have anything to lose but time if this doesn't work out for some reason. 

 

Another commenter on another post of mine was surprised I did not get any snails from the plants I already had. Well, surprise! There probably are live hitchhikers in this gravel.

What kind of snails are these?

And now that I have this used substrate, what's next for me?

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1 minute ago, Kirsten said:

Nice! Those are trumpet snails! They'll be perfect for your sandy substrate, since they like to burrow during the day and will help keep it aerated. They'll also help get your tank cycled since they'll eat algae and decaying plant leaves and produce a little waste to help feed your beneficial bacteria.

Awesome! How soon should I test my water ?

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I'd recommend putting in a tiny pinch of cheap fish food for the snails in the evening every other night or so (they won't need a lot), then testing in the morning. First you'll probably see a little ammonia and a little nitrite, and a few days later you'll probably see mostly nitrites and a little nitrate, and within a couple weeks you should be seeing pretty much only nitrates, then you'll know your tank is cycled and ready for a few more animals.

If the cycle's slow to get going and you're starting to see a lot of ammonia (I'd say more than 0.5ppm, but that's just a guess), I'd recommend a 25-ish percent water change and cut back on the fish food for a couple days.

You can also buy bacterial cultures that'll help kick-start the cycle. I like API's Quick Start since it's relatively cheap and easy to find, but there's also Seachem Stability and I'm sure a few others.

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Just now, Kirsten said:

I'd recommend putting in a tiny pinch of cheap fish food for the snails in the evening every other night or so (they won't need a lot), then testing in the morning. First you'll probably see a little ammonia and a little nitrite, and a few days later you'll probably see mostly nitrites and a little nitrate, and within a couple weeks you should be seeing pretty much only nitrates, then you'll know your tank is cycled and ready for a few more animals.

If the cycle's slow to get going and you're starting to see a lot of ammonia (I'd say more than 0.5ppm, but that's just a guess), I'd recommend a 25-ish percent water change and cut back on the fish food for a couple days.

You can also buy bacterial cultures that'll help kick-start the cycle. I like API's Quick Start since it's relatively cheap and easy to find, but there's also Seachem Stability and I'm sure a few others.

I have already added Fritzyme 7 to my tank a couple of days ago and also added a little fish food a couple of times. I thought the used substrate with the beneficial bacteria would help jump start my cycle though.

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8 minutes ago, mgudyka said:

I have already added Fritzyme 7 to my tank a couple of days ago and also added a little fish food a couple of times. I thought the used substrate with the beneficial bacteria would help jump start my cycle though.

Oh it definitely will, depending on how much you got. You might be close to cycled already! The tests will tell.

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Just now, Kirsten said:

Oh it definitely will, depending on how much you got. You might be close to cycled already! The tests will tell.

Really?! I tested my water yesterday (5 days after adding the Fritzyme and after having "fed" the bacteria with fish food twice and then the test detected no ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. I *just* added this used gravel, will testing tomorrow be too soon?

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1 minute ago, mgudyka said:

Really?! I tested my water yesterday (5 days after adding the Fritzyme and after having "fed" the bacteria with fish food twice and then the test detected no ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. I *just* added this used gravel, will testing tomorrow be too soon?

Never hurts to test! But it'll probably take the gravel a few days to help seed. How long are you keeping the lights on? A good 12-hours on, 12-off schedule will also help grow a little algae and get things going a little faster.

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2 minutes ago, Kirsten said:

Never hurts to test! But it'll probably take the gravel a few days to help seed. How long are you keeping the lights on? A good 12-hours on, 12-off schedule will also help grow a little algae and get things going a little faster.

I have it on an 9 hour schedule, is that too little?

I posted on a community forum and someone is now offering to give me a filter cartridge to squeeze into my tank. Would that jump start my cycle even MORE or is that just a waste of time? I appreciate you answering all of my questions haha

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9 hours ago, mgudyka said:

I have it on an 9 hour schedule, is that too little?

I posted on a community forum and someone is now offering to give me a filter cartridge to squeeze into my tank. Would that jump start my cycle even MORE or is that just a waste of time? I appreciate you answering all of my questions haha

No problem! 9 hours is fine for when you have fish and plants, but you could keep the lights on longer now when you're cycling the tank and are trying to promote a little algae growth.

If you're not seeing any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in your tests, maybe try feeding a little heavier until you can start detecting some levels to watch.

I would politely decline the filter cartridge, which may include chemical filtration elements that you won't want in a planted tank. You should be good in terms of seeing your bio filter. Now it's just a matter of time!

If Fritz 7 recommends, you might be able to redose on Day 7 as well.

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2 hours ago, Kirsten said:

No problem! 9 hours is fine for when you have fish and plants, but you could keep the lights on longer now when you're cycling the tank and are trying to promote a little algae growth.

If you're not seeing any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in your tests, maybe try feeding a little heavier until you can start detecting some levels to watch.

I would politely decline the filter cartridge, which may include chemical filtration elements that you won't want in a planted tank. You should be good in terms of seeing your bio filter. Now it's just a matter of time!

If Fritz 7 recommends, you might be able to redose on Day 7 as well.

Thank you again for your advice. I won't take up this man on his filter offer. I am hoping the two cultures of bacteria help take off. A different stranger in the neighborhood offered to give me a couple of cories (in a post asking if anyone wanted to share some substrate with me to jump start my cycle), is it too soon for me to accept?

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