Monday, October 02, 2006

Maracyn May Be Making Snails Unhappy

When it comes to snails in the aquarium, there's just no easy way to get rid of them. You either have to tear down your tank and wash everything, get a fish that eats snails but potentially harasses your other fish (like a dwarf puffer), or manually try to remove them all (yeah right!). Chemical treatments are bad because they can kill other things in your tank like plants, other invertebrates, and even fish.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that all of my Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) were either simply not happy or dying after beginning a treatment to kill a Blue-Green Algae outbreak. I'm still investigating, but soon after I began adding Maracyn (a simple antibiotic) to the tank, all the snails came out of the substrate and closed themselves up in their shells. I saw one or two just laying on the substrate upside down, motionless. Now I'm not 100% sure they're dead, and nor am I sure it was the Maracyn treatment that caused it, but there must be a link between the two. Invertebrates are usually more sensitive to nitrites than fish (killing the algae could cause a nitrite spike). The shrimp in the tank are doing fine though, so it's not something that particularly affects invertebrates, just these snails. There are a few smaller rams horn snails as well that seem to be doing fine.

I'll ask around and see if anyone has any more information on this. If Maracyn does kill MTS, I'm sure it would make a lot of people happy. They are notorious for being one of the hardest types of snails to get rid of, although they are highly beneficial for the substrate of a tank.

1 comment:

  1. it definitely doesn't work on pond snails as one of my mollie's was injured by my red tail shark and developed pop-eye and after the Maracyn treatment both mollie and snails are doing great.....as a matter of fact, my pond snails seem to have increased their population 10 fold! not good!

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