If you have been thinking of upgrading your tank and adding new species to it, then we are sure you have learned a lot from your journey and are now ready to experience more. As the addition of snails in the tank is considered essential to keep your algae in check, what’s your opinion? Want to add the Mystery Snail?
Mystery snails are known for their beautiful color and their algae-eating properties. You might not find a better species that is aesthetically pleasing for your tank while providing the cleaning benefits at the same time. But before you reach your final decision, we must tell you that you should be prepared to clean your tanks more often if you add mystery snails to them. Why? Because of the bioload. The Mystery Snails are large and are known to have a great bioload.
It means that you might get rid of algae scrubbing activity, but water changes and waste removal will still be your headache. So, if you are ready for it, go ahead. But if you aren’t, then you might consider other options.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Significant reasons for mystery snail bioload
- Space requirement for a mystery snail
- How many mystery snails can fit in your tank?
Reasons for high Snail Bioload
If you wonder why the mystery snail is contributing to a higher bioload than the other species in the tank, then the first reason for it is its biological anatomy. They are designed this way, so you can’t do much about it. But there are other reasons for it as well.
They are known to eat the leftover food from the tank, but if you add more food to the aquarium, there will be a higher quantity of leftover food involved. It means they’ll have a lot of food to snack around all day, and the result will obviously be a higher bioload, which will be accounted for in the mystery snail statistics.
Besides, as they eat the leftover food, the food isn’t energy-rich in most cases. It means that they’ll eat more to fulfill their energy requirements to roam around in the aquarium. In turn, the amount of wastage produced in the aquarium will be higher.
Mystery snails do not contribute to your bioload only
Having mentioned the reasons for the higher bioload associated with your mystery snails, we must not forget that they also consume the algae and other waste material from your tank. So that means they are consuming a bit of the bioload too. A few people in the aquarium industry believe that the ratio of consuming bioload is the same as that of creating it. While the other believe that mystery snails produce a lot of bioloads compared to the consumption.
You’ll have to check it by keeping a mystery snail in your tank because it is a living being, so you cannot be sure about the way a species can perform. There are chances that your mystery snail might react a lot differently as compared to what others have shared online.
Why does bioload threaten everyone?
Bioload is basically the pressure that the waste in your tank can create on the filters for cleaning. It includes anything from the uneaten food, wastes by fishes and animals, and decomposition of the dead inhabitants of the tank.
Mystery snails are responsible for a lot of waste, so everyone is worried about the extent of pressure they’ll place in your filters. This means frequent filter changes, intermediary water cycles, and definitely a lot of effort.
What bioload stats should you expect?
Not everyone is on the same page. When we say that the mystery snails create a lot of bioloads, it is ambiguous. So, let us be precise and share a few stats from the aquarium experts to let you know the intensity of the problem before you decide on taking responsibility.
According to one of the aquarium owners, a 10-gallon tank with aquatic plants and 4 mystery snails required a 50% water change daily. The reasons for changing water were the opacity and the spike in the ammonia levels. There is no other fish that could add to the bioload.
Considering this example, even if you think of having one mystery snail in your tank, you should be ready to change the water twice a week. So, if you are happy with such a routine, you can surely go for it. Otherwise, there is still time to think.
According to some experts, you must include 2 gallons each when calculating the bioload. This is the case when you have the planted aquarium, and the majority of the plants can reduce the ammonia; otherwise, keep your estimates to 5 gallons. Even if a few exceptions exist, you will not want to overstock your tank and get into a bigger problem.
Is it impossible to keep a mystery snail in your aquarium?
You’ll find mystery snails in many aquariums with fish. This is usually because of their algae-eating habits. You can expect them to get rid of algae even from the toughest spots where you might be dreading scrubbing. So you can consider your Mystery Snail a helping hand.
So, what about the bioload? Well, this is definitely a problem because it impacts the water quality. So let’s have a look at the various options you have to deal with it.
Adjust the filtering system
You can adjust your filtering system so that it can cater to higher waste removal from your tank. This means that you’ll have the tank cleaned from algae by the mystery snails and the waste from Mystery Snails waste removed by the filtration system.
Manual removal of snail poop
Besides, the manual removal of mystery snail poop with a siphon is another option that can help you keep your ammonia levels checked, and you will not have to perform the frequent water changes for your aquarium.
It is advisable to use an automated siphon as the manual one is difficult to be operated by the newbies. However, you can give it a try if you want to.
Lastly, you have the option to change the water regularly. It might be difficult initially, but you’ll get used to it pretty soon. Then changing water will neither be complicated nor take much time. But it still requires an excessive commitment, so be sure that you are up for this task before you adopt mystery snails for your aquarium.
How many mystery snails can fit in your aquarium?
Despite all this discussion, one of the questions that you still have in mind regarding the adoption of the mystery snails is how many of these snails can fit in your aquarium.
So, you can go by the general rule of thumb that each mystery snail requires 5 gallons of free space in your tank. Depending upon your aquarium size, you can do the math.
Mystery snails can be helpful if you have them in the correct number and know how to deal with the waste they produce. So, if you want to include them in your tank, they won’t need 15 gallons of your water space, but they will neither adjust in a few inches. Spare at least 5 gallons of space for each of your mystery snails, and that will be just perfect.
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