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pictures of turbo and astrea snails?


Guy

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I was hoping someone could post a picture of an Astrea and a Turbo snail. Here is my story, I have a bit of a hair algae problem in my 29 gallon and on different occasions, I have purchased snails labeled as both. Now, they keep the glass clean, but they just don’t seem to touch the algae on the rocks, which is really what I need them to clean. I keep reading posts about these snails cleaning the rock if you place them on it, but I just have not had luck. I am guessing I am not buying the right type.

 

Thanks

Guy

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I got a turbo and 2 astrea for my 5.5g and they CLEANED UP! They love the hair algae. They don't like to eat it off the sand but the turbo has even started to graze down on the sand a little. I don't have a very good picture, but this is what I've got...

 

Here is the Turbo

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Astea and turbos do NOT eat hair algae. They only eat diatoms (typically the brownish algae film you see on the glass)... that's it.

 

There really aren't hair algae eaters in the typical clean-up crews... You will see a bunch of animals sold saying that they eat hair algae, but (like your atrea and turbo) they do not.... I have never seen a hermit crab eat hair algae either. However some urchins can/will eat it.

 

You will need to get rid of it the old fashion way. Pull out as much as you can, do water changes to remove the nutrients in your water that are feeding the algae, grow macro algae to compete with the hair for food, reduce the amount of food/additives you put in the water, make sure your water source is pure, etc...

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I have to disagree... as you can see in the pictures there is very little hair algae. Three days before I took those pictures almost every surface of the glass was covered in hair algae. The turbo snail and 2 astrea snails removed almost all of it (I didn't touch it). I would imagine that perhaps if you also had diatoms they would prefer the diatoms, but since there was no other kind of algae (at least visible), they ate the hair algae and continue to do so.

 

As I said earlier, now that the hair algae on the glass is getting depleted, the turbo snail even goes down on the sand and eats the hair algae, however he isn't very good at getting it off the sand.

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OK, I lied... I really have gnomonemus algieatus, also known as hair algae gnomes. They are very closely related to the well known gnomonemus underpanthistakus. You can't see them because they use magic pixie dust to keep themselves invisible. I was going to keep this a secret, but I guess I will share it with everyone. If you would like some I can offer them to you for the incredible introductory price of $1000 each. They also cure ich, eliminate bubble algae, remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, eliminate cyano, keep your pH at 8.3, regulate your SG, and even cure cancer. If you act now I will throw in some VERY rare brown zoanthids.

 

Then again... it could have just been the snails. :-)

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I do not see any hair algae in your picture. And I would guess that there probably are species of turbo and astrea snails that eat hair algae... Maybe you even got real lucky and happen to have one (I would not think that both the turbo and astea in your tank are eating hair algae though) but that would not be the norm for the typical astea and turbo species offered for sale.

 

The problem is one of anatomy. These snails have a mouth and teeth structure for scraping film algae not chewing hair algae. More likely, if their algae of choice is not available, they starve to death... And they can starve to death in a bed of algae that they just are not able to eat.

 

I had a hair algae outbreak that lasted for months... maybe even 5-6 months. And it also disappeared basically overnight. I attribute it to changing my source water from tap water run through a cheap RO carbon filter to RO/DI water run through a professional filter. One day all the rocks were covered... the next day the algae was gone.

 

On a separate occasion I was able to head off what apppeared to be the start of another hair algae outbreak by changing out a pound or 2 of LR with "fresh" rock. That also eliminated the hair algae basically overnight. The rational there (I did not invent it) is that the LR acts like a sponge and absorbs nutrients from the water. We can change the water such and have perfect water measurements yet still have algae? This is because the rocks are seeping out the excess nutrients to reach an equalibrium with the tank water and hence feeding the hair algae. I have and plan to continue to change out pieces of LR periodically (every year change a pound or two) to avoid this problem in the future. This occured for me after I had the tank for about 3.5 years... Hewever if you buy used rock from an older tank, this could be a problem much sooner.

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Originally posted by revance

OK, I lied... I really have gnomonemus algieatus, also known as hair algae gnomes. They are very closely related to the well known gnomonemus underpanthistakus.  You can't see them because they use magic pixie dust to keep themselves invisible.  I was going to keep this a secret, but I guess I will share it with everyone.  If you would like some I can offer them to you for the incredible introductory price of $1000 each.  They also cure ich, eliminate bubble algae, remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, eliminate cyano, keep your pH at 8.3, regulate your SG, and even cure cancer.  If you act now I will throw in some VERY rare brown zoanthids.

 

Then again... it could have just been the snails. :-)

 

By advising people to buy astrea snails to cure their hair algae problem... you are basically already selling gnomonemus algieatus. Both will be about as effective on hair algae.

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I have 2 red footed Hermits and 3 Mexican Turbo snails, and NO GREEN HAIR ALGEA so it's either the snals or the hermits :)

 

My tank has been running since the middle of April 2004

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I have 3 margarita, 1 astrea 2 blue legs and no hair algae. Except a little on my skimmer power head were the blue legs never go. So I think its the blue legs that eat it in my tank. Or maybe my emerald crab

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Look... the only point I wanted to make is never say never. I have sat and watched all three of my snails chomp down hair algae right in front of my eyes. I am not saying that is the norm, in fact I even mentioned that since there was no other visible algae. They probably ate what they had available, not what they prefer, but it is possible. I know the dissapearance of the algae was not due to anything else because I didn't change anything, not to mention you could see the tracks in the algae left by the snails.

 

Anyway, sorry I was so sarcastic, I was just kind of peeved that you stated that they don't eat hair algae as if I were telling a lie. I am not trying to advise people of anything, he asked a question, I answered along with a note on my personal experience, but I have also heard many other people having success with turbo snails and hair algae.

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I have seen mine eat hair algae (or what I think is hair algae - maybe what I think hair algae is, really isn't).

 

I am pretty sure my fighting conch does too.

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Oh, btw... thanks for your other advise, I am sure that will also be helpful for everyone.

 

Last little note:

 

I think everyone should buy a couple snails whether they help with hair algae or not... they are lots of fun to have. Except the turbo, once I add corals I am giving him away so he doesn't buldoze them.

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My turbo snail which looks like a big astrea snail munch down on anything veggy. I have seen it sitting on top of hair algae, and the next day, the hair algae was gone. I also saw my turbo sitting on my mermaid's wine glass, and the next day alot of those were gone. He has even munched off one of those big neon green plants that I have in my tank which are growing off the rocks.

 

I have heard of some poeple with turbo snails that don't do anything, but I think those are the late night munchers.

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I believe that my fighting conch eats hair algae as well. Only problem with them is that they really will not climb rocks. So at best they will only clean the hair algae on the sand and at the lower portions of the rocks.

 

I did not mean to say Reverance was lying, I don't think I read his first post before I posted. And, to be perfectly honest myself, several years ago during my hair algae episode I bought a Turbo on advice from other reefers. And I did think that it ate hair algae. It did not live for long and did not solve my algae problem, but I was not correct to include turbos in my statement that they NEVER eat hair algae. That said, I think many people report mixed results with turbos... Sometimes they eat hair algae, sometimes they do not. In any case, I think they are a poor choice for a nano since they grow large, knock stuff over, and cannot be sustained in our tanks for the long term (a nano just doesn't produce enough algae), but I guess some people may have better luck with one than I did.

 

Most of these snails we are talking about are long-lived animals... So if they are dying in our tanks after months or even a year... or two, the problem is that they are probably starving. I think in most cases, the source of a major algae outbreak should be found and fixed before loading in more grazers that the tank will not be able to sustain... But that is a pet peave of mine.

 

FYI, magarite snails are temperate water snails, not tropical snails and certainly not reef snails. It has been observered that they can live for decades... In a reef tank, the temperature will kill them in months. Sorry, another pet peave... But I don't think they are good choices for our tanks either... This time I will not say that they never eat hair algae though, I don't know if they do or don't as I never tried to keep one.

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Originally posted by revance

I think everyone should buy a couple snails whether they help with hair algae or not... they are lots of fun to have.

 

Could not agree more!!

In my 15g I have,

3 astrea

2 ceriths

1 fighting conch

and a breeding population of peppermint snails.

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Originally posted by MidiMouse

My snails never did anything for my hair algae, but my scarlet reef hermits annihilated it :happy:  

 

-Lam

 

I agree, scarlet reef hermits clean the hair algae away for good. Haven't seen a single spot of hair algae in my tank since adding my one, yes thats right one, scarlet hermit.

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Originally posted by scd

By advising people to buy astrea snails to cure their hair algae problem...  you are basically already selling gnomonemus algieatus.  Both will be about as effective on hair algae.

 

And telling people that turbos and astreas wont eat hair algae is just an ignorant and misinformed statement.I know for a fact that they will eat it however they will not eat it if its too long.Now I do agree that snails alone are not gonna get rid of the hair algae, they need to be used in conjuction with some type of phosphate sponge and hand removal.Once the growth has been impaired and the hair algae shortened by hand pulling then the turbos and astreas can get rid of whats left over.My case ,my turbos had my rocks totaly clean in a matter of a couple days.So quit giving out incorrect information or at least do some more reading before you post .If for some reason they didnt eat hair algae in your tank then you should specify that and not make a general statement that they dont eat it.

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Thanks for all of the responses on this. Judging by the pictures I have just been getting the astrea, which does a great job on cleaning the glass. But I need to get my hands on a few turbo's and see what they can do for me. At least now i know the difference.

 

Thanks

Guy

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Originally posted by corriewf

So quit giving out incorrect information or at least do some more reading before you post .If for some reason they didnt eat hair algae in your tank then you should specify that and not make a general statement that they dont eat it.

 

I'm giving information to help new reefers set-up successful long-term nano's... Taking into account the health and happiness of the animals and people involved. If Guy wants a tank that will work and have animals that will live for many years (not months like is the only option for some of the advice I have seen) then I hope he takes some of my advice. You can call it ignorant and uninformed... I disagree. What will you tell him when his snails die? That there is a problem with his water? Why don't we cut out the middle step?

 

Fine, turbos will sometimes eat hair algae, I've seen it myself, as I said before. And I don't contest that an Astea could eat hair algae when it is cut down to a level that it's scaping teeth can eat it like diatoms... I have certainly seen them avoid it when there is enough diatoms in the tank. Scarlett hermits sometimes eat it too if they are hungry enough, try putting a piece of fish and a piece of hair algae in front of a scarlett hermit and see what the crab thinks is best for it.

 

I have had my scarlett hermit for over five years, it does not want to be eating hair algae I can guarantee you. Most of my astrea have lived for 2-3 years... And the only times I have had to replace my astrea is during the 2 (one big, one small) hair algae outbreaks I have had... The hair algae outcompetes the diatoms for the "algae food" cutting off the astea's food source and after some time with just the hair algae they die...

 

If the problem causing the algae is not corrected the snails will die and the cycle will repeat itself. If you throw too many snails in a tank to clear up the algae... They may. Then there is not enough food and they die and the cycle repeats itself. I try to keep my tank stable, and my advice is aimed to help others do the same.

 

Bottom line is I certainly don't think my advice is ignorant as you stated. You might not like it. If my memory is correct you have a green spotted puffer in your nano... I would NEVER advice someone to put a brackish animal in a saltwater tank. And without question I would tell a new reefer it could not be done because I truelly believe it is only a matter of time before that experiment fails. I hope I am wrong and please continue to post on the progress, but that is just not something I would do. You have your stlye of reefkeeping and I have a different stlye. My statement may have been exaggerated, but not ignorant.

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My many snails (cerith, astreae, and one turbo), 7 blue legged hermits, emerald crab, and tuxedo urchin do nothing for the algae I have in my tank. I thought what I had was hair algae, but I don't it is. Most hair algae will come off easily with a toothbrush. The stuff I have is bristle like, and can't be removed. It's driving me nuts.

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