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Old 12/28/2007, 02:41 PM   #1
JargonMan
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Angry Vermetid Pest Elimination

There seems to be a lack of knowledge on how to eradicate vermetid snails from our reef aquaria. I've read the fancy articles that talk about what the snails are, but if I hear one more person say they are beneficial filter feeders I'm going to puke. For those of us that have tanks infested with them all we want to know is how to get rid of them.

Has anyone had any success eliminating these critters from their tank short of breaking them off one by one. I think we can skip the suggested zebra leg hermit crabs, copper banded butterfly fish, "some" wrasses, solutions.

How can we deal with these pests once and for all.

And if you're going to mention how they're beneficial, balance is good...bla bla bla, save it. This thread is for suggestions/success stories for how to get rid of vermetid snails.


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Old 12/28/2007, 02:46 PM   #2
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these things are horrible. I feel your pain. I'll be interested to see what people suggest aside from the normal nonsense.


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Old 12/28/2007, 02:53 PM   #3
Swanwillow
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octopus! YEA!

PS-with a tight fitting lid, and a home for it to go to after its done its duty!

oh, mantis shrimps will knock them out too... make sure its a small smasher variety, usually hitch-hickers that we don't like in our tanks (silly people) And after the snails are gone, you're going to need to supply it with other foods.


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Old 12/28/2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Now that'd be fun...An octopus in a 5.5gallon


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Old 12/28/2007, 03:04 PM   #5
Swanwillow
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well, you wanted original ideas, I wasn't reading your tank lines!! but a mantis WOULD work in there, and you can always find another person that wants one-just post about it in the mantis forum down below.


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Old 12/28/2007, 03:12 PM   #6
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Now we're talking. How do you know a mantis shrimp would eat them, or are you just speculating?


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Old 12/28/2007, 03:34 PM   #7
Swanwillow
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I had one
and speculating, since what the 'bashing' type eat are snails, shrimp, and small crustations. You'd have to take out anything good snail/shrimp/crab wise from the tank for the duration of the mantis' stay. My mantis was well fed, so let my one single snail live in my ten gallon tank for him.

The real minus to having a mantis in the tank are... well, a few.
no more hands in the tank-they are called thumb splitters, although the smaller ones won't do much damage-a nice bruise, not much breaking skin. (I don't know if this is an actual minus, as many of us need help keeping our hands out of tanks!)
no more snails, unless you find types with impermeable shells.
They tend to rearrange to their liking,not yours. That nice small colony of zoanthids MAY just be moved to the back of the tank. And remember, no hands in the tank.

Thats about it, really. nothing TOO bad, I liked mine. The smashing type also don't go after fish unless they are pretty much starved, mine lived happily with a green clown goby and a blue damsel. Their lifespan is decently short, just a few years.


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Old 12/28/2007, 05:14 PM   #8
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do you think the mantis would pose a threat to the thin glass of the 5.5 gallon?


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Old 12/28/2007, 08:14 PM   #9
Swanwillow
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not the small hitchhicker types. A peacock WOULD kill your tank. Look for the ones 'free to good home-killer mantis' threads. The ones that hike to our tanks on florida rock. Small, don't get much bigger than 3 inches.


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Old 12/28/2007, 08:28 PM   #10
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Hmmm, a Mantis has the power in their striker of a .22 bullet. But they do make nice pets as they have a great personality. No worry about getting rid of your snails.


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Old 12/28/2007, 08:36 PM   #11
Swanwillow
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LOL, only the largest and strongest ones have the capabilities of a .22

The small ones I'm talking about don't.


__________________
my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Old 12/28/2007, 09:06 PM   #12
RicksReefs
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just go into the tank with a tube of superglue gel and seal the little buggers up in their tubes.

try to limit the cackling when you do it...


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Old 12/28/2007, 09:11 PM   #13
jjcool
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The superglue has been tried. It works if you only have a few. There are too many of them to seal up though and they are in places that you can't reach and sometimes can't even see. If you don't kill them all you're just wasting your time.


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Old 12/28/2007, 09:25 PM   #14
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aside from appearance is there any documented negative impact these guys have on our tanks?


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Old 12/28/2007, 09:40 PM   #15
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I've seen them kill zoa's before. The "webbing" they release goes across the zoas and causes them to close up and never open again. Maybe it's just when there are a lot of them, but I've seen it happen.


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Old 12/31/2007, 07:53 AM   #16
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I've had vermetid snails kill 2 colonies of zoa's.
Here are some links that coroborate their negative impact.

http://eco.confex.com/eco/2007/techprogram/P7313.HTM
http://www.zoaid.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=536
http://www.hopsreef.com/vermetidinfo.htm

I am willing to try the mantis shrimp, but I want to make sure that the people suggesting that know what vermetid snails are. They aren't mobile snails like most mantis prey. They attach to rock and are stationary. The only videos of mantis behavior I've seen make me think of them as oportunistic predators, not rock scraping scavengers. Your thoughts?


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Old 12/31/2007, 07:56 AM   #17
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Manual removal?


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Old 12/31/2007, 08:25 AM   #18
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On my rock in areas of low concentration I have 8 vermetid snails per square inch. In areas of high concentration I have 14 snails per square inch. If I put in a new peice of rock rubble it takes about 1 month to reach the 8 vermetid snails per square inch level. They attach primarily on all of my live rock and rock rubble. They do not attach as readily to the glass, though some do attach. With this many snails manual removal would be extremely difficult and time consuming.

Having said that I may try that at some point. Although I speculate if I left any of the vermetid population they would be back up in numbers within 2 months.


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Old 12/31/2007, 08:26 AM   #19
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Too many to do manual removal in my case....... I try to decrease feeding so there is less food and starve them out, but i know i will still have some. I also constantly go around snapping their tubes off. I figure if i make it tough enough maybe they will die off and something else will take their place. :-) wishful thinking?


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Old 12/31/2007, 09:03 AM   #20
jjcool
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wishful thinking most likely. I find that if I break the tubes off it seems to just make them multiply faster. Maybe it's just my imagination. If you use a knife or similar object and get under the entire snail and pop them off that will permanently remove them, but as JargonMan said if you don't remove them all they're back in a month or so.


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Old 12/31/2007, 09:29 AM   #21
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Hi all - I just pulled a couple of these guys from my one-month old 90 gallon. One was on a small piece of rock right on top of my scape, so I just took the whole rock out. The other was on a larger piece of rock, but still easily accessible so I broke off the part of the rock he was on with a pair of pliers.

The only reason I found them was because of the web they were spitting out. Are there any other signs I can watch out for so I can get these guys out before it's too late?

Thanks!


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Old 12/31/2007, 10:00 AM   #22
JargonMan
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qfrisco, I have found that if I stir up my sand and try to kick up some detritus then I can see the webbing a whole lot better because they catch the small particles and haul them in. Try to become an expert on what they look like so that you can spot them for removal. Super glue on the tip of them does kill them, but I have too many to effectively do that on my rock. My friend has tried epoxy with some success. I do have them growing "amidst" one of my acroporas. It's tube extends out from the acro, the acro keeps trying to encrust it, and the vermetid keeps lengthening it's shell. I think as long as the tube can access the water they can still eat, poop, and reproduce which is all these guys do.

Also beware of any zoas that are staying closed for like a whole day. Their may be some of the mucous irritating them and that is the beginning of the end.

Tiger, I like the suggestion of decrease feeding, unfortunatly I don't have any fish in my tank, so I'm not really feeding anyhow. I used to use reef chilli but I stopped since I've been trying to kill the vermetid. They seem to be living off the water and hermit poop. I do supplement with Reef Plus, Reef Complete, and Reef Carbonate. I don't know if that may be a food source for these guys.

Also I do a 20% water change weekly.

I will also mention if you suspect that you have some, check your plumming. I have vermetids in my tubing and in my pumps.


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Old 12/31/2007, 10:33 AM   #23
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I had a few hundred thousand of them which I have dwindled to a few tens of thousands with an assortment of hermits. I tried everything else and nothing worked. Wish there was a better answer, but there isn't. I spoke to Dr. Ron Shimek who recommended for an infestation such as mine, taking out all the rock and killing everything may be the only way to rid my system.

They do seem to go up and down in their population though, but when your flow becomes hindered because of the thousands growing in your pipes, you may do like I did and tear the system down.


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Old 12/31/2007, 10:44 AM   #24
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Question on the super glue - do you do this in-tank while the rock is in the water? Is there a certain kind of super glue that can be used underwater?


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Old 12/31/2007, 10:56 AM   #25
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Super glue gel works fine and is always available locally And yes you can do it under water.


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