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Over the past month I have lost all my Tridacna clams to pinched mantle and pyramid snails. I don't believe the pyramid snails were the main cause of death, but the fact that they were on my clams suggests they didn't help keep them alive. I was manually removing the snails from the clams, but I could only find a one or two very small snails when I looked at night. Now that all my clams are gone, I thought for sure the snails would have died off by now...

However, I noticed the other day that I STILL have pyramid snails in my tank, which surprises me that they could survive without a host. I noticed something curious though, that all the pyramid snails I saw were all on top of collonista snails. Then it dawned on me that the pyramid snails may have just shifted to feeding on the collonista snails by boring through their shells and feeding on the flesh just like they do with clams. If this is the case, then either I have to wait for all the collonista snails to be hunted out, or for the pyramid snails to starve out from the lack of substantial food sources. Kind of an unfortunate observation, but I thought I would share!

Here's a terrible grainy picture of the pyramid snail on a collonista. I later discovered that there were two pyramid snails on this snail

IMG_2771.jpg

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Here is a picture of an Astraea snail that has become prey to pyramid snails. I did some research and found out that pyramids do prey on not only clams, but limpets, colonista snails, turbo snails, Astraea snails, pretty much anything in the phylum Mollusca. Some species of pyramid snails are species specific, and I guess in my case I have a species that will latch on to just about anything they can. I'm looking into raising the magnesium level in my tank to wipe out all Mollusks so I can be rid of these parasites. Would love to know if anyone here has ever tried this before.5922f2d1fa24d30502948cd3ce992a26.jpg

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Here is a picture of an Astraea snail that has become prey to pyramid snails. I did some research and found out that pyramids do prey on not only clams, but limpets, colonista snails, turbo snails, Astraea snails, pretty much anything in the phylum Mollusca. Some species of pyramid snails are species specific, and I guess in my case I have a species that will latch on to just about anything they can. I'm looking into raising the magnesium level in my tank to wipe out all Mollusks so I can be rid of these parasites. Would love to know if anyone here has ever tried this before.

I can't speak for this situation, but I had my Mg levels at almost 2500 ppm for about 6 months trying to fight bryopsis in a previous tank. I did have nerites and colonistas, and there were definitely some pyramid snails on the nerites most of the time. Absolutely no effect on any snails in the tank at that level. I'm not sure I would try to go much higher for extended periods of time.

I have a suspicion the only way to get rid of these evil little vampires is to get rid of any large snails and wait for them to die off after they run out of food. A canthigaster puffer might be worth a try as well after removing the large snails. They would probably eliminate the colonists, but I imagine they would remove the pyramids as well. They're otherwise reef / coral safe with the exception of other small inverts.

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The funny thing is I don't have any large snails in the tank, or I didn't until I threw one in the sump to manage the algae that was growing in there. Then I noticed last night that my sump snail was covered in at least 16 pyramid snails. Most of the pyramid snails are in the sand bed or attached to collonista snails. They've been surviving on the collonista snails ever since I lost my maxima clams, and I can't see a way to eliminate them without eliminating collonistas all together. Problem is eliminating thousands of those little snails that are hidden in every nook and cranny in my tank. It has to be chemical removal or baking all the sand and rocks, which I really don't want to do.

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Can you just put a nice, juicy clam in the middle of a glass bowl? Come and get it pyramid snails!

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Just as an update, I have been dosing Tech M for about a week into my tank and raising the Mg levels about 120 ppm a day. My Mg test doesn't read above 1500 ppm, so theoretically I'm at ~2,000 ppm.

I noticed yesterday that my tank is littered with dead brittle starfish and my sand sifting star was sick looking with his mouth wide open. I quickly removed him to my QT tank so the Mg levels don't poison him to death.

The collonistas have started to slow down, but I still see them clinging to rock and glass. I will continue to raise the Mg levels a little bit more and then attempt to keep them elevated for a few weeks so the snails will simply starve out. I will post my results in a few weeks.

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Nice!

The scale should correlate to the amount of titrant used so it should be pretty accurate over the 1500ppm that your test card stops at. For my Red Sea kit, its a 0.01 ml titrant : 20 ppm Mg correlation.

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Many Halichoeres Wrasses eat pyramid snails. I recommend the Melanurus Wrasse because they are so beautiful and have a hardy composition. I keep one in all of my tanks and they keep the pests at bay. You could also get the Christmas, Dusky or Six Line Wrasses (if large enough).

On raising the Mg, I have heard people raising the levels to 2500ppm for 6-7 weeks to fight GHA, cyano, bryopsis, and dinos. I'm not sure if it will kill the snails though.

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If you're using a salifert test kit, you can either use a half size sample of water, or use a second syringe of titrant to get a reasonably accurate measurement above 1500ppm. The double titrant has twice the precision of the half volume of water method but at the cost of using up an expensive test kit twice as fast in the process.

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Oh duh. I've been lazy and using the Apex calculator to determine and log my Mg concentrations. I just gave up after it peaked at 1600 ppm. I'll continue the titration tonight.

You call yourself a scientist sir! Get your head out of the smoke stacks you "air guy"!

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I've been breathing heavy fumes for too long now. Get me out of this industry, Ty!

Another year and a half and I'll open up my own brokerage. I'm going to build a real estate company out of nerds. Come join the fun!
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Just an update: The snails disappeared for a while, but started to see them re-emerge yesterday. Tested my Mg levels today and found that my levels are down to 2,065 ppm. I have dosed some more Tech M to bring the concentration back up and knock the snails back out until they die off.

I also noticed my Heteractis magnifica anemone started having a gaping mouth and looked sickly when I was first dosing the tank. To be safe I removed it to my QT and it has regained strength. My BTA also looked like crap, but I left it in not wanting to overcrowd my QT with two large anemones. I noticed a lot of algae growth and diatoms in my tank and PO4 is up. I decided to get the BTA out and realized that half the anemone has been hidden in a rock, and that half has been decaying and rotting off sick.png I think maybe the Tech M is making the anemones sick or possibly there is a chemical reaction occuring in the tank creating a compound that is toxic to the anemones. I removed the BTA and treating it with cipro hoping to rescue it from it's downhill slide.

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Many Halichoeres Wrasses eat pyramid snails. I recommend the Melanurus Wrasse because they are so beautiful and have a hardy composition. I keep one in all of my tanks and they keep the pests at bay. You could also get the Christmas, Dusky or Six Line Wrasses (if large enough).

On raising the Mg, I have heard people raising the levels to 2500ppm for 6-7 weeks to fight GHA, cyano, bryopsis, and dinos. I'm not sure if it will kill the snails though.

this is guaranteed to work... i use a green coris wrasse myself

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I've had a six line wrasse for months, and I have never seen it make a dent in my small snail population.

Quick update on the Tech M treatment:

The BTA died, or at least it wasn't getting better and water changes in it's QT tank were getting to the point that I thought there was no return. I can't imagine why else the BTA's health would start declining at the same time of treatment, so I'm crediting the Tech M for its demise.

I was inspecting the tank with a flashlight last night to see if bringing the Mg levels up has knocked the snails back out. While doing so I discovered that there were more pyramid snails than collonsitas and all the pyramids were attached to those small hard shell tube worms that live in the shadows. It appears that these vampires will feed on any hard shell animal that they can drill into, clams, oysters, all snail sizes, and tube worms. I can't believe they haven't been knocked out by the Tech M, unless their anchored probiscus is keeping them attached to the tube worms while also providing them nutrients while the collonistas die off.

I'm not sure what to do from here. The six line wrasse hasn't done much in erradicating the snails, chemical treatment of my tank has killed off all star fish, anemones, and knocked out most snails, and yet these little excl.png remain alive and well. I'm thinking the last thing to do is start from scratch, break off as many corals as possible, dip and QT for a month, and bake the rock and start from scratch. mad.gif

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I don't like lined wrasses for utility, but I put them on the list because other people like them. They need to be max size to fit the snails into their mouths. The 4-5" Halicheores Wrasses do the best job and they're peaceful. My last Melanurus Wrasse eliminated the snail population in my last tank in about three months. Bigger problems take more time or more wrasses.

There is something to be said about starting over. Killing the rock in acid or cooking the rock in the dark will eliminate many pests, but they both take a considerable time commitment. The recommend dark cooking time is three months and the rocks will still have bacteria, but any pests that have food in the cook tank will survive. This method is best for algae problems, but doesn't work well on Valonia sp. because the spores can lie dormant. Killing the rock and turning it into base rock takes a 1-2 months and then you can't expect growth on the rock for another 3 months. I've done this twice before and I've never had success with corals before the three month mark. I believe the water is too sanitary to support them. I plan on doing this a third time with my next tank and that's why I sold all of my livestock.

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I plan on baking the rock in the sun for a few days and then performing an acid bath and leaching out as much nutrient as I can. I bought 200 pounds of live rock from an established tank and it is in a dark brute can right now while I set up my new 150. I'm thinking this is perfect time to destroy everything and start from scratch. I'll use the sterilized rock in the current tank as base rock and the established LR with lots of good sponge, bacteria, and coraline as the top rock. I'm going to vigorously dip my SPS corals and QT them under close examination in a separate container while the 150 settles so I can be confident that NOTHING will be transferred to the new tank, but this fish and corals.

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Sounds like a plan!

You can do a web search for how others did the acid bath. I believe that I did the acid bath first, then dried them on the patio for a week, and transferred the rock to RODI freshwater. I kept them in the RODI for two months and changed all of the water weekly. I'll be doing this in a few months so let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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Sounds like a plan!

You can do a web search for how others did the acid bath. I believe that I did the acid bath first, then dried them on the patio for a week, and transferred the rock to RODI freshwater. I kept them in the RODI for two months and changed all of the water weekly. I'll be doing this in a few months so let me know how it goes. Good luck!

Will do. It's going to be quite the undertaking, but I'll do my best to document this tank build and transition. I'm hoping to see some good results from starting over new.

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