Snail question


New member
Are there any snails that are more tolerant to higher nitrate levels than others ?
My nitrate level is around 30-40 ppm on the API test and 20 on the strip test.
I have a Astrea snail that has been going for a while now,but the turbos I got died. I am fighting brown algae on rocks and sand but the astrea can't keep up with it. Should I just stick with the Astreas.
I do a 20% water changes every week.
55gal FOWLR
15 gallon sump
2 x 800 gph powerhead
Any info would be appreciated.


New member
Inveterates are pretty notorious for being sensitive to water issues... That said, if astreas are working for you that is probably your best bet.

With the size water changes you are doing and still having nitrates that high and algea issues, it sounds like you might have an overstocking or overfeeding issue that you may want to figure out before adding more critters. The people in new to the hobby can generally ferret out issues like that. One other thing, are you positive it's algae and not cyano bacteria or diatoms?
Good luck!


New member
It's Diatoms. Went through the cyno already. none around now. Been fighting them for a few months. The tank was neglected for awhile and now getting the attention it needs.
I do have a Sailfin Tang in the tank that I've had for 6-7 yrs. Yes he is too big for the tank.
The only other tank mates are two small damsels and a tiny yellow coral gobie.
I feed a pinch of flake in the AM and half cube of brine in the PM and a 2x6 inch piece of Nori
I need to find someone to take the Sailfin off my hands but he has lateral line.I've had him since he was about 3''.
feeds from my hand and generally my bud. Cant get a bigger tank because of room.
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New member
Do you test your other water parameters too? Are you using carbon/ozone or sth like that?

As for the nitrates: if you don't feed much and still get such values it might be worth it to slowly start changing out your live rock or also the sand bed. I found that new live rock (cured ofc) can help a ton. It seems the pores or so tend to get clogged after a few years and the denitrification won't work as well. At least that's my explanation for the issue. ;)


New member
Since it's only a FOWLR I only test for ammonia,nitrite,Ph and nitrate right now .
My nitrates are between 30-40 ppm
nitrites- 0
Ph 8.1 -8.2 ppm
Salt is 1.025
Lighting is 4x54w T5ho
Mixing salt with RO only.( Glacier Machine ) Til I get a RO/DI System
When I redid the tank I removed all the sand washed it out with well water til no more crap came out. The live rock is pretty old, I was thinking of replacing the LR in a little while. I built a HO refugium from a old supreme master filter (at least 30yrs old).
Need to find some Chaeto to add to it.
I have to scrub the live rock every week with WC water. It gets covered with brown algae in about 3 days time. No fun at all !!


New member
Here some pics of what i'm dealing with


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New member
Some possible issues that might or might not be it:
Magnesium too high - having that over 1600-1800 can kill snails.
Heavy metals or some other polutant - active carbon and water changes should help with that.
The brown algae might be a toxic dinoflagellate - very rare, but happens.

I would try some carbon, let it do its thing and try a test snail.
The issue with the nitrates remains - but I don't think that alone would kill snails that have been in the tank for some time, especially not in such short order.

And do look up how to id dinoflagellates.

Edit: only just saw the pics now: might well be dinos. Suck some onto a saucer or something with some water. If these are dinoflagellates you should be able to see the small moving algae cells without the need for magnification.


New member
I have some carbon in a sock in the sump right now. I hope it's not dinos, I've heard their nasty. I'll read up on them in the mean while and I'll check on the Mag level too.
Thanks for you help alexander_ktn ,really appreciate it.