We just spent a week at Holden Beach in NC. While we were swimming out in the ocean a moon snail got stuck to my toe! The kids thought it was really cool so we brought it home in some sand and water. It's huge when it comes out of the shell!
I've been googling and I can't find much info about how to keep them in an aquarium. We have successful freshwater aquarium already. I was thinking about setting up a small 5 gallon salt water aquarium just for the pet snail. After researching it I read they eat live clams, yikes!
I need some advice about how to keep it in an aquarium, if that's even practical. I've never set up a salt water tank before. I don't know how long it will last in the tupperware with ocean water, poor captive snail. :roll:
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
Most of these things you will need just to operate a Marine Environment. Not a skimmer, so you will need a mechanical filter instead.
That's a lot of equipment for a snail. Clearly I will have to get fish too. This is going downhill fast! ;-)
Lets see if I can wade through it for you. Absolute needs are as follows:
Light if you want to view it.
Salt Water Test Kit
RO/DI water- As SW Inverts don't like bad water quality.
Your going to need to watch the water parameters for him. You'll need to change out your water when its need, if he's the only one in there, I doubt your going to have Nitrate issues, but you will need to keep them under 20.
Probably only need Sand for this thing, maybe a few rocks. But you did pick up a nasty lil dude to keep. Gonna eat you out of house and home there.
I think that should do it. Not an easy critter to keep.
I was thinking 5 or 10 gallons with light, sand, heater, and whatever special equipment salt water needs. (See above post for the list, haha.) I already have a lot of those things from freshwater fish keeping.
The snail is pretty cool to watch. We can take it out and hold it and it waves its giant snail body all around. I'm concerned about what it eats. Google says it eats live clams. Why did I not google this from my iphone on the beach??
I wonder if it will eat dead clams. I'm guessing no. Maybe if it gets hungry enough. I need to go to the Chinese market and see if they have live clams. They have other live things, like roosters...unfortunately/fortunately the snail does not eat live roosters.
LOL. Try the grocery store. Find the clams that are still tightly closed up, those may work.
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