Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RadMax8 03-18-2014 09:57 PM

Nerite Snail Newbie
I've got a fleet of Otocinclus to keep my tank clean of algae. Unfortunately they seem more interested in munching algae off the plants rather than the glass or rocks. So I figured I'd get a Nerite snail to clean the decor and glass. Unfortunately, the only time I know he's around is when algae starts to disappear off one rock and when I clean the tank... He's roused from his hiding spot and then ten minutes after I finish he's gone again. So, my question is:

Are Nerite snails super shy? Are they noctournal? My water is in good shape with a pH of around 7.8, and I keep the temp at about 76-77. Thanks for the tips!

Sylverclaws 03-18-2014 10:52 PM

Haha, indeed. They can be pretty shy. In fact if they're upset they can stay in their shells for MONTHS. I've actually heard they can go without eating and just hide for two years, though...well, I am not sure if it's fact or not. When I first got mine, he ate, and then hid in his shell in the same spot for two months, I kept thinking he was dead... Especially if they get picked on or landed on a lot by your other fish.

If he's not being picked at you may see him every so often, but yeah, they're pretty shy little boogers....sometimes once they get real used to the place and find nothing will bug them, they will come out more. It took six months before my pair of zebras and a tiger would come out and not care who saw them regularly, but if not bothered they may still come out in the night to do their job and eat. lol I wouldn't call them nocturnal, but in the dark they may feel better about it.

RadMax8 03-18-2014 11:16 PM

I have nine Cories who are pretty darn active, I wonder if they're making him nervous. Oh well, they seem to leave everything but the food alone. The snail has been exploring the tank now for a record: about an hour. He found the mother lode of algae and is currently enjoying that.

On another note, I got him a friend to eat algae with this past weekend, but that snail has disappeared. My best guess is that he climbed out of the four inch hole in the back, fell off, and the cat played with him and now I can't find him. How feasible is it that the snail could find a small opening like that and then fall? The only time I saw him in the open was when I first put him in the tank, then he hid immediately...

Snails are bizarre. Thanks for the information!

Sylverclaws 03-18-2014 11:28 PM

You know what...I found one of my missing nerites two weeks after he went missing in my bathroom....down the hall from my room. lol He was still going. I think my cat may have done the same. He had some scuff marks on his shell, but no severe damage. So it's totally possible, keep your eyes open. They can survive outside the water for quite a while. They can also get in substrate and hide for long periods, I found one of mine in the sand that I hadn't seen in a couple months when I pulled out a plant to put elsewhere. Unfortunately I no longer have nerite snails. =( I miss them, they're nice, they're hard for other fish to kill, and they can't reproduce without brackish water. Nice little snails, good cleaners when they're comfy in a tank. I am debating on scooting my ramshorns and trumpets out of one of my tanks and getting some nice little tiger nerites(dunno why they call them tigers, they have spots not stripes).
I'm glad your little buddy is moving around and exploring, cover up your holes, they often like to sit at the top out of water and they can actually escape. =)

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