Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pbradley0 03-23-2007 12:24 PM

Snail fun
 
I originally had the idea a few weeks ago to start breeding common pond snails to feed my future puffers. Cleaned out an old 10 gallon tank and added a few snails (now there are 19 in there) and some java moss. I also put an old aquarium light on top of the tank. I've been feeding them with flake food. All in all, a pretty simple setup.

Something that I didn't expect was that I have found these snails fascinating. There is such a variety of shapes and colors among my population. They are very active and are constantly moving about the tank. In addition, they have some of the most unusual behaviors.

Here are some of the observations I've found:
  • -Some of the snails bodies are a flesh color while others a purple.
    -Some shells are black while other a gold. Other variations include black speckled and completely translucent.
    -They are constantly making the trek up to the top of the water to breath. When they are at the top, they occasionally scoot around the water instead of remaining stuck to the glass.
    -Occasionally I'll see two snails stuck to each other and moving about. I'm not sure if they're mating but it's interesting
    -I've also noted on several occasions that when one snail bumps into the tail of another snail, the snail that got bump starts wiggling his shell around. Kinda looks like he's swinging around a sword.
    -I've observed on three occasions a snail "levitating" to the top of the water. It starts out in the middle of the tank and then slowly starts floating to the top without crawling up the glass. It then reverses this journey after its stay at the top and sinks back to the bottom. This is very interesting to watch.
    -I think I've noted some eggs in the moss after only about a week and a half.
    -They devour the flakes in no time at all.
Anyway, I think these little critters are very interesting and fun to watch. I know it's hard to believe but I recommend trying it. It doesn't take alot of resources. I'm going to try to get ahold of some other species to add to the tank too. Maybe some trumpets and ramshorns.

I'd love to hear about others experiences with snails. I'm also happy to answer any questions anyone has. I think I'm going to have a hard time feeding these guys to my fish now :)

leifthebunny 03-23-2007 12:32 PM

I've thought about adding snails to my tank, but am worried about explosions of snail populations. Maybe need to check back into it. :)

Rue 03-23-2007 12:45 PM

What a great idea! I luv snails too! But the apples didn't work out in my tank...and although the teeny little ramshorns I seem to have are proliferating...they're too small to watch!

But they'd make great puffer food... :D

fish_4_all 03-23-2007 07:34 PM

I have seen almost everything you have seen with my ramshorns and it is facinating. Especially the times when they ski under the water.

You might try giving them some romaine lettuce that has been microwaved for about 30 seconds. This will give them a lot of the needed nutrients, especially calcium to keep them going. The different colors could be a sign of calcium problems but without a pic I am not sure.

pbradley0 03-24-2007 05:35 PM

Update on my snail tank. There are eggs everywhere! The snails went crazy and laid eggs all over the tank last night. There are at least 3 groupings stuck to the glass. There are also 6-8 other groupings in the moss. Looks like I'm going to have a population boom here soon.

leifthebunny 03-24-2007 10:49 PM

Sounds like you have been feeding them too much. :p

I was looking at the LFS, unfortunately they didn't have any trumpet snails. :(

fish_4_all 03-26-2007 02:16 AM

You can get the malaysian trumpet snails online most of the time. Usually 100 for a few bucks. Make sure to keep them fed well enough that they don't try to climb out and to keep your water pretty clean. Snails don't like dirty water at all, even less than fish do.

leifthebunny 03-26-2007 08:43 AM

I need to get more algae in the tank first. Right now I just have the algae that came on the java moss and other plants. The shrimp are working on those right now as well as some of the fish.

leifthebunny 03-27-2007 08:13 AM

Well, whether I planned it or not, I now have snails. I found a baby this morning moving down the front glass. The thing was so tiny I could not make out what type it was. I almost couldn't see it's eye stalks.

pbradley0 03-27-2007 08:45 PM

The snails keep laying more and more eggs. I have over 30 groupings of egg now each with 10-30 eggs. I think I'm going to have a population boom. Anyone know what the average incubation period is for pond snail eggs?


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