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Discussion Starter #1
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 :)
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Average incubation time, based on the number of these little fornicators in my tanks, is about 10 minutes.
 

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Mine always hatched within 7-14 days of being layed. As for number that can be layed, who knows! I know in the summer is was faster and in the winter my population dropped because the temps were much lower.
 

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You don't have to worry about population explosions with Mystery snails. They don't breed until they're about one inch big and you need a male and female, as opposed to many hermaphrodite snails. They also lay their eggs above the water line so if you don't want babies, you simply remove the clutch. My snails are magenta, but they also come in purple, black, gold, ivory, blue and chestnut. Probably others as well. Very cool snails!! It's a fallacy that snails only eat algae, in fact, that shouldn't be their only diet. Flake food, shrimp pellets, bloodworms, and veges should be offered.
 

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Don't forget the romaine lettuce, my Colombian ramshorns loved it and bred very well with it.

I thinki am going to try mystery snails just because I want to be able to control the eggs. I have never dealt with them before so it should be fun. The extra eggs will become loach food and so will the extra babies.

Keep us up to date on how it goes. We need a few more good accounts of success and even the failures.
 

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Just to be more specific, the mystery snails I have are Pomacea Bridgesii which will get about the size of a golf ball. They won't eat up your plants like some of the other Pomacea snails. The egg clutches usually have a couple hundred eggs so it should be an easy food source for your loaches once they hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mystery snails sound really cool. I'd really like to have some larger snails in my main tank. I haven't found a source of them yet though. None of the pet shops around here seem to have any.


Update on my snail tank. I have probably 60-70 baby snails on the top of the water scooting around now plus hundreds of eggs remaining. I tested the ammonia today and it is 1.5mg/L. Probably time for a water change. Only problem is that it's hard to find a place in the tank where there aren't any baby snails to get sucked up. I'm also considering adding a spong filter to start some biofilteration.

I've been feeding them algae waffers which they go nuts for. I'm also going to start with some lettuce.
 

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The ammonia is a bad sign, it is definately time for a water change as the snails are at the top and they will start dying in mass numbers if you can't get the ammonia back to 0 for extended periods of time. Don't overfeed them and get a good water change done. If you have to put a piece of nylon over the end of the tube so that youdon;t suck up the babies but you can easily put them back if you let the water sit for a short time and they start climbing the sides of the bucket. Make sure to use Romaine or leaf lettuce and not Iceburg lettuce.
 

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Make sure to use Romaine or leaf lettuce and not Iceburg lettuce.
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2 questions for you fish4all:
(1) why not iceberg lettuce?
(2) is this only for snails or for fish (plecs etc) as well?

and just to let you know, im not challenging your statement, im just wondering why this is
 

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The water content is one of them. Also, iceberg lettuce has a chemical in it that can actually make the tank turn rancid if it goes sour. I tried it to make green water and to condition some water to collect mosquito larva and it turned really nasty.

If the lettuce is shredded small enough the fish will eat it. I never tried but my fish picked at it all the time. My BN plecos would take chunks out of it when I had them.

The main reason for the romaine is the high amounts of calcium it has in it. I don't know the calcium content in leaf lettuce but I think romaine has more. This helps with the shells of the snails. The iicebergalso doesn't last as long in the water before starting to decay and start to make a mess. If you don't "blanch" the romaine it can last 36 hours or more.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I never take anything personally, well almost never. 8) If you need more information and reasons ask them. We can sometimes become complacent with advice and leave out the reasoning behind a statement so asking is always good.
 
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