Monday, June 19, 2017

Adopting Wild Freshwater Snails



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Words of gratitude to Jean Duffle for identifying the snails in my aquariums.
Thanks Jean Duffle!
May 18th, 2017
I found snails or snail eggs in all ponds and lakes of Central park.
Conservatory Water model boat pond is probably the best place to pick up adult water snails.
In all other lakes, I found snail eggs attached to water plants.
Here, in this pond you can pick snails right from the walls of the pond.





It takes 2-3 adult snails to populate a number of any size aquariums in a matter of weeks.
Here you can see 2 snails that I am going to take home.

Get an empty plastic bottle.


Fill it up with water from the pond - it is important!

Leave some air in the bottle.

Drop snails in the bottle.


Make small holes in the bottle cap if you want to close the bottle.

Close the bottle.

You may see fish in the pond - leave it in the pond.
City park rangers can provide you with info about this fish and much more - just ask them.
If you come across snail eggs - check out my previous video on growing snails from the eggs.


You may find snails of different sizes.


In my experience, the water snails up to about a fingernail size like this are the best for adaption.

The larger, older snails are less likely to survive in aquariums.
This one seems to be even larger.
Watch how quickly it closes the operculum.





The smaller younger snails of this type don't have the operculum.
It made it difficult for me to identify type of this snails.
These snails grow in my aquariums to about 2-3 cm the most, never developing operculum.
This one has about 6 cm shell!

I am taking home only small snails.

The large snails go back to the pond.
Once again, thank Jean Duffle for identifying these snails as Campeloma. 



The shell of wild snails is home for bacteria and many little creatures - some of them could be harmful!
It is safer to keep wild water snails in a separate nursery aquarium.
I use 2 liter plastic bottles for making nurseries.
Put 2-3 cm layer of gravel.
Add some plants (here I use a regular moss ;)
Add dechlorinated water (top water left in an open jar over a night).


Add the snails with the water from the pond to the nursery.


The next step is optional.
I add seed shrimps and cyclops to all my aquariums.
This little water creatures eat remains of all organic matter (algae, fish food and poop and etc) helping to keep aquariums clean.





The basic care includes adding dechlorinated water weekly to the level as it evaporates.

I feed snails once in a couple days with some fish food flakes.



The aquarium looks better with more plants in it.
Check out my videos for ideas about plants in aquariums.
May 21st, 2017
Snails get busy mating and laying eggs from the first day in aquarium.

Here you can see the snail eggs.
Check out my previous video to see how they develop in eggs (link in description to the video).
It takes about 2 weeks for baby snails to hatch from eggs.
There will be a lot of them!




June 2nd, 2017
The first batch of baby snails hatched!
They appear as tiny dots scattered everywhere.
Let them grow in this nursery.
The number of snails and all other live creatures self-regulated to the optimal population density for each ecosystem.


You can move young snails to another aquarium at any time.


Scrape them gently from the wall using some stick.
Then wash them off the stick in the destination aquarium.


June 6th, 2017
The same nursery aquarium can be shared with guppy fry.

Using a tooth brush for transferring baby snails works well.
Here you can see snails trapped in and on top of the brush.

Wash snails off the brush in the destination aquarium.

Fresh water snails grow and multiply with simple care.
It is a perfect pet for zen garden aquariums and aquariums in general.
Check out my previous videos to see what snails do.

Have fun and happy snails :)

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