Slugs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:33 pm

It depends on the type of snail - there are lots of types of pet aquatic snail - but yes, most will eat fish food and some are very good at eating algae. The type of snail I am only eats chocolate.

Tetra Fin's now called Tetra Goldfish.

I'm intrigued, what is a 'posh fish keeper'? And does the man have pink flowery glasses, or the shop? :-?
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:23 am

The man in the shop had pink flowery glasses.

The only pond snails that the shops sell are ramshorn snails and nothing else.

I aquired a snail on a plant; I asked in the shop and the man said he'll be a pest and to kill him. It's shaped like a wandering snail. I don't know what to do; he's in a pot by himself at the minute.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:17 am

Ramshorn snails are nice, particularly the red kind. Even the standard black ones are quite cute.

Yes, many snails can become a pest, although they will never reach huge numbers in the tank unless you are overfeeding (and food is sitting around going to waste). I'm not sure what to suggest, really. You could try letting him go in the tank, if he's really the only one around he can't breed on his own. Don't let him go in the wild in case he's not a native species.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:59 am

The man in the shop said he was asexual so didn't need a partner to mate with. I did find another one this morning; he was removed from the newt tank and placed in the temporary snail tank.

I saw a red ramshorn snail the other day; it looked cute; I just don't like the way they are stored in the shops...it seems cruel. They only sell them in sets of 5 as well. I only want one or two.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:52 pm

He's (she's?) a hermaphrodite, yes, but if it's the type of snail I think it is it still needs another individual to breed with. The man is confusing hermaphroditism with parthenogenesis (when individuals clone themselves instead of having sex). Mind you, it could be carrying fertilised eggs anyway, which makes the whole point moot . . . .

If you don't mind PM-ing me your postal address, Dips, I can sort you out with one or two red ramshorns. Otherwise you can often buy them online, this person is OK:
http://www.snailshop.co.uk/

but if you're keeping them in a tank with fast, greedy fish (like goldfish) be aware that the snails will have a job getting anything to eat and may starve.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:25 am

I'm still in two minds about getting snails to be honest; I think I would like them but I'm not sure, especially with gutsy goldfish. I need some algae in the tank first. I bought a few algae eater fish at the weekend and I've got to put algae tablets in until it builds up. I'd try and get a picture of 2 of them IF they ever stayed still...They are so fast. They are golden algae eaters, one is white and one is golden, and I got a scarey looking thing (common Plecostomus). He's scarey but he looks nice and will grow huge.

I think the snail was one of these "Family Physidae".
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:32 am

Yes, Physa species. Common plecos do indeed grow huge, around a foot long. They also like it warmer than goldfish - goldfish are a temperate species and plecos tropical, although there is some overlap at the bottom range of pleco temperatures.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:44 am

The sign in the shop said it could grow to 18" in length. Goldfish can grow to 12" in length. Are plecos tropical? they were sold in the same tank as shebunkins (excuyse the spelling). The water in my fish tank does generally heat up, it's only cold when I first put new water in; although with the new tank and the super filter hopefully it will need less water changing on a regular basis. The common Pleco has been out and about since I got it, sucking the side of the tank, although I do loose him as he's dark and so are some of the ornaments I have in there. I called him Jeff - since he was a "common" pleco, I said I needed a common name and my bf suggested Jeff (although I don't think Jeff is that common a name) and since we couldn't think of anything else he's going to be called Jeff :).
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Re: Slugs?

Postby Skarlet » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:52 am

My dad has a plecostomus he is really large now- not that I am any good with sizes.. :D They are really interesting fish. My dad has a tropical tank, with clownloaches, the pleco, he used to have parrot fish, and he has this gorgeous catfish, which is spotted and spiny. But i don't know what it is.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:57 am

LOL at "Jeff"! Yes, they are tropical, South American. I would not personally sanction the sale of one to a goldfish owner unless a heater was used (which then raises questions about keeping goldfish in permanently heated water). Some shops sell them for coldwater tanks because there are no truly coldwater algae-eaters. I'm not sure what your other two fish are. It's interesting that the shop gave a good warning about their size, though, as many shops are unscrupulous and don't.

When you add new water, you need to bring it up to roughly the same temperature as the water already in the tank by adding a little hot water to it.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:08 am

snail wrote:you need to bring it up to roughly the same temperature as the water already in the tank by adding a little hot water to it.


I can do that :) haha

Lol Jeff is funny. We called the white (golden one) Harry (Harry Houdini as we kept loosing it in the bag) and my bf suggested Honey for the golden coloured one as it looked like honey. Since we can't think of anything else I think they will do.

Well the shop didn't tell us the size, it was on the label under the tank. It's a good job I read it; I would like another one BUT I don't think my tank would hold two that size.

I think catfish look scarey Skarlet :(.

I'd fancy Beta fish - I do like them, but I have no space for another tank, my old fish tank would be ideal but I have no space for it now.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:57 pm

Snail, I've been doing research on snails and I'm still in two minds, how quickly do they reproduce? I've read provided we aren't over-feeding the fish they won't reproduce, is this true? What do snails eat? Do you 'need' live plants for the snails? Do Ramshorns lay their eggs out of water?

Sorry for the questions I just would like to be sure I know everything before getting one as I wouldn't want to harm the little fella.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:35 pm

dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:Snail, I've been doing research on snails and I'm still in two minds, how quickly do they reproduce?

It depends on the temperature, but generally quite quickly, most types can certainly over-run the tank (but not all - some hardly breed and others can't breed at all in fish tanks)
dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:I've read provided we aren't over-feeding the fish they won't reproduce, is this true?

Yes, pretty much - if you get a large number of live snails in the tank it's because there must be spare food lying around to feed them all.
dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:What do snails eat?

It depends on the species - some pet aquatic snails are actually predators - but most eat algae, dead plant matter, and sometimes dead animal matter. Most can be fed adequately on fish food.
dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:Do you 'need' live plants for the snails?

No. Even those species which benefit from vegetable matter can be fed lettuce, cucumber, etc. Plants do provide another surface for them to graze algae from, though.
dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:Do Ramshorns lay their eggs out of water?

No, the two common types of aquarium ramshorn (the South American one, and our native one) lay them in gelatinous masses on underwater leaves.

dipsydoodlenoodle wrote:Sorry for the questions I just would like to be sure I know everything before getting one as I wouldn't want to harm the little fella.

All questions welcome :D I know a lot about our native aquatic snails and nerites, quite a bit about elephant snails and assassin snails, but only the basics about apple snails.
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Re: Slugs?

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:01 pm

I think I'm more interested in a ramshorn snail. The red ones are actually quite pretty; I've saw blue ones - they look fab; although a red one is suitable haha. So my questions are all about ramshorn snails :)

So if you don't have leaves in a tank will the ramshorn snails just find a nice little place to lay their eggs? like somewhere hidden? It's just I'm tempted to put one in the fish tank but I am also tempted to put one in a tank alone, I have a little plastic "pet carrier" tank.

Ah I wouldn't mind feeding a snail lettuce or cucumber. I also have algae pellets for the algae eater fish until I get a bit algae growing (my fish have taken a shine to the algae pellets as well).
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Re: Slugs?

Postby snail » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:41 pm

The blue ones are believed to be a North American species (it's a bit cloudy) so don't let them out in the wild or throw their eggs in a pond. The red ones could be either native or North American. If you give me an internet link I can give you a good guess as to what species it is.

They'll lay their egg mass on any flat surface. They don't seem to bother about hiding it.

Ramshorns (at least the native ones, and I'm pretty sure the North American ones, although not the South American) enjoy salad vegetables, but only once they have begun to rot. I breed the native ones commerically (on a small scale) and feed them fish food with the occasional lettuce leaf and cucumber end for a treat. Once the cucumber end goes all soft and transparent they're all over it. I try and stick to home-grown or organic lettuce (in case of molluscides being on it) but I do use standard supermarket cucumber, with no problems.

In the wild they mostly seem to be found on decaying pond plant vegetation. I can't think of any reason you couldn't keep one in a small container (they can breathe air as well as water) as long as the water wasn't soft and was kept clean. I say keep it clean; I don't actually know how they respond to polluted conditions, but it probably doesn't do them any favours. You need to use a dechlorinator on the tap water, as you would with fish.
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