Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:19 PM
My aquarium is host to a plethora of snails, mostly the common ramshorn and pocket snails but every once in a while something I can't identify. The snails tend to ignore the diatom buffet and instead snack on my brownleaf pondweeds, slender niiads, and water plantain (RIP to the latter, it just began growing interesting submersed-form leaves that were slender and resembled those of Sagittarius - then the hungry rascals tore it apart and it has not recovered). As a result I have begun a program of squishing every single snail I can find. This also has the added benefit of being the favorite treat of my fishes. However, sometimes my little fishes have difficulty "coughing" up the shell bits and pieces, and I also think that it would be interesting to keep some of the shells of the really big ramshorns. With small pocket snails I can usually use an old unused medicine syringe to quickly snatch them out of their shells (which are left intact), but larger ones and ramshorn snails have a sturdier "grip" on their shell and cannot be removed in this fashion. So... does anyone have any ideas on how to shuck these guys?
Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:59 AM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:02 PM
Greenside darters! Suck them right out of the shell.
Well, I meant without having to add new fish to the aquarium, more like escargot for the ones already in there. But you bring up a good point... though I have had no luck catching any of these species, Banded (Etheostoma zonale), Iowa (Etheostoma exile), and Rainbow (Etheostoma caeruleum) darters are all native (and legal to catch) here in Iowa. Do any of those make good snail eaters? I've never really heard of Rainbows being particularly voracious in terms of snailing and the Iowas are just so little, but Bandeds are like Greenside darters in a lot of ways so maybe shoot for those guys? Thank you for your reply!
Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:28 PM
Although honestly my tanks don't have a lot of snails anyway, even though they're peaceful and I'm not trying to kill them off. My Elassoma gilberti eat the snails when they're tiny and keep their population in check. Back before I had the Elassoma gilberti I had Etheostoma spectabile AKA orange throat darters and they ate a lot of snails. The ground was littered with empty shells.
Edited by EricaWieser, 13 May 2012 - 04:30 PM.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:37 PM
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