Nerite Snail Breeding Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Nerite Snail Breeding Tank

This tank journal began with this discussion: Raising Nerite Snails in the shrimp and invertebrates thread.

For now I'm beginning with a shopping list for the breeding tank.

Small aquarium or 1 gallon fish bowl
-2.5 gallon Great Choice glass aquarium with glass cover. The cover is very important as I have two kittens and one of them loves playing in water...she has apparently never heard that cats don't like it.

Air Pump, air line and air stone.
-Top Fin 5 gallon air pump, line and a small air stone

Reef or Marine Saltwater Mix
-Instant Ocean Reef Crystal Mix

Hydrometer
-not yet purchased. Needed to determine water salinity.

Thermometer
-not yet purchased. Even though the tank has no heater I figure I should still keep up with the temps.

Substrate
-not yet purchased, but it will be crushed oyster shells for the calcium.

Small piece of Driftwood
-not yet purchased.


From what I've read this should be all that's needed for the breeding tank. Water maintenance is done with 50% water changes every three days as essentially the tank is treated like a water bowl.

Last edited by Kudaria; 03-28-2013 at 09:42 PM. Reason: added to list
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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What I think I know about Nerite Snail Lifecycle (hopefully its correct)

Nerite snails are sexual, they require a male and female snail to produce eggs. Once fertilized by the male the female lays her eggs upon driftwood, substrate or glass in sesame sized white egg capsules. Breeding and egg laying occurs in fresh/brackish/or saltwater. Sufficient temperatures in the mid to upper 70's seem to be all that is required.

The eggs will only develop properly and hatch in brackish or saltwater which is why we aren't overrun with nerite snails in freshwater tanks.

Once in brackish or saltwater the eggs will (hopefully) hatch into a very small larval form (no shells) within a few days to several weeks. (This is why the breeding tank has no filtration, it would be very easy to kill off the larval snails with a power filter.)

Once they hatch you need to have either algae or plankton for them to feed upon or some type of algae containing fry food or finely ground algae wafers.

At this point you wait until the larvae grow bigger and begin to develop their shells.

Once they are big enough to move back to a regular tank you begin to slowly reduce the salinity in your breeding tank. For every gallon change out 5 ml of saltwater for fresh every morning and everynight. Measure and keep the salinity level even with your water changes until you have switched over to freshwater in the breeding tank.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 11:19 PM
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Re: Nerite Snail Breeding Tank

What salinity level are you thinking for the grow tank?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Low end of saltwater, probably around 1.02ish.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 02:36 AM
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Have you thought about a fry sponge filter? Small, uses the air pump, and wouldn't hurt the larvae.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 06:55 AM
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Good luck! I think I've seen reef tank food that might work, or you could try to start a green water culture.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 10:08 AM
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+1 on the sponge filter. I myself wouldn't be comfortable without some sort of bio-filter running in there. Hopefully you can get one from an already cycled tank.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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+1 on the sponge filter. I myself wouldn't be comfortable without some sort of bio-filter running in there. Hopefully you can get one from an already cycled tank.
I'll be honest I'm not quite sure how sponge filters are supposed to work.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Good luck! I think I've seen reef tank food that might work, or you could try to start a green water culture.
I'll have to look for the reef food, its probably plankton of some type which would be good.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 12:56 PM
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Since they're snails, they're going to eat what's on the surfaces of your tank. Especially when tiny. So it may be a good idea to run the tank you plan to use for a couple months before adding snails. That could increase your chances of success.

If you really want to get things right, spend the $30 to get a refractometer (great ones on eBay) so you have some accuracy on the salinity front.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 01:21 PM
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I'll be honest I'm not quite sure how sponge filters are supposed to work.
Sponge filters work by drawing water thru the sponge element and up a outlet tube by air(in this case) enventualy bacteria will start to grow in the millions of little spaces inside and on the sponges surfaces providing bacterial filtration. I am a big fan of these type of filters as they are cheap to purchase and run. Plus they last a very long time.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Sponge filters work by drawing water thru the sponge element and up a outlet tube by air(in this case) enventualy bacteria will start to grow in the millions of little spaces inside and on the sponges surfaces providing bacterial filtration. I am a big fan of these type of filters as they are cheap to purchase and run. Plus they last a very long time.
Wouldn't I need a water pump then rather than an air pump?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Ok this probably isn't going to be as easy or as inexpensive as I had hoped. Doing some more research I see that another planted tank member tried this about this time two years ago with no success nerite eggs have hatched...and they are planktonic!

The issue seems to be actually getting the larval form of the snail to eat and grow instead of wasting away.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 01:10 AM
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Wouldn't I need a water pump then rather than an air pump?
No waterpump needed at all. The air is pumped into the filter down the center of the outlet tube where it exits at the bottom of the filter(the outlet tube is a tube within a tube system) and rises up the outlet tube pushing water with it. Tank water will pass thru the sponge into the air chamber to displace the water that was moved by the air bubbles. If you have ever seen an air powered box filter it works on the same principal. You can use a powerhead on top of a sponge filter also, but that would create a much higher flow rate. Don't worry about cost, these filters are cheap to buy and operate and they do a pretty good job.
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