Breeding pond snails - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Breeding pond snails

This probably seems like a silly question, but does anyone have any tips on how to breed pond snails? Right now I have just a few hitchhikers in my new tank, I'd like to separate them out and somehow breed them for my assassins in another tank. If I put the few I have now in with the assassins, they'll disappear without time to build a sustainable food source. But I'd like to keep them contained.

Would a little bowl with some moss or something be ok? Would I need to filter or heat the water? What/when/how much would I feed?

I don't want to get rid of all my assassins, I do like them. But I've been pond snail-less for awhile, the assassins have been living off of food debris and shrimp pellets. I need to give them some better food!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:06 AM
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if you have a fish tank with fish, put the pond snails into that tank and overfeed heavily. in a few weeks you will have so many egg sacs its not even funny. you can effectively raise pond snails in any fish tank. (assuming no fish like loaches)

the snails wont breed in huge numbers in a bowl or small tank like they would in a real fish tank.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:27 AM
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Just add plants and water. Seriously. I have a few grow-out containers with some floating stems being converted to emersed and I see new snails and egg sacs every week.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, its a tad confusing. I have a 29g, no assassins, a few hitchhikers. I don't want pond snails in this tank if I can help it.

I also have a 10g, with assassins, and I do want pond snails for this tank, but if I drop in the few I have, the assassins will eat them too quickly.

I'll try setting up a little bowl with some moss. Should I throw a few food flakes in once in awhile?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:37 AM
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That should suffice. Add some duckweed or other floaters, and don't add too much food or else the water quality will go bad quick.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, I'll try setting something up tomorrow. I don't want the few pond snails in my 29g getting too comfy! I also have an apple snail in it, so I don't want to add assassins in that tank too. Thanks!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
don't add too much food or else the water quality will go bad quick.
which is why ideally you could be raising them in a larger fish tank since a filter and standard weekly WCs will be able to handle overfeeding.

If you want a really cheap way to cultivate them, then get a large container, put in floater as mentioned earlier, put in a little DW, some dried leaves, maybe moss. put in the snails and cover the container with plastic wrap w/ rubber band with a few holes for air. then place this near some light source like a window or some light that stays on most of the day and the snails should breed fine. you can feed them once a week or something.

remember to use tap water, and make sure your tap isnt acidic or soft water. they will have some trouble if it is.

do a water change if the water begins to smell. also the smaller the container, the lower your snail count will be.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 06:48 AM
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Well mine just breed by themselves. I have 3 then after a week they are 10. After a month... A hundred!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 02:32 PM
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I've been selectively breeding pond snails for size (yes, for real - ha) for a year or two and find they do best in tanks with decent flow, good filtration and proper biofilm. That's tough to achieve in an unfiltered container where there's no other critter like fish or shrimp.

They'll breed and grow but not like they will in a well-run aquarium. Same goes for Bladder Snails, which reproduce much more rapidly than Pond Snails (may be a better bet for you).

Is it just an aesthetic thing keeping you from raising snails in your 29gal? Could feasibly have a thousand snails in a tank that size and rarely see them except during feedings.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 02:43 PM
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How large have you gotten them now, Jake?

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 03:04 PM
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Just about 1.5" in length. Maybe getting my hands on a couple larger ones from a local shop that in inadvertently received them in plants from FAN that I think (based on photos) could be European versions that thrive in gross, stagnant water.

This is maybe the silliest breeding project I've ever attempted but it's been interesting to watch them grow in various tanks.

They're currently thriving the most in a 5gal bucket I have set up with Endlers, a small heater and a sponge filter. Though, the dang fish occasionally scarf up the coolest-looking babies.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 03:08 PM
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tinkerpuppet: Do you have Pond or Bladder Snails?

I really think Bladders will be easier for you in a container with twice weekly water changes.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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In my 29g, I don't really want pond snails because I know how quickly they can reproduce. I have an apple snail in this tank, so don't want to add assassins to keep the pond snail numbers in check in case they decide to take out the apple snail too. Its not so much I mind the aesthetics of pond snails, I actually like having some. But its just when it gets out of control and I have them all over the glass, etc that it bothers me.

And with only the three or four I have right now, if I put them in my 10g, the assassins will take them out before they have a chance to reproduce. I asked my lfs if they have any pond snails they'd like to get rid of, but they said no, and I certainly don't want to pay for pest snails, or spend lots of time driving around to pick them up from others.

So I thought the easiest thing for now would be to take them out of my 29g before they start dropping eggs all over the place, let their numbers grow in a vase or something, and feed them to the assassins. Last year my 10g was totally covered in pond snails, so I got the assassins and they totally decimated the population in no time. I have more juvie assassins now, so I want to keep a constant supply of the pond snails.

I also don't know if they're pond snails or bladder snails. One looks like the shell might be more pointed (definitely not a malyasian trumpet snail, and probably not a nerite or ramshorn that I can tell), and the other 2/3 are very round. They're very tiny still right now, so its hard to tell.

Last edited by tinkerpuppet; 11-28-2012 at 05:43 PM. Reason: edit
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:55 PM
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any chance for pics? most likely they are bladder snails (small species of ramshorns would be obvious. so that's not likely).

Why not setup a 5gal bucket with some simple filter and let them breed in there? if not a 5gal tank.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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My husband would not be pleased if I set up another tank, especially just for snails, lol! I squeaked in with a second tank because my oldest son agreed/wanted the 10g in his room

I did try to get some pics, but they're pretty small! I got one of the little guys, but its not great. If you took a sharpie and dotted your fingertip, that's about how big these guys are. I found three, and a fourth I couldn't reach in the tank.

I also got a few shots of the bigger one (although you can see by my finger he's still pretty small!).

And for now, until I decide better what to do, I put them in this little vase. With my other plants, it doesn't stand out.





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