Snail Breeders - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Snail Breeders

I've become interested in the practice of selective breeding to propagate desired traits. Since I love pink and blue ramshorns, I thought this would be a good species to start with.

I'm using a 10 gallon divided with glass, one side for blue and one for pink.


Both sides have a large sponge filter, floating wisteria, marimo moss balls, and holey rock. I also add cuttlebone. There's also some plastic plants to provide more area for eggs. I have a cheap walmart LED hood, but I also use some sunlight to tentatively promote algae for them.

Here's a sample of the starting stock


There's also one lone endler that came with a CL purchase. The guppies that he was with became chicken snacks, but I really like these little guys. He was a PITA to net though.


-------------------------

I'm also starting an assassin snail breeder /slash/ leftover plant tank /slash/ culls of ramshorns tank. This was a CL buy for $25, which included the 10 gallon tank, plants/deco/gravel inside, filter, daylight CFL lamp/light, guppies and some cherry shrimp. (Which, interestingly, were decedents of shrimp that I had kept and then sold to a woman who I then bought this tank from).

(Of course, this is the after-cleaning picture. I had a lot of mulm to take out as can see from the remnants stuck to the pre-filter sponge. I also replaced the old filter with the Fluval Edge HOB that I had laying around, keeping the pre-existing medium with the new to help move any BB over.)

There are already pond snails established in the tank, and with the addition of about 15 assorted (non-pink/blue) ramshorns, soon there should be a good snail supply for assassins once I get them. I know assassins can eat shrimp, so I'm not sure what to do with them. Either store credit at LFS or just leave them. I want to put them in my Fluval Edge, but I would never be able to catch them if I needed to and that just scares me.


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 10:19 PM
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Very cool! I love ramshorns they're awesome looking creatures.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Assassins
I've added a lot of plants and inert coral to the tank. I can't get any good pictures since I have a tank temporarily sitting in front of it, but here's a few previews. I also found 6 assassin snails at Petco, who got busy right away.







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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 04:36 PM
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Cool setup! I've got some old 2.5 and 5 gallon framed tanks that might come in handy for some snail growth of my own.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Ramshorns
Nothing new to report yet. There is some algae growth now, so the snails are happily munching on that.


Assassins
Finally cleared the area in front of the tank. Getting in 150+ MTS sometime this week to provide a more stable colony for the assassins to eat. Water also tested at 0 ppm.

Makeshift light suspension.


Attempting to plant the HOB. Java moss, a dried up anubias, and something from a Petco tube. Haven't seen a lot of plants suitable to use yet other than trying these.




Snail buffet


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ramshorns
Babies have arrived! TONS of babies from both ends.

Hoard of babies (blue side)




A few days older, on pink side




Assassins
Moved the tank to metal shelving (along with my hamsters), making suspending the light much easier.
Also did a big trim and replanted, the Ludwigia brevipes x lacustris is really growing fast.


Baby common snails have arrived here as well, along with the addition of over 150 MTS.


No assassin snail eggs spotted yet, but I've seen them riding one another.

The adult MTS have been avoiding digging around the substrate, rather staying near the top of the tank, and I've heard this is common when there are assassins with them. Luckily for them, the assassins have been targeting the ramshorns.

Ramshorn carnage with happy baby snails tootling over the empty husks.


Duckweed has taken off, probably enjoying the bioload from the masses of snails. I've had to move a lot to my goldfish tank, despite that there are baby snails all over the roots, but goldfish will eat both duckweed and snails.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ramshorns
Offspring is getting large enough to cull out the undesirable colors. Once they get near dime-size it seems pretty obvious what their color will be. Blue has had some nice results already, although the majority are brown.

Some adults and younger blue offspring.


Various color results.



Unfortunately the pinks aren't doing as well with offspring. It seems they are throwing mainly gold shells with pink bodies. Any with brown bodies are automatically moved to the cull tank, but I'm still waiting to remove a most of the golds.



Assassins
Spotted the first assassin snail eggs! Located on stem plants. They are smaller than I thought they would be. Couldn't get my phone to focus on them for a picture.

The plants and duckweed are growing like crazy and quickly choking out free space.


Because of the guarantee of pest snails on these plants, I'm not sure what to do with the excess trimmings except just throw it out. I may try a LFS and see if they will take them anyways.

The filter plants are doing well. The moss has grown very thick and through the mesh, so I'm on the lookout for a vine/stem plant to cover it with. The duckweed slowly grows its way up the moss as well.


Pest snails galore.


Besides baby assassins, there has also been a bloom of baby shrimplets. I added two female african dwarf frogs for fun as well, since I had stocked up on frozen food during Petsmart's clearance.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I made a deal with my husband to sell my two snail colonies for something in return, so this is the end of these projects! I am sad to end them so soon but am satisfied that I was largely successful. They are going on sale in Oklahoma.

Some last parting shots:





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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 01:52 AM
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Couldnt you keep some? That seems a cool project, its a shame you had to do away with it.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm keeping a few young blues, but yeah, I can always take it up again anew in the future!


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