Breeding Nerite Experiment - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Breeding Nerite Experiment

Hello everyone after reading all of the great posts and experiments people have been doing on the forums I've decided to try my own. It all started when I got 2 nerites for my tank about a month ago, unfortunately they were both females and quickly started laying eggs all over my DW. So I removed them and put them in the tank that I am slowly shutting down. Now that I am ready to fully shut down the tank they are in I went out and grabbed a 1.5 gallon critter carrier (it only has about 1 gal of water in it) and moved over 1 of the female nerites (I can't find the other one hopefully she's still in the tank). I took some of the gravel out of the tank she was in and the tank water, this tank will be unheated for now. Lighting will most likely be ambient room light + a CFL.

The DW that she laid her eggs all over is small and will fit in the tank I just haven't moved it over yet since I am still setting everything up.

I read the nerites will not breed in full saltwater but they will in brackish. If that is true my plan is to get another 1 gallon critter carrier to make complete saltwater and make the one I currently have brackish. I will then get another piece of small DW and when the one in the brackish tank is covered in eggs I will move it into the saltwater tank for them to hatch.

I will supplement food with blanched veggies, algae tabs, and hopefully some homegrown algae. I'll also add some cuttlebone or calcium powder to the tank for shell health.

I will also be getting Java Fern for the brackish aquarium since I heard its ok in salinity up to 1.013. Possibly egeria densa and duckweed as well and hope for the best. I have no filter in this small tank so I'm hoping the plants will help as well as water changes.
I'll aim for 1.008 for the brackish tank (egeria can tolerate that much, and duckweed can go upto 1.010).
I think saltwater is about 1.025 so I guess I'll have to aim for that in the SW tank, but I'm pretty sure no plants will survive so I'll have to maintain that tank with just water changes. I'm thinking about 4 cups a week at least.

I've read a few people attempt this but all of the threads ended with the OP not relaying how well the experiment worked out for them. I plan to follow this until the end. Who knows if it works out maybe I'll be able to do a RAOK or 2.

Any tips?
Anything I can add to the SW tank to help with water quality?
I read I can use aquarium salt to make a brackish tank but not for the SW tank is this true?
I'll be picking up some instant ocean (or something similar) tomorrow as well as the other small piece of DW. Should I add on a battery powered bubbler or will the snails be ok with me manually agitating the water daily?
I'll also grab a cheap hydrometer.

As you can see in the pic below I kept it pretty simple. I think the ramshorn snails that made it into the tank when I was scooping out gravel will most likely die once I start slowly switching it to a brackish tank.
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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 11:47 AM
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If you have only 2 female nerites, how do you know the eggs have been fertilized?
I have tried this experiment before using 1 gallon water jugs at different salinity levels and it looked like the nerite eggs hatched in a couple of bottles but the little snails never grew. Maybe the food I was offering was not right but I used saltwater algae, algae sheets, veggie tablets, veggie sticks, zoo plankton, spiritulina flakes and a few other things I have laying around. I think if you had a fully established saltwater tank set up it might work but the little critter containers are probably not large enough to offer what the nerite snails need.
But you have all the right ideas. I used instant ocean and a hydrometer as well. I did not use an air stone which I now believe may have been a problem. If I would try it again I would get some sort of water movement in the containers. I can see duckweed doing fine in saltwater. Heck, I can't seem to kill the stuff.
I would only set up one tank with full strength saltwater and then move the DW or plant stem with the eggs into it and leave the adult nerites in their normal tank. They do not have to be moved. It's only the eggs you have to transfer.

20g L46/hastatus/pygmy corys, 10g OEBTs, 10g blue bees/blue velvet shrimp, 10g CRS, 25g L174s/BNs/L340s, 10g yellow/red tiger shrimp, 15g clown plecos/CPDs/habrosus corys, 15g cory fry, 29g Weitzmani/panda corys/BNs, 46g L134s/salt and pepper corys/BNs/rubberlip pleco, 55g SAE/L201s/L199s/BNs/kissing gourami, 75g L316s/BNs/L134s/CAE/silver dollar, 30g L340s/L211s/CPDs,10g tangerine tiger/snowball shrimp, 20g L134/habrosus corys, 10g CPD fry

Last edited by garfieldnfish; 02-22-2016 at 05:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 03:40 PM
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I've been looking into this but haven't had time to do it yet. If i do I'd do 2 gal jars with sponge filters. Ditto on not transferring the adults. I'd definitely transfer driftwood with them as I've read somewhere something about baby snails probably utilizing it as a food source.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garfieldnfish View Post
If you have only 2 female nerites, how do you know the eggs have been fertilized?
I have tried this experiment before using 1 gallon water jugs at different salinity levels and it looked like the nerite eggs hatched in a couple of bottles but the little snails never grew. Maybe the food I was offering was not right but I used saltwater algae, algae sheets, veggie tablets, veggie sticks, zoo plankton, spiritulina flakes and a few other things I have laying around. I think if you had a fully established saltwater tank set up it might work but the little critter containers are probably not large enough to offer what the nerite snails need.
But you have all the right ideas. I used instant ocean and a hydrometer as well. I did not use an air stone which I now believe may have been a problem. If I would try it again I would get some sort of water movement in the containers. I can see duckweed doing fine in saltwater. Heck, I can't seem to kill the stuff.
I would only set up one tank with full strength saltwater and then move the DW or plant stem with the eggs into it and leave the adult nerites in their normal tank. They do not have to be moved. It's only the eggs you have to transfer.
When I 1st realized I had 2 females I went out and got 2 more. I've been watching them for the last week and so far it looks like they are males (no new eggs on any of the DW). So I have 2 females and 2 more hopeful males.
I didn't plan on moving the nerite adults, I was just going to have them live in brackish water, they do not have a current tank that they could live in, I'm shutting down the 20 gallon that they were in so they're stuck with this 1 gallon until I can think of something.

I wish I could convert over the 20 gallon to SW but I have no room unless I can keep it in an unheated garage with no power.

And I've killed off duckweed in freshwater before so I'm not sure I can keep it alive in saltwater but I'm going to try. I think I'll add a small air stone or a small filter for a betta bowl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegirlundertherainbow View Post
I've been looking into this but haven't had time to do it yet. If i do I'd do 2 gal jars with sponge filters. Ditto on not transferring the adults. I'd definitely transfer driftwood with them as I've read somewhere something about baby snails probably utilizing it as a food source.
I am going to add DW to the brackish tank and in the SW tank. I'm hoping to only have to switch out the DW and leave the adults alone. While I'm out today getting instant ocean and such I'll try and get them a 2 or 3 gallon tank, if not I'll just limit the amount out snails I put in each carrier.

So far the plan is 2 tanks. 1 brackish & 1 saltwater mini tank. I put my known females in the soon to be brackish tank and some DW. I'll then move the DW to the saltwater tank every time I see it covered in eggs.


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 04:34 AM
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I wish you the best of luck, but you are in for a very difficult challenge. I went down this path, with no luck. See the following thread:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88...lanktonic.html

I think somewhere in the thread I mention some research that indicated that some environmental triggers might be needed, maybe even ones that can't even be created in an aquarium. Also, getting the right type of algae growing is likely an issue. I wouldn't expect them to eat just any algae. I would also expect that different nerite species would have different requirements (salinity, food, etc).

BTW, here's a cool video of what the hatched nerite "veligers" look like if you attract them to the surface with a light.

Veligers.flv Video by 5hadox | Photobucket

I was able to replicate this when mine hatched. Just couldn't get them to eat and grow.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjp999 View Post
I wish you the best of luck, but you are in for a very difficult challenge. I went down this path, with no luck. See the following thread:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88...lanktonic.html

I think somewhere in the thread I mention some research that indicated that some environmental triggers might be needed, maybe even ones that can't even be created in an aquarium. Also, getting the right type of algae growing is likely an issue. I wouldn't expect them to eat just any algae. I would also expect that different nerite species would have different requirements (salinity, food, etc).

BTW, here's a cool video of what the hatched nerite "veligers" look like if you attract them to the surface with a light.

Veligers.flv Video by 5hadox | Photobucket

I was able to replicate this when mine hatched. Just couldn't get them to eat and grow.
Thanks for the luck. Your thread is one that I read while trying to decide how to go about this experiment. So far the main difference between our experiments (I think) is the eggs. I'm hatching mine at 1.022 (was aiming for 1.020), I'm keeping the adult nerites in 1.008 with some DW, once they fill it up with eggs I move the DW to the SW tank.

As for the trigger I was hoping allowing the SW tank to drift between 1.018 and higher would trigger something, at least that's what I'm going to attempt first. My backup plan is to start the eggs in brackish water, slowly work it up for full saltwater and then slowly bring it back down.
If neither of those ideas work I'll keep trying until I run out of ideas.

I got algae wafers to suplement the adult nerites diet but for the fry (if I can get any to hatch) I'm going to try and make green water following the directions here How to Culture Greenwater: 11 Steps (with Pictures). I'm going to try both methods.

I now have my 2nd tank set up at 1.022 using instant ocean and I added some nerite eggs that were on some other decorations in the tank. I'm not sure if they are viable eggs so I'll see.
I read the nerites need to breed in brackish water in order for the eggs to be viable so if these do not hatch I will add a male in the brackish tank with my 2 females.


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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I changed it up a little today, I put my male zebra nerite in the brackish tank with my female zebra nerite. Then I put in half an algae tab and dimmed the lights. I then looked in on them about an hr or so later and the male has found the female and is now riding on her side/back. From what I've read and a couple of youtube videos I watched I'm 90% sure they're mating.

I read they need to breed in brackish water in order for the eggs to be fertile (I don't know if its true but it's worth a shot). Now I just need to add some cuttlebone to both tanks to make sure there is enough calcium for their shells. I'll leave the male in here for a week or 2 then its back to the main tank to continue eating algae.


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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The male zebra and female zebra are still getting along very well, they don't seem to be interested in the half an algae tab I try to give them every other day. I remove it after it starts to fall apart so it doesn't mess up the water. I'm going to get a small bubbler and air stone tomorrow so I can add some water movement to the tanks. The driftwood is also covered in a lot of new eggs since I've put the zebra couple in there together so I might switch it sometime tomorrow.

I also moved the female tiger nerite back to my planted tank, she didn't seem to be handling the switch to brackish water to well. I found her on her back 2 separate times and when I would set her on the wood she wouldn't move. 5 minutes after putting her back in the freshwater tank she was happily sliding around. I guess I'll just have to get used to her eggs being in the main tank since I don't have a backup place to put her anymore. So my male and female tiger nerites are in the freshwater tank and the male and female zebra nerites are in the brackish tank.


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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I moved the nerite tanks into my empty 20 gallon. I figured it would be easier to control temp and I could possibly grow some algae on the stuff between the two tanks to easily swap in and out for the nerites to eat. I also switch the DW that was covered in fresh nerite eggs into the saltwater tank and put the tunnel in the brackish tank. I feel like the nerites would want some 24/7 aeration for water movement to keep it fresh.

I'll leave it like this for now, later I'll add just enough water into the 20 gallon to cover the items you see sitting between the 2 nerite tanks and hopefully it will grow some algae. I remembered to get the small bubbler but I didn't remember to get small air stones so I am still manually aerating the tanks for now. I just use a turkey baster to take out some of the water and then I inject it back into the tank from high enough to cause a disturbance. I do this at least 2x a day usually in the morning and the afternoon.

Should I use old tank water to cover the items I want to grow microalgae on? I have turtle water or guppy water to choose from.
I'm also thinking about using the back of the tank to grow some plants for my turtles to eat like dandelions or something.
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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 11:57 PM
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Thanks for sharing this. I hope you keep us up to date. Interesting thread!

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:38 AM
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Well after reading the thread I thought I should give it another try as well. I had a milk container with salt water sitting around for over one year and it is covering saltwater algae. So I added some of this (green) water to a small tank and added the plastic container (fish egg trap), that my nerites laid eggs all over, in it. Now we will wait and see. I added an air stone this time to see if it makes a difference. Also the eggs are already darker that when they are first laid so I think these are fertilized. Time will tell.

20g L46/hastatus/pygmy corys, 10g OEBTs, 10g blue bees/blue velvet shrimp, 10g CRS, 25g L174s/BNs/L340s, 10g yellow/red tiger shrimp, 15g clown plecos/CPDs/habrosus corys, 15g cory fry, 29g Weitzmani/panda corys/BNs, 46g L134s/salt and pepper corys/BNs/rubberlip pleco, 55g SAE/L201s/L199s/BNs/kissing gourami, 75g L316s/BNs/L134s/CAE/silver dollar, 30g L340s/L211s/CPDs,10g tangerine tiger/snowball shrimp, 20g L134/habrosus corys, 10g CPD fry
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Good luck in your experiment. I'm still trying to get algae to grow on everything right now, its going slowly but not enough. I've been leaving a flourescent light on over this tank for about 8-12 hrs a day. I'm about to add another cfl until I start seeing an algae bloom.

My nerites that have hopefully been breeding don't seem to like eachother anymore. They went from always being near each other to opposite ends of the tank so I think they have lost the magic lol. I'll give it 3 more weeks before I swap out the wood in their tank for a fresh piece covered in new eggs.
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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Today is tank cleaning day (well I clean it every couple of days since it's so small), I haven't cleaned it yet I will right after this posting. My camera is horrible so you cannot see the crazy amount of eggs on the gray tunnel with the nerites. I'm switching the wood and the tunnel about a week earlier than planned. I read the eggs would start to get darker as they developed in the saltwater and the ones on my driftwood haven't changed so I'm thinking they are not fertilized. I'm going to put the DW in the tank with the nerites and let it get a new layer of eggs on it for a month or so to see if it helps.

I raised the small tanks closer to the florescent light to hopefully help algae grow faster, I would take the lid off of them but I don't want my nerites to escape to the freshwater beneath them. I am also oxygenating both of the tanks which seemed to make my nerites more active. I'm trying to algae up the water beneath them just like before it's going but not fast enough. I think I'll add some ferts to see if it speeds up the process.

Ignore the dixie cups I seen a perfect opportunity to easily sprout a couple of seedlings. Now I am going to do a small water change and drop in a small piece of carrot for the nerites. I've been trying to keep them well fed without polluting the water and they refuse to go after the algae wafers I been trying and the wafers start fouling the water within hours so I don't want to try them again. They did enjoy the lettuce though but it was iceberg, I just wanted to see if they'd go after it next time I go to the store I'll pick up some zucchini and romaine lettuce.

Any questions or tips?



EDIT:
EDIT:
I've been watching videos on culturing phytoplankton on youtube and I think I'll need to get started soon. I'm only worried that my nerite eggs will never hatch and I'll invest the money into phytoplankton for no reason (I only have guppies and shrimp so if these eggs don't hatch I'll have nothing to give the phytoplankton). I guess if the nerite experiment fails I can just try and grow Daphnia for my guppies or something...

Regardless I'll be trying to grow some phytoplankton. I'm going to try and use the green water method I posted earlier and then combine it with some of the stuff I learned on youtube. I guess I'll start with some 1 liter water bottles in the tank filled with 1/2 green water and 1/2 clear aquarium water. After I put the bottles in the tank I'll set the light on a time for about 12-16 hrs and see if I can get the algae to grow. If it starts growing I'll just have to hope it is the right type of phytoplankton for the nerite veligers.

My main problem is the green water method I saw uses freshwater but the videos I seen on youtube use saltwater, I'm not sure if different types of phytoplankton grow in different waters. I guess I'll try 1/2 green water 1/2 aquarium water and I'll make a bottle of 1/2 green water mixed with saltwater at about 1.019. *Just throwing ideas out here for myself later*

I feel like I should use nannochloropsis sp to culture since it is a SW phytoplankton species and the nerite veligers need SW for a reason.

Any advice on if the green water method will work or should I skip straight to the nannochloropsis SW culture?


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss

Last edited by Drewet88; 03-22-2016 at 05:24 AM. Reason: .
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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well final update time. The nerites are doing fine but I have to move them back to my DT. I've been working crazy hours lately and I don't feel right leaving them in a 1 gallon container if I can't check on them daily. When I have a bigger tank to try this with I'll start again, 1 gallon aquariums aren't good for breeding experiments.


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29g~ Guppies, Blue Pearl Shrimp & 2 Nerites
~ Amazon Sword ~ Anubias Congensis ~ Red Ludwigia
~ Duckweed ~ Dwarf Water Lettuce ~ Moneywort
~ Egeria Densa ~ Java Moss ~ Corkscrew Vals
~ Marimo Moss Ball ~ Salvinia ~Java Moss ~Pearl Weed
~ Red Sword Plant ~ Anubias Petite ~ Phoenix Moss
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