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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent a fair amount of effort trying to breed olive nerites the past couple of years, with no success. You can read about it here if you are interested.

I ordered olive nerites from azgardens a couple of years ago. They came as expected. Assorted sizes from small to large with many having barnacles and shell damage. Clearly harvested from the wild. No complaints. They are cheap and azgardens does advertises about the barnacles.

Now if azgardens says:
These little fellas are actually about the size of a dime or a marble, and may have little barnacles growing on the shells, depending on if they are collected from an estuary or if they're farm-raised. Farm-raised nerites will have a smoother shell with no growth on the outside.
I ordered 20, and sure enough, they have very smooth shells and no barnacles. Furthermore, they were all about the same size and much smaller than you normally get when buying olive nerites...a little bit larger than a pea.

I'd certainly say these were farm-raised based on the small uniform size and smooth shells. I wish I knew how azgardnes (or their supplier) did it.
 

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Oh, I totally agree, however in outdoor pools, say on the coast near a stream, they have a free source of phytoplankton, season cycles, sunlight and other things that aren't possible in an aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From what I've read, it looks like there is some unknown trigger that will cause them to morph from veligers to mini snails. They don't actually feed when in free floating veliger stage, so I doubt phytoplankton is necessary. However, I agree that being in pond near their natural environment may result in the necessary triggers occurring.
 

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I remember Tom Barr made a post once about finding olive nerites in florida in pools or ponds or something where their was no way they could have came from the ocean. I also recently read that some saltwater keepers breed them. And I once contacted a university down in florida and had a correspondence with a marine biologist about it and she pretty much told me you can't breed them unless you had a really expensive and elaborate setup, to mimic nature. I assume she meant something that would mimic changing tides and salinities. I guess they are a great mystery for now. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mine are wild caught with no barnacles and the majority has no shell damage.
One reason I think mine were not wild caught is because they were all quite small and about the same size. Probably they were all from the same batch born at the same time. Also, there was no damage on any of them (out of 20 snails).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I remember Tom Barr made a post once about finding olive nerites in florida in pools or ponds or something where their was no way they could have came from the ocean. I also recently read that some saltwater keepers breed them. And I once contacted a university down in florida and had a correspondence with a marine biologist about it and she pretty much told me you can't breed them unless you had a really expensive and elaborate setup, to mimic nature. I assume she meant something that would mimic changing tides and salinities. I guess they are a great mystery for now. lol
Unfortunately this is typical. In one paragraph you have:

  • Must be possible in fresh water ponds.
  • Must be possible in saltwater tank.
  • Only possible with elaborate setups to mimic nature.
Seems the only thing that is well known about breeding nerites is that there is a lot of contradicting information. I've googled a lot, and have found all sorts of statements that clearly on not true, like live baby snails hatching from the "eggs". They are actually egg sacks that produce veligers about only about 1/6th mm in diameter. It's very hard to even see them floating around.

I saw someone selling babies olives on Craig's list a short while back. I ask how he bred them. He said nothing special, they just starting showing up. I said not possible, and they are probably some other type of snail. He said (and this is common) there was no way any other snail could be in the tank (people misjudge how easy it is to get snails in your tank, and it can take a while before you see them). He then admitted he wasn't certain they were olives, because they were less than pea size at the time, so he couldn't tell for sure. I told him to email me back in a couple of months when they got bigger and could be identified. He never did, so I assume he eventually identified them as something else.

So this is typical. Every story of breeding olives I've tracked down is either clearly coming from someone who has misidentified the snail, or leads to a lack of details and a dead end you can't follow up (like the poster who long ago had a neighbor who bred them, but has since moved away).

I wonder it Tom's ponds possibly could have been inundated during a hurricane or heavy rain. I also wonder if he just found a few (could have gotten there by various means), or enough that clearly they were breading.
 

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See them and weep suckers.





Both locations have plenty, both way upstream, 45 min drive inland, a long long long way for any bird, hurricane or other form of transportation.

I find them near FW tidal systems also, but tides? In FL? Ha!, 1 ft maybe.......

These where pulled out a ditch with a pH of 4.7 and zero carbonate and General hardness. We found them everywhere, and the Santa Fe River at High Springs is a long long long way from any marine system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the post, Tom. Those are nice looking nerites, too. I wish someone could bring some sanity to this. pH of 4.7? Wow! Hard to believe a snail that can live in marine and brackish conditions can survive in that.

I was on the gulf coast near the AL/Fl boarder this summer. First time I've been there since I learned about nerites. Was really looking forward to finding some, but nothing. Not in the inter coastal waterway and not in small streams. Just a zillion hermit crabs and some marine snails.
 

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One reason I think mine were not wild caught is because they were all quite small and about the same size. Probably they were all from the same batch born at the same time. Also, there was no damage on any of them (out of 20 snails).
its not hard at all i can pull out 50 of them that are the same size with out damage.
 

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Thanks for the post, Tom. Those are nice looking nerites, too. I wish someone could bring some sanity to this. pH of 4.7? Wow! Hard to believe a snail that can live in marine and brackish conditions can survive in that.

I was on the gulf coast near the AL/Fl boarder this summer. First time I've been there since I learned about nerites. Was really looking forward to finding some, but nothing. Not in the inter coastal waterway and not in small streams. Just a zillion hermit crabs and some marine snails.

Do you know of the species that live in AL/FL? I'm certainly interested. If you can give me the species you were looking for, and a description/photo, I will probably be able to find it. I know of many little streams and estuaries around the bay that are probably full of what you're looking for. Please PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
its not hard at all i can pull out 50 of them that are the same size with out damage.
Yes, but why would a merchant do that? I'm not saying they couldn't have. I just think this is one of a few indicators that they are likely farm raised (consistent size, small size, no defects, on any snails) and of course AZ Gardens says they sometimes sell farm raised olive nerities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you know of the species that live in AL/FL? I'm certainly interested. If you can give me the species you were looking for, and a description/photo, I will probably be able to find it. I know of many little streams and estuaries around the bay that are probably full of what you're looking for. Please PM me.
Olive Nerites are known to live along the Carribean and Gulf coasts. You can find a picture here.

http://www.aquariumdomain.com/viewFreshwaterInvertSpecies.php?invert_freshwater_id=4#

Note that the striping that is so vivid in most closeup pictures of nerites are actually hard to see with the naked eye, especially at distance.

I'm not really looking for anyone to hunt them down and ship them to me. Just wanted to see if I could find some myself. Probably will be in the area again summer 2012, so if anyone has some tips for finding them in the FL/AL boarder area, let me know.
 

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I do a lot of fishing here on the SW coast of FL (I write for a fishing magazine) and I have seen snails that look like Olive Nerites in quite a few different places from tidal creeks to landlocked ponds on golf courses. Of course now that I am actually "looking" for them, I cannot find any! The range I have found them in has been from Sarasota to Everglades City. I have never seen them in the Gulf itself, but most of the places I have seen them have been within 30 miles of the Gulf coast. I also have heard rumors that AZ Gardens (and others) have been able to breed these snails in captivity. In my area the cost of Olive Nerites at my LFS went from $2.39 in the last year to $0.89. This makes me think that either the distributors are breeding them successfully or they are being harvested locally. (Tom Barr's post makes me think that they are being harvested locally...)
 

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It's probably just collection...way cheaper to collect something like snails than to breed them.
 
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