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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided I want some Nerite snails, but I do not want the headache of unhatched eggs on everything. From my research the males do not have this nuisance, but are almost impossible to distinguish from the females.

I do have a backup tank the females can go into without an issue. I was thinking about buying some and quarantining them separately long enough to see which ones are laying eggs.

If I do this they wont be in established water/tanks during their quarantine so they will not have anything to eat...can something be added to each quadrant for them to munch on?

I assume within 1 week I will be able to identify the egg layers right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alright kind of trying this out, I bought 2 zebra and 2 tiger nerite snails. They were part of a new shipment so they seemed a bit dormant however the sales associate checked them and sniffed them to make sure they were alive. So far they have not moved, I used the same water they came bagged in for now and there is nothing for them to eat so I bought Algae Thins I cracked one in half and put it in there. If I get no eggs after about 10 days I will abandon the experiment to remove the females...I assume 10 days is long enough?



This store did not have any horned Nerites so I drove to another and bought the only 2 horned I could find there and they are very small compared to the other 4 BUT much more active! Is the horned version a smaller snail in general or do I have babies? I put these 2 in one of my established tanks with some algae on the glass in some areas down by the gravel and I see them down there but they are not removing any of it where they move across so either they are too young to be effective or the horned version is just not a very effective glass cleaner. It is interesting though that they are sticking together as a pair! Has anyone seen pairing between snails before??
 

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I find that egg laying varies a lot by time of year. I have about 50 nerites in 4 tanks, but can barely find any eggs right now. Other times of year I'll see them everywhere. Funny thing is I seem to recall this being the time of year when I normally see a lot. Maybe I'm just off by a few weeks and the eggs will start turning up soon. My point is, just because you isolate a nerite for a week and don't see any new eggs doesn't mean it isn't a female.
 

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I looked into the same thing before I bought my nerites and I was told they prefer to lay on driftwood. Also if you see any pair off I think that means they might be mating so one of your horned nerites might be a female. Also I see my nerites go across patches of algae on the glass and they don't pick it off right away but now that they've been in there for a few weeks I can notice the difference. They ate a lot of the algae off of the glass, so much that its almost not noticeable, they'll do their job they just need some time to get to munching.

I would let the ones in your small tank mingle for a while as a group, and then add some dividers or something and separate them so if you find eggs you'll know which one laid them based on location. If you have a rock or something that has some algae on it add it to the tank you have them in, the more natural the environment the more likely they'll try and breed which will help you figure out who is female. If you see a couple of nerites climbing on each other try and remember which ones they were in case they were breeding.

Like @cjp999 said they don't always lay eggs right away so you might not want to quit the experiment in 1 week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked in the tanks for eggs at the stores and saw barley any of them, the most were of course on a piece of wood. Maybe they clean them well or as said time of year, maybe once I start seeing them I will isolate the snails than with their own pieces of driftwood to encourage the females to lay. They do this for how long a few months out of the year?

This morning I checked on the two horned snails I put in my tank and one was on the glass and the other was laying upside down in the gravel with his door shut. I am not sure if they sleep this way or when they are full this is how they digest or what but 15min later the one that was on the glass is now doing the same thing so I do not think they are stressed...

Good to know about all the horned species being dwarfed in size, I may stay away from these due to that fact since they will not be as effective at scraping algae off the glass but I can see them being perfect for a tiny micro tank or Betta bowl setup.

If they need a certain time of year I would rather let them all mingle in an established tank so I do not have to worry about their water chemistry, who knows it could be months before they even lay an egg in my tank.

The 4 larger snails I bought from the other store that seemed dormant have made some but little progress overnight; the Tigers have stuck to the tank and begun to move around a little bit but I am not sure the color of their flesh is healthy? Seems dark to me like the color of a mushroom, the horned snails have a lighter flesh color and are much more active. On the other hand the Zebras have not moved yet and remain stuck to one another they must be mating?




Lastly, is there anything specific I should know about their health? I thought dwarf shrimp were simple but I am now learning I need to monitor gH & kH as well as add iodine/calcium is there anything like that I need to know about Nerite snails? I assume anything I add for the shrimp will be okay for the snails, and I do use Flourish comp as well as Excel in this tank slightly under recommended dose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I thought of a better way of doing this, to minimize maintaining another body of water I am already cycling a 15 gallon tank I will not even use for possibly a few months. I can simply stack tubbaware with holes drilled in it, I will put driftwood in each container along with algae wafers. Again I will wait until I see eggs before I even isolate them because do not fix what is not broken right?




My two horned snails I added yesterday are acting weird, after this morning they just laid like this on their back all day...they seemed perfectly fine this morning maybe they do not like the light?



The 4 larger snails in isolation have not shown much sign of any movement so I put them in my tank and instantly they were up crawling around pissing off my Betta haha so I am not sure maybe it was the temperature because I acclimated with my tank water (minus temp). They have different social behaviors and the snails themselves under the shell looks different so "Nerite" is a very loosely used term. Tiger snails both seemed to be more brave and ran around much more, where the Zebras were shy and kept an eye on my Betta if he came close they closed up. These larger snails really do eat tough/hard algae on the glass down by the gravel line, or at least I observed the Tigers doing a great job right away:
 

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If you ever find nerites upside down you need to right them, they usually can't right themselves on their own and will die.
 
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My horned nerites are smaller than the other ones, too.
I always wondered if the different nerite types preferred the company of their own kind- because when I had two 'tomato' nerite snails in the same tank, they were frequent together whereas the others hung out by themselves.

Ditto about turning the snails over- nerites can't right themselves. If one falls upside down, turn it back over.

I'm interested to see how successful you are in separating the males from females- I've never tried it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh really? How long do I have to right them? I assume being on their back for 24-48 hours is not a problem? - With that being said I woke up this morning and all my snails were on their backs closed up, all of them but one and this includes both the horned snails that have not moved. Something seems off, as if they do not like the water which has 0-Ammonia/0-Nitrite/0-Nitrate however I do not test my GH & KH (the test is on its way now) I am told that may be why my Ghost shrimp die after a month. I do see lots of algae removed already overnight though so they were eating or at least some of them were. I hope they do not fall on their back where I do not see them, I assume they wait for the current or something to flip them I even witnessed another snail helping flip another over not sure if it was intentional or not I want to know why they fall off the glass and end up on their backs possibly my Betta harasses them and they loose suction or they get bit by bugs? I have tiny tiny worms on the glass my Betta eats, and tiny tiny water fleas also on the glass maybe they bite the snails?

I will certainly be separating as soon as I witness a cluster of eggs near a snail for verification, that is if I can keep these alive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I caught one of the snails emerging but he did not make it far and returned to the water:



I thought my Betta was going to chill out but he is getting worse, constantly around the snails even when they are not moving he focuses in on them. If one flips over he nips at the soft tissue before they close their door it must smell appetizing I swear he uses those nostrils. The shrimp are much faster than him and he gives up very quickly, but these snails are something he can actually catch haha. I am not sure this is going to work, if he does not chill out soon I will remove them.


 

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Well I accidently found out which one of my nerites is a female. I've been moving my fish and snails to their new tank and ended up separating my nerites for about a week. Neither snail has ever laid an egg in my 20 gallon but now that one was in a tank with DW she started lying them all over my wood. No eggs for over a month and then suddenly eggs everywhere. The 20 gallon has no DW in it and the temp was set at a stable 76 but the 29gallon has DW, live plants, and has been set to about 80 degrees.

If you still want to see if any of them are females maybe all you need to do is increase temp?
This is on a very small piece of DW that I could easily remove so if I ever get the room I might try and make a 3 gallon saltwater tank and see if I can get them to hatch.

I have since switched my nerites around so if anymore eggs popup on the DW that means I have 2 female nerites, if its just the one female I don't know if I'll put her back in this tank.

Now the betta fish will most likely never give up on the nerites because they are easily catchable. Luckily they can close themselves in their shells, just make sure the betta doesn't stress them too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Valuable information thank you! My temp is a stable 76/77 my heater is a self controlled miniature.

I will certainly isolate them with driftwood sounds to be key to this process.

As for my snails go, only 1 has moved since last night the rest have still not moved and the two horned snails that were on their back for a day have not budged since I turned them over 36 hours ago. I just got my GH/KH test kit today so I will see where my water is at, possibly that is affecting them. I found 1 large Zebra on its back this morning and that was it, seems like a PITA flipping them over daily something seems wrong. Last night I observed one fall off the glass without my Betta present and I immediately flipped it over, thing never moved since. I know for a fact Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate are not a problem and are not even present I never ever have any Nitrates and I do a 50% water change every 4-7 days (testing before the water change) so my plants must eat all my Nitrates this is a Riparium with surface plants that use the tank water for fertilization.
 

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I think the nerites might be less active because the betta. My nerites were very sluggish for a few days, I think when they realized my guppies aren't interested in them they became way more active.

Dw does seem to be the key, I assumed I had 2 male nerites but as soon as DW got introduced eggs started popping up. I'm not sure if the heat had anything to do with it, but my nerite was very active in the warmer water. I might try the test again with DW in my tank set at 74-76 and see if she lays more eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have been on the lookout for feeler nipping because they look like worms, he loves anything white in a line I have seen him eat floating bits of plant roots and spit them back out. They were so inactive today none of them budged, I wonder if they sense his presence over them even when they can't see him he even lays sideways as to cover them with his tail he is such an ashole lol. I decided to move 2 of them into this back corner where the filter, heater, and other hardware are hidden and is where the Amano shrimp like to hang out. There is only one way into this area and once he gets over here the filter stream hits him and he gets claustrophobic and leaves haha




My test kit came in today for GH/KH (API) and I tested both my tap water after conditioned with Prime and my tank water. I am not sure if I am suppose to count the first drop in the conversion chart so I have two numbers/range. My conditioned tap reads 35-54ppm GH & 18-36ppm KH, the tank water read 72-90ppm GH & 36-54ppm KH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It has been two days now since I moved one of each into the back corner where the shrimp hang out, not a single snail in the tank has moved in 48 hours...really weird and the Betta has been harassing the ones I left out much less now plus I left them in groups. Stress from harassment has been removed from the ones placed behind the cave for 48 hours unless Amano shrimp harass them back there. Now I am stumped on why they are all closed up, when should I start smelling them to make sure they are not dead?
 

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My nerites didn't move for 2 or 3 days when I first introduced them to my tank and their only tank mates are guppies who barely bothered them. My female nerite started moving on day 2 but only on a fake hollowed out tree stump that she never left, just cleaned the log 24/7 at night time the outside and day time she was in the inside. The hopefully male nerite started moving on day 3 and scours the whole tank day and night.

Its already been 2 days so I say if there's no sign of life tomorrow go ahead and give them a sniff test but, I've read online that they could not move for up to a week and then one day they're moving everywhere. Hopefully they just need more time. I also read they like zucchini so if they pass the sniff test maybe put them on top of some zucchini when you add them back to the tank, maybe that will entice them enough to come out.
 
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No problem glad I could help. Don't forget about the zucchini, if they haven't ate in a few days that might be enough for them to decide to pop out.

I'm starting to think I might have 2 females.
I see more eggs in the tank but I do not know if they were there before. I'll keep a better eye on it and see if new eggs are popping up, if so I'll either have to learn to live with the eggs or get more nerites and see if I can isolate some males.

Let me know how the sniff test works out for ya.
 
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