Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Invasion of the Creatures from the Aquarium

While putting away clothes in my daughters dresser I was confronted with a question.....

How the heck did a little itty bitty golden "apple" snail, about the size of half a pea get into my daughters dresser? Oh sure, there happens to be an aquarium on top of the dresser, but that's not an adequate explanation! And where was the gooey snail part?

The mystery deepend when I came across another of the pesky little creatures while sweeping the floor. Unlike his/her sister or brother in the sock drawer, this little fellow/gal appeared to still be present in some form in it's shell! A dried out dehydrated presence, but most definately there none the less.

Out of curiosity more than anything, I plopped the little beast back into the water, wondering whether or not it was "damp" enough inside to have survived the ordeal. I turned my back briefly, and it was gone! It had come out and joined it's siblings in the tank for a morning of feasting and merriment before attempting yet another escape!

A few months back, seeing these beautiful creatures in a tank at the aquarium shop, I inquired about them. I was a bit concerned about added them to my tank, since I had been fishing out the regular little brown ones ever since I started adding live plants to my aquarium. They assured me that these types of snails required TWO of them to breed. I bought 3.

You may be wondering why I'd by 3 when I was worried about them procreating? Well, we did after all have 4 tanks when I bought them. Unfortunately though, what I didn't forsee was that a week later I'd have a nasty case of Ick in all but one of my tanks. To treat it an aquarist must remove anything sensitive to the medication. This included these snails. Supposedly they are much like many of the parasitic diseases that we treat for and are therefore in harms way when we try to eliminate them.

One BIG snail orgie took place in the course of treatment. They rarely left each other alone and not too long after, I found two snails on the floor behind the dresser.

Now these fellows/gals aren't little. Make a fist....ok, maybe not quite that big, but about the size of a 3 year olds fist. Each day, at least 2 or 3 times, I went searching for them around the outside of the aquarium. We played this hide and seek game until finally one day I had had enough! I put them in an enclosed tank with only an opening for the heater and filter flow.

Apparently my type of apple snail lays eggs just above the water, somewhere humid and close so they will drop safely in when they hatch. I now have about 20 thank you (at least. they won't stay still enough to let me count!) And they are starting to come of age apparently, because each day 2 or 3 times, I go and search for the escapees who are trying to find their perfect place to lay their eggs.

The really funny thing about this, is thinking that I removed them all from a tank I had been treating for another nasty parasite, I found two had come out of hiding only after I had completed the course of treatment. The fish were dropping like flies, but I couldn't kill these little suckers if I tried.

So.....of to the Fish store to restock their supply of apple snails if they'll have them. Before they add to mine!


Kurt said...

The size of a 3 year old's fist!

Deb said...

That was interesting! I never would have thought a snail could have survived out of the water. Wow! 20!!! God luck at the fish store!

Anonymous said...

Cool. That could be a valid explaination as to why Snackers got out ...

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I did a least 30 of the little fellows in there!

fourth_fret said...

based on your description it sounds like these are super speedy snails. i had no idea they could move fast at all. i guess i think of snails as slugs with a shell... and the only slugs i know are... well, slugs. heh.

Mr. Incredulous said...

I can hear Bob Barker now. "Help control the snail population. Have your snail... er, neutralized!"

I have one word for you... ESCARGO!
(Hey, it sure beats Hagus!)