Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The case of the dying snails solved

This is a photo I just took of the corner of my dirt tank. There are lots of empty shells. Hundreds more all over the bed of the tank. I have Malaysian Trumpet snails in there to keep the dirt aerated. When I first saw them appearing I accused my husband of overfeeding the tank causing the snails to overpopulate it. Then I noticed the shells were empty.

 photo snailshells_zpsd8a887ed.jpg

I started looking for a reason for the die off. Water parameters are perfect. Perhaps the black diamond tetras in the tank are eating the snails? I watched for days but never saw any of them ever bothering any snails. Then tonight I spied the culprit. The Amano shrimp! You can see a female in the plant in this photo. I saw her grab a large trumpet snail and suck it right out of it's shell. The shrimp, even though well fed apparently like to snack on the snails. Now I know. Guess my worries about overpopulation growing and causing the tank to crash were unwarranted.