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Re: Snails

on 01:48 AM 3/15/00 , Hoa Nguyen wrote:

> >From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> >Subject: Re: Snails
> >
> >MT snails don't eat algae or vascular plants.  They live on mulm and 
> detritus
> >in the substrate.  I'm not even sure why they roam around on the glass, but
> >once you get them in your tank, they will not be easily removed.
>What evidence points to this?  I observe them roaming all over my plant
>leaves at night?  How can you say with certainty that they don't eat algae?

I can say with reasonable certainty that they *do* eat algae. Or at least 
mine do.

I just watched a 1" long MTS for about 20 minutes on the aquarium glass. He 
moves toward a spot of algae (the tiny green spot variety) and sticks out 
his proboscis and an opening (mouth?) opens and closes very quickly and the 
algae spot disappears. I watched him devour about 50 spots (each spot 
probably .5mm in diameter). Give me a few days and I can probably get a 
close-up photo of this.

Also, anecdotal evidence: whenever I have major algae problems, MTSs 
multiply like crazy. Right now I have hundreds in my 15G tank and only a 
few in my 30G tank, and the 30 has been established much longer (the 15 was 
seeded with 6 large snails from the 30 a couple of months ago.)  I feed 
much less in the 15, but the MTSs multiply out of control. The current 
algae explosion in the 15G tank seems like the obvious reason for this.

Notice that I didn't say they eat *much* algae, or that it's their primary 
food source. The MTS on my glass didn't eat enough algae to do much good. 
After 20 minutes I can't see any measurable effect, and if I hadn't been 
watching individual algae spots from an inch away I would have had no idea 
that it was eating algae.

More anecdotal evidence: When I scrape the algae off the glass thoroughly, 
I see fewer MTSs on the glass for the next couple of nights. If not for 
algae, I can't imagine why they would be out on the glass and on the 
plants. (Maybe they eat a microorganism that eats algae? Seems like a stretch.)

Who ever said MTSs don't eat algae?

michael moncur   mgm at starlingtech_com   http://www.starlingtech.com/
"Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right."
                 -- Arthur Schopenhauer