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limpets in my tank??!
I have some critters in my planted tank, and I wonder what they are.
They're definitely mollusks of some sort. They're 1.5 mm long, max. They look
like teeny limpets -- only they're in fresh water. The seem to mostly hang out
on plant leaves and PVC pipe rather than glass (possibly due to frequency of
scrubbing). They have transparent beige shells. I love them.
My planted tank is a little like a homework problem, or maybe a new and
unpopular aquatic gardening theme: keep a planted tank relatively
algae-free, with only one voracious carnivorous fish allowed. (How about it,
My 9-inch long electric catfish Sparky (she was "free to good home ONLY...")
(((Before you ask: about like an electric fence for cows or horses, startling but
not exactly painful; and only rarely, *not* every time I stick my hand in her
I had some danios to start the nitrifying bacteria before she arrived; she
stunned & slurped up 2 every night, starting her first night in the tank, until
all were gone.
I got a 1-inch apple snail, and she sucked it out of its shell within 3 days.
I have had pond snails hitchhike into my tank; I have never seen one more
She adores chunks of salt-water shrimp from the fish store (1 prawn, $0.47,
cut into 8-10 pieces & frozen & strictly rationed: yum).
She wasn't sure at first about the red wiggler / compost worm. She sucked it
up and spit it back out 5 or 6 times. Then (duh) she vacuumed & swallowed it.
Catfish think EVERYTHING moving is edible. :^D
Obviously, the usual biological algae controls -- SAEs, pl*cos, Otos,
Amano/ghost/etc shrimp, MTSs, Pomaceae, clams & shipworms & gribbles
(oh my) -- are inappropriate, i.e., lunch. :^(
So when my Crinum leaves started getting LESS fuzzy & spotted, I looked
closer. I don't know if these little guys were stowaways in shipments from
Robert H. at AquaBotanic, or Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics -- my fave
suppliers of African plants, which keep my African fish from feeling
homesick (no, really).
Usual disclaimer: no relationship, except happy customer. Check 'em out.
(Don't worry, YOUR algae eaters will keep any possible hitchhikers under
control. You've got lots of them, right?)
Obviously Robert or Toyin is my fairy godperson, because these "snails" (?)
are too small for Sparky to notice, or at least to count as food.
And the mini-limpets are making headway against the diatoms (golden-
browns) and many of the greens. Predictably, the branchy green Cladophora
and the tufts of black Audouinella are still staunchly resisting.
And I didn't have to slog around in tropical rivers like Alfred Russell Wallace
(or catfish hunter Shane Linder) to find these fab little beasties. What could
I just wish I knew what these things are!
landlocked in New Hampshire
wondering how far the genetic experiment in selecting for resistance to
electric shock (in *mollusks*) can go
zot at umit.maine.edu