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[APD] Neritina natalensis Snails

During Oliver Knott's presentation at the AGA convention in Washington, he mentioned using a South African snail, Neritina natalensis, for cleaning up algae, particularly on rocks. In Germany, they're called Rennschnecken. I believe he also said that Clown loaches cannot get at them, because the snails maintain such a strong grip on the surface beneath them.

As for bringing them into the country, both the Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Plant Protection and Quarantine section have told me that there is no prohibition against importing these particular snails. But they would require a permit from the USDA PPQ. The permit application is not complicated, but there is a three or four month approval delay. And, the snails would have to be quarantined on arrival, so that an inspector could agree that they are what you say they are.

I have filed an application, but in the meantime, let me ask: Has anyone on the list had experience with these snails? Does anyone know if they're for sale in the U.S.? Thanks.

John T. Fitch

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