Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #449

>From: "David W. Webb" <dwebb at ti_com>
>Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 16:23:42 -0600
>Subject: Re: Apple Snails

>I keep apple snails in my heavily planted tanks along with red ramshorn,
>brown spotted ramshorn, pond, and trumpet snails.  Among the Pomacea
>species (apple snails and Columbian ramshorn snails are included), and
>among mystery snails as well (mystery snails are large, livebearing snails
>from the northeast U.S.), I understand that most are voracious plant
>eaters, but the apple snails are much less so than others.

The mystery snails sold in shops here in SW OH (the midwest US) aren't
livebearing.  They lay their eggs up above the water line, and look
identical to apple snails, only smaller -- the largest one I have is
about the size of a golf ball.  In my experience, they only bother the
plants (with the exception of Hygrophila) if there aren't enough
leftovers.  This happened to me when my first egg mass hatched in a 20
gallon planted tank.  The 150 or so miniscule mysteries set about
devouring everything in sight. 

I've read, as well, that there are livebearing mystery snails.  I've
also read that mystery snails are apple snails, only smaller.  Perhaps
this is true, since mine, if given adequate food, will grow at a
prodigious rate.

An odd thing with my first "mystery" snail eggs.  Don't they change
sexes (bisexual?)?  I bought one mystery snail, and about 3 months
later, having no contact with any other snails, it laid EGGS.  Not
just eggs -- EGGS, about 5 masses.  I let ONE mass hatch, and got
between 150 and 200 snails.  Can this snail store sperm (or the snail
equivalent thereof), its own or another snail's, and use it to
fertilize itself when conditions are right?  How can I stimulate them
to breed?  Abundant food supply?  David, you said feeding them
powdered lime?

BTW, how large do those brown-spotted ramshorns get?  Can't say I've
ever seen any.

>From: Shawn Ferguson <sferg at cyberus_ca>
>Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 22:00:32 -0500
>Subject: activated carbon-aquaclear
>I have read that using  the activated carbon insert in my aquaclear
>filter will remove the micronutrient supplement that I add for my
>plants. Is this true? If I remove it what is the best replacement in
>order to maximize biological filtration. What is the cheapest?

Yep, carbon (especially new carbon) will suck those elements out of
your water.  Also, carbon doesn't have a thing to do with biological
filtration, other than giving a bit of surface area for bacteria to
colonize.  Most of my tanks are solely filtered by Aquaclears having
two sponges.  Ya see, sponges don't wear out.  Pet shops can sell
people bags of carbon by the ton.  :)  Hold onto that carbon for if
and when (knock on wood) you need to remove medication from the water.


Brian T. Forsythe
crom at cris_com

Every picture is not worth a thousand words; besides, I think I'd rather have the thousand words.