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Re: Malaysian Trumpet snails
These snails are amazing. Unlike the Ramshorn or pond snails etc. they have
a way to seal themselves into their shells when necessary. They are
resistant to most medications that kill other snails.
Recently, on another forum, someone emailed me as to how she could find
some. I suggested she go to one of those mom and pop aquarium stores. That
is where I found mine. I told her that these snails are able to withstand
long periods of time in a dry environment because there have been instances
where dried out, old gravel reused in a tank, would suddenly sprout these
She did indeed find MTSs at a mom and pop store and was told by the owner
that he found them in the gravel of some used tanks he'd purchased when he
first set up his business. The seller told him that there would probably be
MTSs in the gravel, and if they appeared to have survived, that they are a
good. Sure enough, the snails appeared once the tanks were filled.
It would seem that mailing them around the country, if necessary, should
pose no serious difficulties. From the way in which these snails can seal
themselves up and 'hibernate', a bubblewrap lined envelope and at most a
damp piece of paper is really all that would be required.
These snails are loach-proof. They eat any debris that falls to the gravel
and every night they climb up the glass, when lights are turned off, to draw
a bubble of air into their shells. Their numbers vary with the amount of
food available, so unlike some other snails, they do not damage healthy
plants. During the day, they can be noticed only by carefully observing the
gravel, which moves when a snail is moving around under its surface.
Presumably, their activities prevent substrate from compacting. There are
some people who think that their presence endangers the survival of eggs and
fry of bottom spawning fish, but in all honestly, I have not found this to
be the case.
I have tanks with and without CO2 injection. As long as the KH is at 3 or
4, their shells are unaffected. They are the last snails in a soft water
tank to display any decalcification of their shells. I've only noticed this
phenomenon when the GH and KH are below 2 degrees hardness.
When I pull up plants in a tank containing MTS, there is a little puff of
fine debris which settles back down in a matter of minutes. My filters are
not clogging up, and in fact, only get cleaned out once every 3 - 4 months.
There is barely anything in them to warrant the cleaning. I often find many
small MTS inside the cannisters where they continue doing their job of
consuming whatever the filters draw in.
All-in-all, I give these little fellas a 5 star rating.