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Old 02-10-2008, 11:49 PM   #1
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Massive snail spawn - finally caught them!

OK... I know we've had threads here about snails putting out what appears to be smoke from under their shell. I've seen it with one of my snails before too. But I finally caught the whole spawning episode this afternoon. Pretty amazing stuff - like the Nature Channel right in front of my couch.

I'd noticed my water was a little cloudy this afternoon, so I went over to investigate. I found one lone trochus up on the highest rock, "smoking" away. As I watched him excrete what I assumed was sperm over, and over, and over... both my wife and I were saying "Sheesh guy... give it a rest! Where are you storing all that stuff!"

My 6-year old then says, "Dad... that one over there is doing it too." And wouldn't you know it, one of the snails on the other side of the tank was doing it too. Hmmm... this is weird. Then we spy another one doing it.

As I look around more, I find one trochus up near the top of the glass also excreting stuff from under its shell... but this isn't a milky looking substance. It's releasing a ton of tiny little spheres. "Ohhhhh!", we all say in unison... "Those are the eggs!" I could not believe the amount of eggs this thing was cranking out. It was just as impressive as the amount of sperm being released. So at this point, we had one trochus releasing eggs, and at least 4 trochus in various parts of the tank releasing sperm. I'm guessing that the egg release prompted the sperm release from all the guys, but I suppose it could've been the other way around too. Either way, it was pretty interesting to watch in real time!

This isn't the first time this has happened in my tank, but it was the first time I witnessed it to this extent. My trochus are fairly prolific... I have three generations that I know of in my tank right now (at least I *think* I still have one of the first generations still around) and I've only had the tank up for a year and a half!

Anyway... just thought I'd share. Pretty amazing stuff going on in these little world's of ours!

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Old 02-11-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Pretty cool. Did you do a pwc afterwards? I've read similar things about tridacna clams spawning and fouling the tank with all the sperm and eggs.

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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Very cool that that you were able to watch it. I would think a skimmer could handle the load (no pun inteneded) from a few snails.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thats exciting, If you get too many snails you could always mail some over to me

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Old 02-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Wow, that's pretty neat!
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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That is neat! I guess the fertilized eggs will settle into the LR or sand somewhere to hatch, and it would be hard to see them. From your other spawns, how long will it take until you see some little snails? I know the fish may eat some eggs, or the skimmer will remove some but at the rate of spawning you've described, you're hopefully going to get some baby snails.

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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Regarding the water change, I was pondering that last night, but figured I'd wait and see what this evening brings. If things aren't cleared up tonight, I probably will do one just to be safe. It's funny... a couple of times in the past I've noticed the tank being a tiny bit cloudy - but nothing like last night. Water parameters would always test normal. And it would be clear the next day. I think I know what I was seeing now! As far as the skimmer goes, I expected it to go crazy last night, but it didn't.

An t-iasg... not sure how long before I see snails. All I know in the past is that I've seen the guys "smoking" and some time later I saw little tiny snails everywhere. I never really saw the egg spraying, so I never really understood the process. I did make a note in my aquarium log this time though, so I should be able to answer that question when the time comes! Everything I've read says that snails don't really reproduce in our tanks, and when I've made comments to the contrary, folks normally say "Ahh... they're just babies that hitchiked in on your rocks that you never noticed." Don't think so. The first "new" generation (the 2nd gen!) gave me about 10-12 trochus snails of medium size that are still with me now, and were the ones doing the spawning. The second new generation is still really really tiny. They're tough to see during the day, but really stand out on the rocks at night. I have no idea how many there are, but I'd easily guess over 100. I'd expect those numbers to dwindle over the months and I'll probably just end up with a dozen or less out of that batch too.

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snail, spawn

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