Snail question

Snail question

Postby Spyder » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:14 pm

Does anyone have any experience breeding snails more specifically banded trouchus snails?
How would one go about this what would they need?
Thanks
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Re: Snail question

Postby Anthony Calfo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 pm

There has been success rearing these snails in captivity. Or I should say, this species reproduces essentially unassisted in aquaria. You can't have an overflow, weir or skimmer system (or turn it off for at least a week while larval Trochus develop) as the larvae have a pelagic stage. You won't see settled juveniles for many weeks (or months) unless you have a keen eye and magnifying glass.
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Re: Snail question

Postby Spyder » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:07 am

Do they lay eggs like other snails?
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Re: Snail question

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:43 am

Sort of... "snails" is a staggeringly enormous category with a very wide range of modes of reproduction (hermaphrodism, gonochorism and more). This Trochus seemingly is gonochoristic with the sexes releasing their gametes into the water for fertilization. Fertilized eggs tend to float and hatched larvae linger as pelagic for some time (I seem to recall a week roughly being the term) before they settle out. Then it will be some months before you easily see juvenile snails in the tank with the naked eye.
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Re: Snail question

Postby Waldend » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:14 pm

Anthony,

You say no overflow. Does this mean no overflow into a filtration method or no overflow period. A while ago I had my banded trochus spawn in a tank (I had the skimmer off for a couple weeks) and now have about 15 additional ones. I was planning on putting some of those in a different tank where the water overflows into a sump but is not filtered. My debris is settling out in the sump and a pump returns the water. Would this be ok?
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Re: Snail question

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:27 pm

The skimmer is one of the biggest problems, of course, drawing up the larvae. But even an overflow that drains to an empty sump without filtration is still crippling to the spawn. Imagine how much damage is done bashing the larvae X times per hour that the tank water is turned over and run through a pump.

Most displays have a majority of their filtration taken care of in the display (vis a vis live rock, sand, etc). And if you can take care of water movement just the same and temporarily stop any opverflow activity, you will find the survivability of a given spawn to be astronomically higher. Kindly, Anth-
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Re: Snail question

Postby Spyder » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:50 pm

So lets say I wanted to farm these guys what would be the best set up for doing that? Just a tank with some LR maybe a small PH for circulation, heater, light and water changes when needed for water quality?
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Re: Snail question

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:34 pm

Actually no live rock, my friend. Ever... for any larval rearing. It has too many microorganisms that will compete with or even prey on your culture species. You will always fare better without live rock and don't need it for biological filtration. Dry rock if you must. Dry sand is cool too. Sponge filters are fabulous bio-filters. You have many options pending space and hardware available.

Before we delve too deep, may I ask what your goal is for farming these snails? I ask because its not the sort of thing that will likely ever even pay for itself (operational expenses) in a home-based operation. The cost of wild snails is too cheap and the cultured ones are actually done in co-culture with other organisms (such as Tridacnid clams) whose profits subsidize the operational expense of the mollusk.

If you want to breed these snails instead just for pleasure or study, that is a wonderful and different story. I just made a presumption based on your choice of words (farming). We can find you other, more profitable and still rewarding (science, personally) species to work with instead... indeed more threatened ones in need of your attention.
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Re: Snail question

Postby Spyder » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:23 am

I kinda figured that farming for profit would be for a loss. My goal would mainly be to keep myself from having to ever buy them in the future and if I have extra who knows I might just give them away.

As far as rearing other species, I would love to get into that in the future but right now I just don't have the knowledge or the funds, hopefully by this time next year I will have fixed both problems.
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Re: Snail question

Postby Anthony Calfo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:40 am

That is cool, bro. Well... having seen your display tank, I'm wondering if you have another place to try this? It's actually not that hard or time consuming. A simple matter of very good water quality and power feeding. Dry rock, deep sand and very faithful water changes (think massive weekly) in a plastic tub from Wal-Mart would do the trick. This Trochus like many kin will even take a chow. There are a wide range of possibilities for you to feed and condition them. A moonlight that you wax and wane roughly with the almanac is not a terrible idea either (applying this to light sensitive and sighted animals only, of course).
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Re: Snail question

Postby Spyder » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:45 am

How big of a tub, 5-10 gallons be OK? And what would I feed, dried algae sheets?
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