Discussion of the Week ~Snails~ - The Reef Tank

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Old 01-01-2003, 08:45 PM   #1
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Discussion of the Week ~Snails~

Alrighty folks a new topic for the week. This week its snails?????
What are your favs? what kind are best? which snails work the sand the best? which the glass? which the rock? what are some of the down falls? what kind are dangerious.

lets here folks tell us you personal favs and dislikes. lets here from your experences, lets see some pictures.

Oh and a reminder I am blacking the vote so make sure you vote again and aften so we can keep the fresh ideas coming. Also if you have any sugestions pm me and I will include them in the poll.

take care and enjoy

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Old 01-01-2003, 09:02 PM   #2
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Stomatella varia snails they are breeding like rabbits, probally have 50 now and they don't have the problem of getting up after they fall
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Old 01-02-2003, 12:55 PM   #3
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I like turbo snails. They are hardy, hungry and interesting to watch. Mine have gotten absolutely huge and are on the glass almost all day.
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Old 01-02-2003, 01:20 PM   #4
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In my main I have turbos, they do well with the glass and rock, the bed doesn't seem to be a prob - cc. There are also at least two different "micro" snails spps (in the nano also) that don't get meor than about 1/4" long, but do multiply well.
The nano has the micros, and 2-3 others that are about 1/4 in diameter, turbanate shaqped with white and orange/brown stripes. These all do very well by me, and keep the viewing good.
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Old 01-02-2003, 03:59 PM   #5
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I think Mexican Turbos are fabulous....they work the rocks & glass very nicely....even saw them eat hair algea & red cyano. I also like my queen conches they work the sandbed constantly, as well as the rocks.

STAY AWAY FROM TURBOS WITH BLACK SHELLS....I was sold several of these by an LFS and they kept dieing within a week or so. After murdering about 6 of them I found out they are from colder waters and are not suitable for the warm waters of a reef tank.
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Old 01-02-2003, 04:09 PM   #6
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I bought what I was told were "rock" snails (they do look like rocks...lol) about two weeks ago. I added about 6 to the tank and we are now covered with snail eggs...they are everywhere! I wonder how many will hatch?

I usually like the turbos, but the store was out that day.
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Old 01-02-2003, 05:47 PM   #7
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I like the stomatellas, like Jimbo showed. Those suckers can move fast too! Got about 5-6 at a meeting then out of nowhere had 100+. Populations keep droping and rising with these. They don't clean much as far as we can see, but they stay small and can get in the little holes in the rocks. I see them mostly after lights out on the rocks and glass.

Astreas(atlantic turbos) clean very good in my tank. Don't have problems with them falling over. They seem pretty sturdy and don't get too big either. They are always on the rocks during the day, and on the glass when I get up in the morning. Is this normal? Maybe amount of light at those times?

Big Turbo's - I haven't tried too many of these but they seem to fall into a crack and can't get their big shells flipped up-right. Not sure why they kept falling, maybe a bad batch when I had bought them. The couple that did live seem to 'bulldoze' a little, not bad though. The were good cleaners too.

Nassarius snails are great for your sandbed. They will dig down into the top layer of sand and come out at night or when you feed. They stay off the rocks and usually the glass too. They stir your sandbed pretty good.

I had/have a queen conch. I see it about once every other month or so. Not sure if it is ever alive until I see it again. I may get another one or 2 and see if they are around more. My sand looks good now so maybe I'll wait too.

I think that takes care of all my snails, except that little green and white striped one that has been cruising around forever. I am starting to get some hair algae - anyone had snails eat that stuff?

-Big Dave
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Old 01-02-2003, 07:49 PM   #8
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Here's an array of pictures, I have all snails except the bumble bee ones, Queen Conch. I have some of the black baja snails, have had them almost a year, some of them have climbed out of the tank and fell to there death. Some have just fallen and eaten by bristle worms, but still have quite a few. It's very difficult to tell the difference between ones collected in california and warmer water ones. I love the fighting conch, they are cruising the sand bed eating who knows what. Have not seen a Nassarius snail in a while they may be coming out at night. The very small snails reproduce and I got them from mojoreef. I think the Cerith snails have reproduced, seems like I have a couple of extras now.
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Last edited by Jimbo; 01-02-2003 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 01-03-2003, 12:53 PM   #9
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I like Strombus snails. There are some good pics in this thread http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/sh...light=strombus

In 2 years I have seen & traded close to 200 of these snails.

Good little critters!
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Old 01-03-2003, 01:13 PM   #10
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I like my turbo's but they do have a problem getting up when they fall from the glass. I have a Unicorn Tang that I swear knocks them off the glass on purpose. I'm constantly turning them over.
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Old 01-03-2003, 03:54 PM   #11
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I have astrea snails. Very good at eating hair algae and cleaning the rocks and glass. The only time I had trouble with them falling on their backs was when I had the heater in the tank - now I hardly ever have to flip them.

Looking into getting some nassarius snails for the sand bed since I don't have (or want) any crabs in my tank. So... more comments re. nassarius snails and what they eat please

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Old 01-04-2003, 09:02 AM   #12
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I've always liked turbo snails for hair algae but they are bulldozers. Lately I've gotten some of the smaller baja turbos like the picture Jimbo poated and they are great. They eat HA well and aren't as bad about knocking stuff over.

They Strombus grazers pack a punch for their small size and reproduce in your tank so you don't have to replenish your supply.
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Old 01-05-2003, 11:40 AM   #13
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I've got zillions of the little "unknown hitchikers" from Jimbo's pix. They don't appear harmful but they sure are prolific.

I've got lots of hitchiker keyhole limpets too but they are very small -- but all my hydroids are gone

I love bumblebee snails. Very hardy, work the sand, the rocks, the glass, between polyps --- and they don't wreck the place!

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Old 01-05-2003, 08:18 PM   #14
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What about trochus snails? I hear they are excellent in the reef, but they are usually about $4 each, and also hard to find.


Steve & Shirley's (extremely outdated) Reef Tank (was up and running for 8 years/ then we sold it.)
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:05 AM   #15
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Jenn/all, was just looking at those little snails, saw two stuck together today, I got out my magnafing glass and there seemed to be a small tube running between them. I've done a little more research into them and here is the link, by the way the photo in the previous post was by Photo by Kevin Tompkins a.k.a. Chucker At the bottom of this post I will provide links to all the photos and websites, something I should have done to begin with to give credit to the people that took the pics.

Here's a quote of a email from Ron L. Shimak---

From: Ronald L. Shimek (view other messages by this author)
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 18:21:23


* * * Posted by: "Ronald L. Shimek" * * *

Hi Keith,

> >They are in the genus Turbo, species ??, will get back to you on that.

I was in error in placing these small snails in the genus Turbo (and also in
error when I did that for some other small snails that a couple of folks
have sent to me). Getting the larger number that you sent me allowed me to
examine some characters that were not as evident on the earlier

The upshot is that these small animals - which have an adult size of 7-8
mm - are in a genus in a family of snails closely related to the Turbinidae
(the family that contains Turbo). Unfortunately without a lot of dissection
and subsequent examination I cannot determine precisely which genus they
belong to. They are probably in the genus Arene of the Family Liotiidae,
but might possibly be in the genus Macarene. Distinctions between species
in the Liotiidae are based on the structure of the radula (the rasping
organ) shell shape and sculpture, and the structure of the operculum (the
plug that fills the hole in the shell after the snail withdraws into it).

It was not worth it to me to kill any of these delightful little animals to
allow a precise nomenclatural pigeon hole. In all cases, these animals will
be micrograzers and are a good component to the guild of animals
specializing in eating diatom or filmy algae.

They should be able to pass through their life history totally within our
systems, and I would guess they probably can reach reproductive within a few
weeks to a few months after fertilization.

Thanks for the opportunity to observe them.

Cheers, Ron

I hunted around to see if I could find anything more about the biology of these little snails but could find very little information.

All the links that I saved while looking of pics of snails

40g 3' BB tank * 2 Seio 820's * 250w 14kk light * 190w actinic/10kk * DIY recirc skimmer.
~If I could only remember half of what I've learned~
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astrea snail , astrea snails , bee snails , bristle worm , bumblebee snails , cerith snail , cerith snails , hair alge , hair algea , mexican turbo , nassarius snail , nassarius snails , queen conch , snail eggs , strombus snails , trochus snails , turbo snail

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