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Awesome pics Jeff, loving the shrimp and rasbora as-well.
 

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Nice shots, yes!

Some time ago I was wondering what to tell people about the Nerites (temperatures, pH and so on). Luis Navarro told me that whenever his Nerites' shells start to deteriorate he moves them to a cichlid tank for a few weeks. The water in that tank has a lot of Calcium. I guess pH is high too which means that Nerites can live in a variety of pH values.

The temperature; It seems Nerites like it on the warm side, but the temperature can vary a lot too. 72 is definitely too low for them. They don't die, but bunch up together - around the heater as well as in the corners of the tank. At this temperature they laid eggs though. I'm not sure if it was the Red Spot Nerites or the Zebras. On the other hand they can do fine at very high temperature too - I had a heater that didn't work very well and it raised the temperature to 88. From what I saw the Nerites didn't mind.

Bigstick,
What is your opinion on Neritina and algae? Are they as effective as we think they are? My tanks have very low light and zero algae so I don't really know. In any case they have beautiful shells and even if they don't eat algae much better than most other snails I'd still think they are the best looking aquarium snails we have access to so far.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info Niko, unfortunately I dont have and high PH tank to move them to right now.

As far as the algae eating abilities I think the the regular olives are the best. One of the ones that I got from you guys demolished anubias leaves! Ive never had regular olive do that. I got 3 different types so its hard to say who it was! They have seemed to have stopped eating the anubias leaves now so it wasnt a long term effect.

A positive to the red and zebra is I dont see nearly the amount of eggs that I get from the olives
 

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Ah, nice to hear that the Red Spotted and the Zebra Neritinas don't make as much of the annoying white eggs! I didn't know that.

We keep the snails on a very strict "diet". Basically we feed them algae wafers but very carefully. Having a few hundred snails in a 40 gallon tank is surely overcrowding and frequent water changes (I try to do 10-20% every day) is a must. So we don't overfeed in order to keep good water quality. I bet when the snails are put in a planted tank they may go for the first available food they see. What I have seen though is that they don't damage Java Moss, which is very fine leaved and Amano shrimp often strips it bare.

Glad to hear that your Nerites left the Anubias alone. I'd say they should have attacked your HC first but go figure, as long as they don't do it any more it's all good.

--Nikolay
 

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Great photos!! Bigstick these need to be in the "most interesting photo" contest. Love the "stripes" and "boo" pxs.

My snails have been hit with the low pH thing too. I have another tank that I have moved them to. I have thrown much crushed coral into that tank and also put Equilibrium in there. I do still have CO2 on that tank. It hasn't seemed to help them. I feel badly for them. I won't be buying anymore of them. What I can't figure out is how the pond snails and MTS snails do so well when these and briggs suffer???
 

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As a person who has kept, and offered nerites for years to others and has often raised baby nerites, I will add some imput on their care. Many times when I receive a shipment of nerites there will be several with severe shell damage. I do not offer these snails to anyone, they are kept here at The Cause for many months until they begin to build new shell growth. I have had this growth to occur in lower ph with C0 2 injection and in tanks with ph around 7.4 and our KH is less than 12. Our water does have some alkaline and all our tanks have flourite and pool sand. It has been suggested to place bird cuttle bone in the tanks with snails to help keep shell structure rebuilding. Being a curious and a person who loves to learn about the world of aquarium keeping, I decided to try this in a few tanks that housed damages nerites.
I added cuttlebone to 2 tanks. The other tanks with these snails received none. Same water changes were conducted, ph was the same in each tank. Over a period of several months I saw no change in shell structure in the tanks that held held the cuttlebone. I did find that they were often seen on the cuttlebone as to say they were eating the cuttlebone or just feeding from the build up I don't know. I can say I saw no major change in shell growth in the tanks that held the cuttlebone. I do believe foods that contain the right amount of nutrients is one of the major factors in shell growth. Olive nerites are found in many different types of water conditions in the wild. I feed mine a variety of foods, brine shrimp pellets, dried and frozen worms, algae wafers, pleco pellet food, vegetable wafers. Micro pellets and wafers and flake foods. If anyone has tried other methods I would love to hear from you.
wilma
 

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I have had this [shell] growth to occur in lower ph with C0 2 injection and in tanks with ph around 7.4 and our KH is less than 12. .....I added cuttlebone to 2 tanks. The other tanks with these snails received none. Over a period of several months I saw no change in shell structure in the tanks that held held the cuttlebone. I did find that they were often seen on the cuttlebone as to say they were eating the cuttlebone or just feeding from the build up I don't know. I can say I saw no major change in shell growth in the tanks that held the cuttlebone. I do believe foods that contain the right amount of nutrients is one of the major factors in shell growth.
There have been several random posts that seem to suggest that low pH may contribute to shell deterioration. Until i hear otherwise, i am willing to entertain that notion. However, i am somewhat skeptical. I suspect shell problems are associated with low Ca and not low pH.
I found a study that says that
"One important difference between the laboratory-reared snails and the wild snails was that the laboratory-reared snails were fed ad libitum; we do not know how adequate the food supply was for the snails obtained from the wild. Individuals of Lymnaea peregra (Müller, 1774) and Planorbarius corneus (Linnaeus, 1758) reared in calcium-rich water, obtain calcium more from the water than from the food. Individuals reared in calcium-poor water, however, obtain two to four times more calcium from the food than from the water (Young 1975). "

It seems to me that the snails need a source of calcium, but it could come directly from the water. It is plausible to me that the water doesnt have to have high alkalinity. ... just sufficient calcium.... just like we require for good plant growth. If the water has low Ca, then the snails may in fact have to get it from the foods.
In one of my pH 6.5 tanks without loaches, the ramshorn snails are doing really well. So, they are getting enough Ca to build shells and grow to a nice size. To my tanks, I used to provide Ca with pulverized dolomtic lime. More recently, with equal parts per volume of plaster of paris -which is calcium sulfate -and Epsom salt for the Mg.
(I cant figure out why the smiley face appears in the quote!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pedro flash is a Canon 430ex.

Nfrank, I would think its a combination of all the above. PH in my aquasoil tank is low 6's and much lower when the aquasoil was new. KH is around 2. I was adding CaCl2 to the tank and it seemed to help a little, but they still die.

Im my tank with eco complete and snails, they live much longer. PH is a about the same and KH is about 2-3. I add some Ca to this tank as well. It may help, but in a low PH/KH tank the snail unfortunately seem to be doomed. Ive heard of folks rotating the snail out to a tank with a higher PH, but that isnt an option for me right now
 

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My observation with the Nerites is that they MUST be fed. By that I mean that I keep them in bare botom tanks and I feed the fish very conservatively so I avoid spoiling the water. The Nerites never seem awfully interested or excited about any food (unlike Tylomelania, the Sulawesi Rabbit snails which go berzerk when they smell blood).

If you have a normal tank with substrate and all I do believe the Neritinas will be fine. I have a few in a customer's tank and they always stay visible and active. The tank has a lot of fish and a lot of mulm.

From what I've seen water conditions don't seem to interest the Nerites. But they MUST have moving water. Being a snail you'd assume they can live in just about any water, but that is not so. Stagnant, non-moving water is not to their liking.

--Nikolay
 
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