Well, it's all been happening in the strohi tank this past few days.
Dave from Aquagreen, being the generous soul he is, sent me a few extra Darwin Algae Shrimp -- and not three but SIX blond snails and two large Waterhouse snails extra, making FOUR. I would say blond snails = adult nerites, and Waterhouse = half grown apple snail.
That's a LOT of snail right there, and way more than I wanted in the 3ft. So where was I going to put the excess snails? The NPT! I could store a few in there temporarily - right?
Except - it turns out that Cole has a pathological hatred for snails. Okay, he hates -everyone- pretty much equally but it seems snails are his current arch nemesis. Unaware of this, I stuck a Waterhouse and a blond snail in the NPT. Cole attacked the poor WH snail so viciously it wouldn't come out of its shell. He also attacked the blond snail, which promptly ignored him, causing hours of flaring and sulking. Upshot? 1 WH snail for the strohi tank, 1 blond snail for Cole to glare at all day.
That left two extra blond snails, and two extra Waterhouse snails.
Into Daughter's tank with Aang the Very Pretty went another WH - only to find it in great distress half an hour later, requiring his prompt removal (and after the death of a shrimp and a small ramshorn, we've established that there's something really not good for inverts going on in that tank, while the betta is thriving... we think it's the substrate). Into the strohi tank went the poor snail, who recovered a couple of hours later and is currently just fine.
I still have two extra WH snails and three extra blond snails ---- who like to EAT MY LOTUSES. Yes, the blond snails apparently love nothing more than a gourmet snack of lovely red lotus.. which are now all eaten down to rather less attractive stubs.
want to rehome these blond snails. Not all of them, though - they also have a great talent for stripping algae off java and other mosses, and are also very pretty. But five of them equal a lotus demolition squad, and I'm not playing lunch lady.
But Aus, you may ask, Why oh why did you not simply pop these surprise snails in a spare tank? Well...
After a feed the other night, during which one of the smaller females attacked the bamboo skewer (blunt end..) I was using to drop blackworms in, I noticed she later had a sore on her lower lip. Duly freaking out, I prepared the hospital tank in case she needed it. The lip looks to be healing okay - but the tank was in use.. and of course, next morning all these ferbuggity snails arrived.
Meanwhile, all the little strohi are staring at the snails, five times this:
And then were off, hunting the shrimp all around the tank. Those Darwin shrimp are pretty tough though, and all have survived the onslaught. The strohi are pretty bored with them now, and a little wary too - I think there were a few pinched noses in the process of the DAS encouraging the juvie horde to play nice.
So I have an abundance of snails. Until I can rehome a few, of course I shall have to increase water changes to account for all the extras.
And I would do just that. Except.... the strohi are breeding!
Yep - the two biggest fish are not friends of Dorothy at all, but a mated pair for sure. They have spent pretty much the entire day wrapping and being smoochy in the java moss. And I don't want to disturb them. ><
And here was I in a panic that the male wasn't eating last night. Oh no, I thought, it's because of the snails, I am a BAD PERSON. But it was clearly part of what was going on today.
I know nothing about strohi mating habits, but from what I can see the courtship is very long and complicated. I'll detail what I've observed more thoroughly after dinner this evening.
But it seems I had better get a BBS hatchery in short order... and find a solution to the overpopulation issue.. and keep an eye on that one female and her lip...
Oh, and during all this, there was a kitten stuck in our ceiling.
Whew, so much excitement!