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What to do with snail eggs?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have a small aquarium at work with 2 adult ramshorn snails. Everything was fine and I was ecstatic when, about a month after I got them, they produced a fine looking egg sac! It took a couple of weeks for the eggs to hatch and then there were some really cute baby snails. Well...soon thereafter they laid another egg sac. Then another...and now, every other day there is a new egg sac! So far there have been 4 that have hatched so far, and right now there are 6 "brewing" in the tank.



Each egg sac has about 20-40 eggs in it, and of those, from what I can tell, there's an 50% survival rate of the hatchlings. Attached is a picture of one of the first egg sacs.



I'm about to be overrun with snails. And when the babies get big enough, things will really get out of control. The pet store guy said I could bring the babies in and he'd take 'em, but it's a fish store and I'm afraid he'll feed them to his puffers or something. I got ramshorn snails originally because I didn't think they reproduced quickly (I kept apple snails awhile back and they never laid eggs).



So my question is, what should I do? Would it be humane to remove/destroy the egg sacs as I discover them? Of course I don't want to hurt any of the exisiting babies. Removing the egg sacs would solve the problem, as I can just keep removing them. But the problem is, I feel guilty doing that, because I believe life begins at conception in humans...so the same must be true for snails... Arghh...it's such a quandry.



Thoughts?
LL
post #2 of 28
Hmm. Maybe you should remove the eggs and carefully put them outside in some vegetation and let them take their chance with nature.
post #3 of 28
Most of these solutions seem to involve killing the snails or introducing something that will eat them. It does say something about 'blanching' lettuce or cucumber but I'm not sure what that means. I didn't read through all of the posts so maybe you'll find something useful...



http://www.aquahobby.net/board/viewt...ghlight=snails
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post #4 of 28
But isn't it only natural that if there are too many snails (or eggs) then the fish would eat them? Wouldn't this be the natural way of population control in nature?



Or do we want the world to be filled up by snails, just because we don't want any of them to die?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
I like the idea of taking the eggs outside to take their chance with nature. LOL - but I can see it now, newspaper headlines, "SNAILS TAKE OVER SMALL TOWN"



Didn't see anything useful in that thread, Michael, but thanks.



Oatmeal - you're right of course...
post #6 of 28
I have this same exact problem. I figure, it's only inhumane if they suffer. I decided if I get the eggs out soon enough, it is pretty unlikely that they are developed at all enough to suffer. So I siphon them out. Perhaps the best way to let them die is to let them dry out once you have removed them if you want to make sure they don't continue developing in the drain pipe.



I really, really, doubt that this will cause them any pain, whereas letting them live and overpopulating and not getting enough food might.



Any solution to preventing overpopulating is going to involve death, untill they invent snail birth control hormones. So best to kill them right after they are laid, right?
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks Thalia. I agree with you. I wish I hadn't gotten the snails to begin with, but now that I have them, I'll try to do right by them. I cleaned out the tank today and "disposed" of all the new eggs. It was gross, I had to pull the slimey stuff off the leaves and couldn't help popping a few eggs in the process. It was disturbing... but it's what I deserve I guess :/
post #8 of 28
I don't think this particular type of snail would survive in the outdoors. Destroying the eggs is probably the best choice.



I know it's unpleasant but dosen't cause pain or suffering to the eggs or their parent snail. So far as we know anyway.



Your kindness and concern for ALL life is terrifiic. Rest, knowing you've done well.
post #9 of 28
I think you should put some fish in the tank. Just make sure the type of fish doesn't eat big snails. My SOs mum has a japanese fighting fish in with her snails and he keeps the population down. It's natures way of control.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
You should give them to a pet shop.

My friend did that, and the shop sold them, people brought them to keep their tanks clean, not for food.

Danny
post #11 of 28
It sounds like a good idea to put them with fish (either at the pet shop or getting fish yourself)



We had pond snails and although there where a lot they got a natural equilibrium with the environment. I guess the frogs and birds ate them...



Kat
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
I think you should give them to a pet shop rather than "destroy their life"



But then again, you are right, If you took them to a pet store the man might feed them to another Animal or something.



I wish Snails were bigger and could defend themselves.......
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
I work at a middle school with special needs children and we got snails to help keep our fish tank clean. We now know from your posted picture that they are indead snail eggs. We will let the first eggs hatch and share them with other tanks in the building. After that we are not sure what to do. The fish store does not want them. We do have small gold fish around 15 in a 50 gallon tank and one large sucker fish.

Any ideas?
post #14 of 28
I had the same problem with small snails that snuck in on plants for the aquarium. At first, I thought a couple of snails made the place look more "realistic"--diverse life in the aquarium. Then they went nuts and took over the aquarium. The problem with the small ones is that they lay eggs in little jelly blobs that are usually hard to see. So, for awhile I would suck out the 100 + babies (not counting all the ones too small to see or hiding) once a week and then let them go in some body of water. I didn't want to release them into grass because water snails will die without the water (so releasing them outside is as good as killing them). But then my friends started to get onto my for releasing unknown species into waterways, which is (potentially) ecologically dangerous. In the end (and I do feel bad about this), I bought a pair of clown loaches to keep the snails in check (there was no other way...).



Eventually, the loaches died and for some reason, the snail population has never been out of hand again.
post #15 of 28
Perhaps a dumb question, but is there any way to nueter the snails? Or to seperate the females and the males?
post #16 of 28
You know, if you've got a pet store willing to take them, give the eggs to them. Even if they do end up feeding fish (although usually, they're used as tank cleaners), that would a natural progression of life... (IMHO).



That being said, the other thing you could do is destroy the eggs. In nature, many of them would get destroyed (eaten, destroyed by passing animals, landscape problems, etc...) and thus, you doing this would be less harmful than suddenly having too many snails which you can't handle.



I wouldn't, however, "release them into the wild" - aka another body of water - because they could, potentially, cause problems, the effects of which may not be known for years and years, esp. if you put in a ton of these snails (it seems to me that you're dealing with a large amount here..).
post #17 of 28
I too had a snail problem. A few snails turning into thousands of snails, it got real ugly. I didn't want to kill them, but I ended up using "Had-A-Snail", a fresh water snail control solution, which worked perfectly. Because you want to keep your original snails, this obviously might not be a good solution for you. You could get a fish (maybe a clown loach) who will take care of the problem. I don't know why a pet store would want snails unless they planned on feeding them to other fish, as snails usually multiply so quickly and you get overrun with them. And I agree, don't release them into the wild.
post #18 of 28
Oh, and if I were you, I'd return one of your adult snails. If you could tell the gender, you could get another of the same gender so they can't breed all the time.
post #19 of 28
So is that a "no" on the nuetering thing?
post #20 of 28
I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread or not, but a snail is asexual. It mates with itself and it doesn't matter whether you have one snail in your aquarium or more snails in your aquarium, you still run the risk of having more snails. They all have both male and female reproduction organs.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyore20823 View Post

I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread or not, but a snail is asexual. It mates with itself and it doesn't matter whether you have one snail in your aquarium or more snails in your aquarium, you still run the risk of having more snails. They all have both male and female reproduction organs.

I forgot about that! I guess they would be hermaphroditic then, not exactly asexual. I think worms are like that, too. But I think snails sometimes have sex, too. I see them in my tank doing freaky dances together.
post #22 of 28
hey i tottaly under stand what your going through mine are reproducing like theres no tommorow! So i will tell you the right way to it without harming the poor little snails. simply get the egg sacs you find and put them in a plastic see through cup. then wait for them to hatch. once they hatch wait till they get a tiny bit bigger so you can see a tiny colored shell (this will take a few days) then take your cup to the place you bought yours and give the baby snails he won't feed them to the puffers he will later put them in the snail tank so they can grow andthen be sold to others like you!



hope dis helps! i swear they will be all righti work at a fish store and we feed our puffers fish food not snail because puffers dont like to eat snails a lot they like a balanced diet.



post #23 of 28
I was thinking of having pet snails. The sites said you have to get rid of the eggs and thats been the thing that deters me. But I'm also pro-choice so heck, why am I lamenting? :/



Any snail owners here who can give me tips? I have a fish tank I was gonna use, but its a tall tank not a long tank. Its a 2 gallon tank, I probably need bigger for snails. :/
post #24 of 28
If the existing babies are over running you too then try to find homes for them...I don't know what you should do really.
^Cool story, bro
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^Cool story, bro
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by marian View Post

I work at a middle school with special needs children and we got snails to help keep our fish tank clean. We now know from your posted picture that they are indead snail eggs. We will let the first eggs hatch and share them with other tanks in the building. After that we are not sure what to do. The fish store does not want them. We do have small gold fish around 15 in a 50 gallon tank and one large sucker fish.

Any ideas?





my goldfish ate most of my snails eggs before they ever hatched. How big are the goldfish? Do you ever see them eating the eggs? A Dojo Loach is a fun and easy to keep fish that eats snail eggs in the wild and will help control the population as well. It is a long almost eel looking fish who will also become more active if it senses a storm coming and would be a lot of fun in a class room tank, you should probably get two of them at least.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oatmeal View Post

But isn't it only natural that if there are too many snails (or eggs) then the fish would eat them? Wouldn't this be the natural way of population control in nature?



Or do we want the world to be filled up by snails, just because we don't want any of them to die?



I agree, since there are other fish in your tank, and only 50% survive, well some of that 50% may get eaten. In my experience snails haven't lived very long either. Perhaps that was just poor fish keeping though?...anyway, if you do give them back to the pet store and he does feed them to other fish, it's just doing what would of happened in the nature anyway.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
wow, old thread.
post #28 of 28
Maybe you should take them, not in town, but like on the outskirts of your town, or in a field and let them go. Maybe they will turn up like dogs and come back to you
^Cool story, bro
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^Cool story, bro
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