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Nerite Snails
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invertmaniac
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Location: Wheaton IL

PostPosted: 2010.07.17(Sat)5:06    Post subject: Nerite Snails Reply with quote

Something that only a few of us have heard of, and even fewer have seen or owned. I have tried scouring the internet for detailed information on these snails but have always come up with the same copy/pasted articles on different sites.

Thanks to a two LFS in my area, I was able to get ahold of 4 Olive Nerites (From brackish), 5 Tiger/Tracked Nerites (Most likely from fresh), and 5 Zebra/Virgin Nerites (Again, likely fresh).

Now I realize that the Zebra and Virgin Nerites are two different species, but these snails mimic the color of a zebra, with the design of a virgin. I believe them to be true Zebras because their stripes changed directions which has been speculated to be caused by a change in salinity level (I.e. Someone harvesting them from brackish and acclimating them to fresh) but they could still be Virgins.

Two of my olives look to be sexually mature, and the other 10 should be as well. I am aware that they are not hermaphrodites and that two snails are needed for SUCCESSFUL reproduction, not egg laying. Nerites can lay eggs whenever because I had two female Olives that layed for 3 years.

I read a very detailed thread on breeding Olives on Applesnail.net but it was from years ago and the author never followed up on his findings. He did, however, determine that Nerites, or at least Olives, could be sexed by seeing whether or not the had a sex organ by their right eye. That is where the male sex organ resides apparently.

He tried to raise Nerites in a very low-tech way. He simply deposited any eggs found into little cups where they could and did hatch. However, a Nerite hatches as a little veliger which looks much like a marine Cuttlefish. This planktonic stage is what sets Nerites apart from any other "freshwater" snail. These veligers are attracted to light and stay at the top of the water column where they are usually sucked into filters or eaten by fish.

It is said that they require brackish or saltwater, but I believe that is untrue. Wilma Duncan breeds Olive Nerites in pure freshwater. Salt should have nothing to do with how these snails survive or thrive. The parameters of a saltwater tank are what is trully needed. A pH of atleast 8, extremely high calcium and other mineral content, a warm temperature. All these can be mimicked fine in freshwater, except for maybe the high plankton/micro-invertebrate level that is seen in marine and brackish environments. So in some respect, it is actually a lot better to try raising these snails in at least brackish water.

Breeding these snails is something I may consider doing some time in the future. Right now my tank is nowhere near complete, and I have no brackish tank to house any Nerite eggs. Obtaining the eggs themselves would be a tiresome and destructive chore involving cutting any plant leaves with numerous eggs on them. Right now I am more concerned with starting a 20 breeder for my various barb species.

I have the tank, the heater, the lighting, the liverock, and the time to begin a brackish tank, but currently there is really no initiative to do so. No one at any LFS I have been to, including the one I WORK at, have even heard of a "freshwater" Nerite snail. There is an almost 0% confirmed success rate in breeding Nerite snails of any species. And even if they were raised successfully, the market for these snails is incredibly small due to their lack of exposure. In the future, once I have set up my breeder, I will almost definitely begin work on a brackish setup. I will probably just toss in any rogue Nerites I can find at my LFSs and hope that they can produce something. And once my 75g is completed, I will be able to take plant trimmings with eggs whenever I want.

I will keep you all updated on any findings or success I have on this subject. Aquahobby is by far the most informed fish community I have seen and been a part of and I hope there is someone else out there who has or wants to breed Nerites like I do.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.07.17(Sat)5:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, but I believe you're mistaken in one thing...

I think many of us have owned nerites. They're not at all difficult to find online.
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invertmaniac
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Location: Wheaton IL

PostPosted: 2010.07.17(Sat)6:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerites besides Olives. And yes, people here have them. I know no other person in my area who has even heard of these snails. I have never seen anything besides Olive Nerites on any site except Aquabid.

EDIT: Actually I just stumbled on a site with Tracked and Zebra Nerites. But whatever, don't dwell on that part.

I now have a new plan to kill 3 or more birds with one stone. A brackish setup with a simple box filter. Aged water from my 24 reef. Liverock from my old 75 reef. With this I will create the ultimate breeding space for Nerites, Amanos, and Bamboo shrimp. I'll house the two latter in my fresh fish breeder tank until they are berried. Then they can be transferred to the brackish tank as needed. And if I see any actual surviving shrimp/snails, they can be transferred back into the fresh fish breeder.

Hopefully this is not a huge flop like I think it's going to be. According to the internet (Which is always right) no one has undertaken anything like this before. But if you have, please tell me how!
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Kaitswyn
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Joined: 23 May 2010
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: 2010.07.18(Sun)14:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did you find the zebras online?
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invertmaniac
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Location: Wheaton IL

PostPosted: 2010.07.19(Mon)7:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stumbled on it about 2 pages deep into a google search for "Nerite Snail Breeding". I didn't care to remember the site because I all ready have my snails. Sorry.

Interesting new note. I added a Red Crypt and suddenly its leaves are being eaten. Only that plant. Only Nerites in the tank. :/

Also my Zebra/Virgins have been hiding for two days straight. They were caught at the top of the tank glass out of the water at the Pet Store, but I've checked and they aren't there. They can't climb up my filter, and they aren't on the ground... I'll find them eventually.
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