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Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:05 am
by Michael1789
Hello all you fellow snail nerds!

I love these creatures and hope to make my living with their help. I don't know if any of you are gardeners, but a bag of worm castings is a lot of money. So I basically want to produce snail compost here as a green industry. I'm doing my preliminary r&d right now. Water here is. Clean and abundant. I obviously need to source the food for the creatures and begin small scale trials to record the conversion rate.

I pick apple snails because they are worm water and thus have a higher metabolism and therefore eat more faster.

I guess my first questions for you experts are "what dont they eat?" and "what species do you think best suited to the task?"

Meat and the pet trade are two income sources besides compost, but they come naturally from having thousands of munching apple snails!

It is funny how most of the posts here caution would be farmers that apple snails eat and poop a LOT, because that is exactly what I'm counting on!

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:26 am
by pbgroupie
Hello and welcome to the forum. :wave: While snails do eat a lot and poop a lot their waste easily decomposes in the water in which they live so there really isn't any solid waste to use like worm castings. Your food source would depend on what type of apple snail you have. Some can only eat soft veg and others will eat anything in site. Overcrowding and overfeeding can lead to bad water conditions quickly and can become life-threatening for the snails. Each one will need at least 2.5 gallons of water to help them stay healthy. If you want to look at the waste as a weak liquid fertilizer it may work, but for solid composting I don't think it's practical.

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:05 am
by Michael1789

Thanks for the reply!

Let me explain my process more...

I'm aware of the requirements of these creatures, and as I stated, water here is clean and cheap... so water quality issues are not likely to be a problem. I can change it out as needed. And when I say clean, I mean I used it right out of the tap and straight into aquariums INCLUDING salt water tanks. Jealous anyone? lol Ideal location for a site would include a well like I had there. :)

Now imagine a big tank full of snails, food and poop. I would be vacuuming the mulm (poop) into another tank where it would settle for an as yet undetermined amount of time ( would guess a day). Then the water is run off the top and remaining solids would then go for processing. I have ideas for this which mostly involve retrofitting equipment from other industries. A centrifugal separator would spin the water out leaving the brown/yellow/green gold! lol Again, lots of r&d needed, but I know from in the gravel of my previous snail tanks that there is plenty of solids if I can find an efficient way of collecting it.

What species do you think would eat everything? We have a lot of commercial green houses around and their waste would make great food.

And for everyone, if is good to remember that an "Aquarium" is not the same as a "tank". We can have many tanks in an aquarium, like sumps and such, so I can have huge volumes of water circulating through a system but have a densely populated feeding/composting tank. It occurs to me now that if I have a slow moving part of the system with baffles then a lot of poop will be settled out away from the snails too. Good... I'm glad I thought of that. Thanks! lol

My real secret is the name of the manure product, but that is copyrighted yet, but I assure you, it is the best name you've heard in a long time. I just need a way of getting the poop in bags! :)

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:35 am
by pbgroupie
If you are looking for a "water goat" I'd suggest the canaliculata. Just be sure they are legal to own in your area.

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:53 am
by Michael1789
Thanks again. I think that is the regular pet store variety here. Would make sense considering how a couple of them ate my planted aquarium to the ground in only a couple days! Lol. They were my inspiration for this project.

I'm in Canada so there are no limits on what tropical things we can keep. On the 'wet coast' near Vancouver. This explains the good water quality too.

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:02 am
by pbgroupie
Canada hasn't banned the canaliculata like they have in the States. Good luck and keep us informed. Sounds like an interesting project.

Re: Apple snails as compost era...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:51 am
by Purple Platapus
Canada FTW! We love our water.
Just a question, if you would do this, would you have to use a very large container of sorts to hold that much water and snails? Like, many ponds?