NERITES?!?

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NERITES?!?

Postby Franco on Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:27 am

Dear Fellow Snailors,
I was looking into getting a couple of nerites but I'm not sure what their needs are because I can't find any decent information on them. Everything I find contradicts everything else I find.

I feed the fish for the biology labs at my college and they have some nerites in a tank that the lab coordinator said i could have. I think they look like olive nerites. They are keeping them in a tank with goldfish, some random tropical fish, and some marisas. The marisas have gray shells. I think the water must be quite acidic to cause that much erosion.

How are nerites as pets? I'd probably be keeping them with either my canas or my brigs. Do they reproduce a lot? What do they need to eat? Tank mates? Water parameters?

I just need some information on them so I can decide if I really want to take them on or not.

Thanks,
Franco
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Postby badflash on Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:51 am

In fresh water they lay hard white eggs on everything. In brackish water they don't seem to. They are good algae eaters. They can live in fresh all the way to full seawater.

They are just about impossible to breed.
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Postby Donya on Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:01 am

Nerites are not really the easiest of snails to keep. Depending on the species and other factors, they may or may not be happy in freshwater. They also may be picky eaters and only eat soft algaes. Olive Nerites are the most commonly kept, and some will do ok in freshwater, others won't. Odds are if the ones being kept in with goldfish are alive after a few months, they will do ok in freshwater. However, I got some from a petstore that were kept in sealed-top tanks (described later on) that, when brought home, required marine-level salinity before they would stay in the water. They do not do well with acidic water though...usually they need very hard water with marine-level calcium and a pH at the upper range of what apple snails can handle.

Do they reproduce a lot? What do they need to eat?


They will reproduce a lot sometimes, but you'll be lucky if the offspring survive. They go through a larval stage that requires brackish conditions and doesn't do well with strong filters on a tank. Nerites require a species-specific setup to be bred consistently and survive past pinhead-size babies. I lost all my Nerite babies because they depleted their food source rapidly (marine microalgae) and refused all other prepared foods.

Water parameters?


Ph of 8.0-8.4 to avoid shell erosion
lots of calcium, high kh, etc.
low nitrates (I wouldn't let them get above 20)
some require brackish or higher salinity before they will eat and act normal

The main difficulty water-wise is that if they arn't happy with the water, they won't eat and won't stay in the water If the tank is sealed on top they have no choice but to stay in, but if you have an open-top tank they will exit immediately if they arn't happy. Common reasons for escaping are salinity and pH. It's something to keep an eye out for that signals water problems early-on.
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Postby Annie Anderson on Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:16 pm

I just got 2 little nerite snails from Rainbow Snails and they are so cute! They immediately started eating the algae in the tank--that's the reason I got them for this particular tank, it's full of algae! I haven't had a problem with them coming out of the water--yet. How big do they get? I know they need a high PH which is a problem for me, but I'll try to keep it higher in that tank if I can. Do they have a lung too? They move differently too--I saw one climbing up the glass and his foot would bunch up and then stretch out, not like an inchworm, but he didn't glide like the applesnails. You can't see their foot moving when they're crawling, it's almost like they float. I don't want them to breed so I'm glad it's so hard to do-lol. If they do okay and stay healthy and happy, I might get 2 more-also if they don't get too big! Thanks in advance for your help. :D
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Postby badflash on Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:02 am

They don't have a lung. If the pH is not very high they will get shell erosion and chew on anything that has calcium, including other snails. They won't reproduce, but will lay eggs all over.
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Postby Annie Anderson on Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:46 am

Thanks Badflash, now I know if I see them going above the waterline, they're in trouble :o
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Postby Franco on Fri May 11, 2007 1:53 am

i'm doing an experiment wih one of the olive nerites at the university I go to. I'm slowly increasing the salinity of the water everyday and observing the snails behavior. I'm gonna try to convert it over to pure saltwater if that is at all possible. If the snail dies in the process then too bad but there are about 10 more olive nerites still in the freshwater tank. I just want to see how they do in saltwater compared to freshwater.
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Postby badflash on Fri May 11, 2007 5:45 am

I have a bunch of olive nerites in pure sea water, so it is posible. I think they need a tidal environment to reproduce.
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Postby Franco on Fri May 11, 2007 6:19 am

cool. I'm glad to hear that they do fine in saltwater. Would urchins, starfish, or anything else try to eat them in a saltwater tank?
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Postby Donya on Fri May 11, 2007 7:18 am

Ehhh....be careful with starfish. Their diets arn't always as advertised in the literature and many will happily predate on other invertebrates if they can catch them. Things like chocolate chip stars are definitely bad news for other inverts. Most of the commonly kept urchins should do ok like tuxedos and longspines, but watch out for slate pencil-spine urchins. I have a 10-line/mine urchin that is mainly herbivorous, and they look very similar, but slate pencils are known to be predatory on occasion. Other things to avoid:
- most hermits
- regular crabs
- large aggressive shrimp/lobsters
- puffers, wrasses, or any other fish with a beak

There are exceptions to those of course, and a lot of the time it depends on the individual animal. Mainly just make sure that if you have another omnivorous animal in the tank, that it won't have the ability to pry the snail loose or crush the shell somehow. Otherwise it will be hit & miss and a snail may become a snack eventually.

Hermit exceptions: I've had success with Clibanarius ransoni and Calcinus elegans. Particularly C. elegans has been a good one with snails and even gone as far as to clean every speck of algae and debris off the shell while never touching the snail itself, but of course nothing is certain.
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Postby Franco on Fri May 11, 2007 4:28 pm

There is a starfish that is a red bumped starfish or something like that. I think it looks like a choco chip starfish but it has red instead of brown. I think a nerite could probably outrun this starfish though. There is a flame scallop in the tank and even it gets away from the starfish. I guess we'll see soon enough.
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