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FAQs about Marine Snail Compatibility and Removal 2

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Related FAQs: Snail Compatibility 1, Marine Snail Compatibility 3, Pest Snails (Pyramidellids...), Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbaloneMarine Algae Eaters,

Tube Snail Problem 11/07/07 Hi, I have searched your site high and low, asked every store in town and can¹t find anyone who has had this problem, or any suggestions on how to resolve it. I narrowed down what the creature is via a picture on your site. A tube dwelling snail, permanent tube spiral base twisting out, with a creature that has two little antennas and spews out web to catch debris in the water column. <Ah yes, Vermetid snails.> The problem, over the last year and a half this has turned into a nightmare due to them spawning. I literally have thousands of them EVERY where. They are in the protein skimmer, pumps, on my clam shell, conch shells, stacked on top of one another covering every surface in the tank. <Yep, the tend to do that sometimes.> This make cleaning the filter and tight areas so unpleasant, <indeed!> I get cuts and scraps from every thing being so sharp. They are close to impossible to remove, and are multiplying at a discouraging rate. At this point I am so frustrated I am either going to have to just shut the tank down, or strip it and start from scratch. <Yikes! I know they're annoying, but they're not worth taking a tank down for. In fact, in time, they'll likely start to die away all by themselves. Their populations typically come in booms and busts. Have you tried killing them with vinegar?> Is there anything I can do? Wrasses, or some other invert carnivore maybe? Starve them of whatever is making them thrive? <Starving the tank will hurt your other animals just as much. Is this a reef tank? If not (if its fish only), keeping the calcium on the lower end of acceptable *might* help. I'd try squirting them with vinegar or lime juice (in minute quantities) first...> I am at a loss, PLEASE HELP :( <Good luck, keep us updated.> Timothy Robitaille <Best,
Sara M.>

Re: Small Snails, New Additions 7/28/07 Thanks for the quick reply ! <Welcome> The snails are not doing any harm but they are growing in numbers every day. I counted about 50 tonight. They spend a great deal of time on the glass but now are starting to spend more time on the rocks. <They are completely normal and helpful scavengers, I suspect the population will drop on it's own before long.> Any thoughts at all on how to get rid of these? <Time, limiting available food.> I know I could crush them against the glass and let them become food but I try to keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible. <Good> Speaking of hands out of the tank... I am unable to find a lot of information about refugiums on WWM. <<Chris! RMF>> I have a ProClear Pro 150 Wet Dry and would like to figure out how I could add a refugium. Why? <Why not?> Well despite being better for the inhabitants I really want to get a Mandarin and I would not even attempt it without a refugium. <Good> I did some reading and looking and the way I see it is with my system I would remove the bio balls in the center compartment and replace with sand/mud and add live algae plants. There would have to be lighting and I have a 24" Coralife Aqualight that I could mount under the stand. Would the 65 W light be too much ? Too little? <Should be fine.> I also understand it should be on a reverse cycle from my main tank. <Does not have to be, but helps with pH swings.> I looked at Indo Pacific Sea Farms and saw they had some starter kits but of course I don't want to order all that if I am totally out of whack on how I should set this up with the ProClear. <Seems fine.> Or for that matter if I even can set it up with the system I have. <Seems like you have a workable plan.> Any advice would be great! My fish would be happy and if I am thinking correctly I can give the army of snails a new home in the sump. <Yep, but don't expect them to stay in the sump.> Thanks Again SO Much ! PS - Am going to include a few pictures of the snails for possible identification. <Got them, nice.>

Hebrew Cone (Conus ebraeus), Poisonous? Yes!  Degree of toxicity... ?   5/13/07 Hello crew, <Hi Jana, Mich here.> I am trying to find on the Internet how poisonous the Conus ebraeus is? <Well it does kill it's prey, primarily Eunicid and Nereid Polychaete worms, by injecting them with conotoxin, a potent neurotoxin that disturbs the ion channels involved in neuromuscular transmission, typically resulting in paralysis.>   I found information on other cone shells but not on this particular one. <Yes, I too am having difficulty finding anything specific to this particular species.  There are more than 600 members of the Conidae family and only 30 documented cases of envenomations by Conus in humans, some resulting in death.  The most toxic is reported to be Conus geographus, though C textile, and C marmoreus are also associated with an increased of mortality.  I have been unable to find any reports describing the degree of toxicity of the conotoxin associated with C. ebraeus, but it is certainly something to take seriously and the effect of the conotoxin would likely vary between individuals.  Also worth noting is current research on members of this family for the treatment of pain and conditions such as Parkinson's.> Is it found in Australia and how poisonous is it. <The distribution of Conus ebraeus occurs in the Indo-west Pacific and Eastern Australia as far south as Sydney. Many thanks, kind regards, Jana. <You're welcome.  Mich>

Snail murder, SW Hermit comp.  3/23/07 Hello! I have another question for you guys. I have a new 20 gallon tank with just 10 snails and 4 hermit crabs. Recently, I was watching my tank and I noticed something very strange. My hermit crab had basically killed my snail and it was eating the snail out of its shell. <Not strange at all actually> I was wondering if you could tell me whether or not this is normal behaviour, and if I should remove the empty shell from my tank. Thank you! <Is normal... or at least not atypical. These "false crabs" as a general group (some are more herbivorous) are opportunistic omnivores. I would leave the shell put... may become another Hermit home. Bob Fenner>  

Invert Ids: Cowry (Cypraea vitellus) and a Flatworm (Amphiscolops sp.)   3/21/07 WWM crew, <Hi Stephen, Mich here.> I wanted to see if I could get an ID one the attached photos.  First is what I think is a Cypraea vitellus.  Is this correct? <I would agree with your identification.> What is your experience with this species in a mixed reef? <Nothing specific to this species.  Generally cowry snails grow too large and cumbersome for most reef systems.  Several are carnivorous, some are herbivorous and for many their diets are not well understood.  Probably not the most suitable choice for your reef.>   Second is an unknown invert I saw in my refugium.  Is about 3-4mm in size, translucent as seen in photo and used a rhythmic motion for propulsion along the front glass.  First one I have seen and have not added anything new to the tank in 4 or 5 months.  What is your advice of this living in the fuge? <Is a harmless Acoel, Amphiscolops sp.  Please see here for a nearly identical picture:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatworms.htm  > Thank you <Welcome!> and best regards,
<And to you, Mich>

Predatory Nassarius or Just Hungry?  - 3/12/07 Hello Bob, <Hey Brian, this is Adam again.> I have yet another question for you! Have you ever heard of Nassarius  Snails attacking Fan worms? <As I'm sure you know Nassarius snail rarely attack living tissue, they usually ignore even microfauna life for the most part.  If you see a Nassarius consuming a larger animal it is because the animal is dead or dying. The instances where I have heard of Nassarius attacking living organisms usually involved captive systems where they are not getting enough food.> The strangest thing happened in my 90 gallon reef  the other day and I have yet to think of anything except the snails are just REALLY hungry and have become quite desperate. <A possibility.> I don't know if you remember, but my 90 gallon reef had come down with "Ich" a couple weeks ago ( I know not putting my animals in quarantine first was really dumb, not doing that  again) <Well at least you have learned.> and I had removed all fish to quarantine to let the tank run fallow  for 4 weeks. So far things are GREAT! My fish all look so much better, my coral  beauty whose eyes had become clouded, with a slimy spotted body is now bright beautiful and healthy as a horse so to speak. <Sounds good.> The reef itself is doing really  well, all the corals in the tank are opened wide and "perky" the clams are doing  wonderful, the cleaner shrimp are going through withdrawals, there has been  a little filamentous algae starting up now that the tang and coral beauty aren't   pigging out 24 / 7, and my Nassarius snails must be getting very hungry now   that I am not feeding a tank full of fish. <Mmm...I would add some more food to the tank, at least two, three times a week until the fish are back. Just after dark, some Mysis or krill maybe.> I noticed a Nassarius snail climbing  a fan worm then proceeding to stick his little mouth down into the tube he started biting the head of this worm, 3 others saw him doing this and joined the  "frenzy" all beating on this poor worm until it popped its top so to speak (it  ejected its crown) then the snails fooled around with that for a bit and  re-buried. 2 days later I saw the same snail going after another worm! Needless  to say he is no longer in the tank and since then we have had no further attacks. Could this just be a reaction to having less food, <That or a rogue, the former is more likely.> will he be ok to put  back in the tank when the fish go back, or should I pass on that option? <If you think the problem is isolated to one snail, then why risk it?> There  are 7 Nassarius snails in this tank, I got them to eat food that had passed by  the fishes radar and wedged under rocks and shells to reduce the chances of  rotting material raising nutrient levels in the tank. Once the tank is where I  want it to be I'd love to send you a photo of it sort of as a thanks for all of  your help! <We'd love to have more material for POTD purposes.> Thanks bob! <Will pass along to him Brian.> <<Please do send along images for all's use, enjoyment. BobF>> Brian <Adam J.>

Overstocking, Hermit Crab eating snails 2/26/07 <Hi Tracy, Brenda Here tonight.> Thank you for your great articles. <Your welcome.> We have a 33 gallon tank that is about 1yr running now. We started with live sand and began adding live rock and snails 1 month later.  After 6 months we were up to 70 lbs live rock, 3 turbo snails 15 blue leg hermits <You have too many crabs.  I recommend one per 10 gallon or less.> 6 Margarite snails, 1 sally light foot 1 cleaner shrimp, lots of little feather dusters on live rock, I have seen some bristle worms too, 1 blenny, 2 tiny maroon clowns and a yellow tang, 1 very small anemone its white and about 1/4 of an inch big. <1/4 anemone?  Pest anemone?  Your tank is much too small for a tang.> There is coralline growing and we have star polyps. All was well for a few months then the tang died. We checked the water (prior to this we change 10% every 2 wks) and did a 50% change the ph was 8.2 and nitrate 10 Two days later we did another water change. The salinity is kept at 1.023. The place where we get our supplies checks the other levels for us and said they were good. <Nitrates at 10 is not good, need to be zero.  I suggest purchasing your own test kits and learning to test all of your water parameters.  What will you do at midnight when you need to know your water parameters?> After the tang died the tank became over run with red slime algae and green hair algae. <Have you checked for phosphates?> We were able to combat the red algae but the green was unreal. We had to remove the fish to a holding tank and clean the algae of the live rock you couldn't see any live rock the algae was so bad. We scrubbed off the algae under RO water. Everything seemed nice and clean we tested the water, the store said all looked good the nitrate still at 10 though. <The LFS is not doing you any favors by telling you that your water is good when nitrates are above zero.> We put the fish back in and purchased a zebra turbo snail and 5 Nassarius snails and a conch snail and a peppermint cleaner shrimp. That was about 1 month ago 1 week ago we got a pink tipped anemone for the clowns who have out grown the little tiny one (sorry don't know what kind it is) the pink tipped hasn't quite settled yet still on the move some how I think it is running away from the clown that wont leave it for a second it actually lies down on its side wrapped in the tentacles of the anemone. <Buying any tank mate and not knowing the species is a bad idea.  Your salinity is too low for an anemone.  It should be 1.026.  You have two anemones, and I have no idea what kind.  You wont be able to successfully keep two species of anemones in a 33 gallon tank.  A 33 gallon tank is border line for even one anemone, unless you are experienced with keeping anemones.  Your tank is overstocked, and I believe you will continue to have problems.  The anemone has not settled because it is unhappy with its environment.> Now 3 snails are dead, one of the hermit crabs is now very huge could he be eating them? <You bet it can!> He moved into a very large shell and looks to be about 2 1/2 inch by 1 inch big.  Do you think the anemone has something to do with it? <Nope!> Thank you Tracy <Youre Welcome.  Please research all of your livestock and learn their requirements and compatibility with others before you buy.  Good luck with your tank.  Brenda>

Snails Preying on Baby Shrimp?  ...Unlikely - 02/09/2007 Hello all, <Hi there Arman!  Mich here.> I recently moved some Chaetomorpha from my main tank into my refugium (hang-on-back type). Much to my surprise, it contained many microscopic cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) larvae. <Mmm, more likely you are seeing tiny Mysis shrimp.> I've been feeding the larvae marine snow, phytoplankton, and a few Spirulina flakes. <Mmm, careful not to overfeed, these can be very polluting, and not essential for these shrimp.> Last night I placed some Nassarius snails into the refugium and in the morning, the amount of shrimp has been greatly reduced. <Likely unrelated.> I know this species, like many snails, are scavengers, but wouldn't the shrimp be able to swim away from them? <Yes.> Is it possible they've eating my babies?! <Unlikely.> Great website by the way, keep up the great work. <Thanks, will try.> regards, <And to you.  -Mich> Arman

Predatory Mollusk?    1/21/07 Good Morning Crew -  Last night I came home and my Flame Angel didn't come out for his night time feeding in my 75 gallon reef tank. <Unusual...> He's had no signs of disease or lack of health and the tank parameters have been steady at 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrites, <5 ppm Nitrate, Calcium 420, 8.3 ph, 1.023 SG. There are no other fish or Invertebrates that have/are showing signs of sickness in the tank.  Although a couple months ago while we were off diving in Turks and Caicos my 3" Kole Tang disappeared w/o a trace. <...?> I ripped the entire tank apart upon my return and didn't find any remnants aside from a slight algae bloom that I was expecting anyway as my vacation fish helpers like to over feed my tanks, hence them being instructed to feed every other day... Also there was no obvious predator present as the Tang and the Flame were the 2 largest fish and nothing in the tank was looking worse for the wear. So back to the present, unfortunately I had prior engagements last night and wasn't able to go hunting for the flame angel until this morning.  While pulling apart the live rock this morning I found my angel being eaten by the mollusk I've attached a couple pictures of.  I've searched the site and haven't found whether or not this mollusk is my killer or just an opportune scavenger. <Mmm, the latter...>   I mangled/killed him while removing him from the live rock (hence the damage in the photos).   It has a shell inside of all the fleshy tissue and is roughly an 1" long.  So I guess after that long winded background on my issue, my questions are... what type of mollusk did I have? <Perhaps a Cypraeid... maybe a Limpet of some sort> and was this most likely my killer?   <Mmm, no... maybe the angel got "stuck" somehow... perished, was then consumed> Or do I need to look further for a mantis or other predator as I'm 99.9% sure my angel was healthy and happy Thursday night. <It would be worth baiting, seeking such a possible predator> The live rock is all Tongan if that helps w/ IDing the hitchhiker.  Although I am unsure of the origin of all the rocks that came w/ mushroom and polyp corals attached. Thanks for your time and help. Andy PS... I'm not a very good photographer, so hopefully these pics aren't too lousy to id w/ :-(  And as I said before, I did damage it prying it out of the live rock. <Please read on WWM re Mantis, Crab, Alpheid detection, removal. Bob Fenner>

Unknown Cowry ID Egg cowry (Ovula ovum) inappropriate. for captive care, diet=Sarcophyton    1/5/07 Hello, <Hi Brett, Mich here today.> I have a question regarding potential harm from cowries in the aquarium. I have a young nano tank that has two tiny snails, a   feather, two tiny blue legged hermits and two small pieces of zoo coral, along with some live rock and sand. I also have plans for a bit more soft coral. There is a cowry amongst the grouping, which I was told is a "Burmese Green" or "Green Burmese" Cowry, but have been unable to find any information on this species. <This is an Egg cowry (Ovula ovum).  It is most definitely not appropriate for your system.  It is a predatory animal who's diet consists primarily of Sarcophytons Alcyoniids, leather corals.  It shouldn't be kept in captivity.  The only exception being someone is over run with leather corals and is trying to get rid of them, but I can't imagine feeding the leathers to a cowry would be the first choice of many aquarists.>   From my research I have found that some cowries can be harmful to your live rock and soft corals, as well as other invertebrates, while others can be  fairly benign. <This is true.> I have included an image of said cowry for your judgment. The shell is white with 3 rather faint greening band on the back (they are not very noticeable in the image. The mantle is black and white, somewhat zebra-like, and usually extends to cover almost the entire shell. "he" has been burrowing in the sand for most of the time, also spending a good bit of time cruising the live rock and the glass. I want to make certain that this will be an okay tank companion, but if this is a potentially troublesome species I know of someone who could adopt it into a more suitable environment. <Unfortunately, it may be difficult to find an appropriate home for this animal.  Please inform any prospective care givers of this animals' nutritional requirements.>   Thank you for any information you may be able to supply. <Welcome, -Mich>
Brett Amey

Snail comp., relating, Mushroom malady?   12/6/06 Hi Crew, <Hello, Mich here.>      10 gallon with some fish and mushrooms plus critters.  Every once and a while I take a flashlight to see what's going on when the lights are out and I always find it fascinating. Usually I just see the threads of the spaghetti worm but last night it was out in full view with a whole web of red strands spread out over the rock. <Cool!> And I found some new snails (4 that I saw) that I did not buy and I have not added much in the past few months except for some small (2 inch ) rocks with mushrooms. <Many snails are fine, but be aware there are some snails that are not reef safe.  Google WWM if you have questions.>   The snails are small with the largest about half the size of a dime. They are like a dime standing on edge with a very visible spiral which is beautifully colored in bands of red and black with white background. Each band has a repeating design in it. It is amazing that something so small has such intricate designs. <The world is a fascinating place.  You just have to stop to notice it.> One was on the glass and the others on the rock. I am surprised that I have not seen them till now. I have another small snail that I got with live sand. These are white and Cerith shaped but were so small that it would take 4 to equal on grain of rice.  I have lots of them and they are now about double in size but I do not see any smaller ones so I guess they will not reproduce. They are over a year old and are on the glass and rocks but only at night.  I did have a strange episode in that I lost about 8 small (smaller than a dime) mushrooms that were all produced from the same parent. This happened over a two week period and I was unable to determine the cause.   <As if often the case.> The parent is fine as well as other mushrooms in the tank including some that are small. But this group which was spread out over the tank just dissolved except for two that bleached and are still hanging in. <Sorry for your loss.> Keep up the good work. <Thank you, we'll try!-Mich>

Halichoeres melanurus and Pyramidellid snails   11/15/06 Hello crew, <Brandon> I have recently noticed that there are many Pyramidellid looking snails attached to the bottoms of my Astrea snails. <Sure looks like it> I've been thinking of getting a clam once I decide on type and find one I am content with but this is an obvious setback in the plan. <Oh yes> I saw where a Halichoeres melanurus (Hoeven's wrasse) was recommended to consume these pests but have looked at some sites that say it is not a reef safe fish. <Is toward that end of the scale... I'd say/state "largely reef-safe"... how 'bout that?> What is your experience with the fish in the reef setting? There's also a picture attached that I took a few minutes ago. Thank you and have an excellent day. Brandon <The smaller Halichoeres species (there's a bunch!) are relatively peaceful, non-injurious to cnidarians, other sessile invertebrates too small to be eaten whole. Bob Fenner>

Puddingwife Wrasse...Snail/crab compatibility  9-19-06 What up WWM Crew? < A preposition for a direction. Just kidding, howdy! > I've put a deposit down on a juvenile Puddingwife Wrasse so that I could do some more research on them...he was cool looking/interesting in the store. < Beautiful fish. Research ids always good, I could use some myself! > I've found that he will one day be too big for my aquarium, but am willing to deal with that problem when it arrives. < Spoken like a good foster parent. > I've read that they eat mollusks/sea urchins in the wild...that being kind of a broad statement, do you think that my snails and hermit crabs will be in danger from this guy? < Oh, yes. One of their favorite things to do is to pick up the snails/hermit crabs, and beat them on the rocks until the good stuff comes out. Horribly entertaining, but very taxing on your clean-up crew. > Also, are these fish generally wild caught or farm raised? Just curious. < Wild caught, but captive breeding is being worked on daily. > Thanks again, Brad
< Good luck! RichardB

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