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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 14

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Related FAQs: Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3, Snail ID 4, Snail ID 5, Snail ID 6, Snail ID 7, Snail ID 8, Snail ID 9, Snail ID 10, Snail ID 11, Snail ID 12, Snail ID 13, Snail ID 15, Snail ID 16, Snail ID 17, Snail ID 18, Snail ID 19, Snail ID 20, Snail ID 21, Snail ID 22, Snail ID 24, Snail ID 25, Snail ID 26, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Invertebrate ID, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone

Mystery Marine Eggs, Likely Snails -- 1/29/08 Hi everyone, <Hi Rochelle.> Have some mystery eggs here I hope you can tell me what they are. No one is guarding them or tending to them (so far, it's been 3 hours) so I am unable to figure it out. Here are the possibilities'¦ I have '¦ 3 Percula clownfish, (but when I looked up their eggs, it showed them yellow then turning to orange/red as they develop) I was rather hoping they were clownfish. I have 2 mated 3 strip damsels, BUT.. the male is currently tending to his own eggs on the opposite side of the tank, so that can't be it. <Correct. Neither of these species lay/deposit eggs in strands.> 1 magenta dotty back, she has her own private cave. If they were hers you'd think she would've laid them in there, not on a rock outside. 1 Hawkfish, I think he's a male and wouldn't have laid eggs out in the open if he was female. 1 Chromis damsel, 1 mandarin goby, 1 clown goby and some pink foot snails. I don't think it was the snails, they weren't in the area at the time the eggs 'appeared'. <Heeee! They're sneaky that way. I don't know what species the 'pink foot snail' is, but that egg strand looks like it came from either a snail or Nudibranch of some sort.> I do have some crabs, blue legs, a sally and a hermit, but that can't be right, crabs don't lay eggs like that do they? <No, they don't.> When I looked up the different fish I have, and what their eggs look like, my eggs don't look like any of them. So do you think they are clownfish? <Alas, no. It's more than likely a "snail trail".> If so I'd like to move them to my nursery tank (already to go with micro food stuffs). If you think they belong to any other fish I'll leave them be. Due to them not having a mate to fertilize them.

<That's how I'd handle these - leave them and let 'nature' take its course.> Thanks in advance, Rochelle
<You're very welcome. Take care. -Lynn>

New Tank Issues, Snail ID - Collonista sp? 1/15/08 Hello, <Hello there, EA! LZ here today.> My husband and I recently purchased and set up a reef tank (29 gallon BioCube) about a week ago. <Congratulations!> We purchased a large amount of live rock the day we purchased the entire set up, but nothing seems to be living on that bunch of rock. <Yet!> However, two days ago we purchased a large (7lb) solid piece of Fiji live rock. After two days, we have 2 fans, 2 groups of white star polyps, a Stomatella, a small bristle worm, and 4-5 extremely tiny snails, which we cannot seem to identify. The snails are about 2-3mm in size, iridescent white with tiny orange spots, with circular shells like regular garden snail shells. We've searched the internet and your site for hours and cannot find any pictures/articles that identify our tiny snails. I would send a picture, but the snails are so small that they only show up as microscopic white specks. Do you have any idea as to what kind of juvenile snails these might be? <If they're mobile, they sound a lot like Collonista sp. snails, aka 'Mini Turbos'. They're extremely common, harmless/beneficial grazers, mostly nocturnal, small (max out at ~1/4', but most are around 3mm), that make a terrific addition to a reef tank. Color/pattern varies, with some being all white, while others are combinations of white with varying amounts of mottled tan/brown/even pink markings. Please see these links for more information and confirmation (about 2/3 way down the page at the first link): http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/index.php http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidf14.htm . If what you're seeing are small stationary white coils (possibly the orange specks are incidental), then those are likely Spirorbids (tiny/harmless feather dusters). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/featheridfaqs.htm.> Also, we have a large amount of algae (brown diatomaceous) building up on the 1st bunch of live rock and are looking to purchase a "clean-up crew." Tank stats are as follows: pH: 8.2-8.4, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia: 0 by our test scale. <I'd wait. The appearance of diatoms is all very normal in a new tank. It's just too early in the cycling process to add anything. Also, when your tank is completely cycled, be sure to add livestock in slow/small increments. Please see these links for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brownalgcontfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupii.htm .> We were contemplating an Arrow crab, Emerald crab, hermit crabs and/or shrimp. Considering the critters already housing themselves in our tank, what would you recommend? <Once your tank cycles completely, you could add a Cleaner Shrimp -- something like a Lysmata amboinensis, or Lysmata grabhami. I love these little guys. They're well behaved, hardy, beautiful, and make great additions. I'd stay away from any crabs. They tend to be pickers, and not too picky about what they pick at, or eat! Hermits can be interesting as well, but you have to make sure you get the best species for your tank. Some get pretty large, and even the small ones can pose a risk to snails, some corals. It just depends on what you'd like to ultimately have/keep in your tank. The most important thing to do is ask questions and read, read, read! To that end, guess what? I've got more links for you! Here are some regarding Lysmata Shrimp, crabs, and hermits: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hippolytidae.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/swcrabs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm .> Thanks in advance, EA <You're very welcome! Take care -Lynn>

White spots... Alcyonacean hlth., reading   1/14/08 Hello...again. <Matt> Could you possible identify two items for me? First on my live rock, round circular spots have started to form. It has been a week and one or two form each day. I do not believe they are eggs, but am unsure. <Need a more highly resolved, closer up pic... could be algae, Forams... maybe Spirorbids...> Second, my leather coral is developing white "marks" as well. I thought this to bleaching, but again I am unsure. I will admit that my calcium was a bit high (500ppm), <This is more than a bit...> but I did a water change and it is back in line (right at 400ppm). PH 8.2, Alk 2.5, <A bit low...> temp 78, almost undetectable nitrites and 0ppm phosphates. <All life needs some phosphate> If you have any thoughts, I am always willing to listen. <And hopefully to read> As always , thanks! M <Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Scroll down to Soft Corals, Health, Systems, more definitively for Alcyoniids... BobF>
Re: White spots  1/14/08
Bob, Thanks for the reply! Wanted to let you know I purchased the books you recommend on corals! It is a great reference. I believe I identified the small white spots appearing randomly in my tank. I recently(two weeks ago) added 2 Nerite Snails to the tank. I believe the spots which look like sesame seeds to be their eggs. I have seen pictures online and they look just like them. Could this be possible? <Ah, yes. Certainly> Thanks! M
<Welcome. B>

What kind of snail is this? 01/13/2008 <<Hello, Andrew here>> I have hundreds of these little guys in my quarantine tank. I started off with a couple and now they have really taken off. They seem to be most active when the lights are out. during the day most off them burrow into the substrate. and when lights go out, they clean the glass. very small, the biggest ones are about the size of a chocolate chip thanks for all the help! <<They are Collonista SP snails. They are just algae grazers and will cause no harm, you can always remove start removing some if you experience plague proportions. They stay very small too.>> <<Thanks for the question, A Nixon>>

No text?  1/8/08 <See... Stomatella... BobF>

Re: ? Snail ID ayer    1/9/08 Bob - <Joel... Oh there you are!> My apologies. I don't know what happened to the content and subject line. I would not be so rude as to intentionally do such a thing. I wrote an email describing my tank setup and how much you and your crew have helped me get 6 months into the hobby with nary a problem that wasn't foreseen. Thanks for the response to what my question was - "any idea what these might be, perhaps some sort of Nudibranch?" I will read up on Stomatella now. Thank you again. Regards, Joel Pippin <Looked like S. varia to me. Cheers, BobF>

Snail ID/James' Input 1/6/08 Hi Bob/crew, <Hi Sara> One of my friends is asking me about this snail he found in his tank. It definitely looks like a whelk or murex of some sort, but I wish I could narrow it down more than that for him. The body coloration is not like that of any other snail I've seen in an aquarium before (not that that means much). <Sara, this looks more like a Tulip Snail to me, no expert though. If so, they are predatory, will feed on Astrea, Turbo, and other snails.> Thanks,
<You're welcome. Sara--

Snail ID/Lynn's Input - 1/6/08 Hi Bob/crew, <Hi Sara> One of my friends is asking me about this snail he found in his tank. It definitely looks like a whelk or murex of some sort, but I wish I could narrow it down more than that for him. <I'm in agreement with you and James. It does look like something in the Buccinoidea (Whelks, Tulip Snails, etc), or Muricoidea (Murex) superfamilies. I haven't found an exact match, but I do have some candidates that are similar. Unfortunately, that's about as close as I can get without a super clear photo of the shell front and back, or knowing where this little guy is from. Here you go: http://www.conchology.be/en/availableshells/shellsforsaledetails.php?uniquenumber=164124#f http://www.conchology.be/en/availableshells/shellsforsaledetails.php?uniquenumber=201755#f http://www.gastropods.com/5/Shell_7095.html http://www.conchology.be/en/availableshells/shellsforsaledetails.php?uniquenumber=370154#f .> The body coloration is not like that of any other snail I've seen in an aquarium before (not that that means much). <I have some photos of a Whelk hitchhiker from my tank (Cantharus tinctus) with similar tissue coloration/markings (may provide a clue): http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_50.jpg The focus could be a lot better on the tissue here, but you get the idea: http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_51.jpg .> Sara
<You're very welcome! -Lynn>

Need an ID on a snail: Collonista sp. - 1/5/08 WWM crew, <Hi Nick.> Good evening. <And the same to you!> I am trying to I.D. this snail. I cannot find anything that looks like it any help would be appreciated. It is about the size of a pea and is spherical. I only see them at night. There are about 3 that I can tell. <Looks like you've got a pretty little Collonista sp. snail there. They're terrific little grazers - mostly nocturnal, and top out size-wise at about 1/4" (around 3mm or so is the norm). They vary in color (brown/tan/white/even pink), and pattern, but all have a distinctive pit in the center of the operculum. These snails do reproduce in tanks, but rarely do the numbers get out of hand. One thing I will mention is that there have been occasional reports of them getting stuck/causing problems with equipment (intakes and such). However, that same potential exists for just about any other snail as well. I've never had a problem with these guys, but I have with others. All in all, these are terrific little snails and a great addition to a tank. Please see this link for more information re: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/index.php .> Thanks in advance, Nick
<You're very welcome! Take care --Lynn>

That's no Nassarius! That's a predatory Olive snail! -- 12/24/07 Hey WWM crew. <Hi there.> I have been reading lots about identification of snails, and have identified the snails that have been trolling my tank as cap snails. <Neat. Stomatellids are terrific little grazers that make a nice addition to a tank.> Also have been reading on some other snails people have encountered and found this one interesting. Attached below. I also bought 4 of these snails at one time (sold as Nas) <Ugh -- don't even get me started!> and watched them eat one of my Astrea snails. <Yep, what a shame. These Olive snails are beautiful, but are predators/scavengers, and look nothing remotely like a Nassarius. How they can be sold as such is beyond me.> After hours of searching I found out what it was. I got rid of them right away. <Understandable -- hopefully you educated the seller!> Just saw a few people had questions and that you guys were unsure of the identification. Lettered Olive Snail Oliva sayana <Much appreciated! Here's another photo of one, as well: Take care -Lynn>

Snail ID and Mystery "Things" in Tank - 12/16/07 <Hi there. I sincerely apologize for the delay in answering!> First, I have a massive population explosion of limpets and snails. I have attached a picture of the snail. Hopefully you can help me ID this sucker. <Sure can! The little snails you're seeing are Collonistas. They're harmless/beneficial grazers, vary in color (tan/brown and white, white, even some pink and white), reproduce readily in our tanks, and are mostly nocturnal. They also stay small, around 3-4mm. Please see this link for more info/photos: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/index.php> The second is more complicated. <Heee, I'll second that!> About a 5-7 days ago I noticed a white web or cocoon type structure in my life rock. The white material has since gone away and left behind are these reddish pink multi-lobed balls with a bit of white "fuzz". Could these be some kind of egg or something? I have attached a pic? <They don't look like eggs. However, I need a bit more information in order to narrow things down. Are these things hard, leathery, or soft? Has there been any change in appearance since you first wrote in? By the way, I couldn't help but notice several fine examples of 'tree-like' white Foraminiferans in your photo. Very pretty!> Thanks <You're very welcome, and again, my apologies for the delay! -Lynn>

Re: Snail ID and Mystery "Things" in Tank - 12/17/07 <Hello again!> Thank you for the response. <You're very welcome.> I have taken a close look, and although they have been moved around by the current, they seem to have attached themselves where they lie. Not much has changed in their appearance with the exception of a tiny bit more white fuzz on them. <Would love to see a close-up of this!> Could this have been a way that the pinkish-red structure on the live rock, that they are sitting on in the pic, replicates itself? <Wondered the same thing myself. Is that pinkish-red structure hard, or soft (need to know same regarding the little nodules)? The larger structure, at first glance, looks very much like a Foraminiferan (Homotrema rubrum). Problem is, after taking a close look at it, I don't see the typical white, hair-like, feeding structures. Another possibility is that it's a Rhodophyta (red algae) of some variety. That's why I need to know if it's soft/flexible, or hard/stony feeling.> Size wise they are about the size of a pin head. <Thanks. That's a little smaller than I thought.> I also have another potential issue. I have a Scopus Tang that seems to be exhibiting some dark wear marks on its dorsal fin and tiny "light colored" marks along either side near the upper part of it's body. - seems to be acting fine but I am a little concerned. I have tried to get a good pics but have been unsuccessful. I will keep trying. Any thoughts? <Unfortunately, this is out of my area of expertise. Please do try to obtain a good photo and submit your query with as much information as possible regarding tank size/parameters, whether fish is still acting/feeding normally, what you feed it, how long you've had it, other tankmates, etc. Take care -Lynn>

Mr. limpet and the Pyramids -12/15/2007 Hello crew, I try to avoid asking questions and believe I have only asked 2 so far. Usually I can find all my answers with research on your site and or others. This one seems to allude me though. I have been running a 55g reef for 2 years now. The last year has been really great. Anyway this question doesn't really pertain to lighting or water parameters so I will skip that this time. I was doing some research on clams because some day I would like to own one. I then stumbled across something called Pyramidellid snails. To my amazement I have recently noticed these little guys before. They were on my turbo snails!! After I found out what they were I promptly brushed them off of my snails and waited for dark. ("the freaks come out at night") Here they were by the hundreds! Now at this point according to my calculations manual removal of such little creatures would take somewhere between 100 to 1,000,000 years. I also have hundreds of limpets that don't seem to bother anything in my tank including the Montipora. Now here it is, will the Pyramidellids feed off of the limpets? Therefore removing the snails for a long period off time to remove the Pyramidellids food source thus starving them to death would not work, correct? I also cannot use a six line wrasse or other type to help control nor do I think a wrasse would work effectively anyway. Any Ideas? <Well, first things first... please make sure you have the "bad guys" before you start to worry (or start killing them en mass). There are several harmless/beneficial snails which look very similar. Please see here: http://www.reefland.com/rho/2006/05/identify_rissoid_pyramidellid_snails.php> I apologize for the incomplete e-mail. <no worries> Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
<De Sara M.>

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