The Aquaphile


Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon Progress! (Pomacea bridgesii)

Believe it or not, I used to not care much for snails.  I thought they were disgusting, boring wastes of space.  Boy, was I ever wrong!  A couple months ago, I got 10 (6 blue, 2 Ivory, and 2 Golden) Mystery Snails from PetSmart.  I was interested in breeding them, but I've noticed there's not nearly as much information online as there is for other types of aquatic life.  So, I've decided to chart my progress here for others who, like me, love to KNOW!


My snails were about the diameter of a dime when I first got them.  From what I've read, the average lifespan varies based on their metabolic rate...and their metabolic rate varies based on the temperature of the water they're in.  They grow faster at higher temperatures, however, this shortens their life span.  Generally, I wouldn't be interested in cutting their lives short, but in the interest of faster growth and learning to breed, I cranked my heater up to about 82 degrees.  I'd read that too high in the 80's could be fatal, so I brought this temperature up very slowly, about 2 degrees every few days, until I found them at their most active.

   I've been feeding them lettuce, carrot slices (be careful! These will cloud the water and you'll have an outbreak of copepods.  See my "Pests" section for more information on this, or look through the forums)commercial guinea pig food, and commercial fish food.  They've grown quite a bit, now almost the size of golf balls.


I dropped the water level about 3 inches for a couple of weeks.  Nothing.  I drop the water level to 6 inches.  Nothing.  I left the water level at 6 inches (I was concerned if I dropped it any more that my heater would break) and I added a cuttlebone to the water. (like you'd put in a bird cage.  High in calcium, which is great for their shells...but DO NOT use a mineral block as these contain SALT!!!!)  A few days later, I started getting very strict with my photo periods.  Lights went off between 10 and 11pm, and on again between 7 and 8am. Very soon after, I had EGGS!


Check out the progress through these photos!  I'll continually update as things progress.

 

Mystery Snail (Pomacea Bridgesii) Egg Cocoon #1 found on May 10th, 2010.

Top View.

 

Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon #1  May 17th, 2010.  A week old. Top View.

Cocoon #1 May 17th, 2010.  A week old.  Side view. 

 

Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon #1 May 24th, 2010. 2 Weeks Old.  Notice there are several white spots among the eggs.  When I candled the cocoon, several of the eggs appeared to be empty. 

Mystery Snail Cocoon #1 June 3, 2010.  3 weeks old.  Still looks visually the same as it did a week ago. 

Mystery Snail Cocoon # 1 June 7, 2010.  

Since Cocoon #3 was in the process of hatching, I decided to check this one.  When I touched it, it broke off in my hand.  Some pieces fell into the water below, but I had a large chunk of it with lots of tiny dried-out babies.  I put them in a cup with some dechlorinated water and spritzed the remaining cocoon in the tank with a little water.  It appears that most of the snails survived.  

Snail Babies from Cocoon #1, June 7th, 2010.  View from outside of the cup.  See that they're clinging to the sides now that they've been re-hydrated. 

May 24th, 2010- About 7am, while checking on the 1st Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon, I found one of my Blue snails laying a 2nd cocoon. 

Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon #2 May 24th, 2010.  This cocoon is almost twice the size of the first one (found May 10th, 2010) See how much lighter it is in comparison to the older cocoon #1?

Kind of hard to see, but  Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon  #1 is on the left, the heater is in the middle, then there's an airline tube, and the cocoon #2 on the right.  

Cocoon #3 May 26th, 2010.  First Day.  Cocoon laid on the FRONT of the tank instead of the BACK of the tank (Near the heater) like the previous two cocoons. 

Cocoon #3 June 7th, 2010.  Day 13.  Hatching is happening in this picture.  It only took 13 days for this cocoon, unlike the almost month of cocoon # 1.  

Babies!  June 6th, 2010

I counted about 215 during a water change when the adult snail in the picture let go of the glass and ended up stuck to the 1/4 inch siphon hose.  I lost count in the process of "un-sticking" the snail.  He's fine.

 

Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon #1 May 14th, 2010.  Notice how it has changed in color and opacity.  See the extra shiny egg?  That's not the camera flash.   (4 days old)

Cocoon #1 May 14th (4 days old)

Side View

 

Mystery Snail Egg Cocoon #1 May 20th, 2010. Ten Days Old.   Notice how the eggs are starting to look more plump. 

Same as above, but with flash turned on to see translucency.  

Mystery Snail Cocoon #1.  June 7th, 2010.  Back View 

Cocoon #1, broken piece and a few babies after a half hour  in a cup with a few drops of dechlorinated water.  They're already perking up from being all dried up and trapped! 

Snail Babies from Cocoon #1, June 7th, 2010.   

They've been in the cup with the water for over an hour now.  They're so cute!  I put them into the main baby-tank shortly after this picture was taken.

 

Mystery Snail Cocoon #2, May 24th, 2010.  Close up. 

 

Mystery Snail Cocoon #2 May 24th, 2010 

Blurry picture of the back of Cocoon #2 (The side attached to the glass) First Day, May 24, 2010 

Cocoon # 3 June 6th, 2010.  Day 12. View through the glass. 

Cocoon # 3 June 7th, 2010.  Day 13, Hatching in progress.  View from through the glass. 

June 1st, 2010.  2am

Cocoons # 4 & 5.

TWO of my Blue Mystery Snails are laying egg cocoons simultaneously, even popping out the eggs at the same time. 

  
 
 
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