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 Zebra Nerites lay eggs!

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Deb
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PostSubject: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 10:00 am

My zebra nerites have laid eggs!

On or around March 20, I added two olive-and-black striped Neritina turrita snails to this tank. After several weeks, I saw some "sesame seed" shaped white dots laid around on a big piece of Malaysian wood which sits under the outflow.
Here is how they look:


At first, I didn't connect these dots with the snails. I had no idea what they were, but now I'm convinced they are the eggs of Neritina turrita, the Zebra Nerite.

There are eggs all over this piece of wood, with more coming every day.
Here is another section fully laid with eggs:


I'm sure the two zebra nerites are the parents of these eggs. They are my own snails which, prior to March 20, had been living separately in two different tanks.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 10:59 am

Congratulations Deb!

I am very interested in learning of your experiences (which I hope will include images) as things develop.


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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 11:59 am

Oh yeah, those nerite snails lay a ton of those eggs all over the place, and will do so for as long as they live. However, the eggs will never hatch unless fertilized and in brackish water. Some people scrape them off for aesthetic reasons, but I find that in a month or two they will go away on their own.

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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 12:12 pm

They dont need brackish water to hatch. They need brackish water to develop from free-swimming larvae (veligers) to bottom-crawling snails. Left in fresh water they will die (or be eaten by fish or filter intake). In nature they would hatch in fresh and drift down the river into brackish/salt water (like striped bass do), then begin crawling up-river after changing from veligers to snails.
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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 1:54 pm

I am just going off what I read.

I dont have much personal experience, other that having nerites and eggs that never seem to hatch.

I have read 2-3 sites that state emphatically that nerites must have brackish or salt water to breed or for the eggs to hatch.

But if you have had a different experience, then that is informative.

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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 2:57 pm

Think about how often nerites lay eggs - every few days. If they live in freshwater rivers but need saltwater for their eggs to hatch, that strategy wouldn't make sense (especially for a snail). Freshwater animals that lay eggs in brackish or salt water (like American eels and hogchoker sole) typically migrate downstream and lay all their eggs once a year, not every few days. River shrimp (Macrobrachium) migrate downstream once a year carrying their eggs, and release the larvae in brackish water.

I have some olive nerites (Neritina usnea) that lay eggs all the time. I'm guessing some of them may hatch but I've never looked for the larvae - they're tiny and yummy like brine shrimp and probably get eaten within seconds. One of these days I'm gonna try to save some larvae, move them to brackish water, and raise them to snails. (Along with all the other fishy things I'm gonna do "someday").
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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Tue May 07, 2013 10:59 pm

Well, I won't mind if nothing comes of it. If they were that easy to breed they'd soon overrun the tank and be a pest instead of a pricey exotic.

If any hatch I'm sure they will be eaten immediately but I'll try to get a pic of the free-swimming stage if I can.

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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Wed May 08, 2013 2:14 pm

If you find any eggs laid on something easily removable, try putting them in a jar and see what happens. If they're anything like Amano shrimp, they can probably live a couple days in fresh.

AZgardens' claim that nerite eggs won't hatch unless the eggs are placed in brackish water is not true, and doesn't even make sense. The tough egg capsules are firmly attached to rocks or wood in freshwater rivers where the adults live. How could they possibly get downstream into brackish water before hatching? I suspect AZG's claim is based on them never seeing any veligers or baby snails.

I checked around some more and found that YES there are a few nerite species that can successfully reproduce in hard (Calcium-rich) freshwater. The European river nerites go through the larval veliger stage inside the egg capsule, and develop into crawling snails before leaving the capsule. Each capsule contains several eggs, but only one egg develops and the rest become food for #1. The olive nerite Neritina reclivata (or Vitta usnea) usually has a free-swimming veliger that needs brackish water, but there are a few reports of it remaining in the capsule through the veliger stage and emerging as a snail in fresh water, like the European river nerite. So maybe genetics or environmental conditions can affect whether it hatches out as a veliger or stays in the capsule to transform into a snail.

The other nerites usually sold in the aquarium trade (zebra, tiger, spiny) have free-swimming larvae that require a brackish period to develop into crawling snails. According to Martin Kohl there's about 10 genera and 175 species of freshwater/brackish nerites, so I'll bet there's some others that can develop in hard freshwater, at least occasionally <http://mkohl1.net/Neritidae.html>
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PostSubject: Re: Zebra Nerites lay eggs!    Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:16 am

the eggs everywhere is why the kids have the nerites in their room and not in one of my tanks Very Happy
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