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 Elephant/Rabbit snail

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Liz
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PostSubject: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:35 pm

I have recently been introduced to a species of snail I've never kept, Tylomelania zemis, which is commonly called the "rabbit" or "elephant" snail.

Here's a couple of neat pics: Rabbit Snail

The pics are from a photography website rather than an aquarium site, but they are so detailed that I wanted to link to them so you can see how cool they are! I think Elephant is a more apt nickname, since their foot protrudes from between their eyes and has the wrinkles like an elephant has on its trunk. They look like GIANT Malaysian trumpet snails. I think the rabbit moniker comes from their movement, which involves reaching out their foot and dragging their shell along behind, which causes it to bounce across the gravel a bit, like they're hopping.

Azalea has some that are bred locally, and I'm very tempted. However, in my reading through the internet on them some who breed them say they require temps close to 80, need high pH and hardness (this would not shock me for any snail) and that they eat plants. This last one is disputed, in that many have kept them in planted tanks with no issues, though this is anecdotal. Wild caught specimens have been known to carry leeches, so if you get some from Aquabid or other source and suspect they may be imported, it would be a good idea to quarantine them.

Next time I'm in Azalea I'll pick up a couple and see how they do, watching for plant-eating.

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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:51 pm

I think I also saw Rama carrying them once. I need to test the theory of them eating plants myself. Do you know if they eat every kind of plants or specific kinds???
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:55 pm

Theses are ones that are said to sometimes eat plants. Petco carries them also. I'd love some first (second?) hand account if they do snack on your healthy plants or not!
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:15 pm

Yeah, I have read varying stories on their plant-eating behaviors, and it may depend on whether they have enough other things to eat, since some folks have been "keeping them for years in my planted tank," and others insist they've been "breeding them for years and they eat any plant they can get."

That could be SUCH a deal-breaker though, because so many people who are into inverts are also into plants, and we usually keep them together. I have posted already about the Marisa cornuarietis, or Colombian Ramshorn, which is known to eat plants, and I keep mine with my goldfish in an unplanted tank. They seem pretty hardy and lay eggs regularly, giving me occasional babies when the goldfish (or the other snail) doesn't eat the eggs. The babies get fed to Otis.

I would really like a cool snail of a decent size that I could keep in a planted tank at work on my desk, and this is what I had in mind for the rabbit snails.

Which PetCo has the rabbit snails, Kat? I've never seen them at the one near me in Glen Allen.

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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:37 pm

Dont worry about them overpopulating -- they take a LOOOONG time to mature and only pop out one baby at a time every few months (livebearers). There's a bunch of different but similar Tylomelania species imported from Lake Poso (in Sulawesi), and it may be that some are worse plant-eaters than other species. PracticalFishKeeping had an article on them awhile back (available online).
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:23 pm

I got myself one this weekend and put it in with Rufus, my betta at work in a planted 5 gal. These apparently like warmish water with a higher pH and hardness, so that ought to do it.

I will let you know about the plant-eating aspect of these little guys. He is very cute and has been quite active so far. The betta ignores him completely, which is a plus, since I tried some LARGE ghost shrimp in with him and he killed them tout de suite.

There is really about ZERO scientific info about these snails online that I can find - all anecdotal. Do I have the species name wrong? Has anyone run across any articles that would enlighten me more about them?

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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:06 pm

Yes I think "zemis" might be a fake name cooked up in the aquarium trade. I suggest searching for Tylomelania species from Lake Poso -- any species from that lake ought to have similar needs. There's roughly 50-ish described species of Tylo's.
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:24 pm

Thanks! I'm on it.

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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:35 am

Liz, can you tell what the snail is eating? Are you target feeding it?

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Liz
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:02 am

I have target fed this snail but it does not seem to go for the pieces of veggie pellet I have tried so far. It does seem to like to hang out in the crypts but I have not seen evidence that it is eating healthy leaves. It spends a lot of time on the glass, where there are plenty of diatoms to be found.

The jury is still out!

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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:51 pm

Try frozen peas (peel off seed-coat and partly squished) or bits of baked sweet potato.
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PostSubject: Re: Elephant/Rabbit snail   Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:03 pm

That sounds good - I keep frozen peas at the office to feed my goldies from time to time when they get a little too buoyant, lol, so I'll see if he goes for it.

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