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 Snail and plants collected from the James

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Gabe79
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PostSubject: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:02 am

I went out to the Huguenot flatwater park section of the James and collected some plants and snails

This is that fuzzy plant that carpets all the big rocks in the middle of the James in the summer.  It looked dead, but when I knocked the silt off it was all green underneath so I grabbed a sample and this chunk of rock came off with it.



@cholt , is this jungle val? I found it just starting to grow among the above plants on the rocks a few feet below the waterline in the middle of the river.

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Gabe79
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:22 am

I grabbed three snails, too.

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Judging from the +20 mm size and the angle of the aperture shoulder, to me it looks closest to a P. virginica

I found a gallery of Virginia species at the Freshwater Gastropods of America site.
www.fwgna.org/FWGVA/gallery.html

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Check out this weird weevil looking water insect that hitched a ride.  I have all the plants and snails in a mason jar with some river water for now.

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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:42 am

The website says that P.virginica are "grazers of epilithic periphyton" which I think means they eat the stuff (periphyton) what grows on the plants what grow on rocks (epilithic).  So I think its safe to say they won't mow down tank plants or try to eat shrimp or other macro-sized organisms.

The site also says that even though they havn't been studied, they most likely take 2 years to reach breeding age and then live for several years, and they have separate male and females.
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:02 am

I'm not sure if that is jungle val? I'm not an expert but it looks very similar. I've been thinking of hitting the James here in the Lynchburg area soon to maybe put together a 5g natural tank with native plants to the area. I just need to get my 40g happy first.
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:41 am

Yea, I don't know a whole lot about Vals, but they seem to be kind of V shaped, and this one seems to have a stalk with multiple V's coming out of it.

I'll be heading down the Falls of the James in Richmond this weekend so I will look around some more on rocks and in eddie pools in the middle of the river.

I kinda want to do a natural bowl full of native stuff as well now, too. I love the natural look and there is so much great sand and rocks and driftwood out there.
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:59 am

The mossy-looking plant is Riverweed, Podostemum ceratophyllum. Looks like a moss or algae but its really a flowering plant. Not easy to keep in aquariums.

Vallisneria leaves all sprout from the base. If some of the leaves sprout off a vertical stalk, then you've got something else, maybe Potamogeton ?
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:33 pm

@Gabe79 Do you plan to keep the snails and plants in the mason jar? Can you keep anything in a mason jar?

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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:30 pm

Wow! Thank you for the plants ID @Gerald You are awesome! I googled both of those plant names and find info. Thank you!

@Donald I've seen people setup walstad mason jars with a single plant like dwarf hair grass or java moss and single shrimp and set it under a lamp at their work desk and it does fine for a year. I'm just holding them there for now as a makeshift isolation tank. I was going to put everything in the 2.5 jar I'm setting up, but now I'm scared.

I kinda want to setup a river jar now with all river flora and fauna.
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:52 pm

The jar idea is cute, but if you've got space for a 10 gal tank I think it'll be more successful and enjoyable in the long run. There's not many local natives beyond grass shrimp and insects that I think would do well long term in a 2.5 gal jar. Maybe a couple mosquitofish.
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:25 pm

But jars are so fun! Its crazy how stable a dirted jar full of plants and invertebrates is. I keep checking to see if I need to do a water change, but my nitrites and nitrates just hang out at near zero. All I do is drop a leaf of frozen spinach in there every few days and trim the plants when i feel creative. And plan my next jar ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: Snail and plants collected from the James   Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:54 am

Agreed! I've kept diving beetles, water scorpions (an insect, not a real scorpion), fairy shrimp, and super-tiny fish in planted jars many times. Problem is, you go out collecting and find some fish or plant you REALLY want to keep that just wont fit in a jar!
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