A Baby In Our Fish Tank

Our newly hatched baby snail.   Photo by Jon Katz

We have a baby in our fish tank.  A baby snail.

It’s  so small  Jon had to take a picture of it with his macro lens.  It’s about 1/16 of an inch.  Tiny, but big enough that I can see it’s antennas and the movement of its mouth eating algae off  the side of the tank.

We had three different snails in our tank and  only one that lays eggs that can hatch.

Socrates is a Mystery Snail and needs a mate to reproduce.  We also have five Nerite snails.  They’re hermaphrodites and don’t need a mate to reproduce.  But even thought they live and lay eggs in our fresh water tank, their eggs only hatch in salt water.

The other snail we had, which has since died, was a Rams Horn Snail.  Rams Horn snails are also hermaphrodites so they don’t need a mate to lay eggs and they’re eggs do hatch in fresh water.  So our baby snail can only be a Rams Horn Snail.

Rams Horn snails lay  20-50 eggs at a time in a clear jelly-like cluster.  This can be a problem because they can overpopulated a tank.  But luckily the fish eat the eggs and baby snails.

As far as I can tell,  there is only one baby snail in the tank, so I imagine it’s the only one that survived.

I won’t want fifty baby snails, but I’m happy to have to one.  It’ll be fun to watch it grow and hopefully not have too many of its eggs survive once it starts laying.

The baby snail is too small to take a video of, but I did get this video of Socrates dropping from one leaf to another.  It’s one of the ways Mystery Snails get around.



2 thoughts on “A Baby In Our Fish Tank

    1. I know it looks more like Socrates right now, but there is now mate for Socrates in our tank, and Mystery snails need a mate to reproduce. I’m thinking the shape of the shell might change. Otherwise, it truly is a mystery.

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