» Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Blog, Chris F | Comments Off on Rabbit Snails of the Genus Tylomelania

Rabbit Snails of the Genus Tylomelania

by Christopher Fong

photos by James Ong

 

 

Rabbit snails are a large group of freshwater snails endemic to Sulawesi which is located in Indonesia. Within Sulawesi many of these unique and interesting snails are restricted to a small number of lakes such as Lake Poso/ Lake Malili. What makes these snails attractive to many is the bright coloration of the flesh combined with the smooth cone shaped shell. However, by far the most attractive feature of these snails is their eyes and mouths which resemble that of a cuddly rabbit making them down right adorable.  Another unique feature with this group of snails is that their oviparous, meaning the production of young by means of eggs hatched within the mother’s body. Finally, this group of snails comprises of several different species each having their own unique coloration and shell pattern.

Rabbit snails are hardy if certain requirements are meet such as good water quality, correct substrate, peaceful tankmates, and enough food. If these requirements are meet these snails will live for long periods of time and in certain scenarios even reproduce!

 

 

Water Quality: PH ranges from 7.2 to 7.7 and Carbonate/General hardness hovering around (3-7) should be satisfactory to allow these snails to construct their calcareous shell.  Soft Acidic water will gradually eat away at the shells of these snail resulting in their ultimate demise. Ammonia and Nitrite should be zero with Nitrate being as low as possible.  Finally, always use a good quality water condition to remove harmful heavy metals, chlorine and chloramine from the water which is harmful to aquatic life (especially inverts). Finally, never use medications intended for fish diseases when keeping rabbit snails and other inverts in the aquarium. Often times most Fish medications are toxic to invertebrates.

Substrate:  A sandy bottom would be considered ideal as this allows the snails to naturally borrow and seek shelter mimicking natural behavior. If sand is not an option any small smooth gravel like substrate is satisfactory.

Tankmates: Should be peaceful such as tetras, barbs, rasboras, small catfish, shrimp and other similar snail safe fish/inverts. Crabs These snails are considered plant safe although in situations with little food they can turn towards aquarium plants for sustenance.

Feeding: Rabbit snails are herbivores by nature so having algae within the tank prior to introducing these snails is advisable. Even with algae present within the aquarium supplementation is recommended to keep these snails well feed and healthy. Foods such as algae wafers and dried seaweed are excellent choice for feeding rabbit snails.

Rabbit snails of the genus Tylomelania make unique and interesting additions to most community/planted tanks, adding the diversity needed for proper ecological health of an aquarium. These snails can live long periods of time and even reproduce when a sufficient food source is present for both the parent and young. If you want to see these adorable snails in person or have any question regarding these awesome creatures stop by Absolutely Fish and ask us to show you these unique creatures!

Sources:

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/articles/snails-from-sulawesi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylomelania

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