Maintenance

this page regarding the maintenance of Pomacea bridgesi seemed important to me as numerous problems appear when hobbyists obtain them and place them in aquarium;

One must know that if our "apple-snail" (so-called because it loves to eat apples ... whereas this is not the case of all specimens) adapts to almost all types of water, they have a preference for a slightly acid water (PH < 7).

Another topic that I consider important is the level of water pollution (nitrate level):  freshwater snails DO NOT LIKE POLLUTION. Wheter their are considered as algae, waste or vegeta eaters, or omnivorous,  ... CTHEY ARE NOT WASTE DISPOSAL UNITS, they do not solve the problem of waste that les in the bottom of theaquarium or of algae that infest  plants.   Nevertheless, they are a good solution to fight the tendency of some algae to slowly but surely establish colonies in a sound aquarium; they may also be used as tools to measure the quality of the aquarium (all hobbyists have been surprised one day by the a massive migration of melanoïds to the surface - a clear indication that there is a lack of oxygen in the water).

Inspite of their protective shells, freshwater snails have their natural predators (tetraodons, botias, crabs, some shrimps, ...); they are relatively sensitive to the presence of predators, which will condition their behaviour, lifetime and life cycle.

For example, the "Golden pomacea" (P. bridgesi and sometimes P. canaliculata) possess superb antennaes that are are very pretty when deployed.  The opportunist predators (any fish if it is a little hungry) are bound to try to have a nab at these antennaes, which will cause a change in the Pomacea behaviour.  They will purely and simply cease to deploy them and will remain in a defensive position (body inside the shell, antennaes retracted, slow and rare movements, inexistent reproduction, colors that fade, etc ...) and they will die.

Furthermore, Pomacea Bridgesii has a seldom known characteristic, it hibernates.  It has a natural need to annually dig-in the silt; if it cannot satisfy this need, it may live for less time than the aquarist would like it to.  It is sad to see that the specimens bought a few months ago are all dying  ... without any apparent reason concerning the quality of the aquarium. As the length of this period is very difficult to determine (some days to some weeks), it proves useful to observe the snails that suddely become apathic.   the presence of the operculum shows that they are in good health and just asleep. the only thing to do at that time is to LEAVE THEM ALONE, do not disturb them.  After this period, the snails will come out of their shell and go about their usual business - do offer them a good meal, they are very very hungry.

This last topic is all the more important as it handles the reputation of the "Golden Mistery Snai"l:  this name hides two types of Pomacea, both golden but with feeding habits that are very different regarding aquarium flora.  Pomacea Bridgesi likes plants but has a clear preference for food remainders (flakes that have fallen to the bottom of the aquarium, spirulina tabs, ...) and algae; Pomacea Canaliculata (golden variety) loves all vegetals, lettuce, algae or the aquatic plants that we sometimes have had so much trouble finding and maintaining.  The difference between these two species is unfortunately difficult to be established, what wrongly  makes Pomacea Bridgesii  an intruder for most aquarists.

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