Thursday, June 11, 2015

Molluscs



So, recently, I have begun an attempt at collecting and breeding molluscs. This is partly for fun, and partly to see if any of the species will interbreed, but also as part of a conservation effort to preserve and hopefully produce more numbers of snails in our pond, should it dry up this year or any year after. It mostly dried up in 2003, and has had water in it ever since, but the past couple years it has been very low, and seems to be even lower this year.


Molluscs found in our Pond:


Pond Snail:
These seem to be the most prolific this year, in the swamp. In the past, the Ramshorn Snails have been the ones that have been easier to find. Last year, I only found empty Ramshorn shells, so something may have been killing them off.....I really don't know.

I have quite a few of these in my tank, and they seem to be the only ones reproducing, but so far I have only gotten one cluster of eggs and I've had them in my tank for about a month now. My brother, Peter, took a lot of snails home with him, around the same time that I put some in my tank, and he said that within a couple days, his tank had so many egg clusters that he could hardly see inside it, and he eventually just got rid of the snails altogether, because it was such an issue. I explained to him my situation, and how I've hardly had any reproduce, and we figured out it might be the water temperature, based on the fact that his top-story apartment is always roasting hot, and my basement room at home is always very nice and cool. We looked it up, and confirmed that this was likely the case due to snails preferring temperatures between 65-82ºF (18-28ºC). I've now added a tank heater in hopes that the higher temps will prompt more to begin breeding. The temperature in the tank is now about twenty degrees higher than it was (went from just under 50 degrees to about 70 degrees), but I have not found any additional eggs as of yet. 

                            
Some Baby Pond Snails

Unknown:
I honestly don't know if this a just an older Pond Snail or something else. I had three of these in my tank, but one climbed out. This is also the first year I've seen these, and have not been able to identify them.
 Great Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus):
I've known these were in the pond as long as I've known there were snails out there. I've had them in my fishtanks before and really enjoyed them in the tank. They are very aesthetic in the tank and once had one grow as big as a fifty cent piece. There used to be some with more of yellowish tinted shell, but I no longer see them. I have around ten in my tank.
Freshwater Pea Clams (Sphaeriidae):
These are slowly disappearing from the pond. I used to find tons of them, especially at the corner of our property (shown below), but this year, we only found nine, total. My brother, Peter, also took some of these home with him, but they didn't survive. They don't seem to be very hardy at all and pretty much any flux in the water seems to kill them. 







Molluscs Found at Our Property at Derby Lake, Sidney, MI:

These are mainly for my collection. I don't plan to release them into our swamp (especially not the zebra mussel!!), but I am curious to see if they might interbreed with the other species I have:


"Spiraly" Guy (couldn't ID it):
These are pretty small and spiraly. I actually think the one in this photo might just be a younger version of the snail in the next photo, and is not representative of this kind (the one in the photo is more globose, these are more conical).


 "Globose" Kind:
These are big, and I only had four of them, and unfortunately, either one of the goldfish or the koi in the tank sucked the one in this photo, and another one, right out of it's shell, so I only have two now.
Zebra Mussel:
Invasive species that has taken over Derby Lake and wiped out the Clams that used to be up there. I really don't want this in our swamp. I only have the one in this photo.




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