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African Pygmy turbo snails, aka top shells.

Posted 06/01/2014 at 08:09 AM by Vilas

Well, I lucked out. I hope.

I picked some snails off the rocks the other day to start my clean up crew. My book said they were topshells, and ate algae, so I added them to the tank. I keep my local reference book on the beach when I collect, so I don't have to bother with unsuitable species or accidentally bring home protected species. It is also a handy keeper for my permit, which I must laminate!

At the time, as I have a cycling tank, I had the usual brown algae, which I was impressed to see they chowed down. More recently, the typical hair algae has started up, I didn't think any snail could keep up with it. No snail that I know of from my experience in the aquarium world can keep green hair algae away, right?

Until I found my power head clean. It had been coated with half inch green hair algae, now, lovely clean trails are all over it. My rocks, too.

I looked them up on a local forum, they're given kudos for being incredible with algae. The problem that I face is when there isn't much algae, they may starve, however, they will be food for my cuc, come the worst, and with a new tank, I doubt any algae eating creature will go hungry.

This species is abundant on our shores, a small little thing that packs a serious whallop in terms of algae control. Based on the maps, it looks like they're endemic to here, and as we don't export anything for the trade, that may be why every reef keeper in the world doesn't have a few. If I only saw them from time to time, I'd leave them be. But there are thousands. They aren't actually turbo snails, though some topshells are classified as trochus. These are oxystele snails.

I'm sure my locally collected reef will face some issues that you all don't face, and I will battle, but sometimes, you get lucky. I'm a huge fan of my little crew.

Saw a few clownfish in the tide pools when I was fetching snails. We started trying to catch them, even though we aren't ready for fish. Just to hone our technique. Caught a chromis and a goby, but threw them back. Tide pool fish are dratted hard to catch! We are practicing catching now for the day in the future when we can bring them home. I think the issue is that the more aggressive fish - like the chromis we caught - are more likely to swim out and grab a food morsel, but the shy ones we would prefer tend to hide. Like trying to catch a firefish in a 400g tank where you can't move the rock, or set traps.

Saw some amazing juv tangs and angels in the tide pool. Time to start saving for a 200g tank. I won't be able to resist these beauties for long. And will never have the heart to keep them in too small of a tank.

Amazing. My tank isn't even cycled, and I'm planning my upgrade. I forgot that aspect of reef keeping!
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