Melania: content, breeding, compatibility, photo, description
Origin and appearance
Melania is a gastropod clam of the genus Melanoides of the family Thiaridae. The outdated name of the species is tiara, as it is mentioned in the aquarium literature of past years. Today, such a name is obsolete and incorrect, because, in view of new scientific research, the place of melania in the classification of mollusks has changed. In everyday life, these snails are also called ground.
Adult snails do not grow more than 3 cm. Young individuals are so small that they cannot be seen without a magnifying glass. This species is easily distinguished by a sharp shell having the shape of a narrow, elongated cone (such a shape is most convenient for digging into the ground). The color is discreet, ranging from dark grayish to yellowish-green with darker longitudinal uneven stripes.
Today, a slightly larger and more attractive appearance of these mollusks, Melanoides granifera, has appeared in the aquarium. At the granifer, the shell is more domed and painted in brown tones. For other characteristics, it is exactly the same soil snail.
The distribution range in nature of mollusks is very wide: they live in Asia, Africa, Australia. Melania populations have recently been discovered in the southern United States and Europe.
Varieties of Melanoides
In many publications on aquarium studies, one can read that melanias come in one form - Melanoides tuberculata, the size of the shell reaches 3-3.5 cm in length. In fact, there are at least two more types of snails melania:
- Melanoides granifera originally from Malaysia;
- Melanoides riqueti from Singapore ponds.
All three varieties of this freshwater mollusk known today are endowed with a conical shell, the mouth of which is easily covered by a lime door at a critical moment.
Due to this, the microclimate favorable for the cochlea is preserved inside the shell, although it should be noted that melania is very hardy - they do not care about the critical water temperatures or its high salinity.
External differences are more pronounced in Melanoides tuberculata and Melanoides granifera. This mainly concerns their color:
Melanoides tuberculata gray combined with olive and green. The mouth of the shell looks in contrast to the entire shell of the mollusk, the spirals of which are more saturated in color - they can have brown, sometimes even burgundy shades.
Melanoides granifera superior to their species counterparts in appearance. Shades of gray and brown contrasting in a peculiar combination distinguish them among other varieties.
Possessing a large diameter of the shell, these snails prefer sand for living (it is easier to move along it) or do without soil at all, often attaching to stones, snags of a reservoir.
Basic conditions of detention
- Temperature parameters 22ºС - 28ºС. Regarding stiffness and acid parameters, you don’t have to worry at all, since snails do not react to these indicators at all. These picky aquarium individuals can live in salted water, the only thing that mollusks do not like is very cold water.
- But it’s worth thinking about aeration, since this aquarium variety of mollusks breathes with gills.
- But the most mandatory in the content of these individuals is high-quality soil. The ideal option is a sandy bottom or soil of fine gravel. However, it is worth noting that snails can live for a long time without soil.
- Decorating your body of water, melania do not attach any importance, but they like to hide not only in the ground, but also under stones or decorative grottoes. And any vegetation will serve not only as a place for shelter, but also as a good way for frequent snacks.
How to contain aquarium melting?
It seems that no one has created special conditions for living snails in domestic ponds.thinks up. Moreover, this mollusk is very unpretentious and easily adapts to a variety of circumstances.
For example, being a native of freshwater reservoirs, Melanoides tuberculata demonstrates a wide tolerance to the level of water salinity - there are known cases of occurrence of melanias in lakes with salinity up to 30%.
In a home aquarium, the snail calmly refers to any temperature regime, however, the optimal range for it is 20-28 ° C.
Water parameters such as acidity and hardness are even less significant for this representative of gastropods.
But the soil for melting is an indispensable element. Its quality is also very significant. It should be either coarse sand or a 3-4 mm granular soil (snails should be able to move easily, and such a soil will remain clean longer).
To ensure the reproduction of mollusks, a pair is needed - male and female. Melanias are heterosexual.
If there are 2-3 such pairs in the reservoir, then in a couple of months the population will be in the tens, since the rate of their reproduction is extremely high.
The younger generation of snails is growing soon, adding 5-6 mm in length each month.
Based on the above, it can be verified that Melanoides tuberculata is a more beneficial inhabitant of a home reservoir. And these qualities of the mollusk suit you and whether it is worth letting it into the aquarium is up to you.
Features of Melania
The mollusk Melanoides tuberculata is an unusual representative of gastropods; it differs from other similar inhabitants of the aquarium by several characteristics at once.
The first one. Melanoides tuberculata is known as a ground snail, because its habitat in an artificial reservoir is aquarium soil. It happens that melanias creep out onto the walls of a home reservoir or decor items, but this is not widespread. Individual individuals usually make similar sorties at night.
The second one. Melania is important for the presence of dissolved oxygen in the water, because it breathes with the help of gills.
The third. Melanoides tuberculata is a viviparous snail that does not spawn, but produces offspring that are completely capable of independent existence.
To create ideal living conditions for mollusks, one should not take care of special food for them, since snails eat absolutely everything. They don’t disdain small scraps inherited from other aquarium inhabitants, and will enjoy delicate algae with pleasure, thereby not only having a bite to eat, but also keeping the pond clean.
But if you want to feed your pets, they should throw a special pill in the water, which is used for catfish. You can give balanced vegetables, for example, cabbage, zucchini or cucumber.
To breed snails, you do not need to plant them in a separate aquarium or create special conditions. Since the aquarium mollusk reproduces at lightning speed. To do this, it is enough to settle several individuals of this species in a pond, so that in a couple of months the number of individuals will increase several dozen times.
It should be recalled that the snail belongs to the viviparous individuals that carry the egg, and after a while small individuals of this species appear from it. The number of small chalks depends primarily on the size of the cochlea itself, and can range from about 10 to 50 pieces.
How to get rid
In the case when the mollusks completely filled the entire aquarium and tired of its owner in order, you can get rid of them using several simple methods. First of all, it should be remembered that snails absorb oxygen, and without it they begin to develop poorly and die after some time.
But this way can destroy other aquarium inhabitants. Therefore, you can use another method, throwing at night in a pond, some vegetables. The very next morning, the whole zucchini will be in melania. You can also use special medications that are served at the pet store.