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Snails have very mixed opinions among aquarists. Many of them reproduce quickly, which means that they colonize the entire aquarium in a short time. Ampularia are the exception, however. They are very popular snails. They do not have high requirements, look good and at the same time clean the tank of algae and dead organic matter. Get to know them better.
Snail ampularia – occurrence
Ampularies are freshwater snails that can be found almost all over the Amazon. They are abundant in running and stagnant waters. They can be found in:
- in floodplains.
Due to the highly developed population of these molluscs, their breeding is currently legally restricted throughout the European Union.
Ampularia snails – what do they look like?
Ampularia are well-liked for their varied color variations. The wild varieties found in Amazon waters have shells in various shades of brown and yellow. The colors found in farms are much more diverse. For example, the following are popular:
- blue ampoules;
- white amularies;
- purple ampoules.
There are also individuals with a black body and white shell, decorated with stripes or stripes. A characteristic feature of this family of molluscs are exceptionally long antennae, which must be protected against fish that like to nibble at other organisms.
How do ampularia breathe?
These species of snails are famous for their very high resistance to difficult conditions. Nature has equipped them not only with gills, but also with lungs and a respiratory siphon. As a result, ampularia are perfect for oxygen-poor waters.
In well-oxygenated aquariums, snails can also go ashore and breathe the atmospheric air. Sometimes you can also see them floating in water, from which only a siphon in the form of a thin tube protrudes.
Aquarium snail ampularia – lifestyle
Ampularia are snails that lead a nocturnal lifeand a. During the day, you will most often find them buried in the ground or hiding in darkened parts of the aquarium tank.
Ampularia do very well in tanks together with shrimps. Small crustaceans sometimes clean snail shells and even ride them on them. Peaceful fish will also work well as a company. However, avoid predatory and larger species that can nibble the ampoules for their long antennae.
Aquarium snails ampularia – in which tank?
There is a belief that snails can live in any body of water. In fact – they are very resistant animals, but experienced aquarists recommend at least 10 liters of net water per animal.
The larger the bottom area of the tank, the better. Ampularia are snails that breathe both in and out of the water. Additionally, they tend to run away from the aquarium and go on excursions. So a cover will be needed.
If you want to breed these snails, set a slightly lower water level so that they can lay their eggs just above the surface. The water itself should be well oxygenated, as snail droppings lead to its turbidity.
Ampularia will feel best in a tank with diffused light. Be sure to include a source of calcium in it!
Ampularia – reproduction
Ampularia are oviparous and dioecious. If you want to breed them at home, you must have a male and a female. Interestingly, the female can store sperm for up to a month. Don’t be surprised if you buy a female that will lay mature eggs in your tank after a few weeks for fertilization. The ampularia population is quite easy to control as the eggs are clearly visible. You can always delete them if needed.
Most species of ampularia lay their eggs above the waterline, most often on the wall of the aquarium. There are usually about two hundred of them, they are folded next to each other and at first glance they may resemble a cocoon. Take care not to let the eggs dry out. They must be kept in a warm and humid environment, but should not be flooded with water.
The color of the cocoon changes from white to pink over time, and the eggs themselves swell. After two to four weeks, the individual ones begin to burst and small snails fall into the water. They still have very soft shells, so in the early stages of their lives, they most often bury themselves in the ground where they feed.
Below the water surface, the eggs are laid by the following species of ampularia:
What do ampularia eat?
Ampularia are herbivorous snails that most often consume algae and dead organic matter. They can also eat food from the surface of the water, so they can be fed with fresh vegetables and herbs.
In the context of food, it is also worth noting that snail droppings pollute the water very much. All because of microorganisms that are excreted together with metabolic products. So you have to remember not to overfeed the snail, and at the same time filter the water in the tank as efficiently as possible.
Ampularia – no breeding
Amularia are very nice and useful aquarium snails. Many people would like to have them in their tank. Unfortunately, at present the breeding and sale of these animals is prohibited by law. Why?
The ban has been in force throughout the European Union since 2012. All because snails of the ampularia family spread in huge numbers in Spain. So many of them that at some point they caused losses in rice crops.
As an invasive species, ampularia should be strictly fought wherever they appear. However, the regulations are so ambiguous that many growers still import ampularia snails. Poland is now considered to be the largest importer of these molluscs.
However, you must know that selling and holding ampoules can be fined!
Ampularia – summary
Aquarium ampularia snails are very popular ornamental mollusks. Although officially their breeding in the European Union is prohibited, these animals are still often found in aquarium tanks – also in Poland.
They are valued primarily for their decorative appearance and removal of aquarium algae. They can successfully live in both shrimp tanks and general tanks where gentle fish live.