Aquarists are often interested in exotic representatives of gastropods. These animals help to add variety to purely fish tanks. One of the groups of such species is the tylomelania snails. How they won the hearts of aquarists, read our article.
Tylomelania is a group of aquarium snails that became widespread not so long ago, although the first descriptions of the species appeared more than two hundred years ago. These gastropods are still insufficiently studied and have no scientific description due to the large number of species and color variations that live in natural biotopes.
What attracts aquarists to these mollusks? First of all, a beautiful appearance. Their shells can be painted in various colors and have various outgrowths. The snail’s mouth is also very interesting, somewhat reminiscent of a small trunk.
The size of these freshwater mollusks is also amazing. Some species are true giants, capable of growing up to 12 cm in length.
Tylomelania behavior is another thing that the snail is respected by aquarists for. It’s a real pleasure to watch them. For example, after settling in an aquarium, mollusks will try to make tactile contact with all of their inhabitants. And what is the excellent appetite of these snails, they eat often and a lot.
Tylomelanias are unusually varied in appearance. Among the representatives of the group, there are individuals both with smooth shells and owners of various spines or curls. Moreover, they can be painted in bright (yellow, orange) or dark colors (black, brown). Various points are often found on the sink.
Surprisingly, the body of the mollusk, which appears to our eyes from the shell, is also often quite unusually colored. In some snails it is bright yellow, in others it is light green or spotted.
The mouth opening is elongated like a trunk, and the eyes are located at the base of thin long tentacles.
Depending on the species, snails can reach a size of 2 to 12 cm.
Tilomelania snails are endemic to the island of Sulawesi (Indonesia). It is the eleventh largest island in the world, with an unusual shape: four peninsulas diverge from the central part. There are both mountains and plains on the territory.
The water bodies in which tylomelania live are characterized by relatively soft water, but with a fairly high pH. Snails live in shallow water, the water here has a temperature of 27-30 ° C almost all year round.
You can find tylomelanium both on rocky substrates and on sandy ones. Moreover, the inhabitants of the first biotopes, existing in rather aggressive conditions, are distinguished by a brighter color and not the most livable character. Inhabitants of sandy places are calmer and usually have rounded monochromatic shells.
Care and maintenance
When choosing an aquarium for tylomelia, keep in mind that ideally there should be 10-15 liters of water per snail.
Sandy soil is best, with a few large rocks on top. This will create a suitable environment for species that live on different substrates. From plants, it is better not to use species with soft and delicate leaves – they will be eaten by snails.
In the aquarium, it is necessary to ensure good filtration, aeration and be sure to install a thermostat. After all, these tropical guests love temperatures of 27-30 ° C.
Small difficulties are in the preparation of water for tylomelaniy. The recommended hardness is 5-7 DH (at higher values the snails can hibernate), and pH = 7.5-8.5 – acidic water can lead to the destruction of the shell.
It is not necessary to install powerful lighting in the aquarium. Tilomelanias are nocturnal animals and love dim lights. This can be achieved with various shelters or plants floating on the surface. Aquariums with special night lights are perfect for observing the life of snails.
Do not forget that copper-containing preparations should not be used in aquariums with invertebrates (including snails). This is certain doom for them.
A species aquarium is an ideal choice for keeping tylomelanias. This will eliminate possible conflicts and starvation of snails.
However, keeping in the general aquarium is not completely excluded. The best option would be to add shrimp from the island of Sulawesi, for example, cardinal shrimp, to clams. You can combine snails with small heat-loving fish species: tetras, Cecilia, neons, small catfish.
Large aggressive fish species should be excluded from the list of possible roommates.
Feeding Tylomelanium snails
Most aquarium snails have enough pasture for life. But with tylomelia, that trick will not work. They are distinguished by an exorbitant appetite, so they must be fed additionally without fail. The good news is that snails are unpretentious and eat pretty much anything. Do not forget that herbal ingredients must be present in the diet. Sinking tablets for catfish with spirulina algae (Tetra Pleco Spirulina Wafers) are perfect.
Reproduction and breeding
You can also get offspring from tylomelanias in your home aquarium. True, this requires a group of snails, because these mollusks are dioecious, and there are no external differences between the female and the males. Tylomelania is not particularly fertile. The female lays one or two eggs. After a short period of time, the white shell of the eggs dissolves and young snails, fully ready for life, 3 to 15 mm in length, are born. Immediately after hatching, juveniles begin an active life and are not at all averse to having a snack.