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One million baby spiders… give or take a thousand. (Photo below the fold.)
It has been a tumultuous fortnight, for the snailies.
About 2 weeks ago, my girl Shelly died for reasons unknown. She just slowed down and died. She had laid a dozen egg clutches, and had about 200 offspring sliming around the place, and I don’t know why she died but it was sad.
Then a few days after she passed on, some of her daughters started laying clutches of their own. Within a week, there were five new little clutches laid.
Then over the weekend Munchkin started to slow down, the way Shelly had. Munchkin was the father of all the wee babies. Today I came home from work in the afternoon, to find Munchkin too had passed away. Again, I don’t know why…
Here is a photo of one of my snail babies, laying her own clutch of eggs. This little girl is less than 3 months old, and already she’s on her way to being a momma.
This was supposed to be impossible; I’ve read that they don’t start laying eggs till they’re at least 5 months old. Appearantly, this snail doesn’t know how to read.
BTW that white crud on her shell and to the right of her, is the remains of an older clutch that I hadn’t got around to cleaning off. This was always Shelly’s favorite egg-laying corner. Like mother, like daughter I guess.
After some procrastination and mixed emotions, I finally went and re-homed a bunch of my baby snails. The local fish store (LFS) had said they’d take them if they were bigger than nickle-sized. So I made a handy plastic jig with a 20mm slot in it, and any snail who couldn’t fit through the slot was big enough.
It took about an hour, rooting around the big tank almost up to my shoulders, trying to find and scoop out all the snailies who seemed big enough. Then test them with the jig, then separate out the ones who were going to the LFS from the ones I was keeping.
About a month ago, my little zebra danio graduated from the nursery tank and moved into the big fish tank with all the grownup fish. It had taken him about 4 months to reach 1-inch long, with most of that time spent in various small tanks and containers, before he went into the magic nursery.
Today, my two baby peppered corydora catfish (Corydoras paleatus) had their own graduation day, moving out of the magic nursery and into the big 38-gallon tank where their parents live. It took these two only about 6 or 7 weeks to reach the 1-inch length.
Here’s one of the young corydoras, exploring the new big tank. Before releasing them into the big tank, they spent some time floating in a cup at the top of the tank, to get accustomed to the new temperature. You can see the two of them, along with a baby snail stowaway: