Snail helena. Content and breeding at home
The snail helena is a predatory species of freshwater mollusks. Owners of aquariums, which cannot independently get rid of mollusks that have fallen into the aquatic environment - coils, physists, melania, are most often decided to breed them.
Under natural conditions, these snails live in clean and shallow water bodies and rivers, in sandy areas in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The snail Helena prefers running water, but feels quite comfortable in ponds and lakes. Perhaps that is why it adapts to the conditions of the aquarium pretty quickly.
In nature, the predatory snail Helena eats live snails, as well as carrion, and it is this feature that made it popular among aquarists around the world.
Outwardly, the snail Helena looks pretty impressive - wide chocolate strips evenly spaced on amber-yellow background.This color once again reminds that it is carnivorous, because only predators are allowed to attract attention to themselves.
The adult snail grows in length up to 17 mm, although often larger specimens (up to 20 mm) are also found. The shell with a ribbed surface has the shape of a cone. Characteristic features of this mollusk are the elongated shape and the breathing tube, which the cochlea pulls forward while moving. The mouth of the mouth is adapted to open the shells of other mollusks, and is a tiny proboscis with a number of fairly sharp teeth. The snail is protected from danger by a small cap that, if necessary, closes the shell.
As you already know, under natural conditions, the Helena snail lives in freshwater bodies of East Asia. What conditions does she need to create in order to make her feel comfortable in her home aquarium?
It should be noted that helen snail is completely unpretentious. Keeping it in compliance with certain rules does not create problems. Five liters of water is enough for one snail, but it’s better if it has more free space - up to twenty liters.Take care that the water is hard. In soft water, the snail is bad, since minerals are necessary for its shell.
The most comfortable water temperature is 21-23 ° С above zero. When it goes below + 19 ° C, Helena may stop eating.
You can plant any plants in an aquarium, as snails are completely indifferent to them. And the quality of the soil is of great importance. Unlike other types of snails, Helens do not bury themselves completely in it, but they are looking for food there, therefore sand or small gravel is most suitable for this purpose.
Helena snails - what to feed?
For a comfortable existence this snail needs to be hunted. She can move much faster than her potential victims. This is clearly visible when Helena is hungry. Then it is very dangerous for all mollusks, equal to it in size. This applies to coils, akrolux, fiz, melaniy. True, according to the observations of aquarists, we can say that she eats melania last of all and is somehow very reluctant.
Helena does not always catch up with her victims. Sometimes she lies in wait for them. With the help of her proboscis, she sucks them out of the sink.This method of hunting explains why the snail Helena never hunts smaller clams. The thing is that her proboscis will be more victims, and Helena simply can not get to her body. After full saturation, it digs into the ground and digests food.
For adult fish and shrimp, it poses no danger, but eats fry. It may even declare war on fish, but only if it is sick and weak.
If Helena lacks molluscs to feed, she will not give up on carrion. You can feed it with bloodworms, as well as catfish feeds or those that contain a lot of protein. You can treat her to krill or frozen shrimp.
Helena can significantly reduce, and sometimes completely destroy the population of other snails in the aquarium. Therefore, the owner needs to adjust the amount of helen so that the balance of all types of snails is maintained.
In no case do not leave Helena in spawners - caviar and fry will be immediately eaten. In addition, small, just bought snails do not have to be planted in a common aquarium, they will not be able to find enough food and will die.It is better to wait until the helens grow to the required size (about 1 cm).
Helena snail: breeding
This is a mollusc. True, it is impossible to determine its gender. Therefore, those who want to breed these snails in their aquarium should first have at least 4-6 individuals. So you insure, and among the acquired snails will be individuals of both sexes.
When a pair is formed, it will not be difficult to determine it. For a long time (several weeks) they will eat and swim together. This pair is transplanted into a separate aquarium, since they multiply only in a relaxed atmosphere. If active shrimps or fish live in your tank, the female snail will not be able to lay an egg.
The egg resembles a tiny transparent cushion. In its middle you can see a yellow ball. A snail develops depending on the temperature regime, and this process lasts up to thirty days.
In the new aquarium conditions of detention must fully comply with those to which the snail is used. The couple should have a lot of food, but it is important not to overdo it in this matter. Surplus food also will not benefit.
Mating snails sometimes lasts for hours. Then the female lays a single egg, attaching it to a hard surface. It can be a stone or an element of the aquarium decoration.
The birth of offspring
Toddlers are born (depending on conditions of detention) after four weeks. They immediately burrow into the ground (approximately six months) and during all this time they feed on carrion. During this period, they grow to seven millimeters. Only after that they begin to hunt on their own.