Saturday, November 8, 2008

A post about snails? Really?

A few weeks ago, I included in my Weekly Winners shots a few pics of our new snails and the weird mating ritual (or whatever the heck it was) the one was doing.

We had gone to the fish store as a way to kill a few hours on a Saturday afternoon while Jay was working. There's a great place in the area that's practically a zoo. My little ones were enthralled with the rows of fish tanks - I let them lead the way up and down and around each isle for over an hour.

"MOM! Did you see THESE fish?"

"WAIT! WAIT! You didn't see THESE!"

And from Will, "Oooooh!" and "Mama!" and "Ishies!" Followed by shrieks of joy and his toddler attempts to jump up and down.

We have a small fish tank we got back when Nick was about 18 months old. It has three goldfish in it we bought at Wal-Mart for $1.67 a piece that have been alive for more than a year. (Despite the cat's numerous attempts to make them his midnight snack. But that's a funny photo for another time.)

Ol' one eye
One of the fish only has one eye. We call him Ol' One Eye. OK, we don't actually call him anything, but if we did call him something I'd like to think it'd be something kitschy like Ol' One Eye.

We didn't go to the fish store thinking we needed any more fish - it was just a good (free) way to kill some time doing something the boys would really like.

But of course, before we left the store, Nick decided he HAD TO HAVE another fishy, and looks at me with those beautiful big brown eyes, pleading, "PWEEEESE?" He, of course, has picked out an exotic salt water fish that costs nearly $30, and my attempts to explain why it can't live in our little tank fall on deaf ears.

Somehow, the offer to buy a few snails saves the day. We used to have two snails in our tank but they apparently weren't as hardy as the fish (even Ol' One Eye). And while I got a few comments on that weekly winners post on how clean our fish tank seemed to be, its far from the truth. (The camera was just focused on the snails so you couldn't see the algae growing in the foreground.) It had been awhile since we had something that would eat that algae, so we made a grand total purchase that Saturday of $4.81 on two snails - one large and brown, the other small and yellow. All I knew about them was that the kid working at the fish store said they could live in a fresh water tank with goldfish. I was sold.

Now, a few days before I took those pictures we noticed a third snail, the size of a pencil eraser. This one was brown, too, and we figured him for a stowaway. Ha! Cool. Free snail.

Then the big guy does his weird dance that mesmerizes me, makes me forget the laundry (doesn't take much, yes, I know) and makes me wonder whether the thing has outgrown his shell or was doing some funky mating dance.

Now, Wikipedia being the all knowing and all powerful source it is, I read up on little brown and yellow freshwater goldfish tank snails. It seems they do get it on and lay eggs which go on to hatch. (Wikipedia did not, however, have an entry on funky weird snail mating dances. I have some work to do after I finish this post.)

Guess what we found today?


A big brown snail, a little yellow snail and SIX little teensie weensie brown snails. You can see three of them (and the aforementioned algae) in the picture above.

Detail of the above photo

Dang. I think my snails are gettin busy more often than I am.


Melissa said...

I think the picture of ol one eye is a little confusing to me. I really cant make out head or tails on him. Congrats on the new addtions to your tank!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! So now what do you have to do with them? I'm assuming you are now officially a Snail breeder!

I can only keep 7 fish in my tank at one time - do you have the same problem?

Vodka Mom said...

Maybe if I get "busy" I'll be able to get some damn work done!!

Love the shot of One-Eye!!!

Kim H. said...

Um, cute reproducing snails. I did think I read somewhere that they can get out of hand real quick...if you know what I you might want to keep your snail population in check - or mr cyclops fish might get a little crowded. That's all I'm sayin'.

Kim said...

Hmm..what kind of food are you keeping?? LOL..

I love the one eye..kinda gross but cool.. :)


BusyDad said...

Those snails should get a job, so they're too busy to get it on, and then I will feel better about my own life.

Blarney said...

My son has a fish tank. We call it the tank of death. Haven't had any deaths in a while (3 weeks); I've been actually following the Fish Whispers' (pet store owner) instructions this time. We'll see how long that lasts.
Stoping in from WI Blog Network. Have a great day!

Kat said...

Dude! You better catch up! lol Glad someone is getting some livin in the fish tank :)