Origin: Malaysia(?). The snail is now widespread, and occurs among other in Israel, and the USA.
Etymology: tuberculata(L.); named after the shape of the shell
Melanoides tuberculatus, Müller, 1774. Nerita tuberculata, Thiara tuberculata,
T. tuberculatus, Melania tuberculatus.
First European import: Unknown
Description: See picture(s)
Care:No particular requirements. These snails do well in every tank. They are nocturnal, and come out during the night. During the day they hide in the gravel, and continue the search for food there. Because of this, these snails are beneficial to the aquarium, first of all they stir up the gravel, which prevents clogging. Secondly, they will eat food remains that would otherwise decay, and pollute the water.
Feeding: The Malayan snail feeds on detritus, algae, and food remains. When hungry, sometimes plants are eaten, but the damage to the plants is minimal.
Size: Up to 3.5 cm
Breeding: Live bearing snail.
How to get rid of them: Malayan snails can sometimes become a plague
, if too much food is present in the aquarium. Plagues can easily be controlled, by removing the snails from the glass in the morning just before the light switches on. To completely rid an aquarium of these snails, adding Botia species or Tetraodon species are recommended. There are also chemicals available that will rid any aquarium of all snails. The thing to watch out for with Malayan snails is that they have the ability to completely close their shell with a 'valve'(?). If they die, the shell will be closed. After 2-3 weeks, the valve will start to rot, and the contents of the snail house(By now a rotting mass, filled with poisonous waste products) will enter the aquarium, and if large numbers of these snails were present, they might pollute the tank to such a degree, that problems will start to occur.
Sexual dimorphism: Hermaphrodite
Prices: Usually these snails can be obtained for free from shops and fellow hobbyists.
Picture references:All pictures: E. Naus
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