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Experience with Mieniplotia scabra syn. Thiara scabra?


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I'm searching for interesting snails to add to an aquarium.  I like the look of pagoda snails (Brotia pagodula), but the primary information posted about them seems to be "my pagoda snail died". 

In my search for something potentially hardier, I have come across Mieniplotia scabra syn. Thiara scabra.  They look a bit like pagoda snails, but they are more closely related to MTS (Melanoides tuberculata).  Does anyone have an experience with these?  Essentially I want to know:

1) How hardy are they?

2) Are they good algae cleaners? (Don't care if they eat plants as the tank they are going in doesn't have any.)

3) Do they breed like MTS?  That's a fear.

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience keeping this interesting little snail.  Thanks!

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2 hours ago, OnlyGenusCaps said:

3) Do they breed like MTS?  That's a fear.

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience keeping this interesting little snail.  Thanks!

I don't have any experience but it appears they have been introduced to southern florida and have become established in a few locations. I came across this remark on the web page while I was looking for a photo of these snails...It seems they may breed just like MTS, and I think would breed to the level of their food source.

"Ecology: This snail lives in freshwater streams (Maciolek and Ford, 1987) and coastal brackish waters (Sri-aroon et al., 2004). Reproduction is parthenogenic (Thompson et al., 2009).  Embryos develop into a shelled juvenile in a brood pouch fed by a yolk sac and a placenta-like epithelium (Glaubrecht, 2006).  They have few young, but are well developed when they hatch (Glaubrecht, 2006).

Remarks: Because of its mode of reproduction, a single specimen can start a population (Thompson et al., 2009)."

 

(emphasis mine) 

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7 hours ago, H.K.Luterman said:

keeps pagoda snails, and might be able to offer some advice should you decide on keeping them

Yup, I'm following thread.

And I've seen that website too, @BIG GREEN

I know there is some information on pagoda snails out there, I was hoping to find someone here who might have had experience with M. scabra.  Or perhaps the related Thiara winteri (a.k.a. spiky MTS)?

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

 

On 5/10/2021 at 6:14 PM, OnlyGenusCaps said:

I'm searching for interesting snails to add to an aquarium.  I like the look of pagoda snails (Brotia pagodula), but the primary information posted about them seems to be "my pagoda snail died". 

In my search for something potentially hardier, I have come across Mieniplotia scabra syn. Thiara scabra.  They look a bit like pagoda snails, but they are more closely related to MTS (Melanoides tuberculata).  Does anyone have an experience with these?  Essentially I want to know:

1) How hardy are they?

2) Are they good algae cleaners? (Don't care if they eat plants as the tank they are going in doesn't have any.)

3) Do they breed like MTS?  That's a fear.

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience keeping this interesting little snail.  Thanks!

My apologies for the l-a-t-e reply! I stashed this away and then, forgot about it! I am very behind on my journaling, so I need to get caught up. 

At any rate, I originally had 3 Brotia Pagodula Pagoda Snails. Then through separate events, I am down to one. The first loss I chronicled in my journal. The second loss occurred after a disastrous air supply failure, which also took the lives of a few fish. 😢 I believe I have learned something from these failures, which I will post in my journal.

Skipping to the end, I am beginning to think that oxygenation and water temperature (which impacts O2 saturation) is the key to keeping Pagodas happy, more than water flow. The other critical factor is/are a mysterious water parameter(s) I have yet to identify.

In the same tank, I keep an assortment of Stenomelania spp snails. They are thriving and growing. 

I am sorry to tell you that I have no experience with Mieniplotia scabra (syn. Thiara scabra) BTW, I think it is important to consider that despite the common name of Pagoda Tiara, Thiara Pagoda snails are pretty distantly related to Brotia Pagoda snails on the phylogenetic tree. For that matter, Thiara Pagoda snails are not closely related to Melanoides tuberculata (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) either.

FWIW, in my experience, how closely related animals are on a phylogenetic tree does not correlate well to close similarity of environmental preferences, aka care requirements. At any rate, I will soon be updating my journal. I just wanted to chime in before I forgot, again! 🙄 Apologies for the long silence!

Edited by Anita
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2 hours ago, Anita said:

My apologies for the l-a-t-e reply!

No need to apologize for anything.  Thanks for taking the time to reply!

2 hours ago, Anita said:

Skipping to the end, I am beginning to think that oxygenation and water temperature (which impacts O2 saturation) is the key to keeping Pagodas happy, more than water flow. The other critical factor is/are a mysterious water parameter(s) I have yet to identify.

Seems they offer quite a challenge!  Perhaps more than I'd anticipated. 

 

2 hours ago, Anita said:

BTW, I think it is important to consider that despite the common name of Pagoda Tiara, Thiara Pagoda snails are pretty distantly related to Brotia Pagoda snails on the phylogenetic tree. For that matter, Thiara Pagoda snails are not closely related to Melanoides tuberculata (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) either.

Correct.  I understand that very well.  I do appreciate the link though!!!

2 hours ago, Anita said:

FWIW, in my experience, how closely related animals are on a phylogenetic tree does not correlate well to close similarity of environmental preferences, aka care requirements.

I would not have assumed so.  I live where it can regularly get to -30C in the winter and while Pinus resinosa grows quite happily here, despite their relatively close phylogenetic relationship, I would not anticipate that Pinus tropicalis would do particularly well here. 

2 hours ago, Anita said:

At any rate, I will soon be updating my journal.

Wonderful!  I look forward to that.

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Oh good! I wasn't sure I understood the initial comparison between the two species. So, my OCD self thought I should attempt to clarify. Haha, the perils of forum conversations. Thanks for being flexible! 😎

Quote

In my search for something potentially hardier, I have come across Mieniplotia scabra syn. Thiara scabra.  They look a bit like pagoda snails, but they are more closely related to MTS (Melanoides tuberculata).  Does anyone have an experience with these?  

 

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1 hour ago, Anita said:

Oh good! I wasn't sure I understood the initial comparison between the two species. So, my OCD self thought I should attempt to clarify. Haha, the perils of forum conversations.

Oh, it's all good.  You kindly replied, and were very helpful.  I attempted to explain that I understood aspects of what you were saying.  Against all odds, for me anyhow, it seems like I might have possibly accomplished that.  I'm quite appreciative of you caring enough to try to help people out, no matter their level of experience!  I see you. 

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Posted (edited)

I've missed this thread up until now,  I'm in the US and I have what I *think* are Melanoides Granifera which look extremely similar to Thiara Scabra.  The two species seem to get confused a lot as they have similar features and there's variation in coloration and patterning in both, so I might have Thiara- not sure.  EDIT- I just went and shrimp netted a couple of the snails I have that are breeding and they have the same shell shape and characteristic red wavy line coloration that run "lengthwise" from the edge of the shell to the tip which appears to be an near exact match the photos of Mieniplotia scabra in this document.  I'll add that I received them from a seller located in the region highlighted on the map as well.  Thanks @OnlyGenusCaps , I think I definitively know what I have now.

My experiences have been:

1) How hardy are they?

Average in my experience - They prefer harder less acidic water (the "thorns" on their shells will not form or will degrade and disappear in PH in the low 7's or below.  They are also burrowers and tunnelers- I rarely see them above the surface during daylight, but frequently see the substrate moving from them underneath it.  They don't eat plants,  but they will attack weak and wispy individual roots below and above the substrate. 

2) Are they good algae cleaners? (Don't care if they eat plants as the tank they are going in doesn't have any.)

They are great detritus cleaners (the top 3/4" of my Fluval substrate is free of mulm and any "gunk" between the pellets),  but like MTS, not good at algae on glass.  Their mouths are on a trunk like appendage similar to MTS and Rabbit snails,  so they "vacuum" up food rather than using rasping teeth (like Nerites) to separate food from flat surfaces.

3) Do they breed like MTS?  That's a fear.

They are slow growers (generally taking 4-6 months to sexually mature) and tend to have 4 or less offspring a month in optimal conditions.  The babies are *tiny* and tend to stay on or under the substrate until they get about the size of a dried pea.  I've found that they're fairly finicky about breeding conditions.  I have one tank where they breed all the time and I'm removing mature snails every 2-3 weeks,  2-3 tanks where they seem to keep a flat growth population, and 2-3 tanks where they never reproduce (MTS suffer the same fate in these tanks).  Same tank models, same water,  same substrate, similar plants in all tanks, cannot tell you why there are differences between them.

Happy to share you any more specific experiences if you still have questions.

 

Edited by NanoNano
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I should add that I had three Brotia Pagodula for a short while earlier this year.  Unfortunately they got lost in the US mail and arrived in the middle of a cold snap,  so they were alive,  but seemed to fail to thrive afterwards.   I think the longest one lived was 3 months.   They definitely need higher PH and water hardness,  good water movement, and natural wood features to feed on.  Their size and shell shape make them prone to get trapped in confined spaces (e.g. between decor and glass) so you have to be on the look out for that.  Mine seemed to be pretty shy- favoring being active in the dark and "buttoning up" if there were changes in lighting or strong vibration when their bodies were exposed.  I have several species of Rabbits across my tanks,  and they're far more forgiving in care and environment,  so I'd suggest keeping a few of them for awhile before jumping into the more delicate Pagodas.

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Should also also add that there is a species of Rabbit snails with Thiara type shells.  I've seen archived aqua bid auctions for them back from 10 or more years ago,  but no listings anywhere  that have been more recent than that.  I have a feeling that they are no longer wild collected and the captive population has died out.   If these ever show up again,  be prepared for me to bid *hard* on them . 

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Hi @NanoNano.  Thanks so much for the thorough replies!  You clearly have more experience with various snails than I.  I am starting to try to get a bit more advanced though.  I'm beginning to view snails as a feature of an aquarium rather than just a clean up crew, though I still want that function too.  Funny you mention rabbit snails as I now have a few on order, arriving tomorrow if the USPS can be believed.  I also got a few Colombian ram's horns (Marisa cornuarietis).  Not sure how well these will do with algae, but they sure look interesting!  I might hit you up with snail questions later.  Thanks for the offer!

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