Old 30th September 2008, 23:18   #1
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Default Tadpole Snail - Physa Acuta

Common Names: Bladder snail, Tadpole snail
Scientific Name: Physa acuta
Maximum Size: Maximum of 1/2” (1 to 2 cm)
Temperature Range: 20°C to 28°C They can live in tropical and coldwater tanks. I find that they will lay more eggs in tropical aquaria.
Water Parameters: These snails prefer alkaline water with a calcium supplement or other source of calcium added/present. If these two elements are not correct then their shells may start to dissolve resulting in eventual death of the snail.
Ease of Keeping: These snails are extremely easy to keep and can be kept in aquaria of 5 litres or less (snail only tank). These snails are generally introduced to the aquaria as pest snails (introduced as eggs/live snails on plants) although they can be beneficial to the aquarium.
Origin: UNKNOWN
Behaviour: These snails can have a lot of character. They can be regularly seen sitting on the shell of other snails ‘hitching a lift’. In still water conditions, they will also glide underneath the water surface.
Feeding: The snails will feed on a variety of algae/vegetable matter. The snails will enjoy a slice of cucumber (waited down) and left overnight and also algae supplements (commonly known as algae tabs). I have found that five of these snails will easily clear a medium sized rock of algae in less than 48 hours.
There are many sources on the internet that say different things about whether bladder/tadpole will eat live plants. As their reputation as a pest snail suggests, they will eat some live plants, but not all.
Ease of Breeding: These snails are extremely easy to breed and will do so in the aquarium without any attention/special conditions.
Sexing the Snail: These snails are hermaphrodites and therefore carry both male and female organs.
Breeding: These snails will breed more if the aquarium is overfed. These snails will lay eggs on any hard surface and the baby snails will develop inside the egg. They will then hatch between 48 and 168 hours after being layed. Eggs are small jelly like spheres no greater than 1mm in diameter. The developing snail should be visible inside the eggs as a small white dot.
Other Information: If this snail becomes a pest then this may be due to overfeeding. Reduce the amount of food being fed and the snails should reduce the amount of eggs they lay.
The most reliable way of eliminating these snails is to invest in a snail trap. This is then placed in the bottom of the aquarium with some cucumber/algae tablets inside and left overnight. If this process is regularly repeated then these snails can be virtually eliminated.

Photo Credit: Craig Woodland (comp.wiz)

The radula (teeth) of the snail can be made out.


Tadpole snail 'hitching a lift' on an apple snail:


Craig Woodland (comp.wiz)
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Latin names always start with UPPER case and follow with lower case. Always 'Garra rufa' and never 'Garra Rufa' - http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWlatin.html

Last edited by Ade "Wolfenrook" Dunn; 8th November 2008 at 10:57.
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