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Gary's had baby Gary's AIBU to keep this as my DS pet?

(26 Posts)
BloominMarvelous Thu 06-Jul-17 17:55:35

A few weeks ago my son was given a starter aquarium for a birthday present, we set it up and went and bought 5 minnows and the water stuff etc. DS who is six loved it and was very proud of his minnows his new pets to call his 'own'. Next day took him to school, came back and the minnows were dead, took minnows and water sample to the aquarium shop who tested it and deemed the water 'toxic'. Had to tell DS who was devasted (he has ASD so didn't take it well). Anyway I'd bought even more stuff from aquarium place to detoxify the tank, fresh water etc but kept the plants as they looked ok then left it a week as they suggested and took another water sample. This time it turned Ribena coloured and was worse than before, did exactly as they said too. Anyway again took a very sad little boy home and we decided we may have a rethink about the tank, I left it alone for a couple of days before deciding to change water again when I noticed a teeny tiny snail in the corner about 2mm long. DS loved it called him Gary (Spongebob fan), 2 weeks later he's nearly 5mm long and now we have counted 5 baby Gary's going up and down the sides, I have a very happy DS who has named them all and best of all they were free and I don't even have to feed them. Seems they don't mind toxic water!

Made me think AIBU to let him keep these as his beloved pets, by the way how long do they live? And has anyone else out there on MN got accidental pets too?

x2boys Thu 06-Jul-17 17:59:16

no idea but garys been a busy snail how did the snail get there in the first place?

indigox Thu 06-Jul-17 18:01:49

Surely they're going to need fed at some point?

BallOrAerosol Thu 06-Jul-17 18:02:05

Are they real plants? Gary + Co probably arrived on them . Probably not if they are plastic plants though. Anyway, YANBU, hope your DS enjoys his new pets!

BallOrAerosol Thu 06-Jul-17 18:02:40

You can drop a tiny bit of fish food in to feed them.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Thu 06-Jul-17 18:03:24

Eggs were probably on your plants. Maybe you could get some bigger aquatic snails if that seems more successful. They sell them at a decent size (like maybe a strawberry) in our aquatics place.

goodnessidontknow Thu 06-Jul-17 18:04:27

The snail eggs would have been in the plants and they tolerate high amonia levels far better than fish. The only problem you may have is being over run so you may have to have a subtle clear out every so often! Otherwise, if DC is happy go for it. The snails will eat the algae so no need to feed either grin

JemDoughnut Thu 06-Jul-17 18:06:06

Some snails can reproduce asexually so do not need a mate, so you might end up with 100s of Garys!

Sundayspilot Thu 06-Jul-17 18:06:50

Aquaculture is a hobby of mine. Hope you don't mind me butting in. Snail eggs are often brought into a tank in plants or clinging to rocks.

Apple snails can be great fun in an aquarium. You'll have best success with the largest tank you can house as water quality will be more stable. Test your water daily for the first few weeks. You may need frequent water changes to avoid ammonia buildup. And definitely feed the snails.

Have fun. Snails are great!

CaptainHarville Thu 06-Jul-17 18:07:37

You could end up with loads if you're not careful. We have a tank with hundreds. Does your tank have a filter?

We've had surprise pets in our marine tank including corals and bristle worms.

Sundayspilot Thu 06-Jul-17 18:08:25

Forgot to mention most tanks don't have enough algae to keep multiple snails fed so purchase food for them smile

UpsyDaisyluvsIgglePiggle Thu 06-Jul-17 18:27:12

We've had an accidental starfish in our marine tank. Arrived in some of the live rock we bought. Our snails also bred too and we have a baby snail roaming the tank. He's cute.

BloominMarvelous Thu 06-Jul-17 18:32:01

Yes our tank has a tiny filter, he's so pleased with them and as they're so tiny he has great fun trying to find them one way to keep him occupied its a bit like a live Where's Wally. And yes they were real plants, will the food I bought for the minnows do if I drop the odd flake in now and again? By the way next door have a few small ponds I've noticed snails in, if I get overrun can I transfer a few to these?

user1480334601 Thu 06-Jul-17 18:38:33

My sister had a fish tank and the snails if i remember correctly live off the algae on the tank walls (caused by plants) so they might be perfectly happy without even fish food.

They're likely even better than fish for tour DS too as it's very easy for fish to go mental on the breeding front and be overcrowded whereas snails are slower and need less space etc

Boring12 Thu 06-Jul-17 18:40:38

Probably be best to get algae wafers for them. Just a tiny bit every few days and gravel clean the tank every week. If you keep it clean enough you won't be over run by them. Don't think they will survive in a pond when it gets cooler though. I used to keep them (but to feed to my puffer fish blush ) they can grow to a good size! Store bought snails are more sensitive to the water, so definatley get that sorted first if you do.

DonaldStott Thu 06-Jul-17 18:45:36

Same happened to us. Must have been eggs in the live plant. 2 snails appeared from nowhere, next thing, saw the bonking. I felt like david Attenborough. Couple of weeks later, we have about 15 small snails, living quite happily off the algae, in harmony with our little neon tetras.

The lady at pets at home said once they are big enough, you can just put the outside.

BloominMarvelous Thu 06-Jul-17 18:56:34

I'm finding them very therapeutic, after I've dropped him off at school, I go in and check on them and find myself staring into the tank for ages.

Now serious advice as I've never had a tank before how's the best way to clean it without killing everything! And whats the best water stuff for very very hard water because thats what we have here. I've also got the 'good bacteria' which I add a teeny amount every day, is that right?

user1489434024 Thu 06-Jul-17 20:01:25

Don't buy any special food for them. Just chuck on some cucumber and weigh it down with a fork or two.

Water would have been toxic due to adding fish prior to completion of the nitrogen cycle. Very irresponsible of the pet shop to see you fish with a brand new tank x

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 06-Jul-17 20:15:23

We have snails in our fish tank too! I thought they must have come with the weeds. We just have one fish now (Hammer fish ) after Lord Death sadly died, so the snails keep him company. Doubtful

BloominMarvelous Thu 06-Jul-17 20:22:32

I wasn't best pleased with the aquarium place after they said this is quite common fish dying when setting up a tank they're even known as 'sacrificial fish'. I wasn't going to tell my DS that he'd spent his birthday money on sacrificial fish!

worridmum Thu 06-Jul-17 20:36:17

Please for the love of god dont release them into the wild unless they are a native species as you can cause massive damage to local wildlife (not even into your own pond) just look at what happened when some bright spark released amierican crayfish in a stream our own native species is on the verge of extinction please please dont be that stupid

worridmum Thu 06-Jul-17 20:38:40

Or even the monster goldfish in canada which is currently destorying the native ecosystem in the great lakes (sorry for rant it just annoys me so people do such damaging things to the ecosystem)

Justhadmyhaircut Thu 06-Jul-17 20:40:08

Op keep your windows and curtains closed or various neighbours /delivery workers are going to catch you chatting to snails!! Not a good look i would imagine.

BloominMarvelous Thu 06-Jul-17 21:03:23

Justhadmyhaircut I know but thankfully I live in the sticks and well maybe they are my only friends, I don't get to talk to many people, I even welcomed the Jehovah's for a friendly chat, 3 years on and they still remember me when they came calling, my husband answered and they mentioned my 'friendliness'. I'm always keen for philosophical debates with strangers!

Worridmum don't worry I'm not that daft, but I do think they are the bog standard brown native but will check before I do something stupid in the future, for now I'm likely to just buy a bigger tank when I need to.

perper Thu 06-Jul-17 21:27:47

Don't try to keep fish in the tank. 'Starter aquariums' are an absolute con sold by pet shops to make money- they are cruel to the fish and there is no chance of them ever being truly successful as the water turns deadly within hours or days and the nitrogen cycle can't work. People are pleased when a goldfish survives a year in them when in reality goldfish should live for upwards of 15 years. sad Fish keeping is surprisingly complex- lovely when you know about the nitrogen cycle and have a proper tank set up, but it's not nearly as simple as pet shops lead people on to believe! (They are at fault here, not you, so hope I don't sound judgey).

Snails might work though if it's not absolutely tiny- keep the filter going and get some aquarium soil to plant live plants in and you can set up a lovely looking tank smile I love snails so think it's a great idea! grin

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