A losing battle
The new year started with a death.. not something major but surely the elders in the family would have said "that is a bad omen".
Well, the Black Molly that lived for more than 3 years in our tank (kid you not) reached god on New Years day.
That meant a trip to the Pet store to get the last remaining fish some company. We bought a male and female Yellow mollies. The store also had a few baby black mollys which they threw in for free and the kids being kids were just thrilled to have more than one or two old slow moving fish in the tank.
As it so happened the bag with the fishes had a small snail! I never realized it.
Jr. who has very sharp eyes said "you know there is a sea snail that came with the bag. it is okay because they live in the water. our class aquarium had a sea snail". I questioned that saying "sea water is salty. this is a fresh water tank. I doubt it" and she said it was a freshwater sea snail at which point I realized that we need to fact check Jr. much like we need to fact check the Politicians in Washington. They will say whatever they have to, in order to get what they want!
Jr. pointed it out to me and this lazy thing on the bottom of the tank (smaller than a dime) did not seem to pose a threat to the fish. So I told Jr. and the little one that the snail stays till the next tank cleaning session at which point it will have to leave the tank.
Yesterday morning we went to feed the fish and found the entire walls of the tank full of black moving dots! There were hundreds of baby sea snails, if that is what they are called.
Within 24 hours some of these babies were no longer babies. they were practically the same size as the original snail and some of them started to climb the walls above the water level. Worried about a snail invasion in the house, we called the local Pet Store and the lady said "just change out the water, carefully clean everything in your tank and put it back and they will be gone"
Me : are you sure there are no microscopic eggs in the water? Am I going to be cleaning this out every alternate day?
Cust.Rep : No Sir. Just clean it out, scrub all your plants, gravel etc. and you should be fine.
So the evening was spent on cleaning, scrubbing, practically boiling the gravel in the bathroom under the hottest water available in our hot water faucet and guess what?
We put a handful of gravel back into the tank and out come two really tiny snails! Now the tank is practically empty with no decor and a few gravel stone and marbles.
The plan was to go to the store tomorrow and ask for free gravel and replacement decorations! After some internet reading it appears that there are tricks we can do with warm lettuce leaves and salt water soaking of gravel that can eliminate the problem.
Have never seen anything this scary. Saw the impact of unchecked breeding firsthand..
On the bright side, learning how to take close up videos of the fishes by using a macro lens and manually focusing on them by putting the lens practically against the glass.
It is a true test of lighting optimization!