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 Ramshorn snails in the classroom?

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sarah321
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PostSubject: Ramshorn snails in the classroom?   Fri May 08, 2009 9:58 am

Hi there,

I'm a primary school teacher and am currently teaching 'ponds and pond life' as my topic. I would like to bring some pond life into the classroom and was thinking Ramshorn snails would be a good option - though I must admit I don't know very much about them.

I was thinking of keeping the snails in a small plastic fish tank and keep them in the class for a couple of days to observe them before setting them free in my parent's pond. Does this sound ok? Is it ok not to have a filter? Is it safe for the children to handle the snails? Are the snails going to be happy? What do I feed them? Do I just fill up the tank with tap water? Will they be ok if I release them into my parent's pond (there are no fish in the pond, just frogs and plants etc).

Any help would be greatly appreciated, much thanks,

Sarah
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PostSubject: Re: Ramshorn snails in the classroom?   Fri May 08, 2009 10:37 am

Ramshorns are fine to keep in aquaria and are about as hardy as they come!

You can get away with not having a filter if you are only keeping them for a few days; any longer than a couple of weeks and it would be best to have a filter in there (only a tiny one) for the snail's benefit. Children can handle the snails, but only whilst the snails are in the water. It is probably best to use an ordinary garden snail (or a giant african land snail for the size impact!) for this purpose.

If you are keeping them for a few days then there is no real need to feed them anything special; if you just put some pond week in with them from the pond that you get the snails from then they will just munch on that. Again, for longer periods of time it is best to feed them small amounts of sinking catfish pellets.

I woudent fill the tank with tap water, you can just use water from the same pond that the snails are from. Or, if you are buying your ramshorns, get some water from your parent's pond to fill the tank with. This will not have any chlorine in it which will harm snails.

You can release them into your parent's pond if you like, they will be quite happy there.
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PostSubject: Re: Ramshorn snails in the classroom?   Fri May 08, 2009 2:52 pm

Excellent, thank you very much for your quick reply, much appreciated.
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