Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snaily Snorkel

OK. So we are the proud owners of two snails and seven guppies. And let me tell you, those snails are so cute! One is a black mystery snail, the other is a golden mystery snail, or as I often call it, the orange one. Then I hear a chorus of "It is NOT ORANGE Mommy! It's yellow!" Like, get it right, would ya! I still think it's orange, thank you very much. A nice yellowish orange. In any case, we are working on names. The orange/yellow one is Frisky. He's the more active of the two and wow! you should see him take off across the tank. It's like watching a marathon. With one contestant. Going very very very slowly. But for a snail, he's really going fast! Really.

As for the name of the black one, it's still being debated. Some possibilities include Black Beard, Fang, Mr. Sinister, Cumulonimbus and Snailinator. However, we can't get everyone to agree on one name. With each name someone is extremely opposed to it. So the search continues. I'll call him Mr. Sinister for now.

Mr Sinister is more laid back than Frisky. (A laid back snail? Really?) He tends to lurk in dark corners under the edges of the fake coral and under the fake plants. He prefers to maintain a low profile. While Frisky is zooming around the tank like a balloon loosing air, Mr. Sinister is lurking behind the coral, peering out with his beady little snail eyes and making plans to take over the world! I believe he is working on becoming the 'Plankton' of the tank.

Watch out Frisky! Watch out Small, Crooked Tail, Guppy 1, Guppy 2, Guppy 3, Guppy 4 and Guppy 5! (As you can see, we were not very creative in naming the guppies. I mean, we can't even tell them apart, other than the very small one and the very crooked one.)

A very interesting feature of mystery snails, and I don't know if you know this, (really, why would you) is their little antennae-like thing that they unfurl and stick out of the water. It's called a siphon and it acts as a breathing tube, a snaily snorkel if you will. They have both gills and a lung so they can stay underwater or come up to the surface for air if necessary. When they come to the surface, they suck air in through the siphon. Very cool.

So anyway, we moved them from the too small tank to the 10 gallon aquarium late last week. They spent the first couple of days just sitting in the middle of the tank. Occasionally they would raise up their little siphon (snorkel) and reach into the air. I imagine them thinking something like this:

"Air. I need air! Where's the surface?" "Nope. Not there."

And later:

"Air. I need air! Can't reach! Where is the air?!?!" "Nope. Still not there."

Eventually, they started to move around a bit more and even found the sides which they quickly scaled. I was relieved. I'm sure moving from the tiny, overcrowded, cloudy tank they were in, to the nice big one with clean water was probably a bit of a shock, but they seem to have adjusted well.

Now I'm just waiting for Mr. Sinister to make his move.


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