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Thread: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    I'm in the middle of stocking a Native Texas paludarium. I've discovered that Armadillidium vulgare is actually not native to texas, and i have had additional trouble figuring out another candidate to maintain the tank. I thought about trying to culture and introduce snails from my backyard. Thoughts and advice?
    Can snails act as a feeder for small animals? (no creature has been selected yet, but it will be collected with a hunting and fishing license with the reptile/amphibian endorsment) will they clean up in the way that an isopod might?

    FYI, i have tried googling and searching the forums, but i cannot find the specific answers to my questions.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Which region of Texas are you modeling your biome after? Arid like Southwest Texas or humid like south east Texas

  4. #3

    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Which region of Texas are you modeling your biome after? Arid like Southwest Texas or humid like south east Texas
    Humid south east. Definitely freshwater wetlands. Iím actually using collections from Addicks Reservoir near Houston.

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Since your building a wet biome there are quite a few species of isopods that are appropriate. My advise would be to check out glass box tropicals. They carry quite a few different species with thorough descriptions. If you’re going for a strict “natives only” only biome you may have to do some research or collect native species if alloweds by law. I’d would advise against introducing snails though. They carry a large host of parasites and they will feed on your plants. You may want to consider springtails (collemboa) they are easy to culture and are too small for most vertebrates to feed on.

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  7. #5
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Since your building a wet biome there are quite a few species of isopods that are appropriate. My advise would be to check out glass box tropicals. They carry quite a few different species with thorough descriptions. If youíre going for a strict ďnatives onlyĒ only biome you may have to do some research or collect native species if alloweds by law. Iíd would advise against introducing snails though. They carry a large host of parasites and they will feed on your plants. You may want to consider springtails (collemboa) they are easy to culture and are too small for most vertebrates to feed on.
    Large snails won't necessarily feed on your plants. I have Large Land Snails in a tank and they like carrots and broccoli and actually fruits and vegetables. My plants have been fine.

    The snails have a parasite that may effect the frogs and give them a disease. There is a study done that they carry a disease that effects amphibians but it's activated when the birds that eat them poop the snails into the water where the amphibians breed.

    I do not know if they carry the parasite and can pass it on to the frogs without being killed. I am going to get the native tree frog that lives in the same tank as the snails check by a vet to see if he has an odd disease. If he does then yes they can catch it. I became aware of this after I kept him in with the snails and there is nowhere for either of them to go as my quarantine tanks are filled up currently so they will be neighbors indefinitely.

    Ido not think that you should use them. What species are you considering?

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Thanks guys. I've gone ahead and made plant collections. The paludarium is finished. ill figure out how to get the video up in a bit. I made sure that there wasn't too many hitch hikers by doing a rinse before planting. The whole thing is getting aclimatized now.
    I decided to forego the snails. I am now culturing the Arm. vulgare, since it seems they are so pervasive that i should just consider them naturalized if not native.
    Dan, I did try to research the native isopods, but by my reckoning none are suitble for the purpose. I will try to collect some aquatic specimens soon. Thanks for being aware on the legal front. I'm a massive proponent of that. I have a hunting and fishing license and have inquired to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department as to what is permissible. Also, it is apart of general education in texas to know the in's-and-out's of collecting plants. Every single kid in highschool has to participate in a wildflower project where the collect specimens for biology. Its a huge deal here to know how to treat the wildlife.
    Im rambling lol

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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew



  10. #8
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    That’s a nice build. I’m sure it will look great once it grows in. That’s also interesting that Texas takes such a strong stance regarding conservation through education. I live 15 miles from New York City and the attitude here towards wildlife and the environment in general is to fear it, bulldoze it and throw up 3 floor condos on it.

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Thatís a nice build. Iím sure it will look great once it grows in. Thatís also interesting that Texas takes such a strong stance regarding conservation through education. I live 15 miles from New York City and the attitude here towards wildlife and the environment in general is to fear it, bulldoze it and throw up 3 floor condos on it.
    I'm actually really surprised to hear that about New York. There are strict regulations on the wildlife in PA. I heard a lot of good things about New York maybe things have changed in the last 10 years?

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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    To put in in perspective I live in one of the most heavily polluted areas of New York. Amphibian decline has been so substantial in my county over the past twenty years you are lucky to see a frog in a preserve let alone in your yard. Between manufacturing, industrial runoff, antiquated sewage systems and new high rise construction the amount of pollution here is astronomical. DEC also advises that consuming freshwater fish in my region be limited to one meal a month and that pregnant women avoid it altogether. We experience disasterous algae blooms in the Long Island sound as well as along the south shore due to excess amounts on nitrogen stemming from untreated sewage contamination. There is almost no virgin land here and local politicians are more concerned with development than conservation. Other parts of New York are different I’m sure but this is what I see first hand. My local water district lies within an area that was once used by the navy for manufacturing. The water is so contamined they sued the navy for 5 million dollars to shoulder the cleanup and to drill new wells. It’s not so much conservation laws it’s all the acts that undermine conservation in general

  13. #11

    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    We have similar issues here when it comes to the actions that are physically undertaken, but there were identified many years ago; the only big moves to help were in the spheres of education and expanded legislation for hunting and fishing. Development is still a huge problem that is getting worse. Like people build neighborhoods INSIDE the reservoir wedge!?!?

    thanjs guys. I’ll be hunting around for a small shrimp now to approximate something like an amano. I’m already anticipating needing to keep the algae down proactively

  14. #12
    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Quote Originally Posted by BufoFett View Post
    Iíll be hunting around for a small shrimp now to approximate something like an amano. Iím already anticipating needing to keep the algae down proactively

    You can use ghost shrimp (also called grass shrimp) they are native to the southern US.



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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    You can use ghost shrimp (also called grass shrimp) they are native to the southern US.
    Are those the ones that make the little mud chimneys? if so, how do I safely obtain? (I'll double check legality before i attempt a harvest)

  16. #14
    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selecting a Clean-up Crew

    Not sure about the mud chimneys, but they are sold in most fish stores as feeders.


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