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Feeding Pond Snails To Dwarf Puffer Fish. Is This Safe?

Author Topic: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?  (Read 3009 times)

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Offline Fiona

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Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« on: May 06, 2015, 03:00:14 PM »
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I was just wondering if this would be safe to do? I've run out of what I would call 'common snails' and I was looking on ebay to buy some BUT i suddenly thought that I have a pond full of snails in the back garden. My main concern would be disease. Duckweed turned up on its own so I would be a little worried in case something else like disease has been brought in by the frogs and newts. I had sticklebacks turn up although I haven't seen any this year so far.

Is there any way I could 'clean' the pond snails just to be safe?

Offline Richard W

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Re: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 03:58:01 PM »
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I very much doubt that any disease could be brought in by snails unless they came from something like a goldfish pond, but even then I don't know of anything. You could always keep them in a bucket of conditioned water for a few days.

Offline Sue

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Re: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 04:05:55 PM »
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When I first started keeping fish, snails were a very big no-no in aquariums. Why? Because they brought parasites into the tank. This wasn't just snails from the pond in the back garden but all and every snail from wherever they came.
No-one kept pet snails back then, the very idea would have been laughable. Was this fear of snails justified back then, or was it yet another old fishkeeper's tale?

Offline Richard W

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Re: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 07:06:17 PM »
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There might be snails that are intermediate hosts to fish parasites, but they would have to come from waters that had fish in them.

To me, there are many "fears" that are put about that have little or no basis in reality, often based on incomplete or misunderstood knowledge. I consider that setting up and maintaining your tank properly and not introducing diseased fish constitute 99% of the battle to avoid problems.

Offline Sue

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Re: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 07:14:31 PM »
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I seem to remember from the dim and distant past being told in biology lessons that some human parasite had one of its intermediate stages in snails. Was it liver flukes? It stuck in my mind because the life cycle went something like host 1 - snails; host 2 - sheep or cattle which ate the snails while grazing; host 3 - humans who ate infested meat. The teacher said that a lot of farmers were keeping ducks in the same field as their cattle/sheep to eat the snails before the livestock could.

The clutter my mind has accumulated over the years!

Offline Richard W

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Re: Feeding pond snails to dwarf puffer fish. Is this safe?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 07:32:26 PM »
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Your liver fluke cycle is more or less correct, but it's usually just cow/sheep to snail, then to cow/sheep again etc. The usual snail host in Britain is actually more of a marsh snail than a true aquatic and is generally found in small water bodies that dry up regularly. Farmers today give their stock antihelminthics to combat this. Unfortunately these also tend to kill any insects that subsequently develop in the animal's dung, hence removing a very valuable food source for many birds and bats.

Bilharzia is a related fluke that affects humans in Africa, maybe also elsewhere in the tropics?

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