Snail Watching

As you may recall, our fish tank has been recently invaded by an army of snails. We removed the 5 or 6 snails and thought we'd handled the problem. Nuh-uh. They're back. In force. And we think this time they're mad.

This morning I counted 15 itsy-bitsy snails crawling over rocks and logs and clinging to the glass walls of the tank. I've abandoned my guilt over killing them. Now they make my skin crawl. We've been reading up on how to handle our snail problem. Last resort is to empty the tank and start anew. This may cause trauma to our fish so we'd prefer to avoid that. Right now we're opting for a two-pronged approach.

Method #1 is to put a piece of lettuce in a small cup. The snails are attracted to the lettuce and sit on it and munch, allowing us to pick the leaf up in the morning and carry snails out of the tank.

Method #2 involves us reaching into the tank and squishing any snail on sight.

After dinner this evening, Blair and I enjoyed a little snail watching. It's harder than you think. The snails are about the size of a quarter of a grain of rice. You can stare into the tank and see none. Only when you look closely do you notice they're covering a rock, or three are inching up a wall.

My job is to spot them and Blair's job is to squish. As I was moving around the outside of the tank, I commented to Blair that my personality is well-suited to this type of work.

"Yeah. Kill 'em!" he said in his high Dena-imitating voice.

"No," I said. "What I mean is--hold on, there's a snail. Under the rock. Smash it.--What I mean is the seek and find suits me. It's a challenge."

We had agreed to watch a movie after dinner but, after washing our hands, discovered neither of us felt much like sitting in front of the TV.

"Snail killing is kind of a mood killer," I remarked.

"I don't know about that," said Blair. "I'm feeling pretty virile after smooshing all those snails."

That's a quote. I do so love that man of mine. Happy Friday the 13th!