We decided to name all the snails Albert except for one who we called Albert. Remarkably eighteen out of the twenty are still alive and the two that died were probably dead already – one had a nasty dent in its shell and one was, well, quite literally just a shell. Although the fish have shown interest in them, Klutz and Schmuck are as their names suggest rather stupid whereas we seem to have bought the most intelligent snails to even walk… slither… trundle along the planet. The snails, which are hermaphrodites (not asexual as I earlier suggested), have laid eggs but the fish are at least more cunning that stationary spawn and these have got gobbled up.
As for the functionality of our snail population, our tank has gone from being lined with a thick layer of green algae to being spotlessless clean in the space of a week. We thought it would take a while – naturally these things move at… well, snail’s pace.