Egg case hitchhiked in on a frag plug - what could it be/

DaJMasta

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I got a little frag of bubblegum digi in a trade of sorts and right before I dipped it, I spotted some grey-brown spots on the underside of the frag plug that looked like some kind of egg. I poked one with tweezers and it felt gelatinous, so I pulled one off and took a look under the microscope.

Whatever's in there is moving around, and best I can tell it's likely some kind of snail, there seem to be small shells with a fleshy thing sticking out of the opening, but right now they are still tiny - the whole egg case is around 2mm across, so each mystery creature is maybe 300um across.



Any guess of what it is?
 
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DaJMasta

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Qt, it's peaked my curiosity. I put the frag in a cup about half full of water, clamped the cup to the inside of my fry system without any real coral in it, and gave it some air for a bit of flow. The coral probably won't be happy in the low light, but I should have at least a few days to see if little things come swimming out.
 
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Frag came from my tank...these were new plugs left in the sand bed for a couple weeks.

I do have collinista snails in the tank and suspect that is what these are.

I'm also super curious to see what they become...these eggs are on my other frags I left in my sand bed. If they turn out to be collinista snails...I now have a factory!
 

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Here's a picture from another frag plug...

20220526_164914-01.jpeg
 
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DaJMasta

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Nothing hatched out so far, looking at the collonista snail pictures floating around the net - these seem a lot more full, but maybe that's just that they're closer to hatching.

I'll keep my eyes open for specks running around in the QT cup!
 

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Nothing hatched out so far, looking at the collonista snail pictures floating around the net - these seem a lot more full, but maybe that's just that they're closer to hatching.

I'll keep my eyes open for specks running around in the QT cup!
Anything in the cup?
 
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Anything in the cup?
Well, I looked.... and there were some specks that didn't look like just from waterborne debris, so I got some with the pipette. I saw movement in a little vial, so I got two in a drop of water and looked at them under the microscope...


They still look at least somewhat like what was in the egg sacks, but a quick google of pelagic snail larvae shows some things which look similar, so I think some kind of snail is probably correct and collonista sounds like a no-brainer with the prior history. I'll put a bit of phyto in the cup with the frag and see if I get anything to settle out - I think collonistas are only suppose to be free swimming for a short period, though I don't know how long.
 

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Well, I looked.... and there were some specks that didn't look like just from waterborne debris, so I got some with the pipette. I saw movement in a little vial, so I got two in a drop of water and looked at them under the microscope...


They still look at least somewhat like what was in the egg sacks, but a quick google of pelagic snail larvae shows some things which look similar, so I think some kind of snail is probably correct and collonista sounds like a no-brainer with the prior history. I'll put a bit of phyto in the cup with the frag and see if I get anything to settle out - I think collonistas are only suppose to be free swimming for a short period, though I don't know how long.
Truly amazing microscope video.
 
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Well, I looked.... and there were some specks that didn't look like just from waterborne debris, so I got some with the pipette. I saw movement in a little vial, so I got two in a drop of water and looked at them under the microscope...


They still look at least somewhat like what was in the egg sacks, but a quick google of pelagic snail larvae shows some things which look similar, so I think some kind of snail is probably correct and collonista sounds like a no-brainer with the prior history. I'll put a bit of phyto in the cup with the frag and see if I get anything to settle out - I think collonistas are only suppose to be free swimming for a short period, though I don't know how long.

Definitely looks like pelagic snail larvae! I'm still betting Collinista...as I'm not aware of any of my other snails being able to reproduce in the tank.
 
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DaJMasta

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Two more days, no more real answers, but some new video. They're easier to see by eye, seem a bit more active, and those sort of earlobe kind of hoops they have are ciliated vacuums, basically, presumably for feeding and propulsion.




I don't think the frag is too ticked yet.......
 
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This is an Amscope T690C, but it's a bit dusty. I'm hoping to upgrade and have a very fancy one in mind.... but it's expensive, so we'll see.

They're still swimming today, no settlement yet.
Pretty amazing for a dusty microscope.
 
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This is an Amscope T690C, but it's a bit dusty. I'm hoping to upgrade and have a very fancy one in mind.... but it's expensive, so we'll see.

They're still swimming today, no settlement yet.
Yikes, the T690C is already expensive! :)
 
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Thanks, the camera probably helps too! Definitely not the right choice for the microscope, but unreasonably high resolution and with a nice large sensor (Basler acA5472-17uc). I need to look into white balance settings to get it looking less yellow (and this is actual color since the halogen lamp for illumination has a pretty warm color temperature), but the optics generally seem pretty good, and having phase contrast as an option really brings a huge amount of detail in more transparent specimens, without staining or killing whatever you're looking at.
 

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