They are hatching as I write, plopping without a sound into the water from the egg sac above. I can’t even post a photo; the tank has way too much algae, result of me insisting that no one disturb the snail eggs. Or the pregnant guppies.
The baby snails are a translucent white, all of them; their colors won’t come in till later. I think they’re the progeny of a gold snail and a black one, so it will be fun to see what sort of rainbow we get. They’re about the size of a matchhead. They remind me oddly of tiny toenails; that was what popped into my mind when I saw them scattered about the glass. And then I noticed that they were moving. New life! Mazel tov.
All this unfettered reproduction in the house makes Tony a bit edgy, and of course I have no idea what to do with a slew of baby snails. So far I count eight snaillets, but there were three egg clusters in all, laid at different times, so you can bet there are more to come. In fact, just this evening I suddenly thought There are a hell of a lot of snails in that tank, and went on to count five full-grown snails. We started with three. So the shtupping and the toenails have been going on longer than I thought.
We have three pregnant guppies who have looked on the verge of popping for over a week, but the guppy fry have yet to be born. The silvery guppy mama is so swollen she can hardly swim, so it won’t be long now. And I have thirteen guppy fry, born on New Year’s Eve, in a little fry cup. One of them looks like a cull — meaning a runt, one which probably won’t survive. But the rest, if I let them get big enough before I put them into the main tank, look like keepers. The generation of fry previous to that (of which three survived) included one little girl, who is of course pregnant already. And did you know a guppy can get pregnant again within a few hours of giving birth?
Meanwhile, the snails shtup on the glass as their toenail babies glide past so slowly you have to really stop and look to see the movement. To be honest, there’s something a little obscene about all this fertilization and birth going on in my tank. Imagine running an analysis on that water! Twenty percent snail semen, ten percent placenta. But I sort of like it. Through all the bullshit of daily living, there is always fucking. There is always birth. There is always life.