Zombies of the Reef

Every night, at feeding time, my little reef has a moment reminiscent of “Night of the Living Dead.” My “clean up crew” includes several types of aquatic snails., among them Nassarius (Nassarius sp.), a largely carnivorous scavenging snail that feeds on dead things–and leftover fish food. Nassarius (known in the UK as “dog whelks”) spend most of their time buried in the sand. Their regular burying stirs and aerates the sand bed, which is good for the aquarium’s general health. They’re also good at vacuuming up any leftover food and detritus, using a long, retractable proboscis that looks a lot like the

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