Snails Were Taking Over My Aquarium

Assassin snails work cheap. (Web Photo)

My aquarium has had hundreds of tiny, white snails clinging to the walls and to the plants for quite some time. When I started seeing them months ago, it was a what-the-heck moment.

Last week I decided I couldn’t live with them anymore. They probably feel the same about me. We glare at each other through the glass every day.

I went to Google to see how to get rid of these varmints. There were four choices listed on one website.

• Pick them out. There was no chance of that happening. I would be picking day and night.

• Put lettuce in the aquarium and snails will cling to it. And the next day, I could have snail salad. I tried it and managed to pull 10 or 20 snails out of the tank on one leaf. That left about 990.

• Add a chemical to the water. That seemed like a horrible idea, given there are nine fish in the water. Eight, seven, six … 

• Put snails into the tank that will eat the small ones before they become big ones. 

Given the choices, I thought snail-eating snails was the best route to go. I deplore violence, but what could I do?

I needed snails called clea helena. That’s their scientific name. They are more commonly known as assassin snails. I have never had reason to hire an assassin before, so this was cool in a balance of nature way.

They are mean-looking little critters that seem to go about their business quietly. The day after I dropped them into the tank, I noticed a significant reduction in the snail count. 

With their snail stomachs full, the assassins have slowed down, but I know they won’t let me down. I paid something like $10 for them to do this job.

I hope you never need an assassin, but if you do, I would recommend these guys.

I have changed my mind on the location for a downtown arena.

I think there are two choices, given we are a winter, winter city. The site has to be within easy walking distance to downtown. That eliminates the area south of the farmers’ market and the city yards. 

That means taking your pick between the parking lot north of Midtown Plaza or the one south of the mall. I am switching from north to south. Renderings show it will fit there. 

When people flow into the downtown after an event, there is more activity at River Landing and on Second Ave. South. North is the better of the two if the goal is to create new businesses in the warehouse district. 

Yes, parking will be a problem and traffic will need to be directed. I’ve been to cities with downtown arenas where there is virtually no parking. I was amazed at how quickly the crowd dispersed. 

It’s great that city council is hoping to make a decision on the location before the end of the year. I fear the site will be the city yards. 

Bad choice.

At $11.06 per hour, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage is the lowest in the country. It went up 10 cents last October to pass the $11 mark. If you didn’t read that correctly, yes, it went up a dime. Yes, that’s $4 a week. It is something to sniff at.

The next lowest minimum wage, according to the Retail Council of Canada, is Manitoba at $11.35. Both provinces should be ashamed of themselves.

Alberta is at $15, Ontario at $14, B.C. at $12.65 and Quebec at $12. Our three territories range from $12.71 to $13.46.

We have to do better for our minimum-wage workers.

I plead guilty.

I knew almost nothing about a women’s professional hockey league in Canada. It took the demise of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for many of us to notice it. That’s a shame and a reason why the league has folded.

The league, which began play in 2007, had franchises in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Markham, Ont., Worcester, Mass., and Shenzhen, China when the end came. 

The Canadian league’s budget was reportedly a shade over $3.5 million annually. Players were paid between $2,000 and $10,000. 

It’s too bad our top female hockey players, including those on the national team, won’t have a place to play. Eighteen players on the Canadian team at the world championship played in the league this season. 

What will they do between their various championships, including the Olympic Games? Join beer leagues?

Players are banding together and promising they won’t go down without a fight. To win a fight like this, they will need to find sponsors with deepish pockets. 

Here’s hoping they can pull it off.