So I wanted to know what a dead or dying mystery snail looks like? I'm worried about my snail... I have had it for about 3 weeks now, and the last couple of days I have seen a black circle on its bottom, which I have seen before but it was fine. Well he is hanging half way out of his shell, and his body is in the air like he is laying on his back/shell. He has not moved all day. He had to have moved last night because he is in a compltely different spot. But I didnt see him move. I just dont want to pull him out and smell him... I have heard they stink when they are dead. :/
Very likely the mystery snail is not alive. He should be removed as soon as possible. To do a smell test, you don't have to get really close; the odor will be strong enough to detect from arm's length.
Sometimes, mystery snails withdraw into their shell for a couple of days. It's no doubt a good way to temporarily escape the vagaries of life. When they are out of the shell and inactive, snails are usually deceased. The resultant decomposition will quickly pollute the aquarium water.
Ok so I just went and checked on him (Gary) and he is moving. But he looks so sluggish. He has done this like 3 times. He just lays at the bottom of the tank, half in and half out. Right when we have assumed he is dead, and go to get him, he is up moving! I really like mystery snails, and even went out and bought another (Oreo). He is always active unless he is hiding in his pineapple home. Can snails get sick?? I just dont like how Gary looks when he is upside down and half out of his shell all motionless.
Thank you for answering so quickly.
This is what he looks like right now. I dont think he moved. Is he dead? :'( He does this ever 4 or 5 days but never for this long.
Snails can and do get sick, and they are very sensitive to copper. They also need some calcium to help shell growth. For a calcium source you can add a piece of cuddle bone like the ones sold for bird cages.
How much cuddle bone for 2 smails, and how often should I give it to them? And is there a way to tell if there is copper in my tank??
Hi, My husband and I got a betta for our 5 year old son about a month ago and the feisty little guy is doing wonderful in his 2.5 gallon, filtered (not heated as we live in San Diego and the water temp is naturally good) tank. About two weeks after we got the betta, I got a green mystery snail (thinking it's an apple snail) as I read they help keep the algae levels in control in the tank. He (or she) has been doing well also. I do give him an algae wafer about once a week or so.
Today, I noticed that his shell is looking a little thin around the opening edge and, after reading a lot online, think he may need some calcium.
My question is, will adding a calcium supplement negatively affect the betta? I read that I could put a fruit or plain tums in there or a piece of cuddle bone, but I don't want to do it unless I know it's safe for our betta. My son would be devastated if his betta died.
Thank you for any experienced advice.
Mystery snails and apple snails often go by the same name, but apple snails can grow to baseball size. Both types are sensitive to water quality issues and copper. A small piece of cuddle bone should have little if any negative effect on water parameters. Mystery snails deposit their eggs above the waterline, so be sure the aquarium has a full hood.
When mystery snails are not feeling well, they retreat into their shells. Since the aquarium is small, you may want to check water parameters and verify ammonia and nitrite measure zero. It's also a good idea to feed no more than the betta eats in a couple of minutes and change 25 percent of the water at least once a week. A sinking wafer may be good for the mystery snail. If left uneaten over night, the wafer should be removed.
Dead mystery snails fall out of there shells and they are upside down. If they die, within 24 hours they will fall to bits in the water. I know because I had three and they all died.
Thank you, Johnarthur! I actually was hoping you would respond after reading a lot of posts on here. The water tests are all good as far as nitrates, nitrites, copper, amonia.
I did a lot of research about Betta's as it's been quite a few years since my husband and I last had one and know to only feed him what he'll eat in a few minutes.
As for the algae wafers, I put it right next to the snail and he goes for it pretty quickly. When he's "done" and starts moving away from it, I get my turkey baster (bought just for the fish tank) and suck out the extra. I'm not sure if he's an apple snail or some other type of mystery snail as the person at PetCo couldn't tell me. I have a gallon jug on top of our fridge that I fill after every water change (which I do 25 to 50% and clean out the filter at that time), and add the water conditioner to the jug of water, so it's ready any time I need it (advice from the person at PetCo).
We will be getting a bigger tank very soon as we just re-furnished my son's room and now have the space for a larger one. I plan to get a new filter that specs out for the larger tank, at Wal Mart as they sell them cheaper and have the filter refills. My son and I have to run some errands today, so I will buy a cuddle bone and break off a tiny piece to put in the tank.
One question about the cuddle bone- Should I crush it so it disolves into the water or will it naturally disolve on it's own?
Thank you again for the advice!
It's probably better to break off a small piece of cuddle bone and let it sink to the bottom of the aquarium, maybe close to one of the sinking wafers. The chunk is less likely to dissolve in the aquarium and will be there for the snail to find.
Most of the beneficial bacteria associated with the nitrogen cycle live in the filter elements and substrate. To avoid removing too much bacteria, deep clean only about 1/3 of the substrate in any week, and change filter elements infrequently. If a filter element gets clogged, gently swish it in used aquarium water to remove debris. If a filter pad starts to fall apart, remove a strip and put it with the new filter element.
Thank you, Johnarthur for the filter advice. That's good to know.
I have given our snail some lettuce and he instantly eats it up. It's amazing how fast a snail can eat. I just anchor it to the bottom of the tank by putting a small part under one of the decorations and then take any unused portion out the next day to keep things clean.
I'm picking up the cuddle bone today, so I will do what you said regarding that.
Thank you, again! I really appreciate the information.
Please keep us all posted.
I hope your snail gets better soon!
John: I put a chunk of the cuttle bone "under" the gravel (as someone suggested in an earlier post.) After reading your post, I'm wondering if I did the wrong thing? Should I let it lay on the bottom instead of burying it? Also, do the snails "eat" it or do they get the calcium from when it dissolves in the water? My nine are all doing great so far, chomping on the baby spinach leaves I give them and the algae wafers.
Oh, and I meant to tell you, I finally added the Mopani Driftwood to all 3 tanks - NO COLORING! Glad I took your advice and went ahead and put them in the tanks.
Please help I just got a mystery snail I got a big goldfish but he keeps nipping at the snail what do I do???
Some fish will nip at mystery snails and can eventually kill them. Some snails, after being nipped many times, will eventually just stop poking their heads and antenna out If you know for sure your fish is nipping, it would be better to separate them. If the goldfish is nipping now, he's not going to stop and he will eventually kill your snail.
Hello Herpa Derpa etc.:
Rudeness is uncalled for and not tolerated here. It is acceptable to comment on old posts if you have something to add; do not do so merely to crack wise at a fully innocent spelling error. Please refrain from such comments in the future.
You're right, abulafla - how childish. Can one of the admins delete that ignorant post?
I think my snail is dead but it doesn't smell and is partly out of it's shell; it is not withdrawing back into it's shell when touched and the cherry shrimp have been nibbling on it; I've had this happen as well where there is no movement for long periods of time then all of a sudden starts to move. Don't want to remove him if he's not dead but don't want to leave him in if he is dead...any advice?
It's probably safe to assume the mystery snail is dead. The smell comes with decay, so the snail is only recently deceased. You may want to remove her before the water gets polluted.
For healthy shells, mystery snails require calcium. A bird cage cuttlebone will provide calcium, and the following recipe makes good snail food:
thanks for the feedback johnarthur; I've had a few snails die in the past and never sure why this may be, will they die without the calcium? I have two other snails in my tank that appear fine; the yellow mystery snail that I was referring to seems to have been 'on and off' for awhile now. I'm never sure if they have enough food (algea) as well as I will put one or two algae tabs in once/week for them, they also liked the lettuce I put in and devoured it; is there a 'max' limit for number of snails per tank to ensure they have enough to eat? I had a couple in with my larger tank but have four other bottom dwellers (eg kuli loach) that were in competition for good/algae so removed the snails and put in the smaller tank with the two others (one other died as well)and they seemed fine but now he's dead.
Apple snails and mystery snails have large shells. Without a calcium source, their shells will develop holes and thin spots which can be fatal. The snail gel described in the previous link provides much of the needed calcium, and snails will also browse on pieces of cuttlebone.
I don't have exact ratios for snail populations, but since they are slow moving, they likely eat less than active fish and produce less ammonia. At the moment, I'm dealing with a large population of mystery snails from an egg clutch I bought on Aquabid. Probably, I'll have to take a large aquarium out of storage so all the snails can mature. There is a fairly strong market for mystery snails.
I had three snails in a 10 gallon and now only have 2 left; also three ottos and a handful of cherry shrimp, not sure if that is too many for that size tank? What are your thoughts?
SO im getting a African dwarf frog but I was wondering what type of snail should if I want to keep the tank clean and will the African dwarf frog eat it because this is my first time I had ever had a pet so im really confused on what my tank and frog need so please get back to me as soon as possible
Buy a snail because you like its looks or behavior, but plan on doing most of the aquarium cleaning yourself. So called cleaner fish and snails are not very thorough, and they all add to the biological load on the aquarium.
Mystery snails can be very interesting to watch, because they get larger than the average size marble. They also deposit their eggs in a clutch above the water. This makes population control very easy. If you decide to get some mystery snails, here is a good recipe for snail jel:
Snails really like this stuff, and it gives them enough calcium for healthy shell growth.
I've been told our water is very hard so calcium is not required? Would algae wafers suffice?
thank you I just wrote today so thank you very much
Cuttle bone works quite well, I've heard.
If you want to know if a snail is dead, first is the smell. They REEK.
Second way- If you pick them up, they should retract back into their shell, though larger, braver ones don't retract all the way.
Third- Tug at their trapdoor (assuming it is an apple snail). Just a tiny tug, or you could risk hurting it. If you feel resistance, hooray! Your snail isn't dead!
Fourth- If your snail hasn't reacted and is still hanging out, the last, final way is to tickle it's stomach. It should trigger a response right away.
On strength of the shell- Calcium. Calcium EVERYWHERE! In their diet, in the water, anything! Fortunately I have very hard water over here in Alaska, so no need for anything yet!
Hope your snail problems are fixed soon!