So My wife and I bought a set of Apple snails for our tanks at home and her office and discovered that the boogers love to lay eggs. We are fine with this and let the eggs hatch in a breeder net and all seems to be going well until the snails keep laying clutch, after clutch, after clutch, etc. So 10 clutches later we are starting to wonder, wow maybe we should just setup a tank where these guys can just grow up to a size where we can sell them to a local pet store (one near us knows us by name and wants to buy them). We don't want to do this for a full time job or anything but it couldn't hurt since they are...snails after all.

So we purchase a very small tank (2.5gal), powerful filter (80GPM), and start the tank in a cycle. One day later we take the snails out of our tank and introduce them into the new tank and all seems well for a day or two then all of a sudden (overnight) the water just goes murky and foul smelling. I change out the filter, wait an hour, change it out again and the water starts to clear up but not enough. I do a 50% water change and it gets 25% better. I wait a day then do a 90% water change and it is doing much better but now I notice that more than 50% of my perfectly happy and live snails are dead and their shells are in a pile at the bottom of the tank. Now the remaining live snails are all clinging to the edge of the water in clumps with a few adventurous ones tooling around the bottom of the tank.

I have lots more clutches yet to hatch and don't want to lose another herd, what do I need to do?

Bear in mind that this is not long term, I just need to get these guys to pinkie size (0.25") and the pet store will buy them.

Tested the water quality and the ammonia is off the charts, all of the other levels are looking great. I have tried adding an ammonia detox at regular and metered intervals to control this but nothing seems to change it.

I have cycled many tanks and done this for a while now but this all-apple/mystery snail tank is just not clicking.

Thoughts?