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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default mystery snail question

    0 Not allowed!
    So my mystery snail has withdrawn far back into his shell. So far back, I thought he wasn't even in it. My boyfriend said he was out and about a few hours ago. The other mystery snail I have seems to be doing fine (knock on wood.) I took him out of the water and smelled him, doesn't smell like anything. He didn't seem to be the healthiest snail when I got him, but he was still pretty active. He did have "relations" with the other snail (so I guess "she") I just don't know if he's dead. He is not floating. I had my water tested a few weeks ago and everything was fine. Help?

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    I assume you have your water tested by a local store? How often do you do this and do you know what your actual parameters are?

    How often do you change your water? How large of a tank do you have? I am assuming since you have your water tested you didn't cycle it first?

    What else is in the tank? Apparently, if your bf saw it make an appearance not that long ago, I wouldn't worry - it if doesn't move over 24 hrs then I'd be concerned.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    How long have the snails been in your tank? Do you feed the snails anything?

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yes I go to a family owned tropical fish store who I trust more than chain pet stores. The mystery snail did come from a chain, however. I'm not sure about the perimeters, it is only a five gallon. It houses a betta, two mystery snails (including him) an african dwarf frog and a few shrimp (temporary, had a shrimp tank emergency.) I did purchase a glofish (which I learned hours later was a white skirt tetra, very dependent on other skirt tetras that I did not have room for in my tank. I took him back after a day after I read that he was genetically modified and learned he would not make a good tankmate with my betta, etc.) I did cycle the water. This tank is about a month old. I take out a gallon every two weeks. I had my water tested to see if it was suitable for the African Dwarf Frog (they were thankfully very persistant(sp?) on making sure my tank was fully cycled and ready to go before I introduced him.) I will be upgrading to a 10-15 (perhaps more, we shall see) size tank within the next few months. It's just a matter of space and cycling it. Thanks for your response. I think he may be dead, because I found this:

    Death from Malnutrition

    By this I do not mean death caused by underfeeding. Rather I mean that the snail simply refused to eat, lost weight and died. I have seen this happen three times, each time in a juvenile snail which was also below average size. The snail would attempt to estivate a lot, and would be inactive for long periods. It would eat only a small amount of food when coaxed. Gradually the body changed colour, darkening to an almost black grey, and the snail felt lighter and lighter in weight. When retracted into the shell the snail would go a long way in instead of just as far as the rim of the shell. Untreated, the snail was eventually found shrunken into the shell and beginning to decay.

    I have found that if detected early this can be treated, though I am not sure about cured, as the snails that have had this problem have all died at a fairly young age. Treatments I have used include a lukewarm bath every day to encourage the snail to move about, and feeding the snail with baby food or pureed fruit and vegetable, with calcium powder sprinkled into it. Keeping the snail slightly warmer and moister than usual also seemed to help, but when the treatments were discontinued the snail quickly lost condition again and as mentioned above, died.

    My theory is that the process of natural selection has a part in this. In each batch of eggs there are many baby snails and some are strong. There are also some very weak ones, and I believe that it is these snails which so mysteriously "lose the will to live" at a young age. As yet I do not know of any guaranteed cure.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    How long have the snails been in your tank? Do you feed the snails anything?
    Yes, I break an alge wafer apart and give them a few crumbs every other day.

    The one in question has been in it since I first had it ready, so maybe a month. The second snail has been in there about two week(ish) I believe.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Try sticking a piece of cucumber/ spinach/ zucchini on a fork and pinning it in front of the snail. If it isn't too far gone that might elicit a reaction. A few crumbs of a wafer a day sound very little to me.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    Try sticking a piece of cucumber/ spinach/ zucchini on a fork and pinning it in front of the snail. If it isn't too far gone that might elicit a reaction. A few crumbs of a wafer a day sound very little to me.
    Thanks, I will try that! [: I specifically feed those to them, but there are also shrimp pellets and betta food that are fed every other day as well with it. I just try to watch my ammonia because I know that can be terrible for Bettas to swim in, and that ADF are super sensitive to it.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    generally if a snail withdraws into its shell it's alive because it requires muscles to do that. If you see it bulging out of the shell with no movement then I'd definitely give it the sniff test. Generally when they die, they swell out of the shell because there are not active muscles to hold them. Many snails will simply rest for a day or more withdrawn.

    Tip: - if you are going to keep fish and or snails and or frogs, you should get an API liquid master test kit so you can check your tank water and determine if you have toxic levels of ammonia, nitrites and or nitrates. Any ammonia or nitrIte reading over .25ppm requires an immediate water change. NitrAtes over 20ppm - same thing.

    you have a very small tank with a lot of inhabitants and your 1 gallon every other week water change is not nearly enough. you should be changing out at least 50% of the water (and using water conditioner to remove chlorine) every week.

    And last - if you didn't cycle your tank in one of the 2 ways explained in the links in my signature line, then you didn't cycle your tank and may be dealing with ammonia or nitrite or nitrate issues.

    Good luck and remember that contentious and successful fish keeping requires some research on your part to insure you are giving them proper care.
    We are always happy to answer questions.
    good luck
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    He is dead. I'm like 99% sure. He turned a funny color, as well. Boyfriend did the sniff test, the results weren't too pleasant. Sad day.

    The people at the fish store recommended that I change out a gallon every month. I do every two weeks instead because I feel like a month is far too long.

    Thank you.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    this rule also applies to other aspects of life; never trust the word of someone who is trying to sell you something.
    oh well, dispose of the snail quick. nothing else in the aquarium hobby is as memorable as the smell of a deceased snail.

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