Apple and Nerite Snail Behavior

nacPhoenix

Hello!'
A few days ago I bought two nerite snails and one apple snail. They are in my ten gallon tank soon to house a betta, perhaps shrimp as well - if any trouble occurs I will take them back to my LFS!

I do know how to take care of them and am fairly positive I am keeping them well.

Really all I want to know is the NORMAL behavior of snails and how to tell if they are not doing well (hungry, sick, unfit water...)
My apple snail is constantly moving for the most part, when I wake up it is tucked in its shell. Today when I came home it was like that as well.
My nerites are both fairly content staying exactly where they are during the day, occasionally moving about.
I'm not really too worried as this all seems fairly normal in general terms, I just don't want to be doing anything wrong, especially after I get the fish.




Temp: ~78
Ammonia: 0 (WAS at .25 consistently for a few days, did a 90% water change to get rid of that extra ammonia my tank could not handle)
Nitrite: 0 (always has been)
Nitrate: <4
pH: ~7.6-8.0 (Liquid test is hard to read but I wish there was an easy way to lower this)
Unsure of water hardness
 

Kapitalfisht

Nerites are beautiful snails! I have three: one in a ten gallon, and two in a twenty gallon. They are excellent scavengers and will clean house figuratively and literally. You may notice during your experience keeping them that small sesame seed sized white dots will appear on decorations and even the sides of your aquarium. Those are nerite eggs, however, they do not hatch in freshwater parameters, so overpopulation isn't an issue with these snails. I tend to associate my nerite happiness index by the presence of eggs, because organisms that propagate are generally happy, healthy, and content.

Best rule to maintain healthy snails is to not use fish medications with snails inside the aquarium. Many fish medications contain copper, and the presence of copper will kill the snails, including the apple snail.

Aside from all of that, those snails forage, go dormant, and forage some more. Personally, my nerites are very active. They love grazing on driftwood.

As far as signs of an unhealthy snail, the first thing that comes to mind is the shell. Calcium is essential to snail health: their shells depend on it. You'll often find snails at LFS's that have divots, holes, or whitish spots that appear to look like chipped portions the shell, which is indicative of poor water parameters including, but not limited to, a calcium deficiency. I stroll over to the bird section of the pet store, buy a chunk of cuttlebone, boil it, then pop in the tank. The snails will eventually discover it, graze on it, but the calcium should leech into the water as well. Cuttlebone won't effect the betta you plan to buy, or any other fish for that matter.
 

nacPhoenix

Ah, thank you so much!
How often will nerites lay eggs?
Will water conditioner (API Stress Coat) harm them?
EDIT:
Oh! Also, do I have to worry about them being underfed? Will one betta cause enough algae growth to feed all of them or should I get some algae wafers?
 

Annie424

My snails love a slice of cucumber, zucchini, and yellow squash. . I have both nerites and mystery snails.
 

Kapitalfisht

You're welcome!

My nerites seem to lay eggs sporadically, but no more than say once every 4-6 weeks. Nerite eggs are meant to remain dormant until environmental conditions are right for them to hatch. Nerites exist in a wide range of water salinity, but the eggs have to be in near saltwater/brackish conditions to hatch. That's way they're popular for freshwater aquaria: they don't overpopulate. I'm currently trying to hatch some of my nerite eggs in a brackish tank, but I haven't observed any larvae yet.

Algae wafers, sliced cucumber, and blanched vegetables are great supplements to your snails' diet. I cut a small portion of a vegetable, broccolI for instance, stick it on a bamboo skewer, and set it in the tank for several hours. Omnivorous fish will accept it as a treat too. Buy organic so you're not feeding them any veggies that have been treated with pesticides; also, grocery stores (at least in Illinois) cannot stock organic veggies beside non-organic veggies, so as to keep the former free from any chemicals.

I usually add a pinch of Aqueon conditioner to water, but the one I use doesn't seem to be detrimental to my snails. As long as the conditioner doesn't change the ph too drastically. I'm familiar with API Stress Coat, but can't recall if I've ever used it.
 

pipirose

My apple snails love lettuce! I just put a large piece in a glass with water and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, let it cool down and then weight it down in my tank and within an hour all my snails are eating it up and its gone by morning
 

Pringlethesnail

Besides what was said, your ph is fine and apple snails need their own diet of algae wafers and shrimp pellets as well a supplemental veggies at least once a week. They are not good at cleaning algae like nerites are and should be fed twice a day. Apple snails are omnivorous so while fresh veggies are great they also need some meat in their diet. Apple snails will not eat more than they're hungry for so no worries about over feeding them.
 

nacPhoenix

Besides what was said, your ph is fine and apple snails need their own diet of algae wafers and shrimp pellets as well a supplemental veggies at least once a week. They are not good at cleaning algae like nerites are and should be fed twice a day. Apple snails are omnivorous so while fresh veggies are great they also need some meat in their diet. Apple snails will not eat more than they're hungry for so no worries about over feeding them.

Good to know, thank you!
I'll put a slice of cucumber in there today so they have a little something to munch on while I wait for some algae/veggie+meat wafers to come in.
If I put a few pellets of my betta's food down there for them (as I wait), will they eat that?
 

Pringlethesnail

Yeah they'll probably eat that! My bettas eat flakes and they eat any leftovers
 

nacPhoenix

Turns out my snails absolutely LOVE zucchini! ;D;D
I put a slice in there and in the morning they were still chowing down
Yesterday I decided to get them a little protein with the betta pellets as I waited for the sinking pellets, so I poked a few holes in the zucchinI and put the pellets in there- It was SO fun seeing them slide around trying to get the pellets out. Good way to make sure they eat their veggies too ;D
 
Top Bottom