10 Gallon Tank Help! Injured rabbit snail

Cyndi Warren

Member
My magnificent rabbit snail, Abu, is not doing well. He must have fallen or something because his shell is chipped. He does seem awfully clumsy but I thought it was just the way they are. There is only a thin filament of shell before the hole breaks through to his flesh.

Also he has a strange, long gash on his neck. It is such a straight line that at first I thought it was his normal anatomy. But when I took him out to examine the shell, I saw that the tissue beneath his skin is exposed and there is a gash at one end of the line.



If you click on these pics to enlarge, I think you will be able to see what I am describing pretty well.

Abu is normally active and resiliant. All day he was lethargic (lying still half out of his shell) but late afternoon and early evening his activity picked up. However, his voracious appetite is gone. He's not even touching his favorite: broccoli.

I read on Applesnail.net that I can mend his shell with marine epoxy and I bought some, but my husband thinks I should get more advice before using it, which is probably smart. I'm a bit frantic and impulsive by nature.

(Our good aquarium store is closed due to bad weather.)

I also got some stress coat, and it came paired with another product that gives good bacteria. Stress coat is supposed to increase slime for healing of the gash.

I keep the water kinda hard with a tsp of Epsom Salts to 5 gal water, and have been adding Calcium citrate (about 1/2 pill) when I change the water.

I have him in a 76 degree hospital tank (actually it's a large mixing bowl, but don't tell him that. I thought I'd change the hospital tank with fresh water out of the 10 gal cycled aquarium twice a day?

And I decided to put his buddy in with him (an apple snail). They are always together and sometimes the apple even rides on the rabbit's shell, which doesn't seem to bother him.

I really, really like him and want to help him. Please give suggestions. I did register with applesnail.net but have to wait to be approved before I can ask for help there.

[I read that a 10 gal is too small for an apple snail, but the store told me it was fine. Of course, it was the same guy who sold me 2 pristellas without telling me they were schooling fish, even though he knew I was new to fishkeeping and unfamiliar with pristellas. \ grrr]
 

kb9plc

Member
Snails can be kind of clumsy in the tank. Mine run into decor a lot
But a gash that deep is kinda serious. I'd certainly be sure his water is loaded with calcium to help his shell rebuild. I have also heard of the marine epoxy to kinda of protect and create a faux shell while the real one heals. However, I cannot offer any personal experience with that. I've never had to use it. He MAY be lethargic because he is concerving energy to repair his shell. But I'd definitely keep a watchful eye on him.

Apple snails have kind of a high bio load. I'd keep an eye on that water in the bowl. Twice a day changes should keep it at bay, but I'd keep a really close watch on the water parameters. Also if you are changing a bowl size amount of water numerous times of day, you will want to try and temp match as close as you can. And of course use a dechlorinator.

As for the 10 gallon..... If you are talking a true apple snail (and not a mystery snail), then my opinion would be that a 10 gallon will eventually be to small for him. Apples can get to the size of softballs! Or bigger! Now a mystery can get big, but not THAT big lol. I think 1 in a 10 gallon would be okay. Id prefer larger but I would consider a 10 gallon the minimum. You may get other opinions on that. But for larger snails its a matter of the tanks's foot print and if its large enough to keep them happy without having to share it with too many other bottom dwellers. Mysteries get somewhere around ping pong ball size. Some of the girls seem to grow a bit bigger if you have one on the super-grower-end of the gene pool

Hope this helps
 

Junne

Member
HI Cyndi
Gosh I don't know how to help you - I second the info stated above - keep the water clean. I think the temps are fine if he is used to that.
The stress coat is a good idea too. I hope your snail gets better soon. I'm sorry, I don't know much about Rabbit snails
Just keep offering his favorite broccolI and hope he comes around soon!

Keep me posted on how he does!
Junne
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Update!

I noticed what looked like some waste coming out of the shell where the injury was so I decided to take action.

I wrapped his soft half in a moist paper towel to keep him wet and still and dried the area to be expoxied. While I was doing that I put an egg shell in the microwave to use for a patch. Then I molded the marine epoxy putty over the tip of his shell covering the patch and the other holes that had not broken through. I'm hoping it will act as a buffer from further damage. The shell now needs to dry for 30 min! I have him up side down in an old fashioned cup for boiled eggs with 1/4 inch of water in the bottem. I'm afraid he is not very warm. I think I will put the cup in a warm tray of water?

I'm praying this works!! Will let you know.

My other snails: I have two that were sold to me as mystery snails but they do have a siphon, so they may be apples. then the rabbit snail is his own species.
 

Junne

Member
I hope that works too! Good luck

oh and Mystery snails have siphons too like Apple's - the only thing that I have been told as far as difference is the size they get to be - Apples get much larger than mystery snails.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Thanks for the speedy reply

He seems eager to come out and about but I nudge him from time to time to keep him still while it dries

Too bad they don't have snail 911 lol
 

Junne

Member
You are a good snail mama! you're doing everything possible! I wish him well!

Junne
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
I saw him bubbling so I poured out his water to put in some new with about an inch this time. There was a lot of mucous in the water I poured out. Argh! A lot of mucous must mean some kind of distress. I sure hope he'll be OK.

He's ready to go back. The epoxy is dry. I think i'm going to put him in my guppy breeding net in the main tank for the sake of water quality. Just shooting from the hip on all this.
 

cichlidman

Member
I have seen epoxy used to fix turtles shells . Worked great. Good luck with your snail and good thinking
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Thank you so much for the encouragement. I'm afraid I stressed him terribly. He's all scrunched up, about a third of the way out of his shell, motionless. I'm reminding myself he is instinctively resting which is what he needs. but my gut is all in a knot. I know mending a shell perforation is do or die, literally, but I pray the cure isn't worse than the disease.

I don't know if rabbit snails have lungs like mystery snails. I hope so.

Will try to do one more post before I go to bed. Thanks for being here. I'm new to all this and probably need to not get quite so attached to everybody. Not sure how to do that tho. I feel like I have all these little lives in my hands, and not enough knowledge to really take proper care of them. I know fish can live for years, but mine are not having such good luck. sigh.

No change but noticed a similar injury on my other snail. I am upset and mystified. Doing another thread on that.

Not sleeping to well so I'm up by the tank and noticed Abu finally woke up and enthusiastically ate some brine shrimp! He perked up as he ate and his little antennae stopped drooping and waved around. I feel like I can breathe again. I put a little more shrimp in there. Also some of his beloved broccolI and part of an algae wafer. He has made a lot of normal looking poo, so that is good as well.

He is quiet again now, but not as kind of rigidly scrunched as he was. More relaxed or something. At least at this point it doesn't look like he is going to die as a direct result of the procedure to repair his shell!!!
Thank God!
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning Cyndi,

So hate to hear about your snail. It sounds like you're doing all that you can for the little guy/girl.

Make sure your pH is above 7.0. Good that you are using a calcium supplement to keep the snail shell strong. One thing I would like to suggest is that you not add Epsom Salt or any type of salt to your tank. Salt really isn't necessary in a freshwater aquarium:





Best wishes for your snails and please keep us posted.

Ken
 

kb9plc

Member
Cyndi,

Sorry I didn't get back to you quickly. I'm glad jwebbe was around to encourage you I'm typically on randomly during the day and the early night hours (CST).

I think you are doing everything as best you can! I would have been nervous as heck with the epoxy, but it did seem like the right thing to do, in retrospect. Bonus points to you for acting so fast. I will certainly retain and insert into my mental snail files what you did with the egg shell, in case I ever need to do this!

Snail 911: no kidding! Many of us wish that snails had little signs they could hold up to tell us what is wrong or what they need. They are mysterious little creatures and very hard to care for when something has gone afoul.

Well him eating is certainly a good sign! And yes, I would definitley keep telling myself that his lathargicness is probably due to him concerving energy and putting all he's got towards healing his shell. I'd keep putting calcium rich food near him so he doesn't have to go far for the food. Plus he will smell it if he is hungry and can just grab a much from his current resting position. Agreed with the breeder net, too. Water quality and consistent (high-ish) ph is going to be important to him now.

Keep us posted!

P.S. I agree with jwebbe. Mysteries really are in the apple snail family, they just don't get as gi-normous. And both have syphons.... rather long ones, sometimes!
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Oh dear, I read it in a recipe to harden the water. I didn't think Epsom Salts were really "salt" like soduI'm chloride. Is there another way to harden the water? Dang this is so complicated. Thanks for the info tho.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
morning update ... some improvement ... me still agonizing

Well, he is spending a little more time moving around. Last night he was just scrunched kind of rigid and still. Now when he rests, more of him is out of the shell, like he's more relaxed, I think anyway. There is a lot of waste in there, so he must be eating or was eating? I have no idea how long their digestive process is.

I really feel like I must have done something wrong during the procedure, although I followed the instructions on applesnail.net. But he was acting much more normal before I patched the shell and much worse immediately after. do rabbit snails have lungs like apple snails? You have to let it dry for half an hour and I kept the soft part of him moist, and half of him in water for the last 20 minutes, although he was upside down. I would have waited and gotten more support/info, but there was none available at that time of night, and when I saw stuff coming out of the hole, I felt I had to act. Bah! I don't know.

I posted in the other thread about something sharp in the tank that was my fault, and how both snails have the same long slash injury. I am just nauseous about the whole thing. I really feel like I am letting everybody down (fish/invertebrate-wise). I wish I could just learn everything at once but I can see many things are only learned by experience (meaning, mistakes). Sigh.

I will keep him in the breeding net until he begins to act more normally. There is stress-coat in the water, and calcium. Someone told me that Epsom Salts is bad, so I will do a 50% water change today. How do you make the water hard without it? Will search the forums on that one.

Thanks for being here. Don't know what I would do without everybody here.
 

Junne

Member
CyndI Warren said:
Oh dear, I read it in a recipe to harden the water. I didn't think Epsom Salts were really "salt" like soduI'm chloride. Is there another way to harden the water? Dang this is so complicated. Thanks for the info tho.
I too have heard the epsom salt raises GH in water but as far as it good for the fish/snails, I think its on the fence. Some aquarist recommend, others don't so for that reason, I would say NOT to use it. There are other ways to raise the hardness such as Limestone and crushed coral.
What are your readings for ph, kh/gh?
I also read that the salts would not be good for snails such as mystery but I am not certain if that applies to rabbit snails or not.....
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Thanks, Junne,

I err on the side of moderation with the salt and epsom salts and calcium.

I use
2 teaspoons epsom salts
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt

in my 10 gallon tank.

This morning water levels are as follows. (I am still using "Tetra Easy Sticks" but saving for a master test kit.)

Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Hardness 300
Chlorine 0
Alkaline 130
pH 7.5
 

kb9plc

Member
I would agree with the salt thing. Salt kinda makes me nervous because of all of the hype about it, be it both good and bad. I've only used it on sick fish that have been QT'd by themselves. And I honestly don't know if it really helped or not. The calcium on the other hand is a very very good thing for snails. It's really imporant for healthy shell growth and maintenance. But you don't need much of that either. As an example, the Instant Ocean Calcium booster only calls for a small cap full for 50 gallons. I think that equates to about 5mg.

And don't be too hard on yourself. Fish keeping is trial by fire. Seriously. All of us have made mistakes at one point or another. I'd take the sharp object out of the tank and call it good. Think of it this way... you've gained more snail knowledge thru this occurance

I really feel you did the right thing with the patch. But sometimes even your best efforts with snails are in vein. They are very mysterious creatures with this sort of thing. I personally believe that if he was leaking puss and what not, something very bad may have happened during the night if you wouldn't have acted. Snails leaking anything is not a good sign. He may just need time to heal up and start feeling better. And yes, the process of patching him I'm sure was stressful to him.... but there really was no way around that. If he keeps eating like he did, I think you will be fine with time!
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
K. Then I am addding too much calcium. I am putting a half a 500 mg capsule in 10 gal. Will change to just sprinkling it.
 

Novemayune

Member
I concur with kb on the salt - makes me too nervous. Besides, I add enough other things to my aquarium (ferts, CO2, going to get some Instant Ocean soon-ish) that I don't want to put another thing on my list of adding to the tank. Fwiw: I don't even test my hardness - I only use the API Freshwater MTK - and my snails shells are growing very well. What was your water hardness before you did any of the salting??
 

kb9plc

Member
My measurement are for a liquid. I'm not at home, so I can't check my IO CB bottle, but I know it is eaither 5mg or 10mg. There are two measurement caps on the bottle, and I don't recall which one is for what off the top of my head. However..... I dunno if dry capsules are different. With that, I'd probably disolve it in a cup full of tank water and then put it back in.
Honestly I don't think you can OD a snail on calcium
I mean some of jwebbe's snails and mine chew on zucchinI for what seems to be 1/2 of their lives. LOL!!! They'd certainly of OD'd by now!!!

The salt on the other hand is another story. Too much can definitley be a bad thing.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
OK. Well, I'm doing a big water change for sure and will d/c salt. So frustrating b/c read all this stuff about how guppies "need" it. \ So glad you are here. Thank you so much for posting and helping save Abu and Genie (also have Aladdin and, sadly, the late jasmine. They look like they are riding on magic carpets to me, thus the name theme.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
It was soft (about 75) but they have only been in the water for say, a month, as my aquarium was a Christmas present.
 

kb9plc

Member
I seriously wish I would have thought of those names first Hahahaha

There is a lot of conflicting information out there and it is frustrating. It also doesn't help that there is a science to fish keeping (sw is worse!). Many times there is never a cut and dry answer for things. So I understand completely! First off, Id definitley stop listening to your LFS guy (based on your inital post that mentioned him). I've only ran into a few LFS that seem to know their 'stuff'.... but only after 'testing' them to death. LOL. And typically it's never the chain pet stores either. There is a lot of people on this forum that can give you horror stories that started with LFS advise. Ugh. Not to say that any of us our 'perfect'..... but at least there are enough of us on here where you can take a poll and go with what makes sense. Hahaha
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
kb9plc said:
And don't be too hard on yourself. Fish keeping is trial by fire. Seriously. All of us have made mistakes at one point or another. ... you've gained more snail knowledge thru this occurance

I really feel you did the right thing with the patch...something very bad may have happened during the night if you wouldn't have acted.
These are very kind and encouraging words. Thank you for taking the time to post this. It does make me feel better. The water change is done and the sea salt is out.

The LFS gave me some Live Bearers Salt (free) that he said was good and would harden the water. I am leery of the "salt" part tho. Will do more looking in to this.
 

Novemayune

Member
As a general rule, I have adopted the philosophy that it is better to just leave the water be - messing with pH and hardness creates more problems than it solves, imo. That is just from the reading I've been doing throughout FL here. I would only supplement needs like calcium via a supplement and offered veggies. Besides, those kinds of things are only money suckers - you have to continue to add the product for the life of the tank in order to maintain your status quo, as it were. I hope that makes sense. I have a 3yo yelling at me for peanut butter toast right now. :-/

ETA: I have live-bearers. They needed no additives like live bearer salt to feel comfortable enough to breed me to the gills. I am SUPER overstocked right now. Sounds like he was just roping you into repeating purchases, kwim??
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Update after trip to our nice aquarium store:

1) I brought in Genie, the mystery snail with the slashed siphon so they could examine him. They said it was normal anatomy! Woohoo! made my day. He is an adult and they told me he would only live a few months, so I have time to adjust to that knowledge

2) Abu the rabbit snail was eating well and quite active this morning, and currently resting. he is much happier and more active in the tank so I took him out of the breeding net. Will still use that for feeding tho so he can eat in peace.

The main result of all this trauma and drama is that I have
decided to make significant changes in accordance with what I have learned - to use my best judgment. Thus:


A) 75% water change

B) no more salt, epsom salts, or sharp objects!!

C) rehomed my 2 guppies. I will miss them but the tank was full and she was just nasty to all the other fish, creating stress in my opionion.

D) one more pristella - I had been given 2 by mistake and added a third last week. On the store's advice today I added one more. They seem very happy and adjusted, so IMO this is not the ideal of 6, but good enough if they stay happy. (They do school with the 7 neons)

E) The store also gave me some free live bearers salt. They said it would harden the water without the stress of sea salt. I'm still a bit leery of the word "salt" tho.

H) I splurged and went into some minor debt for an apI test kit. This will be good for the fish and give me more peace of mind.

I) He said it is better to stock your tank with fish that fit your water vs changing water to fit your fish. This sounds great, but what if you already have fish that need different water?? I'm thinking in that case, change the water to fit the fish? Or should I slowly adapt the fish to the water? Bah. I dunno.

J) He said "keep it simple with minimum additives" makes sense

Thanks again everyone. If I'm making a major mistake here, please let me know!!!
 

Novemayune

Member
Fish will adapt to water - as long as you acclimated them to your water they would be fine. In this case, I would just do small water changes so you slowly change the treated water out, kwim? It will be gradual, but just stop adding anything (chemicals or salt) kwim, and you will be acclimating them to your new water.
 

Junne

Member
I would still be leery of the "salt" thing. In my opinion, like stated above, you really shouldn't adjust or tamper with ph and stuff. Do so with additives just creates bigger issues. If it can be done naturally, then by all means that's a good thing.

I don't know if this is the same thing or not but I remember as a child, my mom would put unwanted garden snails in a empty coffee can and pour salt on them. They pretty much died instantly, foaming, etc but it was a sight I will never forget. you know that saying about salt to the wounds? That's what it reminds me of - fish or otherwise especially if they are labyrinth variety......

Anyway, I guess there's a balance to everything and finding that is subjective in many ways. I too wish my snails would tell me when they aren't feeling good - I have lost 4 snails in my main tank and only a few fish since I started last March.
I have to wonder what it is about the snails that die since my tetra's are supposed to be the most sensitive fish in that respect. So its a learn by error unfortunately and hopefully not make the same mistakes.

Anyway, good that you found homes for your guppys. I would be leary about any live bearers if you don't intend to have fry. Because as you know, they will breed like rabbits

oh and please get yourself an apI test kit when you can. If you are going to be testing your water, that will be the most reliable. I would only use the strips as a guide ( I use them in between my regular apI tests or if something doesn't look right, etc )
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
I agree completely. I just worry about finding a way to harden the water and help with pH for the snail-kids. They are really my favorites now. So I would rather have the fish adjust to the snail needs than the other way around. Now, if I just understood exactly what "snail needs" are!! lol Learning with your help tho!!

I am still in a mild dilemma about what to do with the snails in my natural soft acidic water. That just can't be good for their shells.

I splurged and went into "allowance debt" to buy one today! I'm excited to use it!
 

Novemayune

Member
I know others use different substrates or even RO water purchased from their grocery store for their tanks...

ETA: have you tested your water's pH out of the tap? And after letting it sit for 24 hrs??
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
BTW, you are more than welcome to share the names. I promise I won't tell your snails or mine.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
My water's natural pH (sitting or fresh out of the tap) is 6.8.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Followed FLS advise. Colors on my test strip weren't even on the chart! It drastically and suddenly changed my water chemistry. I'm surprised it didn't kill everybody. I'm totally fuming. He has been doing fish all his life, professionally and personally. He manages the only elite aquarium shop in the area. And he's an idiot. Dang. <insert the colorful word I'm actually thinking>
 

kb9plc

Member
CyndI Warren said:
1) I brought in Genie, the mystery snail with the slashed siphon so they could examine him. They said it was normal anatomy! Woohoo! made my day. He is an adult and they told me he would only live a few months, so I have time to adjust to that knowledge..........
Umm mystery snails can live up to 4 years. Okay, so that's on the longgggggg end, and snails are known to have their unexplainable problems, but still I don't see how this LFS would know that your snail will only live a few months they would have to know just how 'adult' your snail is.

CyndI Warren said:
2) Abu the rabbit snail was eating well and quite active this morning, and currently resting. he is much happier and more active in the tank so I took him out of the breeding net..............
This is good! Glad to hear he is eating more. I think Abu will be just fine. He will need a WHILE to repair his wound thou. So the breeder is a great idea. Be sure the snail gets his calcium and yum yums

CyndI Warren said:
H) I splurged and went into some minor debt for an apI test kit. This will be good for the fish and give me more peace of mind.
The liquid kit? Cool beans.
FYI a bit of information for you on this. Test works amazing if you follow the instructions to the letter. AND there is one thing the instructions don't quite specify enough. When you are testing for nitrates it is a two bottle process. Before you use bottle number two SHAKE THE BAWHOOHAS OUT OF THE BOTTLE. Seriously. You can get a false reading if you don't do this EVERY TIME. Put a post it note on your test kit. Seriously.

CyndI Warren said:
He said it is better to stock your tank with fish that fit your water vs changing water to fit your fish. This sounds great, but what if you already have fish that need different water?? I'm thinking in that case, change the water to fit the fish? Or should I slowly adapt the fish to the water? Bah. I dunno.
Slowly adapt the fish. Or cut your loses and try different fish when things go south. This is just my opinion. RO water can get pricey for the average person. Or a bit of a pain. Just being honest here. But many fish can adapt or be adapted to water slowly. I don't recommend changing your water with additives or chemicals. The reasons behind that have already been mentioned in this thread and I completely agree.

As an example, I have high TDS in my water. Naturally. And m not willing to deal w RO water. So there are certain sensitive fish I now know to stay away from. But before learning this I already had panda cories. They are sensitive and many people in my area have had issues with them. So I stuck with what I had, didn't add any more (after 3 separate tries) and just babied the heck out the fish I had.....and did my best to keep the parms level, including ph. Now they just spawned I got lucky.

CyndI Warren said:
He said "keep it simple with minimum additives" makes sense
Couldn't agree more!
Except calcium. There really aren't any negatives to adding calcium.... Except helping the shell health of your snails. Lol that one is obviously a positive There is always an exception to the rule. And in fish keeping there is sometimes two! Seriously, it's trial by fire with a steep learning curve lol

CyndI Warren said:
Followed FLS advise. Colors on my test strip weren't even on the chart! It drastically and suddenly changed my water chemistry. I'm surprised it didn't kill everybody. I'm totally fuming. He has been doing fish all his life, professionally and personally. He manages the only elite aquarium shop in the area. And he's an idiot. Dang. <insert the colorful word I'm actually thinking>
I think I got lost. What changed your chemistry? The salt? Ph drop? Ugh. Well you did your water change, correct? Probably was a bit of a stress on your inhabitants, but it needed to be done. Your tests prove that.

Have you used your new test kit instead of the strips yet just to be sure? Strips have a track record of not always being accurate.

Sorry you had to learn bout LFS employees this way.
Seriously they aren't all bad. But 95% are. It's difficult to find the ones that truely know AND CARE what the fish/inverts need.

One other thing. A lot of times drastic changes in parms won't necessarily kills fish right away. (Sometimes it will, but not always) But it will lower their immune systems and leave them susceptible to sickness. You can combat this by feeding your fish garlic enriched flakes...or you can literally soak food in everyday garlic juice from fresh minced garlic jars.

And this concludes my random thoughts NOVEL of the day. Lol
Sorry my thoughts get a bit more disco jointed the later in the night it gets hahahaha
I hope parts of this help you!
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
this is great! I have so much to reply, but will wait until morning, as I'll bet you are in bed anyway.

My other mystery snail just stuck his siphon out and it is round and symmetrical with no slit. I swear that Genie's siphon was also round and symmetrical with no slit a couple of days ago. But now it has a deep slit all the way along the length. I think it is not normal. This LFS guy is a complete moron. I am going to make a list of his bad advice and report him to the owner. Bah! I need a nerf bat.
 
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Cyndi Warren

Member
Hello! This morning when I woke up, Abu was asleep, wedged into the corner with his little face mushed into a triangle. It was so cute and he looked so peaceful. Now he is rummaging around with that cute little nose. He looks more like a pig than a rabbit to me, but they didn't ask me when they named this new species.

Ok, in response to your "disco jointed novel" -- lol! BTW, I love to learn. So I really like your detailed and informative posts - a lot! I think it is awesome when people with expertise and experience invest "pay it forward" by investing in those who want to learn.

I am excited that mysteries can live up to 4 years and that the guy didn't psychically know Genie was old. Don't rabbits live even longer?

I have tried the breeder net for feeding and will continue, but he is not happy or active in there. As soon as he is on his familiar turf he starts poking around so I am letting him decide on that. Thankfully the nasty guppy is gone and she was my main concern because she intimidated him. None of the fish are bothering him.

However, Aladdin (mystery) *adores* Abu (rabbit). He hangs out with him and frequently rides on his shell. Abu (even now) doesn't seem to mind and is very strong. I think they enjoy one another's company. However, my husband is worried that the mystery might be somehow hurting or stressing Abu?

Snails seem very social to me. The same LFS guy said "I don't think their brains are big enough to be social." (Ahem, they don't *have* brains, stupid. And you don't need a brain to feel things or have needs.) I think snails need other snails. But I don't suppose I have room for another rabbit. Hope some inter-species friendship will do.

Yes, I did get the real deal ... the official ... API Freshwater Master Test Kit. (I love the "Master" in there. It makes me feel so smart and scientific!

You mentioned it is better to go with the tap water para and let the fish adapt. But I am head over heels with my snails. I'm afraid they will not adapt to soft water with low pH, even with added calcium. My water tests really well and has been quite stable with this recipe for 10 gallons:

1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Epsom Salts (*see note below)
1/2 500 mg Calcium Citrate capsule
1 ml Seachem Prime

Last night my readings with the API MTK were:
NO3 0ppm
NO2 0ppm
Ammonia 0ppm (water completely clear)
pH 7.5

* Now about the Epsom Salts. I think the word salts *may* be confusing. Tell me what you think. The word "salt" does not necessarily mean sodium chloride, although it is most commonly used that way. Salt is a mineral in crystalized form. Sodium Chloride is one mineral that can be in the form of salt.

Epsom Salts is crystallized magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen

It contains no sodium and no chloride.

In humans magnesium is an essential nutrient to be able to metabolize calcium. Sulfur is mild and medicinal. Epsom salts is also used as a fertilizer for plants and enables chlorophyll production.

So, I am wondering if the red flags people are getting from the idea of Epsom Salts is understandable confusion over the word "salts." From my research about magnesium sulfate I am really thinking it will help my snails by hardening the water, giving Abu some medicinal support for his gash, giving them healthier plants, and helping him absorb his calcium.

Also, I am using only about half the recommended amount.

I would be very interested to hear what you think about this?

One last word on my brilliant LFS guy: He gave me Live Bearer's Salts, which is now called (he thought) Brackish Salt. He told me to use 1 TBSP for 10 gallons. I never tested with the MTK but my strip showed

nitrate 30
Nitrite 2.0
Hardness over 300
Alkalinity over 300
pH over 8.4

Absolutely outrageously unacceptable. It must have been the wrong dosage or the wrong product? Certainly the wrong advice. No wonder his snails only live a few months. The weird thing is he used to have a room full of tanks - fresh and salt. he used to maintain tanks for office buildings and residences professionally. and now he manages the best aquarium store in our area. You would *think* you could trust him?? I am thinking he is either angry or possibly just living in an 80s paradigm for fishkeeping. Who knows. Grrr.

Finally, I am interested in the garlic. I read that garlic in the water is really good for snails as well as fish. But I didn't quite understand your instructions.

I have flake food (if I soaked that in garlic juice wouldn't it turn to mush?). I also feed frozen brine shrimp and veggies. I could soak an algae wafer. The fish like those as well as the snails. I have powdered, dried minced, and fresh garlic. Do I need another kind? (you mentioned a jar.) Can I just crush a fresh clove and drop it in the tank?

Thanks again!! You are helping me tremendously!!!


Your pal,
Cyndi
 
  • Thread Starter

Cyndi Warren

Member
P.S.

Link on Epsom Salts:


Clarification on Salts:


Oh, and I did get the shake-for-one-minute thing about the nitrate tester. Thanks tho. The instructions were more complicated than they needed to be. Oh, maybe that should make me feel smart, too! lol
 

Junne

Member
As for fish food, I think ( and a lot of fishlore people would agree ) is to use the New Life Spectrum Thera A with garlic.
The NLS as we so call it is one of the best food/ingredients around. It is pricier than your average tood but I believe in the old agage, "you are what you eat"
Only the best for our finned friends right? Plus this food has the garlic to help the immune system. There are many formulas for different fish, sizes, etc but I use the small fish formula and it seems to work for ALL of my community fish.

Great on your new API kit! As stated before, when you do the #2 bottle of the Nitrates, you can bang it on the counter or solid object so it breaks up the crystals inside. My bottle has severe indentations because of that! LOL
The key is to make sure the regents get mixed thoroughly!
Don't throw away your strips though... I keep mine to use in between regular apI readings which is usually about once a month.
Also API sells separately ones for GH/KH

Glad to hear Abu is coming around
 
  • Thread Starter

Cyndi Warren

Member
K Thanks! Really great info.
 

kb9plc

Member
Holy buckets, okay I have a lot to catch up on here...

Jwebbe's post:
First off, jwebbe and I are pretty much on the same wave length with just about everything
NLS is awseome. I use the garlic flakes religiously. Not just when there is a problem. And just about everyone on here will recommend any variety they make..... flake, pellet or otherwise. The problem is that most CHAIN FLS stores don't carry NLS. Typically you will find it a personally owned 'mom and pop' shops..... or on Amazon.

I think I recall having the 'banging on the counter' conversation with jwebbe for the same reason. I think I actually told her that if she has a 'shaking machine' to use it. Hahaha! (or was that someone else? I can't remember anymore lol) The bottle #2 has crystals in it that have to be broken up for it to work right..... hence the shaking. Just a bit more info to add to your growing encyclopedia LOL

Your last 2 posts:
Post #35:
I really don't think the slit is normal. None of mine have that, and I have 6 mystery snails. They are all round and of varying lengths. I suppose it is possible for it to be a birth defect. But honestly, if the siphon wasn't working for her at all I think you would already have noticed a problem with this snails attitude/functionality/etc. I really think they need both their gills and lungs to survive. I have a huge bubble bar in one of my mystery tanks, so the water is aerated pretty good. My guys don't go up to the surface very much.... but they DO go up there. So the need for lung/siphon usage must arise. I would also think it would heal with time. How much time, I dunno. But their antenna can grow back if they are nipped.... so in my opinion, I would think they could heal the rest of their body too. I've never tested that theory or had a snail that has had body (not shell) damage. So this is just an educated guess.

Post #36:
LOL obviously my typing ability was lacking at that time of night. "disco jointed novel" was supposed to be disconjointed novel (which I probably still misspelled..... hey, I'm a programmer. we can't spell. lol)

I don't have a plethora of knowledge on rabbits other than what I can assume due to them being trumpets. So I'm not sure about their life span. I'd actually love to have one.... not sure where to get one thou. I've never seen them in an LFS before! Maybe I'll add it onto my 'looking for' list I have on this forum.

Well I guess if he is irrtated by the breeder... and he is eating.... and he is social......... perhaps he will be fine on his own while he is healing. Just be sure he is eating. Sometimes that is hard to tell unless you literally see a snail chowing down. As for Alladin hurting him..... as long as he doesn't mess with your patch job, I wouldn't think he would be causing any harm. I mean.... one of my female mysteries commonly has two male mysteries riding on her back at the same time. And they are bigger than she is! I've even seen her hanging upside down from the tank lid with both of them attached to her! I think their little snail bodies are stronger than we give them credit for.

I dunno about fish brains and who is smarter than the average tank inhabitant. But if you ask me, the most social fish/inverts I have run into are the labyrinth family (those with both lungs and gills). That would be bettas, gouramis.... and technically mystery snails! Angel fish are hysterical too. But most of the snail owners and lovers on this forum will all agree that their water pets all have different personalities once you take the time to watch them for a while! The pet store guy probably is too busy with the business/job to even aknowledge that.

Water adaptions: My bad. I lost the fact that you have a ph issue somewhere in our novel thread Okay, with ph issues... there are chemicals out there that can up or down your ph. These are the things that 99% of the people on this forum will tell you to steer clear of. They are not the answer. The cause other problems, and on top of that you have to use them FOREVER. It's not a dose and done, kinda thing. That being said.... adding NON chemicals to your tank is not typically anything to be concerend about. Read: natural remedies.
-For raising ph, people will add marble, limestone, cruched coral substrate, crushed coral in bag in the filter housing, and sea shells. Anddddd MARINE salt (more on that in a bit)
- Now. There are also things that LOWER your ph. Make sure none of these are in your tank since you don't want to add to your ph issue. NOs FOR You: large amounts of driftwood, peat/clay substrate, RO water (wil soften your water and in turn lower your ph... its a chemical recation type thing), and be super careful with CO2. I thnk I already mentioned I don't have a lot of input on CO2 but I know it can give you ph spikes/drops.
-Also, if you should have an cycle crashes, minI cycles, or cycle issue in general.... that can also cause ph crashes. And sometimes...the other way around.

The salt thing: Okay, MARINE salt can technically add minerals and up your ph. But the dosing is really sensative! One wrong move and you will overdose your tank. And keep in mind, regular AQUARIUM salt is not the same thing. It's good for sick fish... but not for ph adjusting. As for your 'brakish' salt.... I THINK that is technically aquarium salt. And I still wouldn't use it except for certain hospital/QT tank uses.

As for Epsom Salt. NO it's not the same thing as Aquarium Salt. Your post is correct. Aquarium salt is sodium chloride, epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. And I have heard of people using both depending on what the AILMENT is they are trying to treat. But Aquarium Salt is the more commonly one people use for sick fish.

I believe Live Bearers Salt is Aquarium Salt. That being said, your salt should not do anything to your ph.

I don't think your LFS guys was entirely off his rocker giving you the salt because you HAD guppies. Some people do keep salt in their live bearer tanks to promote breeding. But many people don't and have more babies than they know what to do with anyways. It's a bit of a personal opinion. BUT I think those who salt have tanks with only livebears in it.... and nothing else that could potentially have issues with the salt.

Okay. So now I"m looking at the two different sets of readings.
One with API liquid kit. And one with strips after salting.
Ugh. Ya know I just don't trust strips. Like jwebbe said... I wouldnt toss them. They aren't entirely useless. But I would use them more as a quick guidelines type test. Just to make sure something isn't totally off. But the liquid kit is so much more accurate. But given two different readings, I'd be more opt to believe the results from the liquid kit.
Ya. I wouldn't like 30 nitrate either. I try and keep that at or below 20.
But I'm a bit surprised with the nitrate difference between the tests. Not sure what is going on with that. The salt wouldn't do that. I assume maybe the strips (30) test was not taken after a water change. And maybe the liquid test (0) was??? Especially since you were planning on doing a water change due to the salt. So I assume this is the case. OR the strips were just way off. I see your tank has been established a while based on your info you have entered in your profile..... plus it's planted, so your plants could easily be chewing up any and all nitrates. Hence, the 0.

Back to the ph. I see the ph difference between the two tests. Again, I just don't trust the strips. I definitley don't trust them for ph readings particuarly because I know my snails shell quality is directly effected by my ph. The aquarium salt shouldn't do anything to your ph. MARINE salt would. But I really don't think that is what you have. So maybe the strips were off. Again.
Also... the lower ph result with the liquid kit, I assume was taken after your water change. It's possible your ph hasn't settled to it's true ph after the water change. That typically takes at least 24 hours.

SIDE NOTE on testing and water changes: ammonia test results will not be accurare until 24 hours AFTER a water change due to water conditioners (which I assume you use). Water conditioners throw off ammonia test results. FYI.

Back to the ph. Technically either one of your ph results are fine for snails! If your ph drops to 6.0 or anything close to that....... start panicing. But anything at or above 7.0 is perfectly peachy for snails. My ph changes seasonlly. Right now I'm at 7.4. In the summer I hit 8.4 (gradually.... thank god!!). There was one time that I had a ph crash due to a cycling issue. That tank had BABY mystery snails in it (talk about a heart attack). Once I realize the ph issue, I had already lost 1 baby. And the other 2 had substatial shell damage. It wasn't like the damage you have. It was literally cracking a pealing of the entire shell. Looked like the poor snail got mooshed by a book. I was hearbroken and really angry with myself. However.... despite the insane amount of shell damange, these resilient little babies (M&M size at the time) entirely healed theirselves once they were put in a calcium enriched, higher ph tank.... and are still with me as GIGANTIC adults today.

Garlic: well yah. If you soak it for too long, you get mush. Depending on the fish, it might not matter. Like my angelfish will eat anything that isn't stapled down. I wouldn't recommended soaking flakes. Pellets or wafers, yes. You just have to figure out the proper non-overly-mushed timing.

I don't think the fish will eat straight garlic. Not sure if you want to do that thou. I've never heard of anyone feeding their fish straight garlic LOL. The 'jars' I am referring to is the small 'fresh minced garlic' jars you can often find where the garlic is literally floating and packed in garlic juice. Sometimes you can find it in huge plastic jars at the various BULK 'club' stores.

P.S. "pay it forward" You have no idea. If you find some of my original posts I probably seem like a different person. NOOB Hehehe I'm telling ya.... it's a crazy learning requirement in fish keeping. Do or drown. And swim fast. LOL! And omg expert I am not. Still got lots to learn! Completely understanding the minI chem lab that resides in my tank still evades me, but it'll come eventually. And saltwater tanks scare the bawhoohas out of me. But I've had some nutty experiences with FW, so if I can prevent someone from going thru some of the heart attacks I have had.... then I am good with that

Wow. Okay. This is another novel.
Someone is going to start charging me by the letter if I keep this up.
 
  • Thread Starter

Cyndi Warren

Member
Thanks! I will get back to you on this as soon as I can.
 
  • Thread Starter

Cyndi Warren

Member
In doing some reading, I learned that rabbit snails can hurt themselves on gravel. Sometimes they get turned over and can't right themselves or worse. In learning to take care of abu, I am switching to sand. In addition, since I love plants, and have wanted a planted tank, I also bought plant substrate.

The floramax bag says it has a lot of minerals in it. It does not mention copper but I want to be sure. I posted in the tank equipment forum, too, but I thought I'd ask here since you are are so familiar with inverts. Thanks!!
 
  • Thread Starter

Cyndi Warren

Member
Abu is having a new "I'm living on my beloved sand" adventure. But I think it's kind of a new topic, even though it has also to do with his recovery. But I think it's better to create a new thread. But for those who have been following Abu and helping so much I thought I'd let you know.
 

kb9plc

Member
CyndI Warren said:
In doing some reading, I learned that rabbit snails can hurt themselves on gravel. Sometimes they get turned over and can't right themselves or worse. In learning to take care of abu, I am switching to sand. In addition, since I love plants, and have wanted a planted tank, I also bought plant substrate.

The floramax bag says it has a lot of minerals in it. It does not mention copper but I want to be sure. I posted in the tank equipment forum, too, but I thought I'd ask here since you are are so familiar with inverts. Thanks!!
I didn't know that about rabbit snails!
I know some fish absolutley need sand or super-dooper tiny sand-like gravel because of their barbels (think: cories)..... and I know MTS prefer sand, but can live in polished pebble substrated (read: no sharp edges)..... BUT I didn't know this bit of info about the rabbit snails. Definitley good to know!

I've never used floramax so I have no input on that
Some of my tanks are polished pebble substrate.... and some of them are super tiny gravel that is just slightly larger than sand (thou the bag actually says 'sand').
 

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