Is My Nerite Snail Dying? Question 

Kylee

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I know questions like these are everywhere, but I haven't been able to find any answers for my situation. I got a nerite snail about four months ago. Other than his shell being chipped, he looked and acted healthy. He was very active and always grazing the glass for algae.
But then a couple weeks ago he flipped himself upside down which he's never done. I figured he just fell off the glass so I turned him back over. Since then, I've had to flip him over multiple times. He's always in a position to where he can't flip himself back over. He disappeared for awhile and I figured he was dying of old age, but then when I got another nerite snail my first one appeared again. I'll flip him over and then he won't move forever so I think he's dying, and then next time I see him he's moved or even on the glass. But I never see him moving or eating.
I've included pictures of him. He's always shrunk up like you see in these pictures unless he's on the glass. I don't know if he's suffering and I need to humanely euthanize him, or if I should put him in a quarantine tank and wait it out. Thank you in advance for the help, and sorry for such a repetitive question!

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Bryangar

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If he’s still sticking to the wall then he most definitely is alive. His shell looks pretty bad. How did crack it? Do you have calcium for him in any form? They need it to help their shell grow and heal. What do you feed him? Have you seen him eat? What size tank? What other tank mates does he have?
 

Jessica J

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Yes his shell looks cracked and it could have been a fall from the top of the tank to the bottom it cracked my mystery snail shell and we lost Gary not long after, RIP Gary The Golden Mystery. What other tank mates are in there if any? Hope he/she gets better.
 
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Kylee

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bryangar said:
If he’s still sticking to the wall then he most definitely is alive. His shell looks pretty bad. How did crack it? Do you have calcium for him in any form? They need it to help their shell grow and heal. What do you feed him? Have you seen him eat? What size tank? What other tank mates does he have?
His shell looked like that when I got him, he was in a tank with crabs so I'm assuming they did it. I did research and got cuttlebone for him and have been paying close attention to the pH because I have soft water. I've never seen him on the cuttlebone though. I feed zucchini to my otos and I'd see my snail nibble on it every so often. Other than seeing him on zucchini, I've never seen him eat anything else, other than when he used to graze the glass a lot. But he's always been very active until the last couple weeks so I know he eats. Algae wafers and shrimp wafers are ignored in my tank, so I'm assuming they eat the leftovers of the flakes for my other fish.
I have a 20 gallon tank with 3 guppies, 3 x-ray tetras, 3 ghost shrimp, 2 otos, and 2 nerite snails. They're all peaceful and my bottomfeeders are very active so I know that no one is being picked on. His shell has never improved since I've gotten him, but I'm already seeing slight improvement on my new snail's shell after having him for only a week.
 
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Kylee

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Jessica J said:
Yes his shell looks cracked and it could have been a fall from the top of the tank to the bottom it cracked my mystery snail shell and we lost Gary not long after, RIP Gary The Golden Mystery. What other tank mates are in there if any? Hope he/she gets better.
It was cracked when I got him, and he's never improved. I've read that it's hard for them to grow back their shell when they're old, and if they act healthy it's not deep enough to hurt them. So I know it's not that because he's never acted sick until a couple weeks ago. The fact that his body is getting dark and he's always shriveled up is what concerns me.
And I'm so sorry, my first snail was also a golden mystery snail named Gary! Ironically I had him in Spongebob themed tank

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I guess my question is, is it normal that he keeps shriveling up and following on his back? I think he's either dying of old age or sick. I just wondered if anyone else has had this issue. I don't want to euthanize him if he's just sick and it's something treatable. Here's how I found him before bed last night. He was on his back again this morning, shriveled up as always.
 

Bryangar

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How long have you had him? Have you added any salt or medication containing copper? Snails are sensitive to both.
 

Dch48

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It's unusual for a Nerite to be on it's back. I've read about them dying because they weren't able to turn over. Now a Mystery can wind up in any position and easily get themselves out of it. I think your snail is just very stressed because of the cracked shell and sadly, he may not survive much longer.
 
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Kylee

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bryangar said:
How long have you had him? Have you added any salt or medication containing copper? Snails are sensitive to both.
I've had him for about four months. And no I haven't, I have shrimp also so I make sure to avoid anything like that.

Dch48 said:
It's unusual for a Nerite to be on it's back. I've read about them dying because they weren't able to turn over. Now a Mystery can wind up in any position and easily get themselves out of it. I think your snail is just very stressed because of the cracked shell and sadly, he may not survive much longer.
That makes me so sad. His shell hasn't improved since I got him four months ago so I'm at a loss of what to do. The only thing I've been able to find through research is that older snails have more difficulty repairing their shells. So I might have been unlucky and gotten an older snail. Do you think he's suffering? Would you suggest leaving him alone or euthanizing him with clove oil?
 

Dch48

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Kylee said:
That makes me so sad. His shell hasn't improved since I got him four months ago so I'm at a loss of what to do. The only thing I've been able to find through research is that older snails have more difficulty repairing their shells. So I might have been unlucky and gotten an older snail. Do you think he's suffering? Would you suggest leaving him alone or euthanizing him with clove oil?
Personally, I'd let him be if he still moves around some. I'm a firm believer in the adage "Where there's life, there's hope."
 
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Kylee

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Dch48 said:
Personally, I'd let him be if he still moves around some. I'm a firm believer in the adage "Where there's life, there's hope.
That's how I feel. I didn't put my betta down until he went a full day without moving but was still breathing.
 

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Did you ever figure out what was happening with your nerite? I am experiencing something similar with mine as of the last 2-3 days. I have had him/her for almost a year now and feel bad that I can't do anything.

My water parameters are great and there have been no changes for weeks -- ammonia, nitrites, chlorine -- 0. Nitrates stay between 5-10 ppm. No pH changes (7.2). Temperature stays at 78 F. Hardness and alkalinity are good as well. My little dude as looks very similar to yours.

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Kylee

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Gabbie R said:
Did you ever figure out what was happening with your nerite? I am experiencing something similar with mine as of the last 2-3 days. I have had him/her for almost a year now and feel bad that I can't do anything.

My water parameters are great and there have been no changes for weeks -- ammonia, nitrites, chlorine -- 0. Nitrates stay between 5-10 ppm. No pH changes (7.2). Temperature stays at 78 F. Hardness and alkalinity are good as well. My little dude as looks very similar to yours.

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The poor guy didn't make it. I've had several since then, and honestly the only one I've had good luck with is the black racer nerite I got about 3 or so months ago. I've learned that when they start flipping over or shriveling up, they're dying. And there really isn't anything you can do. Just basically let them die in peace.

But I did notice, even though it's supposed to be safe for snails and shrimp, when I started using API fertilizer for my plants, that's when my snails would start to do that. So I experimented and moved the new snail I got into a tank with no plants. And I've had zero problems. I don't know if you have plants, but if so just be really careful. I ended up getting different fertilizer from aquariumcoop.com and haven't had any issues.

So sadly I would just keep an eye on him and make sure he's not being picked on because I do think he's dying. Especially since you've had him for year, they don't have very long life spans. That's a very impressive amount of time actually!
 

Gabbie

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Kylee said:
The poor guy didn't make it. I've had several since then, and honestly the only one I've had good luck with is the black racer nerite I got about 3 or so months ago. I've learned that when they start flipping over or shriveling up, they're dying. And there really isn't anything you can do. Just basically let them die in peace.

But I did notice, even though it's supposed to be safe for snails and shrimp, when I started using API fertilizer for my plants, that's when my snails would start to do that. So I experimented and moved the new snail I got into a tank with no plants. And I've had zero problems. I don't know if you have plants, but if so just be really careful. I ended up getting different fertilizer from aquariumcoop.com and haven't had any issues.

So sadly I would just keep an eye on him and make sure he's not being picked on because I do think he's dying. Especially since you've had him for year, they don't have very long life spans. That's a very impressive amount of time actually!
I definitely have plants in both of my tanks but I have not had to fertilize the tank he is in *yet* -- the substrate I put in was jam packed with stuff but I know I will have to start supplementing in the next couple months as those nutrients are used up. I will look into the fertilizers from that site as I start to make my purchases.

I'm sad I'll be losing him and that nothing can be done. Luckily everyone has left him alone so far, if that changes, my 55 gallon is currently empty and I could move him there for a 'peaceful passing'.

Thanks for getting back to me!
 
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Kylee

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Gabbie R said:
I definitely have plants in both of my tanks but I have not had to fertilize the tank he is in *yet* -- the substrate I put in was jam packed with stuff but I know I will have to start supplementing in the next couple months as those nutrients are used up. I will look into the fertilizers from that site as I start to make my purchases.

I'm sad I'll be losing him and that nothing can be done. Luckily everyone has left him alone so far, if that changes, my 55 gallon is currently empty and I could move him there for a 'peaceful passing'.

Thanks for getting back to me!
It's very good fertilizer, it made a huge difference with my plants!

I'm glad he's being left alone. I could be wrong and he could pull through, but it just seems like old age to me. I wish you luck! And you're welcome!
 

Dch48

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My Zebra Nerite just died. I'd had him since last April so I guess it was his time. I have a Tiger one in my other tank that is the most active Nerite I've ever seen. He's constantly on the move and when he gets on the glass, I can see his foot undulating as he crawls. he acts more like a Mystery.
 
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Kylee

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Dch48 said:
My Zebra Nerite just died. I'd had him since last April so I guess it was his time. I have a Tiger one in my other tank that is the most active Nerite I've ever seen. He's constantly on the move and when he gets on the glass, I can see his foot undulating as he crawls. he acts more like a Mystery.
People always say nerites are the best algae eating snails but I've never had any luck. I'm glad yours is doing well! Sorry about your loss. But like you said, most are very lazy. My black racer will bury himself in the sand for 2 days, come out and eat, and then find another spot to bury himself. I got a black mystery snail recently that's super active. He was labeled as a nerite snail, when I said he was a mystery they told me I was wrong. I think I'm right

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Dch48

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Yes, that is definitely a Mystery snail. I don't know how good Nerites are with green algae because I haven't had any. I do know that they eat the brown stuff voraciously.
 
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