My Mystery Snail Has Been Floating For 5 Days

Aquilist
  • #1
Hello! I'm new here. A few days ago I got 3 mystery snails for my 3-gallon betta tank. I know that may be a bit overcrowded but I perform water changes every couple days (and its a filtered tank) so ammonia and nitrates aren't a problem. When I first brought home my snails they were all very active, crawling around and exploring. However, the next day one of the snails was just floating at the top. I know Mystery snails can float naturally but he hasn't sunk at all yet. That was 5 days ago. He hasn't eaten or moved at all. He was originally hanging out of the shell, but now he's tucked into it with the door shut. He isn't dead, he smells fine and is holding himself in the shell but I'm still worried. I haven't seen the Betta display any aggression towards the snails, he just ignores them. I've tried turning the snail upside-down to see if bubbles come out but nothing has happened. I then moved the snail into a bowl a few hours ago with food to see if he'll open up but he's still shut.
Is there anything I can do?
The first photo was three days ago the second photo was today.,
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UPDATE: Just whilst I was typing this he's opened half out and is using his 'snorkel thing'. This is the most his moved all day.

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Mazeus
  • #2
HI and welcome

Mystery snails are sensitive souls. They can take quite a while to aclimatise to a new environment especially if your parameters (temperature + PH) are really different to their previous enviroment. How did you acclimatise them?

I have mystery snails in all 3 of my tanks, and I love them! But I would say each mystery snail need 2.5 g of tank (for their bioload) and a betta needs 2.5g, so 3 mystery snail and a betta would need a 10 gallon tank. I suspect you are going to have a lot of difficulty keeping the parameters in check on such a small tank. Mystery snails eat and poop so much!
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for replying! I acclimatised them by floating the bag in the water for half-an-hour before adding the tank water and letting them sit for ten minutes then placed them in the tank. Would you recommend moving maybe 2 or all of the snails into a different, larger tank? I would like to keep at least one snail in there, as they did a great job cleaning the algae on the first day (when they were active).
 
Mazeus
  • #4
If you have a larger tank it would be great to move at least 2. If you keep one with Betta you may still struggle to keep the parameters. What are you feeding the snails?
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok, I’ll move them as soon as possible. They’re currently being fed algae wafers and the occasional cucumber. I do 30% water changes every other day.
 
Mazeus
  • #6
Ah ok. Mystery snails need protein. I feed mine a protein based food (I use rephasy, but bottom feeder protein pellets will do) 5-6 days a week and then a veggie based food (I use homemade snello) 2 days a week. They are big eaters so need to be feed each day. There is a really useful mystery snail caresheet on the forum Mystery Snail Care Sheet

Also a useful thread Mystery Snail Care/sickness Guide
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I'm pretty sure these are the algae wafers I'm currently using but I'll check when I get home. I'll have a look at homemade snail jello and move the snails asap. Thanks so much for your help. The floating still is still floating, however every now and then he's opening up. Still, no bubbles come out when I turn him upside-down.
 

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Mazeus
  • #8
You should still get some protein based sinking pellet. HirakI make loads of different options that contain protein.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Ok, will do.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
If you have a larger tank it would be great to move at least 2. If you keep one with Betta you may still struggle to keep the parameters. What are you feeding the snails?
Ok, I've set up the larger tank (5 gallons). I'm yet to move the snails though.

I feel like I've been doing everything wrong. I did do my research beforehand and I was told that you could fit 3 snails into 3 gallons if you do water changes often. And now it turns out I'm feeding them wrong! I feel so bad..
 
Mazeus
  • #11
Ok, I've set up the larger tank (5 gallons). I'm yet to move the snails though.

I feel like I've been doing everything wrong. I did do my research beforehand and I was told that you could fit 3 snails into 3 gallons if you do water changes often. And now it turns out I'm feeding them wrong! I feel so bad..

Aww I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to make you feel bad at all. I did the same thing with the feeding. I was feeding veggies only, and thanks to this forum I now know what to feed them.

You could theoretically have them in a 3 gallon, but I would imagine you'd need to water change every day, just to keep the ammonia down. They poop so much its unbelievable. Mine is a full grown snail and his piles of poo are bigger than the size of my chilI rasboras:yuck:!

We all make so many mistakes at the start. I had a 5 gallon about 20 years ago, and I put a common pleco in it! Those things get a foot long, but the LFS told me it would be fine so I did it. He did not have a long life.

You are doing so awesome! Your snails and fish will have such a good life with you
 
Dch48
  • #12
I have a Betta, one Mystery and a Nerite in my 3.5 gallon and am having no problems with the parameters with one gallon water changes every Sunday. Three Mysteries in a small tank I wouldn't do.

I was using API Bottom feeder pellets along with Tetra Pleco wafers but I found the API pellets contain 2 forms of copper and even some nicotine! (maybe they want to get the fish addicted). I went to PetSmart and got some Omega One shrimp pellets that contain no obnoxious ingredients. I took the API ones and spread them in my garden as fertilizer
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Aww I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to make you feel bad at all. I did the same thing with the feeding. I was feeding veggies only, and thanks to this forum I now know what to feed them.

You could theoretically have them in a 3 gallon, but I would imagine you'd need to water change every day, just to keep the ammonia down. They poop so much its unbelievable. Mine is a full grown snail and his piles of poo are bigger than the size of my chilI rasboras:yuck:!

We all make so many mistakes at the start. I had a 5 gallon about 20 years ago, and I put a common pleco in it! Those things get a foot long, but the LFS told me it would be fine so I did it. He did not have a long life.

You are doing so awesome! Your snails and fish will have such a good life with you

Thank you! So I have the tank set up. I am worried about skipping cycling the tank..? There is no spare filter media in my current tank to move over. I presume I'd have to do many water cycles the first couple months to keep the ammonia down. I'm currently acclimatising the snails into the new, 5 gallon tank. Hopefully all goes well!

I have a Betta, one Mystery and a Nerite in my 3.5 gallon and am having no problems with the parameters with one gallon water changes every Sunday. Three Mysteries in a small tank I wouldn't do.

I was using API Bottom feeder pellets along with Tetra Pleco wafers but I found the API pellets contain 2 forms of copper and even some nicotine! (maybe they want to get the fish addicted). I went to PetSmart and got some Omega One shrimp pellets that contain no obnoxious ingredients. I took the API ones and spread them in my garden as fertilizer

I'm moving the mysteries into a 5 gallon tank and leaving Pluto (betta fish) in his. Do you think 5 gallons is ok..? I know its still not quite ideal and a little smaller but it's better than 3 gallons with a betta.

Do either of you know of a snail jello recipe that doesn't contain gelatine? I want the best for my snails but don't have gelatine in the kitchen and I'm not at all fond of buying it.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Ok, The snails are in their new tank. So far, they seem pretty happy. Lilac (The floating snail) is still floating, however, has grabbed onto a plastic plant and is 'looking around'. The other 2 snails seem pretty content. One thing I am concerned is how thin they look. I may be wrong, but that snail on the ground (Rosie) seems far less buff then pictures I've seen. I placed a few of the algae wafers of the ground (I'm yet to get some more protein-high ones) in front of it but I haven't seen her nibble of it at all. I don't think I've seen any of them eat in a few days. They used to munch on the algae on the walls of Pluto's tank but they quickly finished it. Is there any way to get them to eat? I'm about to try softening up some veggies to see if they like those.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Sorry forgot to add the picture
Lilac is in the top right corner, Rosie on the ground (shes the one that looks thin) and the last snail is on the green plant to the right.
:

IMG_0945.JPG
 
Mazeus
  • #16
Agree they look thin. You could try some fresh veggies. ZucchinI is normally a favourite.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Agree they look thin. You could try some fresh veggies. ZucchinI is normally a favourite.
I've boiled up some zucchinI and added it to the tank. The (unnamed) snail has been munching away at it. I think Rosie just started picking at it, although I haven't seen her throughout the day, so she/he could've already had a bite. She doesn't look as slI'm but isn't as far out of her shell either. Lilac (Floating snail) was still floating, so I've put her in a shallow tub with a piece of zucchinI to see if she'll/he'll eat a bit. So far she hasn't moved.
 
Dch48
  • #18
I've boiled up some zucchinI and added it to the tank. The (unnamed) snail has been munching away at it. I think Rosie just started picking at it, although I haven't seen her throughout the day, so she/he could've already had a bite. She doesn't look as slI'm but isn't as far out of her shell either. Lilac (Floating snail) was still floating, so I've put her in a shallow tub with a piece of zucchinI to see if she'll/he'll eat a bit. So far she hasn't moved.
I would try a piece of shrimp pellet or some flake food. They actually need protein more than plant matter.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I would try a piece of shrimp pellet or some flake food. They actually need protein more than plant matter.
Would Betta food work? It’s all I have on hand.
 
Dch48
  • #20
Would Betta food work? It’s all I have on hand.
Yeah, if you can get it to sink.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Yeah, if you can get it to sink.
Great! I'll give them some when I get home today.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • #22
Aquilist first off welcome. I'm somewhat new as well. But I LOVE Mystery Snails.
Ok, I noticed in your originally pics of the floating snail it looks like her foot is quite "wavy" and also in your other pics where you mention it looks like the one on the ground is looking thin that looks like it has a wavy foot as well meaning there might be something in your water they are sensitive to. There is pictures to compare and refer to in the Mystery snail care/sickness guide mentioned above.
  • Do you use water from the tap?
  • Do you dechlorinate?
  • If you do use water from your tap do you know if it is soft or hard water?
  • And do you happen to know exactly what might be in your water? Like a lot of times harder water can contain some copper. Copper at certain levels can be quite dangerous to snails.
I like to use Prime it helps to detoxify other metals(as well as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) besides just dechlorinating the water like most other brands.
And I MAY be wrong here but when I zoom in, in both pics mentioned it looks like both said snails have some receding of their operculum. Pringlethesnail might be able to tell better tho. I think everything else as a red flag was covered above. I do want to push further the importance of feeding protein tho. That could be some of the reason you can't get them to eat. Veggies and algae is just not what they love or need for healthy immune systems.
How is your snail doing now?
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Aquilist first off welcome. I'm somewhat new as well. But I LOVE Mystery Snails.
Ok, I noticed in your originally pics of the floating snail it looks like her foot is quite "wavy" and also in your other pics where you mention it looks like the one on the ground is looking thin that looks like it has a wavy foot as well meaning there might be something in your water they are sensitive to. There is pictures to compare and refer to in the Mystery snail care/sickness guide mentioned above.
  • Do you use water from the tap?
  • Do you dechlorinate?
  • If you do use water from your tap do you know if it is soft or hard water?
  • And do you happen to know exactly what might be in your water? Like a lot of times harder water can contain some copper. Copper at certain levels can be quite dangerous to snails.
I like to use Prime it helps to detoxify other metals(as well as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) besides just dechlorinating the water like most other brands.
And I MAY be wrong here but when I zoom in, in both pics mentioned it looks like both said snails have some receding of their operculum. Pringlethesnail might be able to tell better tho. I think everything else as a red flag was covered above. I do want to push further the importance of feeding protein tho. That could be some of the reason you can't get them to eat. Veggies and algae is just not what they love or need for healthy immune systems.
How is your snail doing now?
Hello! Thanks so much for replying. I do use water from the tap and I dechlorinate it. I haven’t tested hardness/softness yet but once my kit arrives I’ll tell. I’ve read they have similar conditions to Bettas and my Betta has been going well in the water. I’ll be home in half-an-hour and will give them some Betta pellets until I get shrimp pellets (which are good, right?) the floating snail was still floating when I left this morning.

Ok, When I arrived home today, Lilac was still floating, however, had attached herself to the heater. I've put them into a smaller tub with a pinch of betta food. Lilac and the (unnamed) snail have eaten quite a bit, which is fantastic as I haven't seen Lilac eat in over a week. I haven't seen Rosie (the thin one) eat but I suppose it's just a matter of time. Currently, Unnamed snail and Lilac are vacuuming it all up.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • #24
Ok, When I arrived home today, Lilac was still floating, however, had attached herself to the heater. I've put them into a smaller tub with a pinch of betta food. Lilac and the (unnamed) snail have eaten quite a bit, which is fantastic as I haven't seen Lilac eat in over a week. I haven't seen Rosie (the thin one) eat but I suppose it's just a matter of time. Currently, Unnamed snail and Lilac are vacuuming it all up.
Is it the exact same food that is linked in your post?
If so it seems ok for a temporary fix it has krill, fish meal, and spirulina. Which are a few things that they like/need. I like using the omega one shrimp pellets mentioned above because they have more protein in it but no copper sulfate. I also like using the API bottom feeder pellets because it has loads of variety proteins in it I just use it much less often mixed with other foods free of the copper because it does contain copper sulfate which if left in the water too long can hurt your inverts. So with all that said I have about 5 or 6 different foods for variety(because they like it and IMO need it otherwise I think they get bored and won't touch the same stuff day after day).
To revert back to the floating/not eating snail because I believe something needs to be done sooner than later so they can recover.
Have you noticed any white filmy/gooey stuff coming from their foots(or shell if they are closed)? Because if you acclimated them correctly the only thing I can think of is there is something in the water(whether it be a metal they are sensitive to or a much wider range in parameters that they were used to before you got them)
Which my next question is: Where did you purchase them? And do you happen to know what the water parameters are where they were kept?
Oh also one last Edit/Question: About how big are they? They seem pretty good size from what I can see they may just be older and not taking to change that great. Older and much younger snails are harder to transport and acclimate.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Is it the exact same food that is linked in your post?
If so it seems ok for a temporary fix it has krill, fish meal, and spirulina. Which are a few things that they like/need. I like using the omega one shrimp pellets mentioned above because they have more protein in it but no copper sulfate. I also like using the API bottom feeder pellets because it has loads of variety proteins in it I just use it much less often mixed with other foods free of the copper because it does contain copper sulfate which if left in the water too long can hurt your inverts. So with all that said I have about 5 or 6 different foods for variety(because they like it and IMO need it otherwise I think they get bored and won't touch the same stuff day after day).
To revert back to the floating/not eating snail because I believe something needs to be done sooner than later so they can recover.
Have you noticed any white filmy/gooey stuff coming from their foots(or shell if they are closed)? Because if you acclimated them correctly the only thing I can think of is there is something in the water(whether it be a metal they are sensitive to or a much wider range in parameters that they were used to before you got them)
Which my next question is: Where did you purchase them? And do you happen to know what the water parameters are where they were kept?
Oh also one last Edit/Question: About how big are they? They seem pretty good size from what I can see they may just be older and not taking to change that great. Older and much younger snails are harder to transport and acclimate.
It’s not the food that’s linked to my post but it does have krill and things like that.
I have seen some white slime coming out of them. Does that mean there’s something wrong with the water?? If so, what should I do to make the water better for them? I’m checking parameters asap. If I can’t find our Test Kit, I’m taking a sample of water to school to check for ammonia and PH with their test kit.
Their shells have roughly a 2.5 cm diameter.
I purchased them from a chain-store, Petbarn. They were being kept in medium sized tanks. I can’t remember the tank mates they previously had.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • #26
It’s not the food that’s linked to my post but it does have krill and things like that.
I have seen some white slime coming out of them. Does that mean there’s something wrong with the water?? If so, what should I do to make the water better for them? I’m checking parameters asap. If I can’t find our Test Kit, I’m taking a sample of water to school to check for ammonia and PH with their test kit.
Their shells have roughly a 2.5 cm diameter.
I purchased them from a chain-store, Petbarn. They were being kept in medium sized tanks. I can’t remember the tank mates they previously had.
Yes. If they are floating and discharging something is in their water they are sensitive to. The only one I know by name for definite is Copper. But also if you are sticking your hands/arms in the tank for any reason or doing routine maintenance/putting ANYTHING in the tank that you handle first before thoroughly rinsing your hands and arms. There is a good possibility that something from your body wash, lotions, dish soap, hand soap,germx, etc, etc, could be leaching into the water column they are sensitive to as well. I fix it by doing a LARGE water change anytime I notice these symptoms and then following up with the prime to detoxify anything missed or left behind in the water I didn't remove.
That usually makes a world of difference.
Their size is about ALMOST an inch. So in snail time they are about middle age. Mystery snails at their biggest is usually about 2 to 2.5 inches. And they live very short lives. This size and age tho to me is when I expect the best bounce back from transport and acclimation. They aren't too small or too old yet. My best guess right now is their water. Try the water change to see if that helps. Do you know what the water parameters were in the store they lived at?
Ph?
Temp?
Hardness?
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Yes. If they are floating and discharging something is in their water they are sensitive to. The only one I know by name for definite is Copper. But also if you are sticking your hands/arms in the tank for any reason or doing routine maintenance/putting ANYTHING in the tank that you handle first before thoroughly rinsing your hands and arms. There is a good possibility that something from your body wash, lotions, dish soap, hand soap,germx, etc, etc, could be leaching into the water column they are sensitive to as well. I fix it by doing a LARGE water change anytime I notice these symptoms and then following up with the prime to detoxify anything missed or left behind in the water I didn't remove.
That usually makes a world of difference.
Their size is about ALMOST an inch. So in snail time they are about middle age. Mystery snails at their biggest is usually about 2 to 2.5 inches. And they live very short lives. This size and age tho to me is when I expect the best bounce back from transport and acclimation. They aren't too small or too old yet. My best guess right now is their water. Try the water change to see if that helps. Do you know what the water parameters were in the store they lived at?
Ph?
Temp?
Hardness?
Ok, I’ll do a big water change when I get home. I have no Idea what parameters they had at their old tank, sadly.

UPDATE: Lilac has sunk!! She’s been in a shallow tub with some Betta pellets for a couple days and when I put her back into the tank she’s sunk to the bottom! She’s definitely alive, she doesn’t smell and originally had the “door” shut but it’s now half open! The other snails are far more active since the Betta food. I think it may have been a protein problem. Hopefully all goes well from now
 
Goldie&Yami
  • #28
UPDATE: Lilac has sunk!! She’s been in a shallow tub with some Betta pellets for a couple days and when I put her back into the tank she’s sunk to the bottom! She’s definitely alive, she doesn’t smell and originally had the “door” shut but it’s now half open! The other snails are far more active since the Betta food. I think it may have been a protein problem. Hopefully all goes well from now
Hopefully you are right. I still think doing a water change is best because she is still half open like something is still bothering her, and lack of protein wouldn't cause their foots to discharge that's something they physically came into contact with.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Hopefully you are right. I still think doing a water change is best because she is still half open like something is still bothering her, and lack of protein wouldn't cause their foots to discharge that's something they physically came into contact with.
Absolutely. I’ll get right to changing the water.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
She's been moving all around the tank and devoured a leftover piece of zucchini. She's quite active and certainly has an appetite! I haven't seen any discharge since. I'll continue feeding them the betta pellets for protein.
 
Dch48
  • #31
She's been moving all around the tank and devoured a leftover piece of zucchini. She's quite active and certainly has an appetite! I haven't seen any discharge since. I'll continue feeding them the betta pellets for protein.
Fantastic. I think they were just starving and should be okay now if they continue to get enough protein. They're not like Nerites that seem to be just set and forget.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
I feel like I must’ve jinxed it... I checked on the tank today and she’s floating again . Now I have no idea what to do! Ive done water changes and stuff but nothings changed.
 
Dch48
  • #33
I feel like I must’ve jinxed it... I checked on the tank today and she’s floating again . Now I have no idea what to do! Ive done water changes and stuff but nothings changed.
Let her be for a while. Maybe she just likes to float.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
Yay! I added API stress coat to remove metals and now she's active and has sunk! Maybe NOW It'll all be good.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • #35
Yay! I added API stress coat to remove metals and now she's active and has sunk! Maybe NOW It'll all be good.
So it seems she was doing ok after the water change but back to floating after you feed them. How long do you keep any uneaten food in the tank? Do you rinse your hands and arms free from any kind of residue that could enter the water while you maintenance? And also I wanted to ask what kind of rocks do you use? Certain brands or colored rocks can chip or peel paint or even contain copper. I like API stress coat I use it as my conditioner every time I do water changes. I like that it detoxifies metals, dechlorinates, and that it has all the extra additives to replace slime coats. I think it's a great tool to have in your back pocket when caring for snails. Snails give off a lot of slime to get them over sharp or jagged objects or just around in general. Their squishy interior is sensitive to all kinds of things. I feel like using a product to help reduce all over fish stress and help to rebuild a natural slime coat quicker will lead to longer life, stronger immune systems, and less wounds or injury.
I also like Prime because it detoxifies metals but also your 3 main bacterias too. I mostly use it in between water changes if I happen to notice a floater or even if my water test shows a high nitrate level.
I wouldn't ignore her floating tho, because mystery snails don't just float for long periods of time just for fun. They do it because they are too weak or too sensitive to something to come out and climb the tank for air.
 
Dch48
  • #36
I wouldn't ignore her floating tho, because mystery snails don't just float for long periods of time just for fun. They do it because they are too weak or too sensitive to something to come out and climb the tank for air.
For long periods maybe, but every one I have ever had would do it from time to time for periods up to 12 hours or so.

Detoxifying metals may very well be what did the trick. I have never used anything that does that and I really have no idea what minerals are in my tap water. Things are going good though so maybe I don't need to know.
 
Aquilist
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
So it seems she was doing ok after the water change but back to floating after you feed them. How long do you keep any uneaten food in the tank? Do you rinse your hands and arms free from any kind of residue that could enter the water while you maintenance? And also I wanted to ask what kind of rocks do you use? Certain brands or colored rocks can chip or peel paint or even contain copper. I like API stress coat I use it as my conditioner every time I do water changes. I like that it detoxifies metals, dechlorinates, and that it has all the extra additives to replace slime coats. I think it's a great tool to have in your back pocket when caring for snails. Snails give off a lot of slime to get them over sharp or jagged objects or just around in general. Their squishy interior is sensitive to all kinds of things. I feel like using a product to help reduce all over fish stress and help to rebuild a natural slime coat quicker will lead to longer life, stronger immune systems, and less wounds or injury.
I also like Prime because it detoxifies metals but also your 3 main bacterias too. I mostly use it in between water changes if I happen to notice a floater or even if my water test shows a high nitrate level.
I wouldn't ignore her floating tho, because mystery snails don't just float for long periods of time just for fun. They do it because they are too weak or too sensitive to something to come out and climb the tank for air.

I don't actually feed them directly in the tank, as I'd struggle to get the pellets out of the water. I put them in a plastic container with tank water and float in the aquarium. It makes cleanup so much easier! Most of the tank is pebbles, without any colour or paint of ay sort. I haven't seen any paint chip off from the coloured rocks that are in the corner of the tank. I'll be using API in every water change from now on. I'm definitely not ignoring her floating. I'll be doing frequent water changes and feeding high-protein food from now on. She's definitely looking so much better and is now more active than the other snails! She's moved around the entire tank today.

For long periods maybe, but every one I have ever had would do it from time to time for periods up to 12 hours or so.

Detoxifying metals may very well be what did the trick. I have never used anything that does that and I really have no idea what minerals are in my tap water. Things are going good though so maybe I don't need to know.

I hope so. I also have no idea what's in my tap water, just that it's safe to drink.
 
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