Mysterious Mystery Snail Death?

Fancyfins

Member
This is going to be a long post. So, when I first started my 3.5 gallon tank, I just dumped in some API quick start and thought, ‘hey it’ll cycle in like, two days.’ So, about two days after that, I went out and bought my Betta and my mystery snail. (I know everyone who’s reading this is probably screaming at me, “That’s not how to cycle a tank!”, but, it is now cycled, and I have learned how to PROPERLY cycle a tank.) So, I plopped in my mystery snail, plopped in my Betta, and waited about an hour for them to get used to the tank. Then I dropped in one of the API algae wafers that I had purchased. The snail devoured part of it, and then left it alone. My snail was okay for a while, then I noticed that he was being kind of sluggish. He stopped moving for a while. I left the room, and came back about an hour later to find him in a different position. This happened about five times. The next day when I woke up, my snail was floating. I gently poked it, and he went back into his shell. I was kinda scared so I just left him. I came back later that day to find him still floating. I poked him again, no movement. I pushed him around a little bit. No movement. I assumed he was dead, and brought him back to Petsmart for a refund, and bought a ghost shrimp. (Who died just about two days ago, he was going downhill for a while.) And now I’ve been wondering, should I attempt another snail? Was it the algae wafers which killed him? Was it ammonia poisoning? I’ll include a picture of the ingredients in the algae wafers.
Any ideas on how he died are appreciated! And another quick question, if I DO get another mystery snail, would I still feed him these? Or should I just feed him veggies?
 

-Sofia-

Member
When snails float it does not mean they are dead, only if they smell REALLY bad they are dead. But if he was dead it was possibly a calcium deficiency.
Did he have white spots on the shell?
 
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Fancyfins

Member
I don’t exactly remember, sorry. This happened about three months ago. And I didn’t smell it, sorry. How should I prevent calcium deficiency’s? Do you have to plop a calcium tab or something into the water? Is it safe for my Betta?
 

-Sofia-

Member
Fancyfins said:
I don’t exactly remember, sorry. This happened about three months ago. And I didn’t smell it, sorry. How should I prevent calcium deficiency’s? Do you have to plop a calcium tab or something into the water? Is it safe for my Betta?
I had a mystery snail pass from a calcium deficiency but she came to me like that. To prevent it you need to feed high calcium veggies like zucchinI and spinach, cuttlebone (optional), and I've heard putting egg shells in your HOB can help and it is all safe to be in a tank with a betta.
 
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Fancyfins

Member
Oh, perfect! I usually have spinach in my fridge. I don’t really feel comfortable putting egg shells in my filter, so if I get one, I’ll probably just feed spinach regularly. Also, another question, (sorry.) would it be okay to raise them on just fresh veggies? I’m not sure if I want to use the algae wafers again.
 

Dch48

Member
Mystery snails do mysterious things. They'll be very active and then sit at the waterline for hours. They will even retract into their shell and float around the tank for a while before diving to the bottom and being active again. They seem to be more active when they're hungry which makes sense. After eating part of an algae wafer or a bottom feeder pellet, they can go almost dormant for a day or so. Yours may not have been dead. Mine is floating around right now but I'm not worried. He'll come out when he's ready.

Sometimes , I'll cut up a pea and drop in a piece or two. The snail will scoop out the soft part and leave the skin. I never tried spinach because I hate the stuff and never have any around. I never have any ZucchinI either. Actually peas are about the only green things I will eat. To me, the 2 worst things humans ever thought of as food are asparagus and broccolI lol.
 
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Fancyfins

Member
Welp, now I feel really bad. I’ll probably get another one now, and I’ll make sure to feed it spinach regularly. And I won’t feed it the algae wafers.
 

Rtessy

Member
Did you acclimate the snail or just put it in the tank? Snails and shrimp and other invertebrates need to be acclimated. Also, they are extremely sensitive to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and cannot survive in an uncycled tank. They need 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0-15 nitrate. Since the snail was very new I'm not sure it would have been calcium deficiency, it's much more likely to have died from ammonia and lack of acclimation.
 

Mazeus

Member
Hey, you can also make snello (snail food jello) that has calcium powder in it (if you google it, recipes should pop up). I believe mystery snails also require quite a bit of protein, I feed mine repashy gel (grub pie) and snello. I think others have success with a protein based bottom feeder pellets. They eat A LOT (way more than you would think for their size). I love mine, he's a delight to watch, he definitely has the biggest appetite in the aquarium.
 

Dch48

Member
Rtessy said:
Did you acclimate the snail or just put it in the tank? Snails and shrimp and other invertebrates need to be acclimated. Also, they are extremely sensitive to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and cannot survive in an uncycled tank. They need 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0-15 nitrate. Since the snail was very new I'm not sure it would have been calcium deficiency, it's much more likely to have died from ammonia and lack of acclimation.
My ammonia levels have never gone below .5 (tank is 3 weeks old today and sitting at about 1.0) and my snail has been in there for 2 1/2 weeks and he is thriving. He has over 1/4 inch of new shell growth already.
 

-Sofia-

Member
Fancyfins said:
Oh, perfect! I usually have spinach in my fridge. I don’t really feel comfortable putting egg shells in my filter, so if I get one, I’ll probably just feed spinach regularly. Also, another question, (sorry.) would it be okay to raise them on just fresh veggies? I’m not sure if I want to use the algae wafers again.
Don't ever be hesitant to ask questions, it's the way we learn! If you have a stable supply of algae, wafers wouldn't be necessary but snails should have some kind of algae. (The wafer brand you are using is safe, many people use it and have no problems.) But veggies are always great for snails! I think just veggies would work but algae is always good for snails
 

Dch48

Member
I'm using Tetra Pleco wafers which they say contain zucchinI along with the algae. ZucchinI is a good source of calcium that snails need. I also put in an API bottom feeder pellet every other day for the protein Mysteries also need. My Betta picks at and even eats part of both things but the snail always gets the bulk of them.
 

Zoomo

Member
I buy these because he puts calcium in them.



and drop some of these, alternating between brine shrimp and veggie ones.

or


And drop those little shell shaped calcium blocks into the tank once a week.

Wish somebody would make and sell snello, because I just do not have the ingredients, patience, or time to make it.
 

Pringlethesnail

Member
A 3.5 isn't big enough for a mystery and a betta. Uneaten food becomes toxic within 4 hours to snails and fish. Ammonia and nitrite above zero is toxic. Even if your snail/fish seems fine, or oh it's always been that way, its still toxic and harmful to them. Mysteries should eat meat daily and it is best to add calcium to the water for them. Please read my care guide that is floating around before attempting to raise a mystery again
 

Zypher023

Member
Zoomo said:
I buy these because he puts calcium in them.



and drop some of these, alternating between brine shrimp and veggie ones.

or


And drop those little shell shaped calcium blocks into the tank once a week.

Wish somebody would make and sell snello, because I just do not have the ingredients, patience, or time to make it.
It’s really easy and lasts forever! I thought that too. This recipe worked for me:

1 jar baby food
1 packet of gelatin
1 tbsp calcium carbonate powder (primary Tums ingredients, but only use plain tums as an alternative, or ground calcium pills with no added ingredients or vitamin D)
Edit: People also add ground up fish food flakes or wafers too. It’s up to you - you don’t need to do that for every single batch.

Heat the baby food until it’s bubbling, stir in the gelatin, stir in the calcium, pour into an ice cube tray, bottom of a Tupperware, or something similar. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours and then slice it up and freeze it. Done.

People say it lasts a month frozen, but the FDA says food will last indefinitely in the freezer, it just loses quality. So eventually it won’t be good, but my guess is it lasts a few months.

I’ve also skinned zucchinI slices, put them in a glass bowl in the microwave and pulled them out once they’ve been in boiling water for about a minute or so. Blanch by throwing them into ice water, then freeze them. I laid mine on wax paper in a ziplock so they wouldn’t freeze together. and the next day peeled them all off and threw them in a ziplock in the freezer. Worked perfectly and my mysteries love them. I skewer them on bamboo skewers and just remove them when they’re mostly gone or within 12-24 hours.
 

Zoomo

Member
Zypher023 said:
It’s really easy and lasts forever! I thought that too. This recipe worked for me:

1 jar baby food
1 packet of gelatin
1 tbsp calcium carbonate powder (primary Tums ingredients, but only use plain tums as an alternative, or ground calcium pills with no added ingredients or vitamin D)
Edit: People also add ground up fish food flakes or wafers too. It’s up to you - you don’t need to do that for every single batch.

Heat the baby food until it’s bubbling, stir in the gelatin, stir in the calcium, pour into an ice cube tray, bottom of a Tupperware, or something similar. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours and then slice it up and freeze it. Done.

People say it lasts a month frozen, but the FDA says food will last indefinitely in the freezer, it just loses quality. So eventually it won’t be good, but my guess is it lasts a few months.

I’ve also skinned zucchinI slices, put them in a glass bowl in the microwave and pulled them out once they’ve been in boiling water for about a minute or so. Blanch by throwing them into ice water, then freeze them. I laid mine on wax paper in a ziplock so they wouldn’t freeze together. and the next day peeled them all off and threw them in a ziplock in the freezer. Worked perfectly and my mysteries love them. I skewer them on bamboo skewers and just remove them when they’re mostly gone or within 12-24 hours.
Thank you. Will try it out one of these days.
 

Zypher023

Member
Zoomo said:
Thank you. Will try it out one of these days.
I think a lot of recipes make it sound more complicated than it is. I put it off for a month or two lol. I mean, I could make and send you some, but I’m sure it’s much cheaper to make it.
 

Zoomo

Member
Zypher023 said:
I think a lot of recipes make it sound more complicated than it is. I put it off for a month or two lol. I mean, I could make and send you some, but I’m sure it’s much cheaper to make it.
Thank you so much but I will give it a whirl and see what happens. Does it matter the baby food, I guess zucchinI or something like that?

Gosh I love these buggers but they are pigs. Took their gravel out, tank still gets horribly mucky, running 2 filters. I am sure it is just that I have too many in 1 tank and a small tank, but I cannot do anything about that at the moment. I literally do probably 90% water change ever 2-3 days, clean off all filter media in dirty water, etc. Last 3 times, I did complete tank takedown and put it back together with brand new water.
 

Zypher023

Member
Zoomo said:
Thank you so much but I will give it a whirl and see what happens. Does it matter the baby food, I guess zucchinI or something like that?

Gosh I love these buggers but they are pigs. Took their gravel out, tank still gets horribly mucky, running 2 filters. I am sure it is just that I have too many in 1 tank and a small tank, but I cannot do anything about that at the moment. I literally do probably 90% water change ever 2-3 days, clean off all filter media in dirty water, etc. Last 3 times, I did complete tank takedown and put it back together with brand new water.
Ugh they’re messy as heck. I have 2 juveniles in a 2.7 gal and they make a mess of it. My stand for the 10 gallon arrives tomorrow though and they’ll be moving once it’s cycled.

I got organic baby food. They like the zucchini, spinach, pea combo I made, but I did include Tums that time around since I was following an online recipe. I also did summer squash mixed with blueberries and apples for color enhancement, but they don’t like it as much. I plan to remake the first one with the plain calcium carbonate.

Anything basically that doesn’t have any other additives and isn’t citrus is ok from what I’ve been told by the breeder here. He recommended beets for color for the purples so I may get some and purée them. Mainly veggies though. Someone has said they like sweet potatoes, but any of the sweet items need to fed with caution since they muck up the water quicker.

Maybe I can make and sell shelf stable wafers with quality ingredients... hmmm. To ponder another day. lol
 

Zoomo

Member
Zypher023 said:
Ugh they’re messy as heck. I have 2 juveniles in a 2.7 gal and they make a mess of it. My stand for the 10 gallon arrives tomorrow though and they’ll be moving once it’s cycled.

I got organic baby food. They like the zucchini, spinach, pea combo I made, but I did include Tums that time around since I was following an online recipe. I also did summer squash mixed with blueberries and apples for color enhancement, but they don’t like it as much. I plan to remake the first one with the plain calcium carbonate.

Anything basically that doesn’t have any other additives and isn’t citrus is ok from what I’ve been told by the breeder here. He recommended beets for color for the purples so I may get some and purée them. Mainly veggies though. Someone has said they like sweet potatoes, but any of the sweet items need to fed with caution since they muck up the water quicker.

Maybe I can make and sell shelf stable wafers with quality ingredients... hmmm. To ponder another day. lol
Can I ask how often you clean yours? What does the water look like when dirty? Mine is just cloudy, cloudy and it I wait too long, I cannot see through it. I took out the gravel and it is better, but still gets filthy. Any tricks to keeping it clean?
 

Zypher023

Member
Zoomo said:
Can I ask how often you clean yours? What does the water look like when dirty? Mine is just cloudy, cloudy and it I wait too long, I cannot see through it. I took out the gravel and it is better, but still gets filthy. Any tricks to keeping it clean?
I never have an issue with cloudy water actually in this particular tank. I had 4 in a 3.4 gallon and that one got cloudy but they are in a 10 gallon now. I’ve been through a rough patch personally, so I’ve been far behind on water changes and am having problems all around, but when I wasn’t, I was changing about 50% every week using a turkey baster to spot clean the poopy areas. I have 1-2” of gravel, and java moss and marimos. I have a Cascade 20 (Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System) that seems to be very effective. I have it in the 3.4 as well, and have another to put in one of my 5 gallons eventually. Mostly I just see the poop building up along the edges of the tank in the gravel. What kind of filtration do you have? What’s your water change schedule?

Sorry for the off topic OP!!! Maybe this will help you too?
 

Zoomo

Member
Zypher023 said:
I never have an issue with cloudy water actually in this particular tank. I had 4 in a 3.4 gallon and that one got cloudy but they are in a 10 gallon now. I’ve been through a rough patch personally, so I’ve been far behind on water changes and am having problems all around, but when I wasn’t, I was changing about 50% every week using a turkey baster to spot clean the poopy areas. I have 1-2” of gravel, and java moss and marimos. I have a Cascade 20 (Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System) that seems to be very effective. I have it in the 3.4 as well, and have another to put in one of my 5 gallons eventually. Mostly I just see the poop building up along the edges of the tank in the gravel. What kind of filtration do you have? What’s your water change schedule?

Sorry for the off topic OP!!! Maybe this will help you too?
I have 2 filters on it. An AquaClear 30 and an Azoo Palm Mignon 60 (not sure that means 60 gallons though) it is a really small filter. Bought a Tidal 75 and it was too big for the tank and really did not make any difference, I had it running for a few days. I literally change 90% of the water every 2, maybe 3 days depending on if I have time to do it. I changed 90% Sunday. It was semi-clear yest, today it is all foggy and dirty. I vacuumed too on Sunday. Just have way too many in this tank. Long story, but I do not have a bigger tank or room to put a bigger tank. Before Sunday, on Wednesday, took the entire tank apart, cleaned everything, so from Weds to Sunday it got where you could almost not see thorough it. I checked parameters, using a strip test, it looks good to me parameter wise. Maybe I am feeding too much. I don't know. When I don't feed for a day the next day it is pretty clear. But I have to feed them. My hubby says to let a lot of them go outside into the yard, like he thinks they will live there, LOL. I really enjoy all of them. I put their food into a bowl at the bottom of the tank so that it does not go on the floor of the tank but it doesn't seem to matter much.

In one filter, have floss and bio balls (really small filter). In the other I have the filters 3 levels of media, balls, foam, but replaced the carbon with Purigen and also stuck some floss in there. I also have a Purigen pack inside the tank.

I guess the only other thing I can do is separate them into 2 other small tanks I have, I have another 5 gallon, and I have a 3 gallon, but will need to buy stuff to go in them, filters, heaters, etc., and I have to find room to put them. I am in a very small room and trying not to venture out into rest of house because the rest of house has really no outlets (old house) and really no flat surfaces to put them on.
 

Zypher023

Member
Zoomo said:
I have 2 filters on it. An AquaClear 30 and an Azoo Palm Mignon 60 (not sure that means 60 gallons though) it is a really small filter. Bought a Tidal 75 and it was too big for the tank and really did not make any difference, I had it running for a few days. I literally change 90% of the water every 2, maybe 3 days depending on if I have time to do it. I changed 90% Sunday. It was semi-clear yest, today it is all foggy and dirty. I vacuumed too on Sunday. Just have way too many in this tank. Long story, but I do not have a bigger tank or room to put a bigger tank. Before Sunday, on Wednesday, took the entire tank apart, cleaned everything, so from Weds to Sunday it got where you could almost not see thorough it. I checked parameters, using a strip test, it looks good to me parameter wise. Maybe I am feeding too much. I don't know. When I don't feed for a day the next day it is pretty clear. But I have to feed them. My hubby says to let a lot of them go outside into the yard, like he thinks they will live there, LOL. I really enjoy all of them. I put their food into a bowl at the bottom of the tank so that it does not go on the floor of the tank but it doesn't seem to matter much.

In one filter, have floss and bio balls (really small filter). In the other I have the filters 3 levels of media, balls, foam, but replaced the carbon with Purigen and also stuck some floss in there. I also have a Purigen pack inside the tank.

I guess the only other thing I can do is separate them into 2 other small tanks I have, I have another 5 gallon, and I have a 3 gallon, but will need to buy stuff to go in them, filters, heaters, etc., and I have to find room to put them. I am in a very small room and trying not to venture out into rest of house because the rest of house has really no outlets (old house) and really no flat surfaces to put them on.
What’s the tank size and who all live there? Maybe I missed that...you can PM me if you want or could start a new thread for more input. I’m not a total newb but a lot of my experience is from 10+ years ago and things have changed. I’ve been fish keeping more recently since last June.
 

Dch48

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
A 3.5 isn't big enough for a mystery and a betta. Uneaten food becomes toxic within 4 hours to snails and fish. Ammonia and nitrite above zero is toxic. Even if your snail/fish seems fine, or oh it's always been that way, its still toxic and harmful to them. Mysteries should eat meat daily and it is best to add calcium to the water for them. Please read my care guide that is floating around before attempting to raise a mystery again
An ammonia level of 1.0 with a pH of 7.4 and a temperature of 77F is not toxic to anything. Nitrites are much worse but I have never had any at all. People overdo these things. In saltwater you want no ammonia but a little bit is fine in freshwater. Especially since about 97% will be of the non-toxic kind. Most freshwater test kits don't even test for ammonia because the readings can be misleading.
 

Pringlethesnail

Member
The water should never be dirty enough to get cloudy. Tricks to avoid a dirty tank are
-don’t over feed
-don’t overstock
-change 25% of the tank water every week (if your stocking is normal) more if you are overstocked.

Zoomo-
Your tank is clearly not cycled. Read up on the nitrogen cycle! The mechanical filtration is not what makes the water safe for its inhabitants. It is the biological filtration that you need and that takes at least a month usually to establish. So simply, non of the filters will work until they’ve been running continuously for about a month or more. If the filter is not running for more than a few hours it starts all over again.

Ammonia of 1.0 IS toxic to mystery snails and lots of other fish and inverts as well. Nitrites above 0 are toxic too them as well. Come on guys. If your kit doesn’t have ammonia you should ask for a refund it is very important to test for because that is what fish and snail waste is. If there’s too much ammonia there’s too much poop. Like I said, read the care guide
 

Zoomo

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
The water should never be dirty enough to get cloudy. Tricks to avoid a dirty tank are
-don’t over feed
-don’t overstock
-change 25% of the tank water every week (if your stocking is normal) more if you are overstocked.

Zoomo-
Your tank is clearly not cycled. Read up on the nitrogen cycle! The mechanical filtration is not what makes the water safe for its inhabitants. It is the biological filtration that you need and that takes at least a month usually to establish. So simply, non of the filters will work until they’ve been running continuously for about a month or more. If the filter is not running for more than a few hours it starts all over again.

Ammonia of 1.0 IS toxic to mystery snails and lots of other fish and inverts as well. Nitrites above 0 are toxic too them as well. Come on guys. If your kit doesn’t have ammonia you should ask for a refund it is very important to test for because that is what fish and snail waste is. If there’s too much ammonia there’s too much poop. Like I said, read the care guide
This is not my thread and was just commenting on another's thread so not sure where to post my answer to you, as I am sure it will be moved. So, maybe if I post a link to another thread that is mine? I have no idea how or where to post on this forum any more.

Grass
 
  • Thread Starter

Fancyfins

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
The water should never be dirty enough to get cloudy. Tricks to avoid a dirty tank are
-don’t over feed
-don’t overstock
-change 25% of the tank water every week (if your stocking is normal) more if you are overstocked.

Zoomo-
Your tank is clearly not cycled. Read up on the nitrogen cycle! The mechanical filtration is not what makes the water safe for its inhabitants. It is the biological filtration that you need and that takes at least a month usually to establish. So simply, non of the filters will work until they’ve been running continuously for about a month or more. If the filter is not running for more than a few hours it starts all over again.

Ammonia of 1.0 IS toxic to mystery snails and lots of other fish and inverts as well. Nitrites above 0 are toxic too them as well. Come on guys. If your kit doesn’t have ammonia you should ask for a refund it is very important to test for because that is what fish and snail waste is. If there’s too much ammonia there’s too much poop. Like I said, read the care guide
My tank is now cycled, and since have gotten another Mystery Snail. (I was prepared this time.) And he (Or she?) is now doing great! He is actually pretty fun to watch! I never knew snails could be such funny little guys... Thanks for responding.
 

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