Mysterious Mystery Snail Death?

Fancyfins

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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.
IMG_0578.JPG
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-

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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

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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-

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 

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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

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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-

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?
 
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