Mystery Snail Care/sickness Guide - Page 2

Dch48

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
I do use foods that have copper sulfate in them as one of the last ingredients on the list and I am careful that all the food is eaten within 2 hours so that the copper doesn’t leech into the water. The copper amino acid chelate is copper in the shape of an amino acid I believe. However, zinc is also toxic to snails. Less than copper, but still really up there. Considering that food has two forms of copper and two forms of zinc. I would not use it. Depending on water changes, filter output, and time uneaten food sat in the tank that food could kill a snail, but it also could’ve been old age. My favorite snail food is HikarI bottom feeder wafers. They come in an orange bag and I get them from amazon, but they have it in most pet stores near me (NY). The snails LOVE it and it’s soft and easily digestible for them. That’s the best thing I’ve tried so far. Look for anything with meats and make sure if there is copper it is way at the bottom of the list.
The problem is not the copper leeching into the water. The problem is the snail actually ingesting it. That's far more likely to do harm in my opinion. Copper sulfate is put in fish foods to stop fungus from forming on uneaten portions. It has no beneficial element for the fish or snail at all.
 
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Pringlethesnail

Member
While I don’t recommend feeding your snail a ton of copper the main problem is it getting in the water. They’ve done scientific studies on these guys on how metals affect the freshwater ecosystem and having copper and zinc in the water was highly fatal. We eat copper sulfate and it’s in dog and cat food too. When they talk about snails being sensitive to copper it’s in the water column.
 

Dch48

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
While I don’t recommend feeding your snail a ton of copper the main problem is it getting in the water. They’ve done scientific studies on these guys on how metals affect the freshwater ecosystem and having copper and zinc in the water was highly fatal. We eat copper sulfate and it’s in dog and cat food too. When they talk about snails being sensitive to copper it’s in the water column.
That's when it is introduced into the water column in much higher concentrations as medications. The amount that might leech from uneaten food is probably less than negatable. The fact that we eat some copper is irrelevant. We are not invertebrates and neither are our cats and dogs and fish. I am firm on snails not eating anything that contains copper.
 
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Pringlethesnail

Member
Then don’t feed yours anything with copper. This is the thread for the care guide that I made. Not a separate thread for this question. Someone asked me for my recommendation because I made the guide and I have been raising and breeding these guys for three years and have read extensive scientific studies where they used these snails as subjects. Now your opinion is here as well and everyone has access both what both of us have said and to the numerous studies that have been done. So leave it at that.
 

Dch48

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
Then don’t feed yours anything with copper. This is the thread for the care guide that I made. Not a separate thread for this question. Someone asked me for my recommendation because I made the guide and I have been raising and breeding these guys for three years and have read extensive scientific studies where they used these snails as subjects. Now your opinion is here as well and everyone has access both what both of us have said and to the numerous studies that have been done. So leave it at that.
Fine with me. Your guide is very good and well written.
 

Sunnynicci

Member
Thank you Pringlethesnail. Yes she is in shallow water, room temp is 78 in that room. All she can do is float & siphon.
I am so sorry you had to come back to our forum after personal loss to such negativity. I hope we didn't cause any undue distress.
 

devan221

Member
Pringlethesnail Thank you so much for this guide and answering all the questions!
 
  • Thread Starter

Pringlethesnail

Member
Thank you SunnyniccI and devan221 for your kind words. I’ve been having a hard time lately but I am feeling better now and I am going to update the guide and add more information about the questions asked here and other things I’ve been thinking of soon! I also purchased a domain to create a webpage care guide months ago, but have not touched it, but my goal is to get the webpage up so I can help more people take care of their beloved snailos! It’ll be a long process, but worth it if it benefits the snails!
 

Phish111

Member
Excellent, very informative write up!! Thank you for taking the time to do this!!
 

ZEKE KING

Member
Great guide, I saw it on your website as well.
I have a snail that is consistently acting lethargic, especially when compared to two tankmates. She was gotten at an LFS with the other two, but I suspect she was kept in subpar conditions wherever she came from prior due to algae and ragged shell growth compared to the other two — would dosing the tank with calcium help her? Is there anything I could do more immediately to alleviate whatever may be up? I have had her since November
 

Vancouver Mike

Member
The for the great info! Just got 2 gold mystery snails and the one I put in my 10 gallon Is very active and entertaining!
I had no idea! He is always on the move and often jumps off stuff as I believe it's faster for him(he's got things to do I guess)

The o e in the 65 gallon Is quite inactive, I'm wondering if the larger tank is quite as suited for a snail?
I put the other snail in the 65 for half a day and he barely moved and he is always cruising in the 10.
Also have u ever had a snail get out of a tank? I put both back in the 10G and o e is missing there is a place he can escape at the back of my tank but I can't see him and I didn't see any slime trail going out.
 

iamaskim

Member
Pringlethesnail thank you so much for all the info
My snail got injured and I’m following your tips and he’s in a little container on the top of tank. He got stuck to the filter and I don’t know for how long, I found him in the morning and disconnected it. I can see some tissue is swollen, after 3 days he came out and ate some, and now he can attach to the containers wall but I still see some tissue coming out, I think he injured his mouth.
Anything I can put in his water that will make him feel better?
Thank you!
 

Pukkafish

Member
Hey guys! Figured this would be the best thread to ask this.

I just had my LF gold mystery, Ichor, pass away while I wasn’t home. Full mantle collapse; my loaches pulled him out fo the shell and ate everything except the meat attached to the trap door. He had been curled up for a few days before that, likely unmoving. Now my black striated is doing the same thing, and I’m very worried about him.
I have some PH issues; had to replace my filter and it didn’t properly cycle with the old media, and caused a system reboot. My tap PH is incredibly low (6.5) and water changes do not help. I’ve been removing my mysteries while I use the API proper ph 7.0 granulated chemical, which is the only thing that works

Parameters:
PH: 6.0 (agghjgihntsh)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
 

LipBalm4ME

Member
devan221 said:
Pringlethesnail Thank you so much for this guide and answering all the questions!
... I'm not familiar with the website setup for the Aquarium Forum, how do I find the guide? I would love to take a look at it? Thanks!
 

mikekey

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
Feeding- These snails need their own diet. They cannot live off of algae or left over fish food. They are OMNIVOROUS so they need to be eating sinking pellets containing some sort of meat. They digest small sinking wafers the best. Ingredients to look for in a good pellet/wafer (in no specific order) are: krill, fish, silkworm pupae, seaweed, spirulina, shrimp, crab, etc. They should be fed a sinking pellet containing some of these things at least every-other day. 1-2x a week you can feed them algae wafers or blanched vegetables if you want, but they have no dietary need for them.
This is news to me. Wow. Well... I guess mine are managing. They've grown A LOT.
 

RUADJAI

Member
Pukkafish said:
Hey guys! Figured this would be the best thread to ask this.

I just had my LF gold mystery, Ichor, pass away while I wasn’t home. Full mantle collapse; my loaches pulled him out fo the shell and ate everything except the meat attached to the trap door. He had been curled up for a few days before that, likely unmoving. Now my black striated is doing the same thing, and I’m very worried about him.
I have some PH issues; had to replace my filter and it didn’t properly cycle with the old media, and caused a system reboot. My tap PH is incredibly low (6.5) and water changes do not help. I’ve been removing my mysteries while I use the API proper ph 7.0 granulated chemical, which is the only thing that works

Parameters:
PH: 6.0 (agghjgihntsh)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Crushed Coral solved all my PH problems. Just put some in your filter and you will never have to worry about your PH again.

(Also might be why your cycle didn't work properly)
 

Rits

Member
Finally an expert on Mystery Snails!! Is it normal for Mystery snail to go to the surface, suck in some air and just drop down to the surface, and repeat like 10 times?
 

RUADJAI

Member
Rits said:
Finally an expert on Mystery Snails!! Is it normal for Mystery snail to go to the surface, suck in some air and just drop down to the surface, and repeat like 10 times?
All day every day!
 

2020

Member
Is it true that a male mystery snail can turn female in an all male population? Because either my youngest one did, or the experienced person sexed him wrong. I know the older two had male appendages, they used them on each other often. (Not the siphon! I'm trying to be delicate without sounding clueless.) The youngest just got adult size and now eggs appear.
 

RUADJAI

Member
2020 said:
Is it true that a male mystery snail can turn female in an all male population? Because either my youngest one did, or the experienced person sexed him wrong. I know the older two had male appendages, they used them on each other often. (Not the siphon! I'm trying to be delicate without sounding clueless.) The youngest just got adult size and now eggs appear.
I'm 99 percent sure Mystery Snails do not change sex. It was probably sexed wrong. I think females ar much larger too. Not sure if this applies to your situation but it was true for me.
 

2020

Member
My female is the smallest still because she is younger. I won't blame the person who sexed her, she was little back then. I didn't think anything about it when she was getting mounted because my older males mount each other. My first lesson in Mystery Snail gender was that the mounted one isn't necessarily a female. My larger male is the more frequent mounter so I might have an odd bunch too.
 

Ssnaaiil

Member
My snail has something like this but just smaller,
what causes this? I’ve read that it can happen from them mating and their shells rubbing together...(?)
 

RUADJAI

Member
Ssnaaiil said:
My snail has something like this but just smaller,
what causes this? I’ve read that it can happen from them mating and their shells rubbing together...(?)

My female had a small indention from being mounted CONSTANTLY. But now it has grown back.

 

2020

Member
Well I guess my female was lucky that she never got that because she too was mounted constantly. But the mount-happy male did have some serious flaking to his shell edge. Sorry no pics. Maybe it came from trying to be thrown off by the female and less pushy male. The female once closed up while he was trying to enter and that worked!
 

MrsClarke411teaching401

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
Mystery snail care/sickness guide
Because very little information is known about mystery snails I want to make a full guide of everything I have learned in my years of keeping and breeding mystery snails. I will be posting this on several sites and I mean no harm to any existing care sheets. Please comment questions or suggestions.

Mystery snails are golf ball sized freshwater aquarium snails with the scientific name Pomacea diffusa. They are often called Inca snails or Apple snails. Often also referred to as Apple snails are the much larger (apple sized) Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata. This is where the confusion comes from; Pomacea means apple snail. Therefor all three of these snails are different types of apple snails (The same as house cats, pumas, and lions are all cats). To avoid confusion their common names are as follows: Pomacea diffusa= Mystery snail, Pomacea calaliculata= Cana snail, and Pomacea maculata= Maca snail. This care sheet applies to Mystery snails only.

Feeding- These snails need their own diet. They cannot live off of algae or left over fish food. They are OMNIVOROUS so they need to be eating sinking pellets containing some sort of meat. They digest small sinking wafers the best. Ingredients to look for in a good pellet/wafer (in no specific order) are: krill, fish, silkworm pupae, seaweed, spirulina, shrimp, crab, etc. They should be fed a sinking pellet containing some of these things at least every-other day. 1-2x a week you can feed them algae wafers or blanched vegetables if you want, but they have no dietary need for them.

Heating- Tank should always be between 75-80 with 78F being optimal temperature.

Ph- 7-8, but it is more important to be consistent. It is okay to use natural methods to slightly alter the ph such as crushed coral or limestone to raise ph and driftwood or peat moss to lower it. Chemicals should never be used to alter ph. The fluctuation of ph when using chemicals is more dangerous than having it be steady a little below or above these numbers.

Water parameters- anything above zero ammonia or nitrites is toxic to these snails. They are especially sensitive to nitrites. Higher nitrates (around 40) doesn't effect them so don't worry if your water comes out from your tap with higher nitrates. The water should be about three inches from the top to leave room for breathing.

Stocking- numbers are a maximum based on an average cycled, filtered, heated tank.
3 gallons- Minimum size for 1 snail with no tank mates except smaller low bio-load snails (nerites, trumpets).
5 gallons-1 non-aggressive Betta* (preferably female)+ 1 snail ,OR three snails.
7 gallons- 1 non-aggressive Betta* + 3 snails, OR up to 5 snails
10 gallon filtered, cycled tank- up to 8 mystery snails with no tank mates, OR up to 5 and a Betta*.
Unless you are running an established (finished cycling over 5 months ago) 10+ gallon tank AND are running double the tank size in filter capacity you should not break from these maximums.

Tank mates- any peaceful fish that will not nip at their antennas, other snails, shrimp.
*****Bettas (especially males) are aggressive and territorial. Mystery snails have long antennas that they wave around that look VERY much like a tasty worm to even the most passive Betta. Before buying a mystery snail for your Betta tank, you need to have an alternate 3+ gallon tank heated and ready for the snail if it cannot live with the Betta. Signs that your snail is being bullied or injured by your fish is if its antennas are short, it walks around with its antennas curled up by its eyes, or if it closes up all the way or flinches hard when your fish comes near it (more than a small surprised flinch).

Basic Anatomy



Snorkel/siphon - used for breathing air from the surface. These snails have gills and a lung, but they need to supplement the oxygen obtained from the gills with air from the surface. Snails do this regularly and it is not a cause for concern or an indication that your water is not aerated enough.

Operculum - oval piece of shell that covers the opening of the shell when the snail retracts.

Mouth- small downward facing mouth, has teeth but they are not strong enough to scrape algae off decorations or glass.

Osphradium- what they use to smell for food, it's on their left side just inside their shell, NOT a sex organ.

Antennas- They use these to feel their way around and judge if they can reach something with their foot because their eyesight is poor.

Sexing- extremely difficult, you have to see far up under the shell unless they have it out during or after intercourse.



Illness/injury


Swollen, wavy, discharging foot- causes: poor water quality, reaction to a chemical recently added, and rarely old age. Test water, do immediate large water changes especially if more than one snail has these symptoms. This is easily fixable and indicates irritation and bad water rather than sickness. If not taken care of the snail can become sick. Most often caused by chemicals such as "invert safe" plant fertilizer or anything with copper in it. If their foot is very swollen and they're having trouble getting around they "tiptoe" this is more common in very old snails that are near death.


Receding operculum- best indicator of sickness in mystery snails. Small circle of receding means they're sick. Test the water and monitor the snail and changes in operculum. Bigger circle of receding means the snail is very ill, and dying. This is most often caused by sickness or old age. When sick, Mystery snails are more sensitive to water quality, but also large water changes. If this happens do multiple smaller water changes such as 25% a day for 4 days. Remember when testing the water that even the slighest bit of ammonia or nitrite can prevent an already sick snail from healing. If you have had the snail more than 6 months, it is likely to be old age.


Mantle collapse- can happen partially or fully and for a variety of reasons. This is lethal. Make the snail as comfortable as possible by putting them in a cup or container of tank water deep enough to cover them and float the container in the tank for warmth. Consider "putting them down" (crushing them quickly in some way) if you feel comfortable.


Floating- Mystery snails do this on PURPOSE!!!! When they are not feeling well they funnel air into their shell so they can float. This is because they are too weak to keep climbing up the side of the tank for air. These snails can push air in and out of their shells to float or sink. Females often float after they lay eggs because they got air in their shell while laying eggs, BUT don't want to push it out yet, they want to float and relax. Floating might mean a snail is weak, but it doesn't mean they're sick unless they also have some of the symptoms above. You should leave them alone when they're floating except to move them away from the filter or make sure they're alive.

Shell health- Cuttlebone is widely recommended on this site for some reason, HOWEVER it is not effective in a tank bigger than 5 gallons. I recommend to everyone to purchase calcium powder from the reptile section. Make sure the only ingredients are calcium and maybe vitamin D3. During your weekly water change add a tablespoon for every 20 gallons in the tank. You can do up to two tablespoons the first time or any time you feel you need a boost. This will take around 1-3 to completely dissolve into the water so it will be cloudy initially. If any calcium settles you can stir the water to finish dissolving. You can buy this on Amazon by searching "calcium powder for reptiles" or at almost any store that sells reptiles. This will not harm fish, shrimp, or other snail species.


Common questions/concerns

Should I get a mystery snail to clean my algae?
-No. As states above they need to eat almost every day with an omnivorous diet, also they have a high bio-load, and their teeth are not strong enough to scrape algae off. They may snack on the top layer or some loose pieces, but will not clean it.

Why hasn't my new mystery snail "come out" yet?/ Why has my mystery closed up for a few days?
-If you smelled it and pushed gently on the operculum to make sure it was alive. Try floating it in a container with only enough water to barely cover it. Float this container inside the tank to keep it warm. This will usually work.

What is the black line on the side of my snail's shell?
-On the same side as the whorl you can often see a snail's digestive tract through its shell. I shows especially well on light colored snails.

i'll add more as I think of them and they get asked.

For snail emergencies you can contact my snail email.
Happy snailing
What am I seeing... The wavy white yuck flowing from the foot area
 

JupiterJ

Member
this may sound like a dumb question, but is there any way to ensure a betta wouldn’t eat the sinking pellet before the snail? He would be able to get to it much faster than the snail could, even if they were both fed at the same time.
 
  • Thread Starter

Pringlethesnail

Member
No, not really. You don't want to stress your betta by putting them in a container or something. I always feed the snails in the exact same spot so they learn to go there when they are hungry. Then I'm able to drop the food to them directly. The betta will probably try to nibble it, but the snails will steal it if the betta is not aggressive/ nipping them.
 

doughboy52

Member
I posted a couple other threads about my mystery snails dying that didn’t get me to an answer. I had five of them from February to July. We came home from a week away to find one had died and had its shell cleared out (Corys, Amanos, harlequins, neons, pearls, a guppy, and a mollie also in the tank). We went away for a week again recently and one more had died while we were gone, one the day after returning, and the other two within four days of returning. I had the tank fed three times while I was gone, using pre-portioned food that was a mixture of sinking and flake foods. So, the only time I’ve had snails die is when gone for a week, with no other fish or invertebrate deaths coinciding.

Any idea what caused these deaths? Was it starvation? I had read plenty that “fish” can easily go a week without food, so does that include mystery snails? If starvation, any thoughts on getting food to them with someone else feeding the tank? My biggest issue is I can’t just include a couple sinking waters because the Amano pigs run off with them. I did chop up some Hikari wafers and Omega One shrimp pellets in my pre-measured foods, but maybe it wasn’t enough for the snails amidst my 9 amanos and 11 Corys. I’m at a loss otherwise. I love mystery snails and want to be sure they stay healthy while I go away.
 

mang0

Member
i have reptile calcium powder that contains the following ingredients: Calcium carbonate, oyster shell flour, salt, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, ferrous fumarate, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate. Is that safe to use as a supplement for my mystery snail? I'm new to them (just got mine yesterday) and wanna give the guy a good life! TIA!
 

Dch48

Member
mang0 said:
i have reptile calcium powder that contains the following ingredients: Calcium carbonate, oyster shell flour, salt, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, ferrous fumarate, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate. Is that safe to use as a supplement for my mystery snail? I'm new to them (just got mine yesterday) and wanna give the guy a good life! TIA!
I wouldn't use it mainly because of the copper sulfate. I would only consider using anything like that if you use distilled or R/O water to fill your tanks. Tap water will almost always contain enough minerals for snails. My mystery snails all live at least 8 months and grow to a good size without using any supplements. They eat leftover fish food or pieces of sinking pellets like shrimp pellets or Veggie Rounds. The only other thing I add is a small piece of cuttlebone every 90 days or so. The one that is in with my African Dwarf Frog loves to steal the frog pellets.
 

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