Mystery Snail Died :( Help Me Do Better Next Time?

Cory Catherine
  • #1
So my mystery snail is hanging out of her shell and not responding to being moved or touched. She doesn't smell bad so I'm going to leave her in there for another day just in case, but I'm not feeling very optimistic. The water parameters are all fine and my nerite snails haven't had any problems that I've noticed. I've spent some time thinking about it and my best guess for what happened is that my fish were eating all the food before she could get to it and she starved?

Some more background info:

I got her and the nerites about six months ago. They were the first thing in my tank besides the plants, about 2 weeks after the tank finished cycling.

She seemed much more active before I got my four cory catfish, and over the past few months has spent increasing amounts of time dormant.

I've been feeding everyone in the tank sinking algae pellets. I give them about half a pellet every 2 days and it's usually finished off within a few hours. On a couple of occasions I've thrown a leaf of blanched spinach in there and it's usually gone in a few days.

I pulled her off of my java moss so I could trim it about 3 days ago. She was alive when I moved her but never moved from the spot where I set her down. Is there a chance I might have injured her accidentally? I tried to be gentle but the moss was a little out of control and she was kinda buried in there.

So does starvation from being out competed for food seem like a likely cause of my mystery snail's death? If so, what can I do to make sure the same thing doesn't happen in the future? Let me know if there are any more relevant details I can provide.
 
WTFish?
  • #2
So my mystery snail is hanging out of her shell and not responding to being moved or touched. She doesn't smell bad so I'm going to leave her in there for another day just in case, but I'm not feeling very optimistic. The water parameters are all fine and my nerite snails haven't had any problems that I've noticed. I've spent some time thinking about it and my best guess for what happened is that my fish were eating all the food before she could get to it and she starved?

Some more background info:

I got her and the nerites about six months ago. They were the first thing in my tank besides the plants, about 2 weeks after the tank finished cycling.

She seemed much more active before I got my four cory catfish, and over the past few months has spent increasing amounts of time dormant.

I've been feeding everyone in the tank sinking algae pellets. I give them about half a pellet every 2 days and it's usually finished off within a few hours. On a couple of occasions I've thrown a leaf of blanched spinach in there and it's usually gone in a few days.

I pulled her off of my java moss so I could trim it about 3 days ago. She was alive when I moved her but never moved from the spot where I set her down. Is there a chance I might have injured her accidentally? I tried to be gentle but the moss was a little out of control and she was kinda buried in there.

So does starvation from being out competed for food seem like a likely cause of my mystery snail's death? If so, what can I do to make sure the same thing doesn't happen in the future? Let me know if there are any more relevant details I can provide.
Mysteries don’t really eat a lot of algae. They need veggies very often instead of occasionally, zucchini, spinach, greens beans (a favorite). They do eat leftover flakes and pellets but obviously they’re slow so if they can’t compete with the fish, then yes, I believe they can starve. Try to put something in there, maybe it’s not too late. Best of luck!
 
Cory Catherine
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Mysteries don’t really eat a lot of algae. They need veggies very often instead of occasionally, zucchini, spinach, greens beans (a favorite). They do eat leftover flakes and pellets but obviously they’re slow so if they can’t compete with the fish, then yes, I believe they can starve. Try to put something in there, maybe it’s not too late. Best of luck!

You're right, it can't hurt to try. I've got her set up in a little hospital tank with some food now.
 
WTFish?
  • #4
You're right, it can't hurt to try. I've got her set up in a little hospital tank with some food now.
Great. Keep us posted!
 
Dch48
  • #5
You say you got her 6 months ago. They only live about a year so she could be just experiencing the effects of age. Keeping them in warm water makes them more active and they grow faster but their life span is reduced. It's like they only have so much mileage to use and once it's gone, they die.

I disagree that they need vegetables often. Meat protein is much more important for them. They will eat the veggies but I discovered that giving mine broccolI gave him a taste for Windelov Java Fern and he ate part of a stalk and the lacy extensions on it. No veggies have been put in since and he's leaving the plants alone. Nerites need the veggies more but even they can survive on just the biofilm and occasional algae that grows in an established tank. I think putting vegetables that they would normally never even see let alone eat is greatly overrated and probably unnecessary. I tried small pieces of softened zucchini. It eventually disappeared but it took a few days. They were not crazy about it and would munch off a little and then go on their way looking for something they liked better. Pleco wafers or Algae thins are probably sufficient.

If you want to entice a Mystery snail to eat, put a sinking shrimp pellet in with it. It will smell the food and hunt it down and devour it. Make sure there is no form of copper in anything you give then though.
 
WTFish?
  • #6
You say you got her 6 months ago. They only live about a year so she could be just experiencing the effects of age.

I disagree that they need vegetables often. Meat protein is much more important for them. They will eat the veggies but I discovered that giving mine broccolI gave him a taste for Windelov Java Fern and he ate part of a stalk and the lacy extensions on it. No veggies have been put in since and he's leaving the plants alone. Nerites need the veggies more but even they can survive on just the biofilm and occasional algae that grows in an established tank. I think putting vegetables that they would normally never even see let alone eat is greatly overrated and probably unnecessary. I tried small pieces of softened zucchini. It eventually disappeared but it took a few days. They were not crazy about it and would munch off a little and then go on their way looking for something they liked better. Pleco wafers or Algae thins are probably sufficient.

If you want to entice a Mystery snail to eat, put a sinking shrimp pellet in with it. It will smell the food and hunt it down and devour it. Make sure there is no form of copper in anything you give then though.
Maybe they’re like people and have different tastes? My nerite refuses any veggie, my mysteries refuse anything BUT veggies, although both are offered varieties. I say just play with and find what they like. Also neither eat my plants...so far.
 
Dch48
  • #7
Shrimp pellets are much better for Mystery snails than any algae wafer or vegetable. They seem to develop a fixation for the last food they were given though and will hunt for that or something similar. They have short memories . My Nerite also does not seem to care about veggies. The only thing I ever saw him actively grazing on was a small piece of fresh blanched spinach.
 
Cory Catherine
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
It's been over a day and my mystery snail still hasn't moved or responded to touch, so I think it's safe to say that she didn't make it. Now one of my nerite snails has been laying on the bottom of the tank since last night, which I've never seen one of them do before... Double checked my water and ammonia and nitrites are 0, nitrates are 20ish ppm, and ph is about 7.4. Idk what's going on
 
Dch48
  • #9
Nerites will often go motionless when lights are on. Mine is much more active at night. Don't rush to judgement that the Mystery is dead. I have had them lie still or even float around for long periods of time and then suddenly start moving around again. Based on how long you have had it, it could be dying just from age. If it starts to smell, then it's dead.
 
Cory Catherine
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I've had my mystery snail go dormant for over a week in the past, but usually she is still responsive to touch and will retract back into her shell if I pick her up. I haven't completely given up on her yet though since she hasn't started smelling bad.
And you're right, it could definitely just be old age. She's about 1.5 inches long, which I think it pretty big for a mystery snail, so she might be on the older side.
 
Zoomo
  • #11
I swear my mystery snails would live through an apocalypse. They are huge beasts. Mine eat veggie wafers, but also eat what I put in the bowl for the corys, shrimp logs, veggie logs with calcium in them, some veggies in the tank, and some flakes.

I didn't know they only live a year. I have had mine since about October last year, does that mean I might see some deaths soon? They are just the healthiest things I have ever seen, even one that broke his shell, he is fine and dandy.
 
thisislivi
  • #12
I'm very sorry you're going through this. Hopefully, like others have said, she has just gone dormant for a time. I hope you're able to revive her!
 
Dch48
  • #13
I swear my mystery snails would live through an apocalypse. They are huge beasts. Mine eat veggie wafers, but also eat what I put in the bowl for the corys, shrimp logs, veggie logs with calcium in them, some veggies in the tank, and some flakes.

I didn't know they only live a year. I have had mine since about October last year, does that mean I might see some deaths soon? They are just the healthiest things I have ever seen, even one that broke his shell, he is fine and dandy.
They can live longer, even up to 3 years in cooler water. The warmer the water, the shorter their lifespan will be. In a Betta tank with it's temps of 80-82, they can maybe make 18 months but a year is about average. In a tank kept at around 74, they can live longer but will grow slower and not be as active.



The one I have now was dime sized or smaller when I got him 2 months ago. He is now bigger than a quarter and I measured the length of his foot while he was cruising along the front glass and it's over an inch, more like an inch and a half. He is in my 3.5 gallon Betta tank that has a curved front that magnifies anything at the rear of the tank. When the snail is gliding across the back wall with his feelers fully extended, he looks like Snailzilla in the small tank . He eats shrimp pellets and Pleco wafer mostly. He has eaten spinach, broccoli, and zucchinI but only a couple of times for each.They were actually put in for the Nerite but Mysteries are much faster than Nerites so the Nerite had to settle for the leavings.
 
Zoomo
  • #14
They can live longer, even up to 3 years in cooler water. The warmer the water, the shorter their lifespan will be. In a Betta tank with it's temps of 80-82, they can maybe make 18 months but a year is about average. In a tank kept at around 74, they can live longer but will grow slower and not be as active.



The one I have now was dime sized or smaller when I got him 2 months ago. He is now bigger than a quarter and I measured the length of his foot while he was cruising along the front glass and it's over an inch, more like an inch and a half. He is in my 3.5 gallon Betta tank that has a curved front that magnifies anything at the rear of he tank. When the snail is gliding across the back wall with his feelers fully extended, he looks like Snailzilla in the small tank . He eats shrimp pellets and Pleco wafer mostly. He has eaten spinach, broccoli, and zucchinI but only a couple of times for each.They were actually put in for the Nerite but Mysteries are much faster than Nerites so the Nerite had to settle for the leavings.

Mine are in 80 degrees water, so they won't live as long I guess, sigh, but cannot bring the temp down.

I found mine were to much for my 5 gallon tanks, but then again, had too many in the 5 gallon tanks, and the water was disgusting in 2 days cloudy mess. That is hwy I got the 40 G, for the snails. I was stupid when I first started. I thought they would be about the size of a nerite so ordered 2 for each side of the betta tank, so 8 or s0 and the person sent extras in case one or more didn't live. So, had way too many Mystery snails in 5 gallon tanks. What a mess and I used to overfeed. I thought they needed 1 wafer per snail, so my water was disgusting and had to do 100% water changes every 2 days or so.
 
Cory Catherine
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
In case anyone is curious, I think I finally figured out what happened. The filter got clogged up a little bit (probably after I trimmed the java moss) and the flow wasn't strong enough to turn the bio wheel thing. I didn't notice any problems when I tested the water but it seems very likely that the lack of turning harmed the bacteria in the filter and caused some issues with the water. Unfortunately my mystery snail and one of my nerite snails died before I figured out the problem, but luckily my last snail and all of my fish are doing just fine.
 

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