Mystery Snails Sick After Tank Upgrade Help

Discussion in 'Snails' started by Kaleidoscope_Eyes83, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    I had 2 Mystery Snails and 2 Ghost Shrimp in a 3.5 gallon cycled, heated, filtered, live planted tank and recently upgraded to a 20 gallon heated, filtered, planted 20 gallon tank.

    I was running both my new and old filter from the 3.5 gallon in the new tank. I transfered the substrate, plants and decorations from the old tank to the new one.

    I noticed that my Mystery Snails were looking ill after a couple of days and weren't eating. They were hanging out of their shells, sliming and looking near death. My API test kit showed 0ppm Ammonia and Nitrite. I did a water change of 20% anyway, with conditioner treated water. They actually looked worse after the water change.

    I have had them back in the 3.5 gallon for 2 days with the old filter with one cartridge in it (I put the other one inside my canister filter in the 20 gallon to continue to help the good bacteria colonize). They have either been closed up or hanging out of their shells the entire time. Not eating. I have also been giving them an air bath once a day. One of them came out of his shell yesterday during the air bath and scooted around a tiny bit. He looked withered and terrible, though.

    Is there anything else I can possibly do for them right now? I've even been playing them this "animal healing music" from Youtube- lol. I just wanted to give them a nicer house and this has turned into a nightmare!

  2. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Mystery snails really dont like being moved about once established in a tank. I would put them back in the newer tank and keep up with smaller water changes daily. I'm guessing the parameters changed a little too much. They should settle given some time. Keep trying them on thier favorite foods, but remove the food after a couple of hours of they haven't eaten it.

  3. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Thanks for your advice, Fishywife. The snails are currently still in the old 3.5 gallon. During their air bath today, they both came out of their shells and scooted around. They looked 100x better and even are moving around the 3.5 gallon tank again.

    That being said, I'm very afraid to move them to the 20 gallon just yet and just want to verify- I shouldn't wait until maybe the new tank has stabilized a bit more and they have fully recovered?

  4. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Hmm. I had a clutch of 100 or so hatch last October. I had them in a small breeder box in my 55g community. They started getting too big for that so I moved them to my 55g growout. When I put them in, they started acting funny oozing slime etc. After a week or so they were fine, I just kept a close eye on them. Once they finally came out I think they appreciated lots more room lol
  5. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Okay, gotcha. It's reassuring to know that is just how they react to moving house sometimes. It just really scared me because they had never acted that way before, not even when I brought them home from the store.

    I'll put them back in the 20 gallon and hope for the best. Maybe I'll just drip acclimate them for a looooong time and see if that helps at all.
  6. PringlethesnailWell Known MemberMember

    I move mine all the time I have four snail tanks going and I sell them to fish stores and drive with them in the car for hours. Moving them should not be an issue at all. You should float them in a small container (in the tank) and only put enough water in it to cover them. Did you have any plant fertilizer in the 20? That will do it. There has to be some chemical difference in the two waters.
  7. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    I don't use any plant fertilizer in my tank. I kind of felt like there must be something more going on here, but have no idea what it could be. I did use a different water conditioner when setting up the new tank, but that couldn't possibly be the issue right? Before I was using a Tetra one, now Top Fin. I've been obsessively checking my water perams with my API test kit- I even keep a log. Nothing crazy was going on.

    When I float them in a container in the new tank, do you suggest drip acclimating/ adding the new tank water during? What if any signs should I look for that I should pull them back out of the new tank- or should I just leave them in there and hope they make it?

    Would it be a bad idea to gradually over a few days add tank water from the 20 gallon to the 3.5 gallon before I transfer them?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  8. PringlethesnailWell Known MemberMember

    Actually Top fin water conditioner has salt in which snails are extremely sensitive to. I’ve never tried it for this reason. I’ve heard people saying they use it with no issue, but I don’t recommend it. Due to the fact that everything else is the same, I would say it’s likely it was the salt in the top fin conditioner bothering them.

    To condition them to a new tank— I float them in the tank in a cup of their “old” water, and then every 15 minutes or so I let some of the “new” tank water in about three times so within 45 minutes- 1 hour they’re all set. Drip acclamation is not necessary in my opinion.

    Once floating in a Tupperware container, I change the water in the container at least two times a day/ whenever I’m free and I think about it. Since the water in the small floating container is the same as the tank the container is floating in you can just change out the water without worry about acclamation. It takes like two seconds to swish some new water in there.

    If there are other fish in the 20 gallon I would do a 75% water change (with tetra conditioner) each day for three days and then after the third the salt should be long gone.

    When they start snailing around the Tupperware they are ready to be let out. If they aren’t moving much and just sticking at the water line they’re probably not ready. You should be able to tell pretty easily

    So don’t add any 20 gallon water in there they won’t acclimate if it is just the salt hurting them.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  9. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Oh my god! My poor snails. I'm out of the Tetra. Luckily, I went to the store and bought some Prime today, so I'll be using that from now on. I'm going to throw out the Top Fin! I will do the water changes on the 20 gallon and acclimate them as you suggested. They're back to pretty much normal in the 3.5 gallon now so not sure how long they'll actually agree to staying in a floating cup in the 20 gallon before parasnailing into the tank.
  10. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Update: (wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or not... same snails, same persisting issue)

    After several water changes to the 20 gallon tank and a couple more attempts of introducing the snails... they still haven't been able to acclimate.

    I used the floating cup/ add tank water method that Pringlethesnail suggested. There was almost no sliming this time. However, both snails stayed closed up in their shells. Then the boy was hanging completely out of his shell looking pretty dead.

    So I took them both out and put them back in their quarantine 3.5 gallon tank. It's filtered, but doesn't have gravel, plants or a bubbler. They were okay for a couple days- not moving much or eating but alive. I got an ammonia reading, so did a 20% water change w/ prime. This morning I was certain that my golden girl snail was dead. The male looked like he was on his way out, too.

    As a last ditch effort I placed them in a cup of java moss I got at my LPS and had soaking in dechlorinated water. Miraculously, they are both still alive, as I see them using their siphons. Should I just leave them in there for the time being and see if they get any better?

    I am at a loss... they don't seem to be able to live in either tank now and they can't live in this little cup of moss forever.

    I must add that my 2 ghost shrimp and 1 powder blue gourami are absolutely happy and thriving in the 20 gallon...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  11. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Both snails died- I'm so sad... they were the whole reason that I upgraded to a 20 gallon! Perhaps I will try Mystery Snails again sometime in the future. :(:emoji_shell::emoji_fish:
  12. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Im so sorry to hear that ☹
  13. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Im going through a massive die off myself right now. I got most of mine at the same time a couple of years ago, and age is catching up fast. I just found 6 more had passed away in my tank. Leaving me with 10.
  14. Kaleidoscope_Eyes83New MemberMember

    Awe, I'm sorry. They're sad to lose. They have so much personality! After my 20 gallon has been up and running for several months, I may try again with them. I'm planning them into my stocking for the community, just in case.
  15. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    It's ok, it'll teach me to buy them all at once I guess! just not over keen on the stench they make when they pass. I'm thinking most of the rest will be gone by the end of the month. I'm undecided if I will get any more.

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