Please help, my nerite snail was outside of the tank. Help

Discussion in 'Snails' started by Jdaisy44, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Jdaisy44

    Jdaisy44Valued MemberMember

    Sorry this is long. I wanted to include every detail.

    Last week I did my water change and couldn't find my two nerite snails. That's not unusual as they're typically hanging out behind the filters or deep inside a decoration. But this time my zebra nerite never came out of hiding. I looked for him everywhere, inside and outside of the tank. After 5 days I asked my brother to check the filters for me since he's much taller than I am. And that's when we spotted the poor guy. He was indeed outside of the tank on a little windowsill!

    Now I really can't tell if he's still alive :(
    He was right side up when we found him, and if he escaped during the water change (I'm assuming, because the tank has a lid and every opening is taped shut) then he was out of the water for 5 days.

    He looks to be sealed inside his shell completely all the way around. From what I've read online they smell awful when they're dead, but he didn't smell at all that first day. And I've read that they fall out of their shell when they're dead but he's stuck in there pretty good.

    I had him in a cup of water with an algae wafer the first night but worried about temperature fluctuations and ammonia building up, so since he didn't smell I put him back inside the tank.

    The corycats seem overly interested in him, which has me concerned so I smelled him again today and he smells a bit more like poop, but still not anything cringe inducing. His body is still pink but the edge that touches the shell is grey, which I think is how he's always looked.

    These are the best pictures I could get

    How can I tell if he's still alive? He definitely hasn't moved and it's been two days. Is it possible he could be hibernating? Could he really survive for 5 days without food? If he is dead, how quickly would that foul up the tank water? I don't want to put my other fish at risk. He's still in the tank surrounded by plants so the cories can't mess with him.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  2. Sayba

    SaybaWell Known MemberMember

    I would put him in a bowl or something and float it in the tank in case he is dead he won't foul the tank, just change the water in the bowl every day.

    I have no idea how long snail can last out of water, I don't think 5 days without food would kill him.
  3. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Defniitely +1 on the floating bowl.

    Unfortunately I do not know much about snails but I could hazard a guess until someone more knowledgeable comes along.

    The way I understand it, nerite snails are intertidal. In the wild, they go through periodic dry spells. During this time, food would also be in limited supply. Based on this, I'd say it's possible he is still alive and is hibernating, but I wouldn't chance the water quality. If you don't isolate him, do monitor your parameters very closely and make sure he passes the sniff test daily.

    Good luck!

  4. Junne

    JunneFishlore LegendMember

    Yes put it back in some water, preferably your tank in a small cup or breeder container. My nerites climb out of the water regularly and have stayed out for several days. They can be out for a long time. Hopefully it will come around

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  5. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    Mine are always out of the water and have been out over a week. I usually just dip them in the tank and put them on the cross bar for the tank under the lid. He will get up and move into the tank himself. If not just fill a small cup with tank water and drop him in. I thought one of mine was dead after I found him on well away from my tank after a week. I was going to toss him, but my daughter made me put him in water. I dropped him into a pitcher I use for my tanks and found him on the side of it the next morning.
  6. OP

    Jdaisy44Valued MemberMember

    Thanks guys! I placed him in a baggie of water inside the tank. I didn't seal the top, just pinched the corner between the lid and the tank so he would stay in place.
    Now the other fish can't bother him and if he shows signs of life then I'll put him back in the tank. Or if he's determined enough he can crawl out on his own.

    It's now been one week since he last ate, but I'm pretty hopeful that he's alive. I don't think he'd be pink and sealed in like that if he wasn't.
  7. Junne

    JunneFishlore LegendMember

    Nerites are extremely hardy - they are great escape artists so just make sure you seal off the escape routes.

    I have found mine in my filters quite often but more so just hanging upside down under my lid.... weirdos! ;)

    Now these are the Tigers and Zebras that do this. My Bumblebee horned nerites never go above the water line for some reason....
  8. Ben3721Well Known MemberMember

    Ever went fishing in the morning mist? A pond snail doesn't care if its out or in the water. As long as he is wet. It's happy. Can't say for other breeds of snails. But from what I've heard and seen they can last of water for at least an hour if the room is cool and humid. My snails used to chill on the near inner rim of the tank but of course they would go back in the water when their there blob of water they dragged out with water tension starts to dry out. I've also heard stories of plecos and even some fish climbing/jumping out of the tank in search of cleaner water (god forbid anyone's water is that bad) I've also had the store owner at my lfs who forgot a pleco in a ornament that someone brought for trade-in when moving him to the big qt tank and a co worker call to make sure the pleco wasnt forgot a couple hours later. They found it crawling inside on its favorite ornament still to stay cool and wet. They thought the ornament was empty and that the person just brought a single fish in while donating a ornament. A fish sure knows what home is. Oh sorry I went off topic. But yeah give the snail a few days and check in to make sure its not rotting.
  9. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Hello, hope your snail is out of its shell now, I've moved your thread to the freshwater invertebrates section of the forum.

  10. OP

    Jdaisy44Valued MemberMember

    He's not looking any better. Still hasn't moved and his body is letting off this fogginess inside the bag. He smells a bit more every day.
    If he's alive I don't understand why he won't move already, so I think I'll give him until tomorrow before I have to call it. Poor thing.

    Thank you, and I'm sorry for troubling you :-[
  11. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    If he is smelling than he is dead I am afraid.
  12. FiscCyning

    FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately it does sound like he died. The smell and the cloudiness in the bag are both signs of the body's decomposition. I'm so sorry your little guy didn't make it. :(
  13. OP

    Jdaisy44Valued MemberMember

    He's gone :(
    I guess he had just recently died that's why he didn't smell at first. He was a pretty cool snail, always zipping around the tank. Even though it ended badly I'm so glad I got him and the tiger nerite. They did such a fantastic job keeping the diatoms in check.

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