(sad And Possibly Disturbing) Passing Of Mystery Snail - No Body

Kenzie Corson

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Hi everyone,

It is with sadness that I say my sweet wild mystery snail, Gary Davis, has passed away. He had been doing perfectly fine save for some mild deterioration on his old shell growth and was zooming around the tank until yesterday when he only floated and could hardly hang on to the sides of the tank. My water parameters were all good, and nothing had changed in the tank, so I don't know why he passed so suddenly.

Gary was in a tank with my other wild mystery snail (Leonard Nimoy) and I believe he ate Gary's body as well as a portion of his shell, since he is the only other member of this specific tank. My question is, if I were to get another mystery snail for this tank would Leonard be aggressive toward them now? Furthermore, is it possible that Leonard killed Gary because he was weak, or would he only have eaten him after his passing? Not entirely sure I want to know the answer to the latter, as I'm hoping Gary did not suffer, but it will be important to know in case this ever happens again so I can quarantine the sick snail asap.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Kenzie
 

Bithimala

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Personally, I have never seen mysteries be aggressive toward each other when healthy or sick. However, they are scavengers, so if there's available food, even if it's a dead tank mate, it's possible it would become a meal, but with that said, I would check the tank very carefully. That would be a ton of food for Leondard to have gone through in a few hours. You may want to see if you can't find the body in there.
 
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Kenzie Corson

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Personally, I have never seen mysteries be aggressive toward each other when healthy or sick. However, they are scavengers, so if there's available food, even if it's a dead tank mate, it's possible it would become a meal, but with that said, I would check the tank very carefully. That would be a ton of food for Leondard to have gone through in a few hours. You may want to see if you can't find the body in there.
I've gone through the tank in hopes of finding a body, moved decorations etc. and there's nothing there. It's only a 5 gallon tank so there isn't really anywhere the body could be hiding. Leonard is also 2x the size Gary was, and it is possible some of his body was left, I didn't want to look much further into the empty shell to find out given the smell. I'm surprised as well, as you're right about it being a lot of food to go through in the time I was sleeping (approx. 10 hours between when I last checked on them before going to bed and waking up) particularly since I gave them a bunch of blood worms and some veg last night. If anything I thought I might have been overfeeding, but they ate what I put in the tank within the hour every time. I usually feed them once a day since they seemed to be so ravenous all the time, and I always made sure to take out any excess (though that has only happened maybe once).

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to hear Leonard will likely be okay to have another tank mate in the future, though I'll likely wait until my new 20 gallon has cycled before getting him any more new friends.
 

Bithimala

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Well, if there was the smell, then there was still at least part of the snail in there.
 

-Sofia-

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I am very sorry for your loss your other snail probably sadly ate him because that is what snails do, they eat fish and other inverts if they are no longer living Sometimes snails can pass if they aren't getting enough calcium for their shells, my passed snail Taylor passed from that as I bought with calcium problems prior, what were you feeding?
 
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Kenzie Corson

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Thank you both for your responses. I had just recently started feeding them blood worms and sinking shrimp pellets alongside their usual diet of kale, zucchini, broccoli, and the occasional algae pellet as per advice I received from some very helpful snail lovers on this forum. Both of my snails were absolutely loving the extra protein and I felt awful for having deprived them of it for the time I'd had them. I have egg shells in a media bag in the filter as well as two pieces of cuttlebone in the substrate. My pH typically hovers between 7.4 and 7.6, and I had fed them snello twice or more since we brought them home in mid-February.

My boy Leonard is doing quite well and has doubled in size since we brought him home, while Gary didn't grow much during the same time frame. Both came from our lfs and had shell deterioration before we go them. Despite having fully cycled our tank and after having done a fair amount of research into mysteries we had not looked into signs of deterioration unfortunately, and its possible that the damaged old shell growth played a part in our poor Gary's ultimate demise.
 

Pringlethesnail

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No leonard would not be aggressive. They’re scavengers so he didn’t kill Gary, he just saw the opportunity for some tasty fresh meat and took it. I’m sure Gary did not suffer. I saw a picture of him in your other post where I think I advised you to add calcium powder (can’t quite remember) and he did look quite old. I think if your parameters are fine and Leonard doesn’t have a swollen foot or receding operculum (you can see pics in my care guide) that it was old age. I do not think Gary suffered. He probably needs more meat in his diet which is why they can be ravenous even when you’re feeding veggies/ algae. They love bloodworms but they aren’t very filling and they have trouble getting them from the surface. I would pick up some Hikari bottom feeder wafers (orange bag). That’s the best thing I’ve found so far nutritionally/ snails liking it. I feed 1/2 to 1 per adult snail per day. Make sure you’re feeding meat at least 5 days a week.

Again, even if you only fed meat 2x a week it would effect the shell, but it wouldn’t kill him. He looked old in the pictures. He died peacefully and was far gone by the time Leonard smelled him and munched on him. Unfortunately they live very short lives
 
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Kenzie Corson

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Hi Pringlethesnail,

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to hear my little buddy didn't suffer, I think you're right about him being older as he was always much slower than Leonard. I'll be sure to pick up some of those hikari bottom feeder wafers if they carry them at our local lfs, if not I'll check Amazon. I had been feeding primarily bloodworms every day of the week in hopes that the protein would help them out.

Leonard doesn't have a swollen foot or receding operculum and loves to zoom around the tank! He's a very active little guy and I love watching him. As per your point about calcium I wa able to pick some up and have been putting it in, I'm hoping it'll ensure Leonard's rapidly growing shell will come in strong.

Thanks so much for the advice, it is much appreciated!
 

Bithimala

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If you do the frozen bloodworms, they sink very nicely, but not sure you have enough bottom feeders in the tank for a full cube to be reasonable. @Pringlethesnail could you provide a bit more about bloodworms not being filling, that's the first I've heard that concern. Do they not have as much protein as other sources?
 

Pringlethesnail

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The protein is fine it’s just since they’re so small and there’s no filler in there like a pellet it doesn’t fill them as well. The wafers have the ground up meals in it (fish, krill, etc) as well as some vegetables, seaweed, sometimes soybean. Just imagine crumpling bloodworms up into a pellet and giving them a pellet about half the size of a pea. That’s how much they would eat a day. It’s a lot. Each adult snail will go around slurping up 30-40 a day. I have a ton of snails so it’s not practical for me. I give it to them at the same time as the algae wafers 1-2x a week. Even if you think your snails are eating enough of them to fill them I would still recommend getting some wafers so all their protein isn’t coming from one animal source. I recommend the same with people who only use shrimp pellets as protein. I’m glad you picked up the calcium! Leonard sounds very loved and spoiled. And the Hikari bottom feeder wafers are on amazon!
 
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Kenzie Corson

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Okay perfect thanks for the clarification! I've ordered a bunch of the Hikari wafers off of Amazon and am eagerly awaiting them. I definitely love my little dude a lot, he brings me hours of joy! Thanks to you both for all the help, its much appreciated
 

Snailwhisperer

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Kenzie Corson, I too am very sorry for your loss. I also pulled an empty shell out of my aquarium this week. My daughter said it smelled terrible. I think it confirmed that I can not smell the dead snail smell (or do not find it offending). I found comfort that his energy went back into the tank. He will stay with his friends there.

I bought floating bloodworms and found they do not sink. Does anyone have any tricks for getting them on the bottom?
 
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Kenzie Corson

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Thank you snailwhisperer. Always sad to lose a friend, I'm sorry for your loss as well.

As per your question about blood worms, its been my experience that the bloodworms don't sink, or if they do they take a VERY long time to do so. I have seen posts on here and on other forums that suggest soaking the bloodworms in a cup of boiling water, however some people reported that it doesn't work, and I can't verify it as I've never tried to do so myself. Might be worth a try though, particularly if you have a lot to use up.
 
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