Sick Snail from Petsmart

Discussion in 'Snails' started by Dberes723, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Dberes723New MemberMember

    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post so I will give a quick summary to introduce myself. A few weeks ago, with the help of a pet store employee I purchased my first betta and mystery snail, along with a 5 gallon tank and a filter. After setting up my tank I continued to research and learned a little bit about water temp and conditions. I have since been doing everything possible to correct my amateur mistake of starting a tank the same day as purchasing my 2 little guys.
    To make things even more complicated, while shopping for an air pump I spotted a VERY sick mystery snail at petsmart. I only learned about this recently from researching online, but the poor little guy was floating and barely responsive. His shell was cracked and seemingly peeling. Even though I am barely capable of caring for him myself, I couldn't leave him there. I am really hoping someone can help teach me how to possibly nurse this guy back to health if possible and also help me understand what to do to keep my other fish healthy. I have read so much information online and spent a ton of money not even knowing what I'm doing. I have multiple test strips but sadly must admit that I don't even know what they REALLY mean. My tank aren't cycled and I'm afraid that I've doomed my little ones because of my ignorance.
    With the sick mystery snail, he was floating and lethargic, but I've gotten him to come out of his shell a little and anchor himself to gravel and cucumber. He's no longer floating, but still obviously ill. He barely moves at all and he hardly reacts to my touch. I'm only using bottled water in all setups. The water is at 78 degrees and my test strips read as follows:
    Nitrate - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Hardness - 150
    Alkalinity - 40
    pH- 7.2
    I'm using tetra 5 in 1 strips.
    For ammonia I'm using jungle strips and getting a reading of "stress"(.5)
    I dont know how to fix this because I'm using bottled water and he's living alone. These are actually my readings right after a 50% water change. I am so clueless as to what I'm doing! If I had any idea how complicated this was I would've never taken home any living creatures before figuring it all out. In my defense I really trusted the petsmart employee and obviously way too much:(
  2. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome! :)

    Well, first off, stop using bottled water. Snails need the minerals found in tap water for their shells, just make sure you use a water conditioner. For that, I recommend seachem prime, it also will help detoxify your ammonia until your tank is cycled.

    Snails float sometimes, it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with it, mine do it too every now and again. The cracked shell will probably heal given time, I rescued a mystery snail with a cracked shell not sure if she'd make it, she's doing great now and has given me tons of babies.

    I'll also recommend that you pick up a bottle of seachem stability or tetra safe start to get your cycle under way.

    To add, you can get some cuttlebone (in the bird area at petsmart etc) to put in your tank, it slowly dissolves releasing calcium which will help with your snail's shell.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  3. Dberes723New MemberMember

    Thank you for your fast response! I have been a nervous wreck since bringing my sick snail home. I only wish that u had posted this sooner because I am almost certain that it's too late now. I had the blue (sick) snail in a separate very small tank which I bought just for him. He seemed to be coming around but barely. I had just added a piece of cuttlebone shortly before creating my post, but a few minutes later I noticed that he was a bit more "closed" up than he had been in the last 24 hours. I waited a bit and picked him up to take a quick whiff of him. I smell a slight odor :*(
    I know I may sound a little ridiculous to some, but I feel horrible! I really wanted him to make it. I watched him slowly suffer and just wish I knew what to do for him. I will leave him be till tomorrow just to be sure, and any additional advice is much appreciated.
  4. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    If it was a slight odor he's most likely still alive, there will be no mistaking it if he's dead, he will REEK, don't give up on him until then. They close up sometimes and sometimes they hang half in half out of their shells looking very much dead, some of mine have scared me to death doing this. Unless it REALLY smells just give him time, snails are sensitive to both changes in where they live and ammonia/nitrite so he's most likely just really stressed out. If you have any on hand give him a frozen or no salt added green bean, they absolutely love those. I would put him back in with a filter and heater if he doesn't have one in his hospital tank.

    It doesn't sound ridiculous at all, I'm always really happy to see people who care for their snails, I love my snails and they're all my little babies.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

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