Snails dying

lotlbby

Member
I’ve been trying to keep snails at my new house for months now and they keep dying

my tap is low but I put in crushed coral to raise it to 6.8-7.2
the tanks I’ve tried are temps 78-80 and pH 6.8-7.2, ammonia and nitrite zero, nitrate ~20-30 and my gh is about 14-18 drops and kh is around 2-3 but is brought up gradually a bit with the crushed coral

I just don’t understand. I just got 2 mysteries and 2 nerite and I’m almost certain they’re dead but I’m gonna give it a day or two more.
I’ve only tried one other time but ordered online and had them shipped so I wasn’t sure if that was how they died

Any explanation on how/why this would keep happening?
 

Dunk2

Member
Why do you think they’re dead?

If you’ve never heard this, it may sound strange. . .
Take them out of the tank and smell them.
 
  • Thread Starter

lotlbby

Member
Dunk2 said:
Why do you think they’re dead?

If you’ve never heard this, it may sound strange. . .
Take them out of the tank and smell them.
Not strange hahah I’ve heard of it. I think they are because there is a slight smell to them. Not strong enough to 100% be sure because my nose has to be super close to them but when it is, I can slightly smell them.
 

Dunk2

Member
lotlbby said:
Not strange hahah I’ve heard of it. I think they are because there is a slight smell to them. Not strong enough to 100% be sure because my nose has to be super close to them but when it is, I can slightly smell them.
I‘d say if you can only slightly smell them, they’re probably not dead. A dead snail‘s smell is worse than “slight”!

I‘d let them be but check them often.
 

UnknownUser

Member
You can 100% tell when one is dead. It’s not a “slightly fishy” smell. It’s a death smell. And when they are dead, you can poke their little bodies and they fall out of their shells. The hard outer cover that they use to close themselves in will fall off as well. I recommend going to the store and visibly looking for one actively moving around on the glass (not the ground) to make sure they’re okay. When they’re in the tank they will eat all the invisible slimy stuff that grows on everything as well as the algae, but you can try to feed them blanched veggies (I have 0 nerites that like veggies). You can also try to pick one up. If they’re stuck to something they won’t pick up easily and you need to slide them before they let go. Trust me, if you aren’t smelling them and going “wow this thing is DEAD”, then it’s probably not dead yet.
 
  • Thread Starter

lotlbby

Member
UnknownUser said:
You can 100% tell when one is dead. It’s not a “slightly fishy” smell. It’s a death smell. And when they are dead, you can poke their little bodies and they fall out of their shells. The hard outer cover that they use to close themselves in will fall off as well. I recommend going to the store and visibly looking for one actively moving around on the glass (not the ground) to make sure they’re okay. When they’re in the tank they will eat all the invisible slimy stuff that grows on everything as well as the algae, but you can try to feed them blanched veggies (I have 0 nerites that like veggies). You can also try to pick one up. If they’re stuck to something they won’t pick up easily and you need to slide them before they let go. Trust me, if you aren’t smelling them and going “wow this thing is DEAD”, then it’s probably not dead yet.
I got them on Thursday and specifically saw him grab out ones stuck to the wall haha so they were alive when I got them. They moved around for the first day, too. Then woke up and one was floating and now 2 are. The nerites are just on the sand bottom but haven’t moved far, because they did but have since not.
I’ve had them before, both, but I’ve been having trouble at this new house idk why. And at my old house, I wasn’t even aware my tank wasnt cycled (Newbie at the time, unfortunately) and they were still “fine” and moving.
I’ll throw some carrots in tomorrow morning, or a cucumber. Thanks. I’ll keep in mind it’s a death death smell. I’ve smelt it before with my shipped baggie but I don’t exactly remember it, oddly enough haha

Dunk2 said:
I‘d say if you can only slightly smell them, they’re probably not dead. A dead snail‘s smell is worse than “slight”!

I‘d let them be but check them often.
I keep thinking maybe an air bubble and have “swooshed” them around slightly and softly but they’re still floating. Here’s hoping I wake up to them on the sand and moving. I miss having snails haha
 

AquaBaby

Member
Welcome to Fishlore!

Since you had snails at your previous house, you're not unfamiliar with them. What kind were they and how long did those snails live?

So, since you're in a new place, new water source (assuming you're using conditioned tap), and new snails, there's a lot of new variables.

What process did you use to add the snails to your tank? Does your new place have old pipes? Have you done any research on the water there?

Also, have you changed anything else about the tank, such as any new decorations, food, or additives?
 
  • Thread Starter

lotlbby

Member
AquaBaby said:
Welcome to Fishlore!

Since you had snails at your previous house, you're not unfamiliar with them. What kind were they and how long did those snails live?

So, since you're in a new place, new water source (assuming you're using conditioned tap), and new snails, there's a lot of new variables.

What process did you use to add the snails to your tank? Does your new place have old pipes? Have you done any research on the water there?

Also, have you changed anything else about the tank, such as any new decorations, food, or additives?
I run on a hand dug well - I’ve been at this new house for over a year and a half now and I actually had some nerites I moved from my old house and they lived up until about a few months ago, but I suspect age is why they died since I had them about a year and a half prior to moving. I had nerites and mysteries at my old house as well, the mysteries died about a year to a year and a half after getting them and they were fairly large when I got them. But I didn’t get more, knowing I was moving soon.

the only thing I don’t know is how much metal runs through the water but I doubt it’s much but even still I use Seachem Safe as my dechlorinator. I also have axolotls and know that they’d react to the heavier metals and they have not in the 8 months I’ve had them, so I suspect there isn’t much heavy metals that Safe won’t protect them from. There are likely older piping but we’ve been replacing little by little as we go. But I do have a water “softener” but it isn’t exactly a water softener because I do have hard tap water. But it “cleans” the water so that we can drink it. I don’t know what it is entirely but it is not an RO system, as I wouldn’t have nitrates in the tap, and my pH would be higher as well as soft water and that’s not the case. I honestly forget what it is or what it does entirely but I know it isn’t an RO system.

the big difference is I moved from city water to well water. I don’t honestly know what the levels in my pod house were. everyone around also runs on their own well. we are on conservation land

I did the add 1/2cup of water every 4 or so minutes because that’s the only method I really know how to accurately do.
I haven’t added in any new hides or foods
 

AquaBaby

Member
Unfortunately, I don't use Safe nor have I had axolotls to compare them to inverts. I know axolotls are sensitive, though. I'm hoping someone with more experience with their sensitivity compared to snails might jump in.

With a QUICK search I found this about Safe
Learned Something About Seachem Safe | Water Supplements Forum | 159860

I know well water can have metals in them and old pipes can leach. I'm guessing there's some concern there since you're replacing pipes. But, you might just be doing that to circumvent leaks rather than for health reasons.

I also know that using a water softener for aquariums is debated because of the minerals it removes and the sodium (I believe it was) that's added. Some searching on Fishlore will help here to read different points of view. ...Unless it really isn't a water softener system and something else. I may have misinterpreted your explanation.

Assuming you're in the US, most if not all states have a place to test your water. You should be able to contact the nearest water treatment facility and ask where they send their samples for independent testing. Around here, it's about $30. You'll want to contact the facility and ask about sample requirements. Usually, they'll want a sample no more than 24 hours old, and want it protected from light. Even if you didn't have an aquarium, it's always advisable if you're on a well that you don't know test results.

Something I keep around is polyfilter. Not only do I use it for acclimation after a shipment, but it changes colors as it soaks up stuff from your water. Not as accurate as liquid tests, but in a pinch could tell you if you had a high level of say copper. Not only does it indicate if certain things are present, it helps remove them.

But, since your other snails lived, what, about 15 months give or take, with this water... I don't see how metals or the softener would be the issue. I don't think your other snails could've lived that long if either was.

I drip acclimate all my inverts. Nothing elaborate. I have a bit of polyfilter, airline tubing, a bowl and a bucket. I put the polyfilter & inverts in the bowl, the bowl in the bucket. (That's just to catch the water if I got busy doing something and the bowl overflow.) I only put enough of the water they came in to fill up no more than 1/4 of the bowl. I loosely tie the tubing, start the siphon, the tighten the knot down to where it drips approx 1-2 drops/sec or so. Fill up the bowl. Depending on how sensitive the inverts are, I may remove half the water and fill again. Then, I put them in a bag and float for 15 minutes or so to temp match, then release.

But a lot of times, snails come in a little container with a damp paper towel rather than in a bag of water. With those, I leave them in the container and add 4 or 5 drops of water or so every 15 minutes until the container is full. I do this so slowly because the only water is in the paper towel and that's not a lot. Then I put in bag and float to temp match.

Unless you're water is just way off from the water they came from, for mystery and nerite snails, the way you described should be okay, though. But adding 1/4 cup of water doesn't tell me a whole lot as I don't know how much water they were in to start with. Did the first 1/4 c double the water volume? If so, that could be a bit of a drastic change.

(Always have to mention that you don't want to add their water to your aquarium water. )

I'm kind of at a loss, as you've been able to keep snails in your well water, you did an acclimation process, there's no new food or additions to the tank... that rules out quite a bit.

What about anything you may have seen? Any foot wrinkling, tiptoeing, slime? Did the snails crawl around at all before they floated/closed up?

(Sorry for the long post... basically just typing my thoughts so that maybe something might jump out to you)
 

mattgirl

Member
lotlbby said:
I got them on Thursday and specifically saw him grab out ones stuck to the wall haha so they were alive when I got them. They moved around for the first day, too. Then woke up and one was floating and now 2 are. The nerites are just on the sand bottom but haven’t moved far, because they did but have since not.
Is it possible they were hurt if they weren't taken from the glass correctly?
 
  • Thread Starter

lotlbby

Member
AquaBaby said:
Unfortunately, I don't use Safe nor have I had axolotls to compare them to inverts. I know axolotls are sensitive, though. I'm hoping someone with more experience with their sensitivity compared to snails might jump in.

With a QUICK search I found this about Safe
Learned Something About Seachem Safe | Water Supplements Forum | 159860

I know well water can have metals in them and old pipes can leach. I'm guessing there's some concern there since you're replacing pipes. But, you might just be doing that to circumvent leaks rather than for health reasons.

I also know that using a water softener for aquariums is debated because of the minerals it removes and the sodium (I believe it was) that's added. Some searching on Fishlore will help here to read different points of view. ...Unless it really isn't a water softener system and something else. I may have misinterpreted your explanation.

Assuming you're in the US, most if not all states have a place to test your water. You should be able to contact the nearest water treatment facility and ask where they send their samples for independent testing. Around here, it's about $30. You'll want to contact the facility and ask about sample requirements. Usually, they'll want a sample no more than 24 hours old, and want it protected from light. Even if you didn't have an aquarium, it's always advisable if you're on a well that you don't know test results.

Something I keep around is polyfilter. Not only do I use it for acclimation after a shipment, but it changes colors as it soaks up stuff from your water. Not as accurate as liquid tests, but in a pinch could tell you if you had a high level of say copper. Not only does it indicate if certain things are present, it helps remove them.

But, since your other snails lived, what, about 15 months give or take, with this water... I don't see how metals or the softener would be the issue. I don't think your other snails could've lived that long if either was.
and fill again. Then, I put them in a bag and float for 15 minutes or so to temp match, then release.

But a lot of times, snails come in a little container with a damp paper towel rather than in a bag of water. With those, I leave them in the container and add 4 or 5 drops of water or so every 15 minutes until the container is full. I do this so slowly because the only water is in the paper towel and that's not a lot. Then I put in bag and float to temp match.

Unless you're water is just way off from the water they came from, for mystery and nerite snails, the way you described should be okay, though. But adding 1/4 cup of water doesn't tell me a whole lot as I don't know how much water they were in to start with. Did the first 1/4 c double the water volume? If so, that could be a bit of a drastic change.

(Always have to mention that you don't want to add their water to your aquarium water. )

I'm kind of at a loss, as you've been able to keep snails in your well water, you did an acclimation process, there's no new food or additions to the tank... that rules out quite a bit.

What about anything you may have seen? Any foot wrinkling, tiptoeing, slime? Did the snails crawl around at all before they floated/closed up?

(Sorry for the long post... basically just typing my thoughts so that maybe something might jump out to you)
so, what i was saying is it isn't necessarily a water softner, my tap water is still hard. my kh is about 2-3 and my gh is about 14-18. my ph is the only thing that is 6.0, on the lower softer end of the spectrum there. I think the thing i have is more of a "filter" that filters the "bad" things out that could leach in the water, since it's a hand dug well and we're on a leach field/conservation land. so the water is still hard and has those "good minerals" but it filters out that bad minerals we don't want, like the metals. I know it's safe to drink, we just decide to not as it has a different taste to us, because we went from city to well and the well has that weird aftertaste to it that the city water didn't have. I suppose, after so long we may start drinking it just to save on bottled water.

I have used the drip acclimation process before, but I am no good at it because I can never get a good consistency and every time i do it, it takes like 4 hours to do and I've never had an issue with the 1/2cup method.
i'm now seeing slime on them, but again - they don't smell completely dead so I haven't taken them out. but they are still floating and not moving from their position on the ground.
i'm not planning on more snails, of course, because I don't know what the problem is, but it's frustrating not knowing what's going on with these ones. I didn't add the water in they came in and didn't think to test it, but it was 2 hours max they were in it, as the drive was 50 minutes. the two nerites moved a bit, as well as one (at least) mystery, one had made it across the tank, but by morning it was floating.

pre
mattgirl said:
Is it possible they were hurt if they weren't taken from the glass correctly?
[/QUOTE

maybe but they were moving in the tank for a couple hours and in the bag
 

AquaBaby

Member
I reread this thread from the beginning.

How long have you been using the crushed coral? What's the ph of the tank right before a water change and right after? I really doubt this is what happened to these snails, as issues happened upon, or very shortly after, adding them to the tank. But, I'm processing through possibilities.

You mentioned you've been trying to keep snails at the new house for months now. What does that mean? Have you had any snails that didn't make it between the nerites you brought with you from your previous house to this house and these that are having the issue at the moment? What happened with them?

Like mattgirl mentioned, maybe the guy who pulled them out of the tank pulled on them too hard and injured them.

Did all the other snails in the tank(s) where you got them seem active? Were there dead snails in the tank(s)?
 
  • Thread Starter

lotlbby

Member
AquaBaby said:
I reread this thread from the beginning.

How long have you been using the crushed coral? What's the ph of the tank right before a water change and right after? I really doubt this is what happened to these snails, as issues happened upon, or very shortly after, adding them to the tank. But, I'm processing through possibilities.

You mentioned you've been trying to keep snails at the new house for months now. What does that mean? Have you had any snails that didn't make it between the nerites you brought with you from your previous house to this house and these that are having the issue at the moment? What happened with them?

Like mattgirl mentioned, maybe the guy who pulled them out of the tank pulled on them too hard and injured them.

Did all the other snails in the tank(s) where you got them seem active? Were there dead snails in the tank(s)?
The crushed coral has been in there for quite some time, not sure exactly but I have added new stuff since too.
So it isn't "all" depleted, if it can get that way before it is turned to dust. I used it in my old house as well because I remember that pH needing to be boosting, now that I think of it. The pH before water change is 7.0-7.2 (the colors are too close for me to really tell the difference), after, I would imagine lower because my tap is 6.0. I've never actually tested because I know seachem safe/seachem prime can mess with the test kits (and I have had some issues with wonky test kits this year) and I don't wanna bother wasting a test when it could be inaccurate and I finally found a non-wonky kit. but 2 days later, when I test it, it will be back up to 6.8 at least.

I've had 2 other instances I have tried. One, I ordered online and I still strongly believe they came dead. There were 5 I think, and none had move at all (because I put them in the tank immediately, no bodies at the time fell out) but they had also come in water that didn't even cover them completely, barely covering enough for water to get in their shell, let alone even partial shell. Now, I had never before ordered snails to be shipped to me, but i'm fairly sure they should've been covered in water, at least. I know those were dead because of the smell, but their body's all fell out too.

The other time, it was a different tank and they came from another store. I just remembered this try. They were active for 3 or so days and then they stopped moving.

I don't believe I saw dead snails, or dead fish, in the tanks they came in. There were some snails on the wall, some on the gravel/plants. I mean, the tanks weren't clean, that's for sure. they had a lot of algae, but that's what nerites eat. I also saw some tests done, and i'm not sure what came from what but there was about 3-4 ammonia tests done and one or two showed a light green color. For the record, this was not a PetSmart or "chain" store - this is family run by a man and I assume his daughter and it was him that pulled the snails out for me. I believe it's his store
if it means ANYTHING I came home last night and one of the mysteries sank back to the bottom of the tank. hasn't moved since, as well at the others, but I hadn't seen that happen yet.
 

AquaBaby

Member
The ph of my source water is basically the same ph of my tank. (I have plants, so I do see a bit of minor fluctuation throughout the day on occasion.) So, I am not sure the best way to ph match the water before a water change or if it's even necessary. If I remember correctly, the consensus was no. Since I don't have experience with it, I'm not going to guess. I think I remember mattgirl responding to questions about it.

Depending on the Seller and the type of snail, it's not uncommon for some snails to be shipped in a Tupperware type container with a very damp/wet paper towel. I've received plenty this way and haven't had an issue. But, all were shipped overnight - Not sure how an extended amount of shipping time would factor in.

We will have to disregard the ones that arrived dead, as nothing in the tank did that. The other ones, roughly the same time frame to show similar issues you're experiencing now.

I've got to think it's something in the tank or the source water. Could it be that you were just unlucky and receied two "bad batches" of snails? Sure. But since they were from two different places, it lowers the probability in my mind.

So, still nothing jumping out at me, yet.

Was medication ever used in this tank? If so, what was used? What method was used after to remove any residue from the tank?

The thread below is for mystery snails, not nerites. But it has pictures of things you may see with snails, either the mysteries or nerites. Did/Do you see any of these issues? If so, which one?

Mystery Snail Care/sickness Guide | Snails Forum | 339419

Do you plan on having your tap water tested by a facility?
 

mattgirl

Member
AquaBaby said:
The ph of my source water is basically the same ph of my tank. (I have plants, so I do see a bit of minor fluctuation throughout the day on occasion.) So, I am not sure the best way to ph match the water before a water change or if it's even necessary. If I remember correctly, the consensus was no. Since I don't have experience with it, I'm not going to guess. I think I remember mattgirl responding to questions about it.
When there is that much of a difference between tap and tank water I would first have to set a container of tap out and see what the pH is after gassing off for 24 hours. Often it will go down. I supposed it is also possible it will go up. The number we see after sitting out for 24 hours is our true pH value. If there is a agreat difference between tap and tank and the tank is the higher number becaise it is running crushed coral we may need to do smaller water changes and instead of once a week we may have to do 2 smaller ones each week.

Some folks recommend adding baking soda to get the pH up before doing a water change but I've never done so. I am not comfortable recommending it since I've never done it. I do know the baking soda will be added to the water change water before adding it to the tank. I will take some experimenting to determine how much is needed but I know a little goes a long way.
 

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