Urgent! Mystery Snail Has Exposed Flesh From Cracked Shell

Zypher023

Hey everyone, help or advice on my cracked mystery snail shells would be greatly appreciated!!!

Between 2-5am CT my juvenile magenta mystery snails both managed to escape their tank, fall 2-4 feet, and both crack their shells in different ways on the tile. (They’re about the size of a quarter now.)

The URGENT situation!!!:
The male and larger of the two - picked him up and the tip of his shell came off (as in the spiral part) and his flesh is exposed. I realize this does not bode well for him. Any suggestions? Should I try to find a shell that maybe he could move into if he isn’t critically injured? (edit: I swear I’ve heard they can do this but that might be a dumb question.) The exposed tissue appears to be in tact. The extra pieces are scattered in the container in the photo. The piece on him still came off when I added more water.

Not as urgent:
The female escaped Sunday and I was able to catch her when I got home and file her shell down (they’ve mated and she’s a fair bit smaller which means I can tell them apart, so I know it’s a she). She cracked it further but I was able to file hers down again. She pulled far enough into the shell that it should be ok if she didn’t hurt herself already. She’s back in the main tank now and had come out and was awkwardly hanging out of her shell when I left her about 15 min ago.

What I did:
I rinsed them both off in tank water, tried to remove any dog fur that got on them etc. The male is now in a 1 gal Rubbermaid hospital tupperware I keep that’s salad bowl shaped. I filled it about 2/3 of the way with tank water and the lid on slightly cracked. I dosed 5x Seachem Prime and added an air stone. I also covered most of it with a towel so he’d be a little bit cozier. He IS alive as he reacted when I was pulling off dog fur.

Setup:
The water parameters are perfect. They’ve been in this style tank since January (this one is just bigger) and they never escaped the smaller one. Only one other mystery has ever escaped on me besides the magenta last weekend. Only reason I can think she’s leaving is to lay her clutch, although the water is about 2-3” down at this point for her. I added something temporary to block her or the nerites from getting out (hopefully).

Edit: I feed them a rotating diet of snello with calcium carbonate, shrimp wafers, algae wafers, and blanched squash (they’ve never eaten any other veggies). There’s an Indian almond leaf they can munch on inbetween meals if there isn’t enough other growth to feed on. It’s in there since it’s usually a betta tank but he’s in a hospital (I posted about him here before, and many thanks to everyone who’s helped as he’s finally regrowing tissue after over 2 months of battling fin rot!!). This tank has been setup since December and this is the first time I’ve had mysteries in it. It’s had 1 tiny zebra nerite for a couple months and I have 2 others in there as well until their homes are safe (one is undergoing treatment and the other is having a cycle crashing issue). I have double filtration running until I can get some of them moved out.

Thank you in advance!


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Buganjimo

I’m really sorry, I don’t really have a lot but, feed high calcium diets and have a cuttlebone or something in there to increase calcium in the water which should harden or stimulate shell growth.

Also, make sure the water is crystal clean as to not get an infection. But you probably already know that.

Sorry I can't be more of a help.
 

Zypher023

I’m really sorry, I don’t really have a lot but, feed high calcium diets and have a cuttlebone or something in there to increase calcium in the water which should harden or stimulate shell growth.

Also, make sure the water is crystal clean as to not get an infection. But you probably already know that.

Sorry I can't be more of a help.

Thanks for saying something anyway though. I was thinking Stress Guard might not be a bad idea?

I did find this thread but not sure if OP had any luck: Mystery snail's body exposed with broken shell
 

Gypsy13

Hubby can’t tell. Is the pic of the one with the exposed body? Can you get a pic of the missing area?
 

Zypher023

Hubby can’t tell. Is the pic of the one with the exposed body? Can you get a pic of the missing area?

Can try to take a better one later in about two hours, but for now here it is zoomed in and marked.
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Gypsy13

Can try to take a better one later in about two hours, but for now here it is zoomed in and marked.
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Ok. You’ve got him separated from anyone that can hurt him. You’ve got calcium for him. The link you found has excellent advice. If he’s moving and eating the outer part will calcify. The problem is keeping infection out. Dog hair. Lovely. I’m surrounded by it. Anyway, you can patch the shell. I’ve never had luck with eggshells though. But if you can get some medical super glue you may be able to glue some of his shell back together. (When I lost apple snails to old age, I’d keep their shells so I could use them for patches). Check out that link you found. There’s probably YouTube vids on it too. Anything I forgot to mention or you’re worrying about, holler. We’re here to try to help. And please let us know what you decide. Keep us posted?
 

Zypher023

Ok. You’ve got him separated from anyone that can hurt him. You’ve got calcium for him. The link you found has excellent advice. If he’s moving and eating the outer part will calcify. The problem is keeping infection out. Dog hair. Lovely. I’m surrounded by it. Anyway, you can patch the shell. I’ve never had luck with eggshells though. But if you can get some medical super glue you may be able to glue some of his shell back together. (When I lost apple snails to old age, I’d keep their shells so I could use them for patches). Check out that link you found. There’s probably YouTube vids on it too. Anything I forgot to mention or you’re worrying about, holler. We’re here to try to help. And please let us know what you decide. Keep us posted?

Thank you so much!!

They’re my first so I don’t have extra shells sadly. I can always ask the employees I’m friendly with at Petco to save one if it comes up. I’ll see if I can get a hold of the glue...eh. What’s one more problem. Why not? I’ve only got oh...5 other sick fish and/or tanks? Why not a 6th? UGH.

I have two antiseptic/bacteria fighting options
1) Stressguard
2) RO water
3) Edit: also Kordon Methylene Blue

The RO has a very low PH but I have wonder shells and Vitachem I could remineralize with. Or could mix with tap. Any of that sounds like a good idea? Edit: My tap is treated with chloramine so I do have .25ppm ammonia and usually trace nitrites. It sucks and I’ve stopped drinking it myself. On the other hand. The ph is close to 9.0 and it’s hard. I do have a TDS reader if that would help at all to decide.
 

Gypsy13

Thank you so much!!

They’re my first so I don’t have extra shells sadly. I can always ask the employees I’m friendly with at Petco to save one if it comes up. I’ll see if I can get a hold of the glue...eh. What’s one more problem. Why not? I’ve only got oh...5 other sick fish and/or tanks? Why not a 6th? UGH.

I have two antiseptic/bacteria fighting options
1) Stressguard
2) RO water
3) Edit: also Kordon Methylene Blue

The RO has a very low PH but I have wonder shells and Vitachem I could remineralize with. Or could mix with tap. Any of that sounds like a good idea? Edit: My tap is treated with chloramine so I do have .25ppm ammonia and usually trace nitrites. It sucks and I’ve stopped drinking it myself. On the other hand. The ph is close to 9.0 and it’s hard. I do have a TDS reader if that would help at all to decide.

Sorry. Lost my connection.
Do you have prime for your tap water? Mblue shouldn’t hurt the snail but if you use it, I’d do a weak solution as a quick dip. Personally, just clean water with the calcium is what I’d do. Poor guy has been through a lot. Who knows what mblue feels like to a snail? Having a broken shell?
 

Zypher023

Sorry. Lost my connection.
Do you have prime for your tap water? Mblue shouldn’t hurt the snail but if you use it, I’d do a weak solution as a quick dip. Personally, just clean water with the calcium is what I’d do. Poor guy has been through a lot. Who knows what mblue feels like to a snail? Having a broken shell?

Yeah I have no idea

I do have Prime. Been buying the 500ml ones since I use it for usually day of and the next day after water changes. Usually I dose the water I’m adding, and then dose the whole tank after. I put a 5x dose in the container with the snail, just in case, even though it’s tank water.

To clarify, are you suggesting just calcium fortified snello? Or adding calcium carbonate to the water?

I think he could nibble on the Wonder Shell and it would add some minerals to the water too. Not sure though how much it helps inverts.

Here he is now. He’s alive. I stuck a bamboo skewer in to tap him and he pulled in before I touched him at all. I can’t get that piece of stem or whatever it is out though. He pulled it in with him and I don’t want to tug on it too hard. I’m also pretty sure it’s not part of him but I’m being paranoid. Poor guy. That can’t feel very nice. Other one seems to be doing fine. She’s cruising along now.

Edit: I kept all the shell pieces I found on the ground. Might be enough to patch.


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Lady snail:

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Gypsy13

This actually sounds better than I thought. Yeah wait till he’s all the way out before you deal with the twig. The calcium in the food is fine. Long as he’s getting some. I love these guys. We have three pharmacies here that sell medical grade super glue. Have you checked your area yet? Anything comes to mind, jump in.
 

Zypher023

This actually sounds better than I thought. Yeah wait till he’s all the way out before you deal with the twig. The calcium in the food is fine. Long as he’s getting some. I love these guys. We have three pharmacies here that sell medical grade super glue. Have you checked your area yet? Anything comes to mind, jump in.

Sounds good. I’m guessing I can find it but I’m going to check Amazon as they do same day delivery here.

Just to make the damage as clear as possible, the blue outlined area is flesh. I’m not sure if one of the shell pieces is actually shell. They’re close to my back door and my two dogs are fluffy and drag in stuff. lol. Not to mention the fur...I also do some in home boarding so I’ll have up to 5 dogs sometimes. Fur is inevitably everywhere, even on the same day I vacuum.

Do you have any idea what that dark spot is?


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Gypsy13

Which dark spot?

And I have a shepherd/malamute mix. I know hair. Boy do I know hair. Told my doc lupus won’t kill me a fur ball will!
 

Zypher023

Which dark spot?

Sorry - updated the photo I attached above too slowly
 

Gypsy13

Sorry - updated the photo I attached above too slowly

If you look right above that mark, you’ll see something similar. I believe the outer couple of layers were knocked off. Like a scraped knee for us. Poor thing.
 

Zypher023

If you look right above that mark, you’ll see something similar. I believe the outer couple of layers were knocked off. Like a scraped knee for us. Poor thing.

Ahh. Thanks. They don’t have nerves in the shells though right? Like he doesn’t really feel that? That must be what this is:


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Gypsy13

Ahh. Thanks. They don’t have nerves in the shells though right? Like he doesn’t really feel that? That must be what this is:


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Probably from the sound of it. And he may feel bruised under the shell but the shell itself doesn’t feel. Kind of like if you peeled back a few layers of your fingernail. You’d feel the difference but it wouldn’t hurt. If that makes sense.
 

Zypher023

Probably from the sound of it. And he may feel bruised under the shell but the shell itself doesn’t feel. Kind of like if you peeled back a few layers of your fingernail. You’d feel the difference but it wouldn’t hurt. If that makes sense.

Ow. That comparison makes my skin crawl.
 

Bithimala

The shell typically grows forward, not back, so I wouldn't count on it repairing itself. If you feel comfortable patching it, that's probably the safest option imo, though patching has always scared me to try
 

Gypsy13

The shell typically grows forward, not back, so I wouldn't count on it repairing itself. If you feel comfortable patching it, that's probably the safest option imo, though patching has always scared me to try

It can be done. And I wasn’t saying the shell would grow backwards. Just that the exposed tissue could calcify. I know it will in true apples.
 

Zypher023

Gypsy13 Do you think it’s safe for him to be in an aquarium with gravel? I have a cycled quarantine 1 gal I just moved a betta out of. The snail has moved since yesterday and he may have eaten last night.
 

Gypsy13

Yes. As long as he’s where no one can pick at his exposed flesh, and he’s moving, he can be in there. Did you manage to get his twig out?
 

Zypher023

Yes. As long as he’s where no one can pick at his exposed flesh, and he’s moving, he can be in there. Did you manage to get his twig out?

Thanks! Yep it came loose yesterday afternoon. I pulled it out and it had some slimey stuff on it so I was a little concerned. Glad he moved and I startled him when I removed the snello and I saw him clamp up. I can dump the quarantine and fill it up with some tank water from the other tank. It has a small filter that should be cycled so that would be better for him. Only one tiny spot to escape that I can cover too.
 

Gypsy13

Sound good. Easier for you to maintain and safe for him.
 

Zypher023

Sound good. Easier for you to maintain and safe for him.

Thank you! I got my most frequented Petco to save an empty shell they had for me. Going to pick it up tomorrow!
 

Gypsy13

Thank you! I got my most frequented Petco to save an empty shell they had for me. Going to pick it up tomorrow!

Wonderful! Your such a good snail mommy!
 

Zypher023

Will this work?

LiquidSkin Pro
 

forestwind1234

Will this work?

LiquidSkin Pro

I've used it before (on myself) and it's more like liquid scab than any kind of glue. It also stings a little.
 

Gypsy13

Will this work?

LiquidSkin Pro

Hubby said it stung. A lot. Big baby. You have a new pic?
 

Zypher023

Hubby said it stung. A lot. Big baby. You have a new pic?

I haven’t done the patch yet. This one is supposed to be medical grade and not sting. I’m not sure what else to use He’s still happy and cruising around as is in his little hospital.

I did buy marine epoxy putty that’s drinking water safe, and was debating using that to attach or molding a shape if I can’t get a good shape off the shell.

I still have Loctite Superglue Gel too if that might work and I’m extra careful?
 

Gypsy13

I haven’t done the patch yet. This one is supposed to be medical grade and not sting. I’m not sure what else to use He’s still happy and cruising around as is in his little hospital.

I did buy marine epoxy putty that’s drinking water safe, and was debating using that to attach or molding a shape if I can’t get a good shape off the shell.

I still have Loctite Superglue Gel too if that might work and I’m extra careful?

How does the exposed part look?
 

Zypher023

How does the exposed part look?

Same. Just skin colored. I asked the breeder I got him from and he said the spiral won’t grow back.
 

Gypsy13

Same. Just skin colored. I asked the breeder I got him from and he said the spiral won’t grow back.

No it won’t grow back, but if he’s moving and eating, the tissue will calcify over time. It’ll never be as hard as she’ll. But it will offer protection. The only reason I wouldn’t try patching now is the time that’s gone by. You could actually trap something nasty inside. But, on the other hand if you want to put him back in gen pop, you’d have to patch to keep fishes from chomping.
 

Zypher023

No it won’t grow back, but if he’s moving and eating, the tissue will calcify over time. It’ll never be as hard as she’ll. But it will offer protection. The only reason I wouldn’t try patching now is the time that’s gone by. You could actually trap something nasty inside. But, on the other hand if you want to put him back in gen pop, you’d have to patch to keep fishes from chomping.

Oh gotcha. Hmm...didn’t think about that being an issue with waiting.

He hasn’t lived with a fish for more than the initial 48 hours before I learned how aggressive my bettas are. Doh.

I read another snail could eat the tissue too... I don’t know what to do...

I could setup a 10 and divide it so he and the other magenta have their own side from a betta or something. Do you think that he’d be ok with the other magenta female?
 

CanadianJoeh

Cracked shell = get that boy some calcium!

Blanch some spinach for him. I'm sure he'll have a feast.
 

Zypher023

Cracked shell = get that boy some calcium!

Blanch some spinach for him. I'm sure he'll have a feast.

He’s eating some snello tonight with calcium carbonate added, with corn, carrots, and pumpkin.
 

Gypsy13

I’m sorry. It took me forever to find you again!
How is your snail doing?
 

Zypher023

I’m sorry. It took me forever to find you again!
How is your snail doing?

He’s still hanging in there alone in the 1 gallon. Been trying to decide what to do with him.
 

Gypsy13

He’s still hanging in there alone in the 1 gallon. Been trying to decide what to do with him.

Have new pic?
 

Zypher023

Have new pic?

I don’t and I’m guessing he’s resting now. I can take one later though.
 

Gypsy13

I don’t and I’m guessing he’s resting now. I can take one later though.

Ok. Take a touch too. If it’s kind of hardish feeling, you’ll be able to use the shell you got to patch without worrying about infection.
 

Zypher023

Ok. Take a touch too. If it’s kind of hardish feeling, you’ll be able to use the shell you got to patch without worrying about infection.

Oh okay. It had some slime on it visually when I changed the water a couple days ago but it may have been stuck snail poo. I’ll do that soon.
 

Dch48

I have never heard of a snail moving into a different shell. They are attached to the shell on the inside and it does not come off. The best thing is to try and cover the broken off part with one of the methods suggested. Or just leave him by himself until the exposed flesh hardens.
 

Gypsy13

I have never heard of a snail moving into a different shell. They are attached to the shell on the inside and it does not come off. The best thing is to try and cover the broken off part with one of the methods suggested. Or just leave him by himself until the exposed flesh hardens.

That’s what we’re talking about. Because it was exposed so long patching wasn’t a good idea in case bacteria were present. She would like to put him back in the main tank. She has a shell from Petco. If the outer flesh hardens, she can cut the spiral off of the “used” shell to make like a cap. Then she can glue it on the broken shell. As long as the “cap” is bigger than the broken spiral, she can then glue without worrying about getting glue on flesh.
 

Dch48

That’s what we’re talking about. Because it was exposed so long patching wasn’t a good idea in case bacteria were present. She would like to put him back in the main tank. She has a shell from Petco. If the outer flesh hardens, she can cut the spiral off of the “used” shell to make like a cap. Then she can glue it on the broken shell. As long as the “cap” is bigger than the broken spiral, she can then glue without worrying about getting glue on flesh.
I agree completely. It's just that in the first post the OP said she had heard they can move into another shell. That is just not true.
 

KimAnnKitz

Just a little fyi...hermit crabs move into bigger shells as they grow. Maybe that's what she was thinking of. I am so happy to see someone so caring with a snail. I had some escape small tanks with light plastic lids. They usually ended up with a dent in their shells never had one do that kind of damage. I lost one for several months one time. I searched and searched for him. He didn't make it of course and turned up one day when I was vacuuming the house in an entirely different room. I suspect that my cat was using him as a toy.
 

Gypsy13

Just a little fyi...hermit crabs move into bigger shells as they grow. Maybe that's what she was thinking of. I am so happy to see someone so caring with a snail. I had some escape small tanks with light plastic lids. They usually ended up with a dent in their shells never had one do that kind of damage. I lost one for several months one time. I searched and searched for him. He didn't make it of course and turned up one day when I was vacuuming the house in an entirely different room. I suspect that my cat was using him as a toy.

Oh my! Maybe that snail wanted to be a cat toy? Poor thing.
 

NLindsey921

I had one jump out of the tank and smash the front half inch of her shell off. I thought she was a gonner for sure. But she survived and the shell grew back rapidly then added another half inch to it. She is now a proud mama snail.
 

Dch48

I had one jump out of the tank and smash the front half inch of her shell off. I thought she was a gonner for sure. But she survived and the shell grew back rapidly then added another half inch to it. She is now a proud mama snail.
That front part is the growing part of the shell. The spiral will not regenerate like that.
 

Gypsy13

I had an apple snail get dropped. Thanks again hubby. It was kinda young so probably only half a pound. But it shattered his shell. I used super glue to glue as much as I could and let it dry, then put the big glued pieces back on his body. He lived to be softball size. So not as big as his brothers and sisters, but way more than I thought he would. Love the big guys!
 

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