05-12-2008, 03:04 PM
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While tetras can be a good indicator of water quality, many are very hardy and can tolerate more abuse than many realize. Snails are a far better indicator of water condidtions. The fact that they are inverts has much to do with this.
We have all heard of how researchers monitor and study deformities in frogs due to pollution and bad water canditions. This just reinforces the fact that inverts are barometers of water conditions, snails included.
A dead snail, or any dead creature in the aquarium, decays and promotes the accumulation of ammonia. Snails and other inverts, decay very rapidly. The rise in ammonia is swift. No toxins or poisons are secreted. The build up of ammonia is a deadly situation and must be dealt with immediately. This is done by removing the carcass and performing water changes.
It is normal for snails to float. If you are concerned that he is dead, pick it up and take a sniff. Your nose will let you know if it is dead and decaying.