Mystery Snail injury??
Not sure if this is where I should post this, but since he isn't a fish I didn't want to post it in the Fish Diseases forum.
My mystery snail, Dozer, started acting strange about a week ago after I did a full water change. He normally goes a bit dormant after I do that so I didn't think much of it til I noticed about 3 days ago that he hadn't been moving around at all or eating. Since my 10 gallon is heavily planted I couldn't watch him well so I moved him into the 3 gallon quarantine with half tank water and half fresh water. I put part of an algae wafer in with him and left him alone. The next morning (yesterday) I noticed he was moving around out of his shell (but not all the way) so I didn't mess with him. Last night after I'd gone to bed, my husband came up and said he had some sort of white spot in the middle of his foot. I was mostly asleep so didn't think much of it (I know bad mommy), but this morning when I came down he was still on the side of the glass, so I took a picture of it.
I can't seem to find any information about something like this. Has anyone here seen anything like this? I have no idea what I should do for him.
The only thing I have added to his tank that he normally doesn't have is a bit of liquid Calcium. I've not used any medication in the ten gallon. All that gets added is dechlorinator, Excel, and plant food.
Thanks for any help or advice.
To me it looks like one of two things. . . either a cyst or a tumor. Unfortunately, the only way that I know of to tell the two apart is to actually pop one. If it is a cyst, you can *try* to treat her with melafix, it's safe for snails and *might* help, but . . . I hate to say this!!! I think you'd have to actually open them in order for the med to get inside of the cyst and clear out any infections there - or even to be able to tell if it is a cyst OR a tumor - a cyst will pop, a tumor won't. . . but this is something that *I* would not be comfortable trying, so I really don't know what to tell you! I had this happen to a snail before, and they grew and spread - in the case of this snail it WAS a cyst, and the infection took over before many days had passed. :(
All that awfulness said, it could also be a completely harmless tumor - though with her behaving in this fashion, I don't really know. If it were something that wasn't bothering her, she'd be behaving as normal, more or less.
From the picture it's hard to tell, and it would be nice if it was something less dire and simpler than all that. Tell me, does it look mucousy at all? Or, is SHE producing extra mucous, as if she got something on her foot that is irritating her?
I'm really sorry! I wish that I had some more positive light to shed. . . just keep watching her. If it starts to spread quickly, you know that it's likely to be some sort of cystic infection.
I REALLY hope I'm totally off-base, and that he's totally fine! Sorry to be such a downer :/ Try the melafix, it won't HURT, and it might help :) At least you can try something to make yourself feel better :)
I actually think it may have popped on its own. Yesterday I thought it looked like it has spread, but now it actually looks a little better than the first pic I took. I can't really tell if he's producing extra mucous or not.
I've gotta go to the pet store for a couple of things today so I will pick up some Melafix too. Like you said it can't hurt. I really hope he gets better. He's got a lot of personality for a snail so I would be really sad if I lost him :(
Good! With things like boils and cysts, the infection is trapped INSIDE of the skin, which is what causes them to fill with puss (or whatever in the case of snails, lol) once it bursts, the area on the inside is exposed, and so can be treated. Hopefully this will have been a one-time thing, and all will be well with the poor little guy!!! :)
Went out and got some Melafix, and a sponge to put in the filter instead of carbon.
It does seem to look better, and I found the piece of flesh that sloughed off in the filter when I pulled the carbon out.
Also bought some Seachem Prime to use as a dechlorinator since it takes so much less than most of the others AND it also helps detox Ammonia.
Sounds perfect! Prime is DEFINITELY the best, I approve of your choice! When you're done with 7 days, do a 25% water change, and you can put carbon back into the tank (a fresh batch - don't re-use the old stuff) With this med, I don't think it's NECESSARY to put the carbon in, it's pretty well inactive after a 24 hour time period, so if you don't have any (or the money to blow) you can just. . . not. Carbon isn't necessary to a healthy tank. Good luck! I really hope he feels better and makes a full recovery!
Just wanted to update. He seems to be doing much better and from what I can tell it looks like it is healing. I'm going to try to get a picture later for comparison, but he is on the side of the tank facing the wall right now, so I can't really see his "belly".
How long should I leave him in the QT after the week of meds? Until it heals completely?
And if I don't put the carbon back how often should I do water changes in the QT?
YAY! I've been wondering how he was doing, SO happy that things are looking up for the poor little guy!
Okay. . . there are several points that I'd like you to look into, so get ready for one of my infamous novels - and bear in mind that I'm not an expert, so do your own research and do what you feel is right. . .
Personally. . . once he's gone through his treatment, provided that he is behaving normally and seems to be healing well, I would go ahead and put him back into the main tank. . . but that's a tricky question, and based ONLY on my limited experience.
We do NOT know exactly what is/was wrong with him, or if it is something that could possibly be passed onto the fish in the tank. There are many people who feel that snails should be kept in their own species-only environments as a general rule. . .
That said. . . the reason why I would choose to put him back into the main tank is because I have found Mystery snails to be extremely sensitive to changes in parameter. In my experience, they are surprisingly intolerant of changes in the nitrAte levels of the tank. If the 3g QT tank that he's living in is uncycled, he's in danger unless you're keeping a very close eye on parameters adn doing very frequent water changes. I know it sounds silly - ONE snail in 3 gallons, right? But I'm basing this on personal experience. Snails are weird little guys! Even in a 3 gallon tank with pristine water conditions, I have found that they tend to go inactive and/or float after a short period of time. I know that people keep them (fairly successfully, I guess?) with betta in very small tanks, but in my experience, they do much better in larger bodies of water!
I would do several small water changes in his 3 gallon tank using dirty tank water from the other tank, just to get him acclimated to the nitrate levels in there (if they aren't identical) because going from 0 even to 10ppm of nitrate suddenly really can shock a Mystery snail!
On the same line of thinking, you mentioned that he goes inactive for a while after you do water changes. I don't know how you run your tank(s), what the levels are, or how large the changes you do are. But if you're keeping a Mystery snail, their sensitivity is something to be aware of. Smaller, more frequent changes are better, as less flux in nitrates will be likely to happen this way. Of course, your plants are thriving, so your nitrates are probably very low - just putting the info out there JIC you didn't know :)
A few other things, while we're on the subject. . . Mystery snails are one of my favorite types of snail, and because of this, I don't keep them anymore. These snails naturally live in cooler temperatures, and though they will survive for some time in the warmer temps of our tropical tanks, the heat increases their metabolism, makes them more active (and fun to watch!), but also has the very sad side-effect of shortening their life span to about half of what it would normally be in cooler temps. For all *I* know, you have a cool-water tank - so again, just passing along information that I have learned and read during the time I was keeping them. :-)
I hope your little friend makes a full recovery, and lives a long and happy life with you. They really are wonderful little creatures. I miss mine dearly. . . Best of luck, and keep me posted, please!
Sorry I haven't updated sooner. Been really busy.
I've been slowly acclimating him back to the tank water this week. I will probably move him back on Sunday.
Here is a picture from a few days ago. I tried to get a new one just now, but bumped the tank and he fell to the bottom. Will try again later though.
He is (normally) in the tank with my Betta, which stays around 80 degrees.
My new 55 is probably going to be around 78, which I know isn't much cooler, but I may put him in there once it is established (even though he doesn't really match the biotope I am going for LOL). OR I might see if my friends would like him for their pond. I can't decide which would be a better option.
On another note, I have a really bad pond snail infestation in the 10, and I am seriously considering an assassin snail for it. Would he be okay with an assassin or should I wait til I can move him?
Scratch that, I just found out that most mystery snails are from South America... so he is most definitely going in the big tank.
Now if I could just save the money to atleast plant it. Do you think he would be ok in the 55 by himself with just the plants for now (well in a few weeks)?? I won't be able to stock it with fish until late November at this point, but I am hoping to be able to order the plants in the next couple of weeks.
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