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LisaLB24 02-24-2011 08:45 AM

What Killed My Snail????
This might get long but any help would be most appreciated!!!!
I have a 10 g aquarium with a male betta, 4 cories and 3 snails that has been moving along swimmingly for the past 6 months or so. I want to start up a 10 gallon sorority tank. I bought that tank, gravel, heater, filter, driftwood and a couple of decorations new. I used plant trimmings, filter media, and three gallons of water, from my established tank. I then topped off with tap water declorinated with Prime, threw in some food pellets from my cories and let it bake for a couple weeks, doing water test every few days. Ammonia ever spiked to .25, never any nitrites and nitrates stayed right around 5-10. Two days ago, ammonia dropped off to 0 and I assumed the tank was cycled. I did a 1 g water change, and sucked up the leftover food tablets. I moved one of my mystery snails over to the new tank to help me clean it up and get ready for my girls. I was planning to get them tomorrow so I would have all weekend to watch them and make sure there were no big fights. However, when I came home from work yesterday, the snail was lying on the bottom of the tank, half open with some white "goo" floating up from him. I reached into get him out and he closed up so I left him in there but this morning he was in the same place. Half open, resting on the bottom. I picked him up again and he seemed to move a bit but barely. I moved him back to my established tank hoping that by some miracle he'll recover. So what happened? I'm scared to add any bettas to the tank now because I don't know what could have happened to him. Temperature of the tanks are the same. Water parameters are great. What could have caused this? Chemicals? Toxins? From where? Can I test for these things? How can I know the water is safe before adding fish?

Lupin 02-24-2011 08:50 AM

When the ammonia hit zero two days ago, what about the nitrite and nitrate?
Right now, you mean your ammonia and nitrite are zero with visible nitrate?

LisaLB24 02-24-2011 09:00 AM

Yes, 0 A, 0 NI, 5-10 NA, ph 7.4 (same as other tank), temp 78 (same as other tank).

Lupin 02-24-2011 09:04 AM

Strange. I do not think that would have been the problem.:? Was it liquid kit?

Look at this excerpt from Donya about the snail symptoms.


2. Ammonia/Nitrite Poisoning & Treatment
(originally posted Sat Nov 06, 2004)

Ok folks, I think I have this thing figured out (finally). First off, ammonia and nitrite poisoning only occurs at levels that are well in or above the toxic range for fish. Many types of fish will exhibit symptoms and kick the bucket long before many apple snails will. However, bridgesiis seem to be particularly susceptible out of the species I have dealt with: Pomacea bridgesii, P. canaliculata, Marisa cornaurietis, and P. insularum.

Symptoms: Inactivity, immobility, noticable swelling of the foot and siphon, and unresponsiveness. The snail will lie on the bottom of the tank for days at a time without moving. In most cases, the snail will sink like a rock and sit on its back extended out of the shell with the foot held open. Snails will be oblivious to all but the most sever prodding and jostling. Affected snails will not be able to close up completely or propperly and often have the foot folded awkwardly in half, sticking largely out the front when they try to close up. The tissue in the foot may be swollen evenly or it may be irregularly swollen; the foot is usually hard to the touch. Frequently the siphon is partially extended and inflamed as well, although it is unsusually squishy when poked.

Treatment: Remove the affected snail(s) from the water and place them on a hard, cool surface. Placing them in a dry or moist tub (no standing pools of water, though a film of water accross the bottom is ok to prevent desication) on a countertop at room temperature and leave them for up to 15 minutes. Be sure to mist the tub if you leave it completely dry. By this time, mild cases should have resolved and the snails should be either able to close up completely and normally, or they should be out and walking around normally. Any snails still exhibiting symptoms should be kept most, possibly placed in detoxified water for a few minutes, and then have the treatment repeated. I do not recommend doing this treatment for more than 3 repetitions. If 3 repetitions pass and the snail is still exhibiting symptoms, leave it in shallow (2-4" deep), detoxified water overnight and try again the next day.

LisaLB24 02-24-2011 09:17 AM

Hmmm... symptoms sound EXACTLY like what he was exhibiting. But I use the liquid API test, the same one I've been using on my other two tanks for the lsat 6 months... Like I said, the most ammonia ever got up to was .25 about a week ago, but the next time I tested it was 0, and then a few days later, still 0. My cycling was fishless, just used the food pellets and the crud and water I sucked up from the other tank...

Surely his bioload in a cycled tank wouldn't be enough to spike ammonia enough to kill him in just 24 hours!? Especially right after a water change and removing the decaying food particles.

Tested water params before I added him Tuesday night but I didn't test this morning. I will as soon as I get home.

Lupin 02-24-2011 10:48 PM

Mystery snails poop a lot and if ever we need to move them in clean shallow bowls, the water needs changing daily. They're extremely sensitive to traces of ammonia and nitrite.

Did you test water yet? What are current results?

LisaLB24 02-25-2011 07:54 AM

Water paramaters are good. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 nitrates. But something is wrong. I was planning on changing a gallon of water from the tank last night. After removing one gallon, there was a white film on the inside walls of the tank and bubbles. I used no soap or chemicals to clean anything. I dont know. I have mopani in there that is tinting the water a bit but I have the same thing in my established tank. :hmm: I ended up completely draining it and refilling it. All probably do that a couple more times over the next week and hope it doesn't completely bomb my cycle. Really don't want to start back over from scratch.

On a positive note! I moved the snail back to the establised tank yesterday morning. When I got home from work he was still lying in the exact same position, have open, on his back. I gave up on him. I clean my tanks on Monday and Thursday so when I was vaccuming the gravel I bumped him with the hose just to see and he closed up a little bit. I replaced the water and left to clean my other tank. When I cam back maybe ten minutes later, he was crawling up the side of the tank!!! I'm changing his name to Lazarus!:-D

Lupin 02-25-2011 08:28 AM

LOL! Lazarus does fit.

Back to the issue, did the film look easy to scrape off? Biofilm is possible. So is calcium deposit. I'm curious what your hardness levels are. If "rock hard", then naturally, the white film could be calcium especially if it is difficult to scrape off. Most gravel that pack a lot of calcium carbonate is responsible for that.

I still don't understand how the snail got sick there.:?

Maybe come to chat so I can figure out it better. We'll recollect them and post here when we've gathered enough info.

1077 02-25-2011 09:36 AM

It is said that several snails of the genus Pomacea, Aestivate buried in the mud for a month or more out of the year and is possible that they seldom live longer than a year in aquariums for this reason depending on species.
I'm not too familiar with snails other than trumpet snails but maybe something to look into?

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