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Is my snail dying?

19 replies

baddyfreckleface · 21/11/2014 15:48

It's a small nerite snail. We have two, the other is fine.
A few weeks ago I started finding it upside down on the gravel, like it had fallen from whatever it was suckered into. I turned it over as I read somewhere that they can't right themselves.

Then it stopped moving. Not moved for two weeks now. Occasionally a little bit of it's body comes out but then it seems to get stuck and when I look again it's fully sealed again.

I read that if they are sealed then they are alive. But this seems unwell at the least.

Is there much I can do? I have now taken it out of the main tank into another as I don't want it to pass anything on to the other snail/fish

OP posts:
EauRouge · 22/11/2014 07:47

I think it's pretty hard to tell with snails! If it does die, it will disintegrate very quickly and stink to high heaven, so it's easy to tell if it's definitely dead. Has the temperature in the tank dropped? Sometimes snails can be less active if the water gets colder.

baddyfreckleface · 22/11/2014 11:58

Yuk! Well it's not disintegrating yet.

I put some food in but it hasn't touched it. It's mostly sealed shut but there is a small gap now.

The temperature is the same as usual. We also have 'pet' garden snails so I know they can slow down and stay still when it's cooler but the other nerite (a bit bigger) is zipping about still.
Think it's just wait and see then. Just going to keep it in a smaller separate tank I think, I don't fancy a disintegrating snail in the main tank!
The water it's in is from the main tank but I haven't put the filter in. I am ok to just keep changing the water aren't i?
All this over a snail! Having children definitely changed me!

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baddyfreckleface · 29/11/2014 23:26

So the snail died - well it disappeared!
I put it back in the tank as I was worried I don't have a heater in the smaller tank and its cold at the moment. Also the snail wasn't disintegrating and was still sealed shut so I assumed it was ok.

This morning I went to have a look and the shell was upside down and empty - I am assuming the fish ate it (!?)

When I took the shell out it looked fine but smelt rotten!

Will my fish be OK? - assuming that they have eaten it.

I think the other snail may have witnessed the incident as he was making a break for it and had climbed completely out of the water!

OP posts:
EauRouge · 30/11/2014 08:33

The fish should be OK, they may have eaten a bit of it- just keep an eye on them and see how they look.

What's your pH?

baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 09:34

Sorry I only just checked as we were away. Ph is actually 6-6.4. Never been that low before.
The tank is overdue it's weekly clean. Could that effect it?

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 03/12/2014 09:57

It's not massively low, but it's weird that it's fluctuating. How hard is your water? What is the usual pH?

baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 10:19

I just tested the tap water, it's usually around 7 but just now was 7.6. I have cleaned and done a 25% water change. Shall I check the ph again once settled down?

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 03/12/2014 10:22

Tap water needs to settle a bit before you test the pH so try filling a glass and testing it tomorrow. And yes, I would check the pH in the tank again just in case.

baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 10:26

Ok great thank you.
Could a low ph have done the snail in? I can't see much algae so I did wonder if there's enough food. The other one seems fine. The plant that has the most algae on the snails never go near

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 03/12/2014 10:30

Depends how low it got and how long for. Nerites are brackish, they live in estuary/mangrove type environments so they are used to full saltwater or partial saltwater. This is why they don't breed in a freshwater tank, they need saltwater to complete their lifecycle. Snails need calcium in the water to help build their shells. Acidic water can eat away at their shells.

baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 10:40

Well I tested the water just over a fortnight ago and it was 7 so hopefully it wasn't for long. I will keep a closer eye on it now thanks.

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baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 10:41

We have pet garden snails too and they have chalk and cuttlefish for calcium. Is there anything we can put in for the water snail to add calcium or should there be enough in the water?

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 03/12/2014 14:05

There is an additive you can get, but I wouldn't with the fish in there until you know what's going on. Can you measure the KH and GH?

baddyfreckleface · 03/12/2014 16:01

I don't have that tester kit. Is that water hardness type thing? I have the Master Test Kit

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 03/12/2014 16:08

Yes. GH is general hardness and KH is carbonate hardness.

baddyfreckleface · 05/12/2014 18:18

Hello again!

Right I have measured the PH again and it's still 6.0. I have had to move the tank today but tested the water before so it had settled for a day or so since I did a 25% water change.

Could it be to do with the snail that died. Like it's rotting body? (Blergh!)
I did take it out as soon as I saw it was dead but it was pretty smelly. How long would the ph take to get back to normal then though?

I have read that crushed coral is good for ph. Is that something I could do?

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 05/12/2014 19:23

I'd test your tap water pH and KH before you start planning coral sand. If your pH is dropping then you need to figure out why. If it's low KH then extra pollutants can cause the pH to drop.

baddyfreckleface · 05/12/2014 19:27

Ok thanks. I will get a tester kit for it. Could it be the dead snail? Could I also start feeding every other day? I don't give them much at all as it is but I do feed them once a day.

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EauLittleRougeofBethlehem · 05/12/2014 19:49

It's not likely, but you might want to check the ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte levels. It's a bit geeky/boring but if you test regularly and keep a record of those three and pH then if something goes wrong it's really easy to pinpoint it.

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