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Snail Q's


Skellys

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Bonjour!

So now that my tank is cycled and I finally have goldfish (yaaaayyyy!!) I also want to add a snail or two to my tank. But I do have some questions.

Should I wait until the prazi treatment is over before adding snails? I've been reading some older threads and it seems as if its not a good idea to add nerite snails to a tank with salt but apple snails are ok? I'll wait if I have to...but my tank has a feast of diatoms!

I'm adding snails mostly for the diatoms right now, which are out of control. Is there a particular snail that likes diatoms more than another?

I've also read that you need to supplement their shells with calcium, but I haven't been able to find any cuttlebone. What else can I use?

Thanks for your help!!

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Howdy!

Nerites are fine with salt (they can even be acclimated to full marine water), but not prazi. Apple snails can handle salt up to 1tsp/gallon ok, and are fine with prazi at a single dose level.

Both will eat diatoms to a degree, but nerites eat a lot of them, and apple snails will munch on them a little.

Cuttlebones are in the bird section of the pet store. They work best if you boil them first, otherwise, they will float for a few days to a couple of weeks before sinking. You can also chuck a couple of unflavored caltrate tabs (generic is fine) in the tank for calcium supplementation- find the kind without vitamin D added, if possible. There are several calcium rich veggies you can give to your snailies (I'll include a link to calcium rich veggies at the bottom of this post). OR they do make a liquid calcium tank additive that you can add in additional calcium that way. They will absorb what they need from the water, just be sure to be consistent with your dosing schedule.

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-calcium-vegetables.php I wouldn't go throwing garlic cloves, or sun dried tomatoes in your tank, but the rest of these work out just fine!

Good luck!

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I have nothing to add other than good luck getting rid of those diatoms. I am fighting them in my tank also and they are driving me :crazy: .

Even my snails can't keep up. :no:

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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You'll want to QT them in a separate container for a good week or two so take that into consideration. Nothing fancy--just daily 100% water changes, toss in some veggies, repashy or algae wafers for them to eat. :D

It gets the nasties in their shells out . . . .

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If you're getting nerites, just wait until your prazi treatment is completely finished, and run charcoal in your filter for a couple of days before adding them. Prazi can easily kill nerites.

Agreed, you definitely want to QT them for about 2 weeks before adding them to your main tank, with daily water changes- you can salt their water, if you'd like. No prazi, though. They can carry parasites in the water trapped in pockets in their shells that will die off w/o fish present. For mystery (apple) snails, I just QT them for 3 days with a single dose of prazi and salt at 1 tsp/gal. Since nerites don't do well with prazi, you'll have to do a bit of a prolonged QT, just to be safe.

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Ohhh ok I totally didn't know that.

I'm going to get a few apple snails. So I can put them into a sterilite tub with tap water and prime, salt and prazi and they can go into my main tank with my Goldie's who are currently being treated for flukes?

Sorry, I'm totally new to all things aquatic!

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You could actually add them right in with the start of your next round of prazi, as long as you are dosing at a single prazi dose, and only salting at 1tsp/gal. The salt & prazi would take care of anything that could be hitching a ride with the snails. Only mystery (apple) snails can handle prazi, though. It will kill, or make ill, most other kinds.

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Thanks Jamie!!

I picked up 3 apple snails. It was an odd experience. The guy at the pet store wanted me to smell them to make sure they weren't dead....lol. I didn't know what to do so I let him smell the snails. Jeez.

I am going to keep the snails in a separate sterilite tub for tonight and I'm actually going to salt/prazi my tank for round 1 tomorrow and I'll add them right in with the goldfish! I'm using prazi pro so the water will only be at 0.1 salt. Can the snails handle a few rounds of the prazi treatment?

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Yeah- smelling them at the LFS is always a good idea to make sure they aren't dead. It can be hard to tell, sometimes, when just pulling them out of the tank. The smell is a good indicator of a few days dead snail.The store clerk is supposed to do that, though, not the customer. Hmmmm.

Feed them well tonight, you don't know when the last time they were fed adequately is. If you have them, drop an algae wafer in the tub for each snail so they can chow down over night.

Yep- the salt and prazi will be fine for a few treatments, as long as the salt stays at no more than 1tsp/gal, and it is just a single dose of prazi going in the tank with them. The mystery snails aren't bothered by the prazi at single concentration, and the 1 tsp/gal of salt is also in their tolerance range.

How big is the tub they will be sitting in? If you're doing the full 10 gallon tub for them tonight, add in 1TBSP of salt to the 10 gallons, wait a few hours, and add another TBSP, and then a few hours after that, add another TBSP. This will bring them up to close to the same concentration of salt as the main tank slowly, and will reduce shocking them. If it is smaller than 10 gallons, just add in 1/4 tsp per gallon for however many gallons it is, over 4 total salt additions.

So, it would go like this:

for a 10 gallon sterilite tub. Prepare the tub with your prime and etc. adding in 1 tablespoon of dissolved salt. Wait 3 hours and add in another dissolved TBSP, after another 3 hours add another TBSP. (3TBSP/10 gallons is very close to the same concentration as 1tsp/gallon... it is just done in a way that is easy to measure with traditional measuring spoons)

For a smaller tub, say 2 gallons, prepare the water and add in 1/2 tsp salt . Wait 3 hours and do another 1/2 tsp salt addition, wait another 3 hrs and do another 1/2 tsp salt addition, wait 3 hrs and do your final 1/2 tsp salt addition. (1/4 tsp for each gallon- I'm using 1/4 tsp instead of 1/3 just because there really isn't a 1/3 tsp measuring spoon. It will end with roughly the same salt concentration as the tbsp method, though, just over 4 additions instead of 3)

After the salt is gradually raised, they can be added to the tank with the salt at a concentration of 1 teaspoon per gallon. ;)

They can definitely handle salt at that concentration. With them JUST coming from the pet store, where they weren't likely housed in the best conditions, it is just easier for them to be gradually salted, and will put less stress on them.

You can also wait until tomorrow to start salting, and then put them in the salted tank after you have them at the right salt concentration, since it will take a few hours to get them up there. So, let them chow down tonight, with clean, fresh water, and gradually raise the salt tomorrow, if you want to.

EDIT: If at any time your snails seem distressed by the salt and prazi treatments (staying at the waterline and breathing through their funnel, and not really ever coming down into the water, crawling out of the water all together and staying there, looking like they are convulsing, staying in their shells and not coming out of moving at all for more than 2 or 3 days, etc), remove them to a prepared tub with fresh, non salted or medicated water. Salt and prazi are both on the safe list for them, at those concentrations, but, it is always better to play safe than sorry, if there seems to be a problem.

If there seems to be a problem, you can always feel free to PM me, as well- they might need an air treatment before going to fresh, clean water, which I would gladly walk you through. :)

Edited by JamieMonster
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Makes sense!

They're currently in 5 gallons of water. No filter.

So I can do a half tbsp of salt every 3 hours?

It's highly unlikely that I'm going to be awake at 1:30 am adding salt to the snail tub lol (I'd get made fun of so bad)so can I do a half tbsp now, a half tbsp in 3 hours and the last salt addition tomorrow morning?

Then when my 55 gallon is salted and prazi'd I'll add them in. Making sure that the snails have had the 3rd addition of salt for at least 3 hours.

Thanks for being so super helpful!

Edited by Skellys
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You got it.

You could actually do the 2 additions tonight- salt the main tank in the morning, and then add them in to the salted tank. Salt at 1tps/gal is the same whether in the QT tub, or in the main tank. The adding salt slowly is just to get them up to the main tank concentration gradually. ;)

You're very welcome! Keep us updated on how the little guys are doing.

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If the trap door is shut tight, they are alive. Mine tend to be more active at night. :idont

Maybe set them upright and see what happens . . . drop some food in if they are do for some. That might get them out of their shell. :feedme

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I gave them some repashy last night and they didn't touch it.

I tried to set them upright but they just fall over again. It's like the air in their shell is not allowing them to sit upright.

They're probably doing it on purpose. Maybe the room temperture is too cold?

I'm adding them into the main tank today so everyone can be treated together.

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Hello- it isn't uncommon for snails to stay in their shells for a day or 2 and not come out, immediately after being brought home. Most of the time, they will come out in the dark and hide in the light for the first week or so, as well. Just keep an eye on them. if they don't seem to have moved in more than 2 days, take them out and smell them. Tap gently on the little door on the bottom of their shells, and see if they close it more tightly, too. Hiding is fairly normal behavior for newly purchased snails, though. :)

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I moved them into my tank with the prazi. They've all moved around which is good but now I'm wondering how I'm supposed to feed them when my one goldfish is a little piggy.

He tries to eat anything regardless if its food or not. He even thought the snails were food for a good hour before he gave that up. Lol

Any tips?

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I was reading through this thread because I want to get snails as well :) but are mystery snails the same as apple snails? That's all my LFS has.

"apple snail" is a generic term for all snails who fall within the Ampullariidae family. Mystery snails are a member of this family, specifically Pomacea Diffusa. The defining characteristic for snails in the Ampullariidae family is that they have the little trap door on the bottom of their shell that can seal up, and (more importantly) that they have both a gill, for underwater breathing, and a lung (with the little siphon) so they can breathe out of water. And they are defined (male and female) gender. ;)

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I moved them into my tank with the prazi. They've all moved around which is good but now I'm wondering how I'm supposed to feed them when my one goldfish is a little piggy.

He tries to eat anything regardless if its food or not. He even thought the snails were food for a good hour before he gave that up. Lol

Any tips?

YAY!!! Glad they're all out and about. Watch your fish with the snails, he may nip their little antennas off, if he's biting at them. They will grow back, but I'm sure it doesn't feel too nice.

You can feed them in a way that the goldies won't eat it ALL before they can get some by adding some raw zucchini or cucumber to the tank. I tie mine to a larger rock, with a rubberband, and then just let it sit on the bottom of the tank for a couple of days. The goldies will pick at it, but it is usually too hard for them to scarf it all down. Do not be surprised if it takes the snails a few days/tries to start eating it- they probably won't know it is food at first. They will flock to it and nommy down, after they figure it out, though. It is also a nice treat for your goldies. You should only need to leave it in there for 24 hrs, or so, twice a week, after the snails start eating. They don't need to be gorged on food every day.

You can also try the sneak attack method. Get some algae wafers, sneak into the room where the goldies are after all of the lights are off, and they are sleeping, drop the algae wafers into the tank as silently as possible, so you don't wake the fish, and hope your snails find it before the fish wake up. (look for algae wafer colored poop from the goldies in the morning. If they have it, they ate the algae wafers, and the snails may not have). I drop mine into the opening in the back of the glass tops, where there is space for the filters... if I open the tank tops AT ALL, the fish sense it, and are up in a second.

If all else fails- get a little lidded tub and take the snails out, put them in the tub with their food, and then put the tub in a dark closet, or something a few (2-3) times a week. I'd leave them in there for about 8 hours- so, you could do it overnight, or while you're at work. Whenever you have time.

GOOD LUCK! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Just updating. My snails literally haven't moved. I know they're alive because their trapdoors are shut. But one of them died. And got eaten :( I found his trap door and empty shell during a water change.

The other two just lay there on their side. Is this normal? They literally haven't moved since I got them.

Ugh. Do you think it has something to do with my water?

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