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How to keep a Black Mystery Snail healthy?


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  • Regular Member

I had never had problems keeping snails alive when I knew nothing about fish in college, and now that I have a healthy gold fish tank, I'm not doing very well with Mr. Snail. He was active and his shell looked great for a few weeks, then randomly stopped (moving and color faded shell). I thought he died but left him in there.. later he was a little more active but not normal. Now I think he's dead again. This has been happening the last 2 weeks. I had a yellow one in my Betta tank that did the same thing.

If the fish are fine (water is fine) why aren't the snails? Is it diet/temp/lighting/something else?

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Could be the PH. Mystery snails need calcium and a higher PH (7ish, if i remember correctly) to build their shells and keep them healthy. They also need food, so if there's not a lot extra in the tank, adding some might help.

I had 4 mystery snails die on me due to PH problems.. everyone else was fine in the tank but the PH was around 6 and their shells slowly eroded and they died. They started off very healthy, mated constantly, but the erosion got to all of them. I had no idea at the time :(

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Actually, apple snails aren't known for their algae eating skills. They like leftover fish food, vegetables, and decaying plant matter more, Check out applesnail.net fot tons of info on these guys, I believe they are of the Bridgisii (sp?) variety. There's a forum as well dedicated to food.

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What is your gh/kh? Low mineral content in the water could certainly explain the fading shell (pH can be fine, but if these values are low it can cause issues). As Le0p said, they need calcium to keep their shells healthy. This is something I struggle with with my own water since I have very low gh/kh. I use Kent's marine calcium supplement in the water along with adding pieces of cuttle bone for the snails to munch on (cuttle bone is sold in the bird section of the pet store).

Mystery snails will appreciate veggies to munch on. Spinach is a good one to feed since it contains some calcium. Romaine, cucumber, kale are also good veggies. Prepare them just as you would for the goldfish and place on a veggie clip. If this snail is in with goldfish you may need to put up a couple veggie clips at a time to make sure the snail gets a chance. My snails also get some gel food that I feed the goldies.

It is a good idea to take your snail out of the tank and in a separate container to feed him a couple times a week just to make sure he is getting adequate food. It can be difficult to compete with the goldies for food. I have used a little breeder basket in the past to feed them a few times a week :)

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All of what Tithra said! and...

Try crushed coral for calcium and (don't quote me on this cause I haven't looked at it in awhile) help raise gh/kh by constantly adding minerals. It will raise PH though, I used it in a tank with low PH issues and afterwards it stayed at 7.8 constantly, never fluctuating and my water had a value of 1 kh. I tried cuttle bones a couple times but they will actually rot, so you have to watch them, and weigh them down or anchor them, they float.

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Oh wow! Thank you so much. Unfortunately he..diedededed. But next time I will know what to do. Weird how I could keep them alive in college though.

I'm sorry :( He may have just been sick :idont

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