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Lost a bunch of snails


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I'm feeling a little low right now.

Last week I lost Jacques, my golden apple snail who lived in my 20g. He seemed to be slightly less active for a day or two, and then he was dead. I didn't think too much of it as I had no idea how old he was - he was pretty much fully grown when I got him. The water parameters were perfect, but I did a large WC anyway afterwards just to be sure.

Then this afternoon I lost Heimdallr. I was looking at my 55g and realized I couldn't see her or Hathor. I eventually found Hathor behind the driftwood. Heimdallr on the other hand was still missing. Eventually she showed up on the floor behind the tank. I know that snails can live for a while out of water so I put her back in the tank hoping things would be fine. She hasn't moved and doesn't react when I touch her, so I think she's gone too.

Now Isis is scaring me. I hadn't seen her move all day, but Tethys was mating with her on and off so I didn't think anything of it. Tonight when I pulled Heimdallr out of the tank I pulled Isis out too. She didn't react to touch either, but just before I was about to give up on her she came out of her shell a bit. I put her back in the tank, but I think at this point it's just a matter of time.

To make matters worse I think all my baby snails are dead. They were fine last night moving all over their container. This morning they were very still, even as I changed their water. I didn't think too much of this as they often spent large periods completely still. Only half a dozen or so out of the 117 were moving around. By tonight none are moving.

Now my only remaining snails are Percival (purple striped male), Tethys (blue male) and Hathor (brown striped snail, sex unknown).

All this has me rather discouraged. I'm worried that there's something wrong with my tap water. I haven't tested my tank parameters in a while (other than the 20g last week after Jacques died), just keeping up with WCs. I'm going to do a full round of tests tomorrow: tap water, 55g, 20g and the container with the babies. We had guests earlier in the evening and I'm just too tired to do it now.

If it's not the water I'm not sure what else it could be. Everyone was doing so well - growing, mating, laying eggs . . . The fish, on the other hand, were and continue to be doing fine. I just really hope this isn't something the snails are more susceptible to than the fish and that my fish will be the next ones to start dropping.

I'll post an update tomorrow once I've done the tests.

Edited by BronwynH
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Were they eating well? I don't imagine diet would contribute when so many have been affected. I know some snails don't do well where there is a shortage of dissolved oxygen.

I'm really sorry, Bronwyn. I hope you can find the source. :hug

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I'm sorry, Bronwyn. In the past, I have had snail die-offs too. What is your tank temp? In my case, while I don't think that they died of the low temp directly, I think that low temperatures have made them susceptible to other, mysterious, disorders.

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I doubt that testing your basic parameters will be of much use. Snails are much more tolerant to bad water conditions, and your fish would have been affected by those way before you noticed the snails acting off.

If you have the chance to test your tap water for copper, that would be the first thing that comes to my mind.

Have the fish recently been treated for anything?

I actually believe I killed most of my horned nerite snails with prazi pro. I had multiple snails spread out over multiple tanks, treated all tanks with prazi pro except for one tank, and all nerites except for the one in the untreated tank died during prazi treatment.

Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.

But then there is this article on applesnail.net

"Intoxications
Apple snails are very sensitive to certain chemicals and compounds. Unfortunately some of these chemicals are used to treat fish diseases as fungi and parasites. The basic principle in combating a fish disease is to use chemical compounds that kill the disease, while having no adverse effects on the fish, due to neurological/metabolistic differences between the organisms. However, snails have more in common with many parasites than with fish in the way they react to chemical substances. It's thus advised to isolate the snails in a separate tank during treatment of the fish unless you are absolutely sure that the product you use doesn't contain snail-toxic chemicals. And as many disease causing organisms do not survive outside the fish during a few days, together with repeated water changes in the isolation tank, the risk of reinfection through the snail reintroduction can be minimised. Exceptions to this rule are parasites that have a life cycle with snails and fish as intermediate hosts (mainly the case with wild-caught fish/snails). See also here.
A short list with chemicals that are/could be toxic to snails in therapeutic doses:
-Malachite Green (used to treat Ich or white spot, fungi and Velvet or Oodinium).
-Various organophosphorous pesticides like formaldehyde, metriphonate, trichlorphon (= dylox, masoten, metriphonate, neguvon, trichlorophon), dichlorvos and others used to treat infections with flukes, worms, crustaceans and lice.
-metaldehyde used as molluscicide.
-Various copper containing drugs to treat protozoa and fungus infections.
-Parricide D (Di-N-Butyl Tin Oxide) used to eliminate helminthes, acanthocephala, trematodes, cestoda and worms."

http://www.applesnail.net/content/various/snail_disease.php

Do the supposedly dead snails stink? That is the one true way to find out if they are dead. Sometimes an unhappy snail can hole up motionless in their shell for quite a while.

I would remove all snails into a bucket or small QT tank, fill it with tank water, add a source of calcium (cuttlefish bone), and a filter if possible, and see if the spring water helps them perk up if it is not too late for them yet.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your condolences and suggestions.

I was just about to test the water when I had a brainwave. The only food I feed, but did not check the ingredient list for (because it came so highly recommended) was Repashy Soilent Green. Double checked the ingredients just now and BINGO: copper! Well, a copper compound. I was even feeding the baby snails tiny slivers of the stuff. Now I need to isolate the remaining snails and put them in their own SG free tank.

I can't believe I poisoned them! :(

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Just out of curiosity I went to tastyworms.com to check the ingredient list on the other Repashy products and saw no copper listed for super green, spawn & grow or community plus. Doing this reminded me that I had in fact checked the soilent green ingredients on the website before purchase and no copper was listed.

Tastyworms ingredient list for Soilent Green:

INGREDIENTS: Chlorella Algae, Spirulina Algae, Whole Krill Meal, Whole Squid Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Alfalfa Leaf Meal, Whole Anchovy Meal, Germinated Brown Rice Protein Concentrate, Pea Protein Isolate, Dried Brewers Yeast, Stabilized Rice Bran, Dried Kelp, Carrageenan Algae, Konjac, Carob Bean Gum, Schizochytrium Algae, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Propionate, Phaffia Rhodozyma Yeast, Paprika Extract, Calendula Flower Powder, Marigold Flower Extract, Rose Hips Powder, Turmeric Root Powder, Malic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Canthaxanthin, Potassium Sorbate, Magnesium Gluconate, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols (as preservatives), Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement).

Ingredient list from my bottle:

Spirulina Algae, Algae Meal (Chlorella), Krill Meal, Pea Protein Isolate, Squid Meal, Rice Protein Concentrate, Fish Meal, Alfalfa Leaf Meal, Dried Brewer's Yeast, Stabilized Rice Bran, Flax Seed Meal, Schizochytrium Algae (source of DHA), Dried Seaweed Meal, Lecithin, Dried Kelp, Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Citrate, Guar Gum, Taurine, RoseHips, Hibiscus Flower, Calendula Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, Turmeric, Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (as preservatives), Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Selenium Yeast. Vitamins: (Vit.A Supplement, Vit. D Supplement, Choline Chloride, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vit. E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vit. B-12 Supplement).

As you can see there are a number of differences. I can only assume that Repashy have changed their formula since tastyworms put the ingredient list on their website.

Here's my lessons learned:

1) Always double check the ingredient list for the foods you feed.

2) Check ingredient lists with each new purchase, even if you've been using the food for years. You never know when a company might change their formula.

Now for an update on the snails:

The have all been moved to a newly set up food safe container. I am going to do a thorough cleaning, including extra large WC on the 20g (it was going to get a WC today anyway) and the snails will move in there. Peaches and the Aten have no floaty issues, so they can stick to Omega one, veggies and algae tabs. I am probably also going to have to move Fitz the loach over as loaches are also super sensitive to copper. it's going to be a VERY full tank. :wacko:

In good news when I moved the so far seemingly unaffected snails to the fresh water I moved Isis with them (as she hadn't seemed quite dead yet last night I'd left her in the main tank). As soon as she hit the fresh water she came out of her shell. I don't want to start thinking she's out of the woods yet, but I am hopeful.

Heimdallr was moved to her own container last night, but unfortunately the smell coming from her shell this morning confirms that she is dead.

I have yet to do anything with the babies - they are low on the totem pole as I attempt to save the parents. I don't think any have survived.

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Final update for today:

Everyone is in clean water and I'm hoping Isis will fully recover. So far neither the other snails nor the dojo loach have shown any negative effects. None of the baby snails survived.

I also contacted tastyworms just to let them know they might want to update the ingredient list.

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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your condolences and suggestions.

I was just about to test the water when I had a brainwave. The only food I feed, but did not check the ingredient list for (because it came so highly recommended) was Repashy Soilent Green. Double checked the ingredients just now and BINGO: copper! Well, a copper compound. I was even feeding the baby snails tiny slivers of the stuff. Now I need to isolate the remaining snails and put them in their own SG free tank.

I can't believe I poisoned them! :(

I was actually going to ask you about this as soon as I read your post. I knew repashy had copper and that copper isn't good for our snail-y friends. I honestly have still been feeding my snails repashy relatively regularly and haven't noticed any harmful effects so I had assumed that the concentration of copper was not enough to effect them :idont this is concerning though.

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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your condolences and suggestions.

I was just about to test the water when I had a brainwave. The only food I feed, but did not check the ingredient list for (because it came so highly recommended) was Repashy Soilent Green. Double checked the ingredients just now and BINGO: copper! Well, a copper compound. I was even feeding the baby snails tiny slivers of the stuff. Now I need to isolate the remaining snails and put them in their own SG free tank.

I can't believe I poisoned them! :(

I was actually going to ask you about this as soon as I read your post. I knew repashy had copper and that copper isn't good for our snail-y friends. I honestly have still been feeding my snails repashy relatively regularly and haven't noticed any harmful effects so I had assumed that the concentration of copper was not enough to effect them :idont this is concerning though.

An unfortunate mistake on my part to be sure. It may be that I've been feeding Repashy more often than you. Two of my ranchu have had very minor floaty issues so once I started them on Repashy and saw the improvement that became their main food source. They had been getting Repashy twice a day with veg as a mid day meal. Three times daily on the days I was out of pre-blanched veggies. Once, in the mornings twice a week when they get bloodworms for dinner instead. The 20g was getting Repashy less often as Peaches and the Aten haven't had any floaty issues. I suppose it's still possible that Jacques, who was the only one from the 20g to die, died from old age as I don't know how old he was. The babies, who were in their own food safe container, all died the day after I fed them Repashy (the three previous days I had fed crushed algae tabs or tiny carrot bits). I assume they were just too young and couldn't stand any levels of copper.

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That is unfortunate, but interesting to know.

I wonder now if it is theoretically possible to get rid of, or reduce the number of, pest snails if you exclusively feed Soilent Green in an affected tank.

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That is unfortunate, but interesting to know.

I wonder now if it is theoretically possible to get rid of, or reduce the number of, pest snails if you exclusively feed Soilent Green in an affected tank.

I don't know as I've been fortunate not to have any pest snails make it into my tank. My husband was less fortunate with his tropical community tank and he had some come in with a bunch of taiwan moss. After he started feeding a pellet food with copper in it the snail population declined slightly and has remained stable rather than continuing to increase. The snails also don't seem to live as long as they used to as he doesn't get any of the bigger ones any more. He feeds a variety of foods so I'm not sure how often he feeds the one with copper. I have heard though that you can get rid of pest snails by adding pre-1980 US pennies (I imagine you can use Canadian pennies or other copper coins, but I don't know which ones have the correct percentage of copper to other metals to be effective) to your tank, but the ratio that you need is ridiculous: 10 pennies per gallon! That being said I've never tested this piece of hearsay.

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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your condolences and suggestions.

I was just about to test the water when I had a brainwave. The only food I feed, but did not check the ingredient list for (because it came so highly recommended) was Repashy Soilent Green. Double checked the ingredients just now and BINGO: copper! Well, a copper compound. I was even feeding the baby snails tiny slivers of the stuff. Now I need to isolate the remaining snails and put them in their own SG free tank.

I can't believe I poisoned them! :(

I was actually going to ask you about this as soon as I read your post. I knew repashy had copper and that copper isn't good for our snail-y friends. I honestly have still been feeding my snails repashy relatively regularly and haven't noticed any harmful effects so I had assumed that the concentration of copper was not enough to effect them :idont this is concerning though.

An unfortunate mistake on my part to be sure. It may be that I've been feeding Repashy more often than you. Two of my ranchu have had very minor floaty issues so once I started them on Repashy and saw the improvement that became their main food source. They had been getting Repashy twice a day with veg as a mid day meal. Three times daily on the days I was out of pre-blanched veggies. Once, in the mornings twice a week when they get bloodworms for dinner instead. The 20g was getting Repashy less often as Peaches and the Aten haven't had any floaty issues. I suppose it's still possible that Jacques, who was the only one from the 20g to die, died from old age as I don't know how old he was. The babies, who were in their own food safe container, all died the day after I fed them Repashy (the three previous days I had fed crushed algae tabs or tiny carrot bits). I assume they were just too young and couldn't stand any levels of copper.

That is probably the case. My snails are in betta tanks, so they only get repashy 1x/week usually, not daily

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A few of my snails also were slowing down a bit. I was a feeding a mixture of Soilent/super every so often. I guess it was still in the water from last feeding. I did a 75% water change on the tank today, so maybe they will be all better :).

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I'm sorry this happened. :hug

I'm confused though. So Soilent HAS copper and super doesn't?

Honestly I'm not sure. According to the ingredient lists on tastyworms.com neither does, but according to the bottle of Soilent Green I have Soilent Green does. I assume Repashy changed their formula since tastyworms posted the ingredients. If they changed the formula for Soilent Green they may have done for Super Green as well. I've e-mailed tastyworms to let them know about the discrepancy and to ask them to check for me which Repashy products do not have copper. I'll let you know what they tell me once I hear back.

A few of my snails also were slowing down a bit. I was a feeding a mixture of Soilent/super every so often. I guess it was still in the water from last feeding. I did a 75% water change on the tank today, so maybe they will be all better :).

Glad you were able to get on top of things! You saving your snails makes me feel a bit better about having lost mine. :)

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Yes, I would love to know if there is copper when you know :)

Yes, I am so glad you posted this! I was going to feed them repashy yesterday before I read this! :yikes

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Yes, I would love to know if there is copper when you know :)

Yes, I am so glad you posted this! I was going to feed them repashy yesterday before I read this! :yikes

I heard back from tastyworms - they're looking into the Repashy ingredients and are talking to Repashy directly. They will let me know what they find when they're done.

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That is crazy, and I am so sorry, Bronwyn.

Will you make sure that if there is indeed copper, how much is in the food? Thanks

Thanks.

I'm not sure how much copper (percentage or otherwise) is in the Soilent Green. All I know is that there is a copper compound listed in the ingredients (I have a full ingredient list above).

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Hi Bronwyn,

I understand that you don't know much more than that there is copper. I was asking to see if you could get Chris to find out a bit more, if possible. :)

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Hi Bronwyn,

I understand that you don't know much more than that there is copper. I was asking to see if you could get Chris to find out a bit more, if possible. :)

Oh! I'm sorry. I clearly had a brain . . . hiccup shall we call it. I can do that!

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