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Lost a bunch of snails


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Seems like a good plan, Bronwyn. It seems likely that whatever happened had multiple causes and an increase in copper levels in the tanks (from various sources) is a possible cause. In my experience, snails are extremely sensitive to environmental change. The local 'snail lady' (don't ask) who has been keeping and selling 9 different varieties of snails for 15 years recently had a die off in her pink ramshorn tank. She managed to save a small handful out of a 100 litre tank devoted to their needs. We can have unpredictable water quality here and she can only imagine that something was in the water when she did her weekly change. Ultimately, she will never know what really caused the event.

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Seems like a good plan, Bronwyn. It seems likely that whatever happened had multiple causes and an increase in copper levels in the tanks (from various sources) is a possible cause. In my experience, snails are extremely sensitive to environmental change. The local 'snail lady' (don't ask) who has been keeping and selling 9 different varieties of snails for 15 years recently had a die off in her pink ramshorn tank. She managed to save a small handful out of a 100 litre tank devoted to their needs. We can have unpredictable water quality here and she can only imagine that something was in the water when she did her weekly change. Ultimately, she will never know what really caused the event.

I suppose source water is a possibility too. I haven't tested my tap water in forever. With the changing of the seasons I suppose the city could have adjusted how they treat the water. On the other hand Isis improved with all new water.

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Could have even been a temporary fluke in the water system. If they did some work on water pipes in your area, something could have happened that temporarily messed with the water and caused the snail die off :(

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Could have even been a temporary fluke in the water system. If they did some work on water pipes in your area, something could have happened that temporarily messed with the water and caused the snail die off :(

Actually given that they're building a new apartment building next door I suppose this is very possible. I know they shut down our water for a day last fall to lay the pipes for the new building, but maybe something more minor affected the water quality. :idont

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One last update (I should have mentioned this a while ago, but forgot). I ordered a copper test kit from tastyworms.com at the beginning of the month. When it arrived I did a test on both tanks. All readings were 0ppm. This definitely confirms copper was not the culprit.

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How are they doing now? I'm sorry if this was already answered, but I have to skim through briefly, due to time constraints, atm.

If you still have some who seem to be struggling, do me a favor and give them a fresh air treatment. Get a small plate, and put a layer of soaked paper towel on it. I usually have the layer be like 6 of them, folded into quarters. You want the towels to be completely saturated, so there is a little water pooling on top, even. Take the snails out and set them in the fresh air, on top of the wet towels. Keep them there for 15-20 minutes, then put them back into a shallow container of treated water. You can do this up to 4 times a day, for as many days.weeks as you need to. Just make sure to have a few hours between treatments. Stay with them while they are out- they can come out of their shells, and start to move around... make sure they don't go on too long of an adventure.

Do you feed them fresh foods? I lost a whole tank of baby snails and a few adults due to the pesticide residue on fresh veggies (lettuce) that I fed, even after thoroughly rinsing. :(

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How are they doing now? I'm sorry if this was already answered, but I have to skim through briefly, due to time constraints, atm.

If you still have some who seem to be struggling, do me a favor and give them a fresh air treatment. Get a small plate, and put a layer of soaked paper towel on it. I usually have the layer be like 6 of them, folded into quarters. You want the towels to be completely saturated, so there is a little water pooling on top, even. Take the snails out and set them in the fresh air, on top of the wet towels. Keep them there for 15-20 minutes, then put them back into a shallow container of treated water. You can do this up to 4 times a day, for as many days.weeks as you need to. Just make sure to have a few hours between treatments. Stay with them while they are out- they can come out of their shells, and start to move around... make sure they don't go on too long of an adventure.

Do you feed them fresh foods? I lost a whole tank of baby snails and a few adults due to the pesticide residue on fresh veggies (lettuce) that I fed, even after thoroughly rinsing. :(

They seem to be doing ok now, although they may be slightly slower than normal. It's equally probable that I'm just being paranoid. I can definitely do the fresh air treatment either later tonight or tomorrow.

They do get fresh veggies. Once a month a buy a variety of veggies (zucchini, carrots, etc.), thoroughly wash them, peel them, blanch them with garlic cloves in the water (the veggies are also for the fish) and then freeze them. That way all I have to do for the fishies lunches is throw a piece or two in the tank. The goldfish won't eat the carrots at all, so that goes entirely to the snails, and the goldfish prefer the soft seed laden centre of the zucchini and leave most of the harder exterior for the snails. Do you think that even after washing and blanching there might be pesticide residue?

The snails also get algae tabs (I drop these in at night after lights out in plant dense areas where the snails tend to be) and any goldfish food they can get to in time. I've actually seen Tethys fold herself around a piece of repashy so the fish can't get to it. The goldfish are very polite and don't actually bother the snails once they've claimed a piece of food. They just move on to the next bit.

For good measure I also pull them out of the tank during the weekly water change and give them some food too munch on while I clean.

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I rinsed my lettuce, too. I can't 100% say for certain it was pesticide residue, because I didn't test for it, or anything. What I can say is both of my nursery tanks got lettuce, my 50 gallon tropical tank got lettuce, and my goldie tank got a cucumber that I grew in my garden. The lettuce came from the grocery store, the cucumber came from my garden, where I don't use pesticides. I lost both of the adult snails in my tropical tank, the entire contents of one of my nurseries, and the majority of my other... while the snails in my goldie tank stayed fine. That is a strong inclination toward pesticide on the lettuce, since romaine lettuce, itself, will not harm snails. I don't know if rinsing, boiling, etc. would leave enough pesticide to harm the snails- I suppose it depends on the pesticide used, and if it is just on the surface or in the plant fibers from repeated applications as the plant grew, if it is water soluble, and how toxic it is to snails (some of them are FOR snails, so very effective in harming them). I just feed mine from my garden, or buy organic veggies for them, now. I didn't have any problems like that, after I changed to this practice... I'm not keeping mystery snails atm, though.

Any time you have a snail start acting odd, give them fresh air treatments. I'm not sure exactly what it does for them, but it is the first thing to do when they may be suffering from a water quality issue, or a chemical issue. It won't work for a traumatic injury, just when they are swelling or seem to be inactive or a little woozy. Especially look out for inactive snails who are sitting partially out of their trap doors, but tucked mostly in, and seem to be folding their foot in half. Yeah, they do it sometimes when they are fine, but it can also be a sign of distress, if they aren't feeling too well. If they do it for just a few hours, it might be nothing, if they seem to be like this for days, or very frequently, it is best to err on the side of caution. ;)

Fresh air treatments weekly while you glean the tank,and they munch on some veggies isn't at all a bad idea, even if they don't seem ill. It won't hurt them, and will give them a nice, little airing out... and a yummy lunch buffet. :D

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I rinsed my lettuce, too. I can't 100% say for certain it was pesticide residue, because I didn't test for it, or anything. What I can say is both of my nursery tanks got lettuce, my 50 gallon tropical tank got lettuce, and my goldie tank got a cucumber that I grew in my garden. The lettuce came from the grocery store, the cucumber came from my garden, where I don't use pesticides. I lost both of the adult snails in my tropical tank, the entire contents of one of my nurseries, and the majority of my other... while the snails in my goldie tank stayed fine. That is a strong inclination toward pesticide on the lettuce, since romaine lettuce, itself, will not harm snails. I don't know if rinsing, boiling, etc. would leave enough pesticide to harm the snails- I suppose it depends on the pesticide used, and if it is just on the surface or in the plant fibers from repeated applications as the plant grew, if it is water soluble, and how toxic it is to snails (some of them are FOR snails, so very effective in harming them). I just feed mine from my garden, or buy organic veggies for them, now. I didn't have any problems like that, after I changed to this practice... I'm not keeping mystery snails atm, though.

Any time you have a snail start acting odd, give them fresh air treatments. I'm not sure exactly what it does for them, but it is the first thing to do when they may be suffering from a water quality issue, or a chemical issue. It won't work for a traumatic injury, just when they are swelling or seem to be inactive or a little woozy. Especially look out for inactive snails who are sitting partially out of their trap doors, but tucked mostly in, and seem to be folding their foot in half. Yeah, they do it sometimes when they are fine, but it can also be a sign of distress, if they aren't feeling too well. If they do it for just a few hours, it might be nothing, if they seem to be like this for days, or very frequently, it is best to err on the side of caution. ;)

Fresh air treatments weekly while you glean the tank,and they munch on some veggies isn't at all a bad idea, even if they don't seem ill. It won't hurt them, and will give them a nice, little airing out... and a yummy lunch buffet. :D

Thank you for this! I shall definitely keep it in mind, & put it in practice :)

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