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Not So Sure About My Snails...


terisather

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I have 2 snails in a 5 gallon tank with 1 betta. The water params are: ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, nitrates - 5, ph - 8.2, temp is 72. I'm not sure if they're eating, there are 4-5 Pro-Gold pellets on the bottom of the tank, in the river rock. They look untouched. I have dropped peas in the tank and I think they eat them, although I vacuumed the tank today and found a few uneaten peas. Today, I found my blue one floating at the top of the tank. I touched him and he sank...seems to be OK. Just now I found the white one floating the same way, I touched it and it sank. No response yet, the snail hasn't moved.

1. How do I know the snails are eating?

2. Why do they float, is this normal?

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mine chow down on flake foods.

whenever a piece sinks to the bottom, my ghost shrimp and her race to attack it.

she also likes cucumbers and any other kind of veggie i give her, so if you think she's not getting enough to eat, maybe try different kinds. normally all fish like peas, so maybe they're just not hungry or not adapted to their new envirnment yet.

you'll know when they do start to eat though, geeze, these things are poop machines, i swear.

oh and yeah i think it's normal, possibly when they get scared suddenly, to float on the top of the water. mine did it once and i was so afraid it had died, but i realized my cat just tried to eat it, and it had a near heart attack.

good luck with them, they're facinating creatures.

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You can buy a veggie clip or use something you have around the house to weigh some veggies down. That way you can add large pieces and see if the snails are eating them when chunks dissappear :)

I'm not sure about the floating, my snail hasn't done that but I know a lot of other people's have.

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Thank you Kuli, Chrissy, and EBE. I feel better now. The snails are mystery snails, which according to applesnail.net means the pet store didn't quite know what species they were. I also read that during winter months, they will take a hiatus and be a lot less active, this might be the reason they don't eat so much. I am ready for the pooping machines though!! Actually, I vacuumed the tank yesterday and the goo n poo were waaaaaay worse than any goldie! I can see why they wouldn't be the best tankmate for a goldie.

Thanks again guys...you rock! :rockon

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I also read that during winter months, they will take a hiatus and be a lot less active, this might be the reason they don't eat so much.

That's interesting, I'd forgotten that! My snail has been very lethargic for the past month or so and is eating way less. I was afraid he was ill, but maybe he's just in winter mode :)

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I also read that during winter months, they will take a hiatus and be a lot less active, this might be the reason they don't eat so much.

That's interesting, I'd forgotten that! My snail has been very lethargic for the past month or so and is eating way less. I was afraid he was ill, but maybe he's just in winter mode :)

:exactly Their activity level is also effected by the temperature of the tank water. Luvbender, just keep trying different foods for the snails. They can be finicky eaters. Fresh, cooked veggies are always a good choice. How long have you had them? I have seen a couple of mine float before, this is not uncommon. Good luck with them! :)

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Yes, all good advice. I would certainly up the temp to 76 - the lower the temp, the less active they become. They don't really like goldfish pellets - they wouldn't find that in the wild. They prefer rotting vegetation, which is why offering cooked greens is a much better option. The lettuce clip is a great help for feeding them as the food cant float off around the tank.

So, crank up the heater and zap some zucchini in the micro and watch them start to move ;)

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Cooked spinach is one of my snails favorites.

They attack it and engulf the entire piece.

I regularly feed them wafers, and if they come to the top to catch pieces of floating orange, they'll take a chipped peice of algae wafer from me too.

[:

You'll find what your snails like and as people said tank temp does effect their activity.

Have fun with them!

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I am concerned about your pH. Apple snails like it in the 7-8 range, but much above 8 and they start to act funny. Hard water (pH above 7) is good for the snails because that allows them to keep pretty shells, but I think that it is very possible for the water to be too hard. As long as you keep it above 7 things will be good because below pH of 7 the water actually erodes the shell. The betta will not like the water to be too hard, so I would suggest trying to get and keep your pH around 7.4 or 7.6.

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OK, cool. I can raise the temp and lower the ph. I have some ph Down, would that be good? I just clipped some snap peas, a piece of carrot and a piece of cabbage together and dropped it in the tank. But they like cooked veggies right? There's a big ol' piece of cooked broccoli in there now too. Here is the problem I'm having with the heater...it's not fully submergable and because the tank is not completely full of water, the water line does not cover the heater. And, I can't get the lid off the ph Down. Looks like I'll have to do a water change to add the ph Down because it only gives directions for adding to 25 gallons, the tank is a 5 gallon. I think I'll need an eyedropper. I'll just wait to add chemicals until I hear back from someone.

Also, the tank temp goes to 76 when the light is on all day. But I hear the bettas don't care for light which is why I've been keeping it off.

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My betta loves the light, when it comes on that means it is time for food and when it goes off that means it is time to find his favorite hidey spot and snooze. The only thing I have found that he really hates is a bubble wand. :)

You can work with chemicals, but in the end you are better off if you can find a buffer of some sort that will keep your pH at a neutral level. Reason being chemicals can sway and cause drops and spikes while a buffer is pretty much permanent. With the setup you have there is not really that much room for a buffer, usually the common fix is put a bag of crushed coral in the filter, but I am not sure what kind of filter you have.

Is your pH strait from the tap that high, or is something going on in the tank that raises it?

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The ph from the tap is 7.6. I just used the "low range" ph test drops and got a 7.6 reading from the tank too. I think I could be stuck in high range ph mode because my goldie tank has a high ph aaaaallll the time. So I automatically go for the high range drops all the time. I'm going to try leaving the light on today and see if it's OK with Mr. McPicky (the betta). I just went and put the blue snail by the broccoli to see if he doesn't get a good whiff of it and eat some. I'm glad I couldn't get the lid off the phDown, I think I'll throw it away, I don't like chems too much. I'll write back tonight and tell you how much the light raised the temp. If you're familiar with the Eclipse tank (sold at Pet*mart), you know that it was designed for keeping betta and the like. The light is not a flourescent. He has Anacharis to hide under, so he'll be OK.

I'm interested in hearing what you think about the use of high range vs low range ph drops.

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I think I know the tank you are talking about. That kind of lighting will heat the water more than a flourescent bulb, so watch the temp thru the day to make sure it doesn't get too hot. The only problems I have had with using incandescent (screw-in) lightbulbs is the fact that the temp gets high during the day and drops low at night.

When you say you would like to know my thoughts on high range vs low range drops, do you mean the test drops? Personally I use them both when I test. That way, if the pH is within the range of both I will get the same number for both tests, but it also tells me which answer is for sure correct when the high range test reads bottomed out and the high range test kit gives me an answer. :)

Plus, it came with my test kit so I hate to buy something I am not going to use.

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How do I know if my snails are dead? Remember I said that I had put the blue one right by the broccoli, well, he hasn't moved. That was hours ago. I lifted him out of the water and his hard disk looking thing was half open, I pressed on it and didn't feel a heartbeat. The ivory one is the same way, had the disk half open couldn't feel a heartbeat. Did I starve my poor snails to death?

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When you say you would like to know my thoughts on high range vs low range drops, do you mean the test drops? Personally I use them both when I test. That way, if the pH is within the range of both I will get the same number for both tests, but it also tells me which answer is for sure correct when the high range test reads bottomed out and the high range test kit gives me an answer. :)

So, when you get a really dark blue color on the low range, that tells you to go to the high range? That's what I always figured. But then, when comparing colors on the high range, I get a faint orchid color, not purple like the darkest (highest) reading and not quite brown either. Nothing really matches on the high range scale, the closest match in my opinion is the 8.2 but I've never really been sure about it. I really do need to write or call my water district.

Oh and by the way, I think the blue snail died. His trap door is just laying open and he hasn't moved.

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You will know when a snail is dead as they absolutely stink take him and sniff him if he does not smell 'off' then he is still alive.

Edited by dan in aus
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Dan is right, you will know by sniffing them if they are dead or not. You will not be able to feel a heartbeat even on a live snail by touching the foot because the heart is up in the shell.

Make sure to let us know how they are doing today!

As far as your pH testing, I don't really know what to tell you. I have never had water that did not fit into one of the ranges on the test kit.

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Thanks!! I woke up this morning and the blue snail was AAAAALLLLLL over the veggies. I took the white snail out and put him in a seperate dish for a minute to see if he would react to the different environment...he did =).

All is well in Teri's Snaily Shack!! Thanks everyone!

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I am happy to hear that the snails are doing well. :)

They will be like the canaries of your tank, when they are climbing the walls trying to get out there is something wrong with your water for sure. They do also curl up and go 'dormant' sometimes when there are water problems, but mine usually did that when they were tormented by the fish.

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This thread was helpful for me, though it's too late for my snail.

I just got a snail a week or two ago, and was keeping it in my girlfriend's tank as I hadn't set one up yet. When she (gradually, over three days) salted her water (up to 0.3%) to fight off parasites on her fish, the snail became less active, then hid in his shell. When I took him out and put him in fresh water in tupperware, he promptly came out to investigate. Obviously, he didn't like the salted water. So, I took him home and improvised a habitat... but it was a few days before I was able to get a tank set up with proper circulation/aeration.

I'll agree that snails can be fish tank canaries: he reacted very clearly when the water was no longer to his liking.

Now, he's just floating in my tank. And he smells bad. It appears that he died. It's sad, because he was a very pretty snail.

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