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Question About Snails


Guest Ande

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I have a 44 1/2 gallon hex tank with two Oranda's and a small bottom feeder. I have had snails in the past that seem to have done fine for a while but then out of no where they pass away and I find their empty shells on the bottom of my tank (my goldies make a snack out of them!) .

What could be killing them? Maybe lack of food? I try to keep lots of leafy greens in my tank and I see them feed but still they never seem to keep for me!

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What is your water quality like? Snails are a lot more sensitive to low pH, high ammonia, nitrates and nitrites than goldies. How warm is your water? Warm water will greatly shorten the snails lifespan to a couple of years, whereas water thats too cold will just make them sit around and sleep all day.

Also, do your goldies ever pick on them? A good indication of if your goldies are behaving themselves or not is to look at the snail's antennaa and see if they're long and nice looking or short and stubby. If they're short and stubby your goldfish are most likely picking on them to the point where the snail doesn't want to come out of its shell and essentially will starve to death because it can't get food that way.

One last thing, I'm assuming you have apple snails? Do you have a couple inches of open space at the top of the water for them to breathe? Apples like to come up above the water line sometimes and they also MUST have air at the top of the tank where they can reach their siphon out of the water to breathe. I doubt this is the problem but I thought it was worth mentioning in case you didn't know.

On a side note....I see you're from Livonia? I get excited when I see a fellow Michigan person on here :D

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That's correct I'm from Livonia! I'm actually living with a roommate and my girlfriend in Westland right now ... I just finished college and I'm planning on moving back to Livonia once I find a more permanent career.... either way they are right next door to each other! Enough about my life!

The temp of my tank is around 72-73 degrees.. My water quailty I would say is very good... I use a API drop test kit to test the water and the only problem I have had is my Nitrates will start to creep up between water changes.. I have been fighting that with more frequent water changes... usually 1 every five days of about 25% to 50% depending on how I'm feeling that day... I haven't noticed any evidence of abuse from my fish so I think it could be spikes in Ammonia or Nitrates that are doing my snails in... I have been working harder to keep my water perameters in check so hopefully when I get a few new snails they will live longer...

I'm also going to experiment with some live plants... hopefully they will serve as another food source with them.

What part of Michigan are you from?

Edited by Ande
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I'm from the Battle Creek area but I live in Lansing for the most part since I'm going to MSU. What college did you go to?

Your temperature and such sounds like its in a good range, it could be spikes of ammonia or something like that but its really hard to tell. Just out of curiosity, what to do you feed your snails? I feed mine a little bit of whatever green veggie I'm having for dinner...they especially love brocolli, but I have Canas which are hard to come by nowadays. They have strong enough "teeth" to eat almost anything, I've never had any luck trying to keep brigs/"mystery"..they seem to be harder to take care of for some reason. What kind of snail do you normally have?

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