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Snail Trouble, please help

Tom72

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On Wednesday I introduced 15 king Koopa nerite snails to my 200 ltr jungle scape, to be the backbone of my clean up crew. I can’t use shrimp as I think they will be eaten by the Odessa Barbs and Pearl Gourami I have in the tank. I acclimated the snails very slowly using the drip method for about 5-6 hours, they all seemed to be moving so I introduced them to the aquarium. Since then 11 have not moved, 1 has definitely died as I sniffed each of them. 3 have disappeared in to the dense growth and 1 is on the glass but not moving.
I am concerned that they are dying. I checked my water parameters this morning using NTLabs testing kit:
Ammonia 0.2 (turned to yellow 0 reading after 15 minutes)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
PH 6
KH 3
GH 6
TDS 156

I was surprised by a reading of 0.2 for NH3, but I think this is probably due to 1 dead snail (possibly more), I have just changed some of my filter media which might impact slightly, and the water is due a weekly change tomorrow.
I tested with Prime and now it is reading 0.
Just to say I have healthy fish and plants and a bit of algae which is not a major problem on a mature established tank.

All advice welcome.
Tom
 

dw1305

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Hi all
Since then 11 have not moved, 1 has definitely died as I sniffed each of them. 3 have disappeared in to the dense growth and 1 is on the glass but not moving.
It may well be that ill fate has befallen them before they ever got to you. I'm going to guess they were wild collected.
PH 6
KH 3
GH 6
TDS 156
It may be the pH and water hardness. I don't know what water conditions are like where Neritona juttingae occur naturally but looking at their shell ornamentation I'm going to guess it is alkaline (and possibly lightly salty).
485552-neritina-juttingae2.jpg

Some molluscs are <"adapted to soft water">, but they tend to have very thick smooth shells which still show some signs of shell attrition.

cheers Darrel
 
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Tom72

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Sorry to hear about your snails. Has the tank ever been treated with any medication unsafe for snails?
Hi Hufsa, no I haven’t medicated. I only use tried and tested fertilisers and prime. I think 2 are okay others seem to be slowly moving and clumping together, movement is so slow that you end up doubting if they have moved.
 

Tom72

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Hi all

It may well be that ill fate has befallen them before they ever got to you. I'm going to guess they were wild collected.

It may be the pH and water hardness. I don't know what water conditions are like where Neritona juttingae occur naturally but looking at their shell ornamentation I'm going to guess it is alkaline (and possibly lightly salty).
485552-neritina-juttingae2.jpg

Some molluscs are <"adapted to soft water">, but they tend to have very thick smooth shells which still show some signs of shell attrition.

cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel, my water is generally quite hard, but I think substrate and CO2 buffers the water. My tap water is usually around 7 to 7.5. I’m surprised how low the KH is. I’m not sure if KH alters through the day like ph. All shrimp in other set ups have been fine. I think you are right that these are wild, and that saddens me as they will have had many water changes and not enough time to adapt. Then they are sold and 15 snails are not cheap, for them to die.
 

kayjo

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I was surprised by a reading of 0.2 for NH3, but I think this is probably due to 1 dead snail (possibly more), I have just changed some of my filter media which might impact slightly, and the water is due a weekly change tomorrow.
I tested with Prime and now it is reading 0.


All advice welcome.
Tom
Hi Tom72, I've had simmilar experiences with snails. Even Pond snails have trouble surviving in my tanks. Have never figured it out. I only buy inexpensive snails now.

To Darrel's point. I bought wild collected nerites once. 80% died within a few days. 25 dead snails...

Just wanted to mention that using Prime will not change your test results. After using Prime, the ammonia is still there and it will still register on your test.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Just wanted to mention that using Prime will not change your test results. After using Prime, the ammonia is still there and it will still register on your test.
Yes, we have a few <"Prime & ammonia"> threads. Our water is <"lightly chlorinated"> (and doesn't usually use chloramine as the sterilant), but I know you have to put up with much worse <"in some parts of the USA">.
To Darrel's point. I bought wild collected nerites once. 80% died within a few days. 25 dead snails...
Wild collected is always a bit of a worry, particularly for "low value" livestock. I don't try any snails from harder water now, some-one gave me some (tank bred) Assassin Snails (Anentome (Clea) helene) but they rapidly showed <"shell attrition"> and died.
Even Pond snails have trouble surviving in my tanks.
In the UK we call <"Lymnaea sp. "Pond Snails">, but I'm going to assume that yours are Physella acuta , and they are a pretty tough snail, so it is likely to be trace copper (Cu) (or similar) that kills them off.

Can / do you keep Shrimps in your tanks?

cheers Darrel
 
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kayjo

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Actually, I'm not sure if they are Pond snails or Bladder snails. They were hitchhikers. I have kept Amano shrimp successfully before, and olive nerites seem to live forever if they survive the first week. I've tried mystery snails, Chopstick snails, several fancy nerites types and none have lasted a week. Rams horns have survived, but don't reach full size. I'm pretty sure I have low Calcium, because all but the nerites develop white shells. I've recently started using cuttle bone powder in the tank with Ram's Horns and it seems to be working, but it's still early.

I don't think low Calcium would cause sudden death, so that's still a mystery to me.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've tried mystery snails, Chopstick snails, several fancy nerites types and none have lasted a week. Rams horns have survived, but don't reach full size.....I don't think low Calcium would cause sudden death, so that's still a mystery to me.
That sounds like it is just your <"soft water">. If snails have no adaptations to soft water I think it will kill them off fairly quickly, long before <"shell attrition does">.

This is about how big (and how pale) my Red Ramshorn snails get before the grim reaper claims them. If you tried to pick it up it would just crumble to dust

snail_tank_july2020crop-jpg.151956

I'm pretty sure I have low Calcium, because all but the nerites develop white shells. I've recently started using cuttle bone powder in the tank with Ram's Horns and it seems to be working, but it's still early.
That sounds like shell attrition, it occurs when pH drops below pH 7 and CaCO3 begins to go into solution (as Ca++ and 2HCO3- ions). Aquatic snails can only make <"new shell at the mantle">, they can't repair the older whorls of their shell.

Have a look at <"Horned Nerites">.

cheers Darrel
 
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kayjo

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Thanks Darrel.

pH is consistantly 7.6. KH and GH are both 4. I've been trying to research what they should be for snails. Some people with the same parameters as me say their snails do fine, but most people say 12-18 degrees. Of course these are not scientific papers I'm reading, but rather other people's opinions and anecdotal experience.

I put a single Olive Nerite in my 29g tank that has the "Pond Snails". As I mentioned before, the pond snails turn white and die before maturity. I wanted to see how the Nerite would do. I put her in there 5-6 months ago. She's doubled in size and has a perfect shell. Meanwhile, in the same tank, the pond snails can barely survive. I assume they have slightly different needs

The tank with the Ram's Horns is the one that I started putting cuttlebone powder into. Befeore the cuttle bone, the RHs would begin to turn white at about 4mm in size. The new snails that have come along since I started using cuttle bone are looking normal and are about 4mm.

One more note of interest. I used to keep a container with rocks and old tank water on a window sill so I could grow algae for my Hillstream Loaches. About a year later I broke it down and found a Ram's Horn snail in amongst the rocks. It was bright pink and huge compared to the ones in my tank. It was a beautiful speciman. I put it my tank and it died within a few weeks.

Thanks for the link. I'm heading out for the day, but will read it later.
 
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