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Old 10-16-2011, 09:42 AM   #1
Danja
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Default Why did my snails die?

A couple weeks ago I had two snails die within a few days of each other. I was up to my neck with grad applications so I didn't have time to investigate thoroughly, but now I'd like to go over my tank parameters, figure out what killed my snails, and see if it's safe to get new ones. Snail 1 was a huge 1.5 year old snail, which judging by online information was near the end of its life. Snail 2, however, was an F1 offspring of snail 1, so it was too young to simply die off. I have a 10 gallon tank with an aquatech filter, heater that keeps the water temperature at 72 - 76 F, and a bubbler. Here is my stock:

4 ADFs (2 years old)
1 Pleco (young but growing fast; I'm hoping to hold out on the 10 gallon until summer when I can move to my new permanent location and buy a tank there).
1 Upside down catfish.

I did my full range of water parameter tests today, all using the API titration tests. Here are my results:

Ammonia: ~ 0 ppm (may have been a very slight green tint, but not nearly matched to the next highest color on the color chart).
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: ~7.5 (read 7.6 on the pH test kit and 7.4 on the high pH test kit).
gH: 100 - 125 ppm (had some trouble telling when the color change was).
kH: 70 - 90 ppm

I generally treat the aquarium with a cap full of nitraban weekly. When the snails were alive, I also added in half of a cap of reef salt solution. Both snails developed thin-flaky shells; the shell of the younger one had holes in it at the time of death. Evidently, the reef salt didn't help much.

Can anyone take a stab at figuring out why my snails died?

edit: Snail # 1 had been in my tank for most of its life, so it had been active and healthy for over a year before death. Snail # 2 was about 5 or 6 months old when it died. It had also previously been healthy. Both snails were observed to frequently detach from the aquarium glass and bob around in the water for hours at a time before sinking and restarting the process.

edit 2: I didn't notice any changes in color or behavior of the other animals in my tank when the snails died.

Last edited by Danja; 10-16-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:37 AM   #2
ForMany
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Salt is the answer.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
Danja
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Not enough, or too much?
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
snyderguy
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Too much, any salt at all for snails is bad.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
ForMany
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Salt is bad ... There one type of snail that will do good in small dose of salt.
Olive nerite
Ram snail can also do good in very small dose.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
Danja
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Argh! I killed my snails . Serves me right for finding info online and double checking my sources .

Is the weekly Nitraban still ok?
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:43 PM   #7
ForMany
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U learn something new so really it ain't that bad.
My Apple snail die all the time n yet I still don't know y.
I just keep buying more n more.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
barricus
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Default Snail stuff

Snails like high calcium water and algae, otherwise they're very adaptable. Most snails you come across, Apple or "Mystery" snails, are fresh water only. They also are air/water breathers. Occasionally, if your water isn't oxygenated enough, they'll come to the surface and stick out a tube to breathe the air. If you didn't have enough space for them to climb to the surface and breathe, that may have been a problem as well. It sounds like they didn't have enough calcium in their water, coupled with the salt. Lack of calcium can wreck their shells.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:03 AM   #9
lohachata
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if you are going to keep snails buy a cuttle bone..they are only about a buck...put it in the tank ; they will eat it and get the needed calcium from it...then they will keep their houses looking nice..
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