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  1. #1
    Snail addict Chickadee's Avatar
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    Unhappy New apple snails are inactive - need help to save them

    On Feb. 17th I bought two apple snails - a nickle-size brown/black one and a dime-size blue one. They were active the first day and eating like crazy, and then the little blue one became inactive, just sitting on the bottom. The brown one was lively for awhile and then started to crawl to the water line or sit at the bottom. It would perk up after water changes or if I physically moved it to food. However, the last few days both are completely inactive and nothing seems to help. They sit on the bottom partially open and very slowly close up if I gently pick them up. Don't know if I should try to get them moving, or just leave them alone...?

    I am in the process of cycling the tank. I've been doing 25-50% water changes 1 or 2x a day depending on the readings. Ammonia was barely showing up and the highest nitrite spike was .25. However, ammonia was higher this morning so I'm not sure what's going on with the cycling. It's been 2 weeks and now the ammonia is higher...? I am removing the uneaten food.

    Stats:
    5 gallon tank, AquaClear filter / gravel / 1 plant and a moss ball
    I have hard well water, using Prime conditioner
    Temp 75 F
    pH is 7.4 using high range test

    Readings this morning:
    Ammonia between .25 and .50 ppm
    Nitrite .25 ppm
    Nitrate 20 ppm

    Readings an hour later after 50% water change:
    Ammonia .25 ppm
    Nitrite barely .25 ppm (more blue than lavender)
    Nitrate still 20 ppm, no visible change in test tube

    Should I do another water change right away to get those levels down? Or wait a bit?

    Any advice as to what I'm doing wrong would be appreciated. I really want to save these little guys. I feel like I'm slowly killing them and I don't know what to do.
    Last edited by Chickadee; 03-02-2012 at 10:11 AM. Reason: typos





  2. #2
    Senior Member bradlgt21's Avatar
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    You are doing a fish in cycle, so really you just have to wait it out. Water changes do help keep the levels down but the bacteria needs to colonize and it takes time.

    The snails might be reacting to the ammonia and nitrite. All you can do is try to keep them as healthy as possible and hope they last until the cycle is over.



  3. #3
    Snail addict Chickadee's Avatar
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    Thanks for your quick reply. I knew cycling was hard, but I didn't expect them to react this poorly. Should I be changing water more often than 2x a day? Poor things, wish there was more I could do. I can't even get them interested in food.



  4. #4
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    I kind of had something like that going on when I first got my snails....as it turned out I just needed to turn the heater up. Not saying this is what your problem is, just a thought.

    -Pamela



  5. #5
    Snail addict Chickadee's Avatar
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    Hi Pamela, someone on the apple snail forum suggested this too. The heater I'm using is preset and only heats to 75. I do have a few spare heaters at my parents' house, but the weather is keeping me from getting out. We had a major snow storm and I lost power for 16 hours, tank temp dropped to 69 overnight! So the poor guys have another setback.



  6. #6
    Senior Member AquaticAustin's Avatar
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    Hello I just awnsered your other post but am now reading this one as well. I dont claim to be an expert but I do have 5 large (golfball) blue apple snails and now several hundred babies and just thought Id talk about it a little to see if anything is different and if so whats the problem. In addition I have a few questions
    my tank: 10 gallon tank with RCS, red ramshorns, and blue apple snails. I do a 30% wc every 10 days or so on it but make sure to vaccume the gravel well, I feed hikari algae pellets every day now since the couple hundred apple snail babies hatched. I also have very hard water and my pH is around 8. I supplement with cuttle bone for extra calcium since I have so many snails. I have a ton of java moss, some vals, some subwassertang boss, a marimo ball, a cave, and the tank is run by a sponge filter. The tank was cycled when I put them in it.

    My questions:
    Where/how did you get the snails? were they shipped to you, did you buy them at a LFS or what?
    How is your weather? If they were shipped and its very cold outside that could have hurt them
    You have well water, you may have heavy metals in it but you add prime so your working on that. I would suggest maybe using bottled water since its such a small tank I know around here you can go to walmart and fill up your container with purified water for like .27c a gallon!
    What are you trying to feed them?
    Your temp should be fine, I keep mine in a non heated tank that is 75 all the time. It has occasionally dipped to about 70 tho and nothing seemed to care much, in fact during that time some apple snails in the tank laid a clutch of eggs.

    I am very confused as to why this is spiking like this, what else is in the tank if anything? I added like 25 ramshorns to a 5.5 gallon tank with brand new water, no filter, and just some guppy grass and they all survived and multiplied!
    I would do a wc 2-3x a day like you are doing, I know there are some products in the store that can neutralize ammonia and that may help but I am not sure.
    165g in progress stocking
    12g fluval



  7. #7
    Snail addict Chickadee's Avatar
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    My questions:
    Where/how did you get the snails? were they shipped to you, did you buy them at a LFS or what?
    How is your weather? If they were shipped and its very cold outside that could have hurt them

    I bought them at Petsmart, so not shipped. They looked very healthy the first few days and then downhill after that.
    You have well water, you may have heavy metals in it but you add prime so your working on that. I would suggest maybe using bottled water since its such a small tank I know around here you can go to walmart and fill up your container with purified water for like .27c a gallon!
    I could try this. When I had a betta & snail last year I would use a mixture of 25% reverse osmosis water from my parents' house. It helped keep the pH down (which was higher back then for some reason).
    What are you trying to feed them?
    Cooked romaine, yellow squash, carrots, algae tabs, Caltrate. They were eating these foods good the first few days, very little since then
    Your temp should be fine, I keep mine in a non heated tank that is 75 all the time. It has occasionally dipped to about 70 tho and nothing seemed to care much, in fact during that time some apple snails in the tank laid a clutch of eggs.
    Good, I love this heater. It's very consistent.
    I am very confused as to why this is spiking like this, what else is in the tank if anything? I added like 25 ramshorns to a 5.5 gallon tank with brand new water, no filter, and just some guppy grass and they all survived and multiplied!
    Me too. I thought I was past the ammonia phase and now it's back. There is nothing else in the tank. Maybe I wasn't doing the test correctly or something.
    I would do a wc 2-3x a day like you are doing,
    Will do


    They are both poking out of their shells tonight. Fingers crossed it continues. I just want to see those tentacles again. Thanks AA!



  8. #8
    Senior Member AquaticAustin's Avatar
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    I had bought a few snails from petsmart before, one died shortly after and another lived for a week or so... idk my local petsmart doesnt seem to have the best snails I guess but all are different and yours may be fine and healthy. Give the hikari algae wafers a try, when I drop them in my tank all the snails bunch around them... they all love it! For only two snails id do a half a wafer and see how fast it gets eaten. I still dont understand your spike with only two snails. But I dont see any cycle process beating frequent and large Wc's which is easy to do on a small tank. I would also try using the purified water mixed, not completely distilled or pure since it lacks some basic needed nutrients but maybe 1/2 and 1/2. Another thing I was concerned about if you had other tank mates was its possible they were picking on them so they hide in their shells, but clearly that isnt happening here.

    If you have any other questions let me know and ill do the best to answer them! Also remember if anything happens petsmart has a 14 day return policy I assume it covers snails too, but I know you want to save them which is good!

    Things for the future, when these snails or any apple snails you have grow up make sure to let the water level drop a couple inches below the rim or have a secure glass cover. Apple snails lay nests out of water and WILL climb out of the tank and might dry out or might fall off and die. I leave my water in the 10 gal like 3" down to allow for the bubble nests. If you dont want the babies remove the nests but for the sake of your snails lives either cover it or drop the level lol
    165g in progress stocking
    12g fluval



  9. #9
    Snail addict Chickadee's Avatar
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    Thanks AA, I'm not a Petsmart fan either, but it's my only option around here since the LFS went out of business. They looked pretty healthy when I first got them though (see avatar), so it must be my water. The brown one has what looks like a white beard, I assume from sliming? I did 3 water changes today. The nitrites reading is barely showing up now - the test tube is baby blue. Does cycling really have this kind of effect on snails, or is something else going on? Wish I knew. I'm going to get some purified water tomorrow.



  10. #10
    Senior Member AquaticAustin's Avatar
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    Could that white beard possibly be fungus?? Never seen a snail do that before. Certainly your water isnt helping but your situation is rather odd imo iv never had snails spike a tank like that or have any problems with the cycle and like I said I dumped a buncha ramshorns into a 5.5 with brand new water to no casualties... look around online for.fungus on snails it sounds like a likely candidate to me, also look how to remedy it as most fish remedies will kill inverts since they have metals

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using MonsterAquariaNetwork App
    165g in progress stocking
    12g fluval



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