Suicidal Mystery Snails? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Suicidal Mystery Snails?

Hello everyone, I'm having a mysterious issue with my mystery snails. A week ago, my adult golden mystery snail disappeared. I thought he or she was hiding amongst my plants but I did a complete sweep through today and he or she is nowhere to be found. I rummaged through the areas where the tank is and although I did not find him or her, I found two other much smaller magenta mystery snails (the size of quarters) lifeless on the ground. I don't know how long they had been out of the tank, but they appeared completely dried, so probably at least a few days out of the tank.

Clearly these two snails climbed out of the tank and fell to the ground as a result. In horror of this find, I immediately placed the two snails in a bowl of water and they have recovered!!!! Though I'm not sure what kind of permanent internal damage they will suffer.

Sadly, I have still not found my golden mystery snail and he or she was huge. About the size of a big key line. I'm not sure where it could have gone, but I'm guessing suicide as well.

For those who have kept mystery snails before, have you experienced this kind of odd behavior? Does anyone know why they do it? Are they trying to commit suicide because they are unhappy?

I'm a little devastated because I pamper these snails and love them so much, so to have discovered two on the ground, completely dried and lifeless was really horrifying for me. The fact that I haven't found my golden snail is even harder to swallow. Where could he or she have gone? My heart is broken.

What can I do so that my snails are not suicidal? Are they climbing out by accident or could they truly be unhappy? Is this normal behavior for mystery snails?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 10:59 AM
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Female apple snails lay their eggs above the water line so it is normal for females to leave the water. You need to have a lid on a tank with apple snails or this will continue to happen. This does not mean they are unhappy they just follow a food scent and topple out. They can breath the air so they can live outside the water for at least one week until they dry up. They can travel quite a distance too. I have found one snail about 10 feet from the tank. However I have cats so they might have helped the snail travel that far. But it was still alive without any damage so I think it did it on it's own.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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garfieldnfish, thank you so much for your response. I found my golden mystery snail a few days ago and it was dead. It fell into some boxes I had under my cabinet (of all places) and it was a goner. For anyone who has smelled a dead snail, ugh.... it's foul.

The two that climbed out have fully recovered and have doubled in size. I have since had 3 more try to commit suicide and one appears to have been found too late. It's hard to keep tabs because I was raising some juveniles I hatched out from eggs and there are about a dozen. Most of them are magenta, so I cannot decipher between them.

I don't know why these younger ones are committing suicide, but it's upsetting. They aren't even egg-laying age. They are/were the size of dimes and nickles. The tank they were in was covered with a lid, but there are open spaces for the filter and where the heater should go. I do not keep the tank heated because it maintains a nice steady temperature because I keep my house warm and cozy.

I have been moving the suicide survivors into a brand new 20 gallon long planted that I started a few weeks ago. Astonishingly, the snails that have been moved to this tank have doubled in size in the past couple weeks. I'm taking this as a hint that the once-suicidal snails are much happier in their own tank!

In the previous tank, I had four larger and older mystery snails that were almost the size of golf balls (now 3, since Goldie committed suicide and succeeded). I think maybe the older snails intimidated the younger snails and in result, stunted their growth and made them want to take their own life??? I know for sure it wasn't a shortage of food, but I overfeed the tank because I have pygmy corydoras, which are super duper shy and because I want my snails to all eat well.

I'm amazed how much the once-suicidal snails have grown in their new tank!!!! So once the latest two suicide-rescue snails I found today recover, I will be moving them to that new tank.

I love these mystery snails. They really fascinate me and I think they are absolutely beautiful. I'm currently looking for a couple olive/jade and dark purple ones, so if anyone knows of a reliable source, please send them my way. Mystery snails do appear to produce quite a bit of bio-waste, but they are such characters!
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