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Struggling with snails....

4525 Views 16 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  QC Discus
Ok so here is the situation: I've got three nano tanks setup and I just added red ramshorns to all three however in one tank they are happily eating and moving around while in the other two they seem to be struggling (not moving around staying in shell etc. for more then a couple days).

Tank One (happy snails)
Filter: None
Temp: 68 degrees (room temp)
Substrate: larger black decorative dollar store rocks
Friends: river snails

Tank Two (sad snails)
Filter: red sea nano
Temp: 78 degrees
Substrate: Zoomed black reptisand (black quartz) over MTS
Friends: betta (very happy)

Tank Three (sad snails)
Filter: small air powered
Temp: 70ish degrees
Substrate: Zoomed black reptisand (black quartz)
Friends: none

As you can see the only connection I can make is the reptisand, could it be too fine grained? When I pick them up they have lots of sand stuck to their "door". Its supposedly inert quartz. When I moved most of them to the happy snail tank they all perked up.

Tanks aren't medicated, water parameters are all in the norm and share same aged tap water.

Sorry for long post, thanks for help.:frown:
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U could try taking the heaters out of the two sad snail tanks, could be that its just too warm
Maybe, but the temp isen't all that different in one of the tanks...68 vs 70
^^ this is true, the temp may not be the issue. Two degrees may not make much difference to us, but it may to a snail? I took the heater off my snail tank though, the warmer water made them very lethargic, and didn't breed much at all-which was bad news for my puffs for awhile. What the plan with all your snails? I have pool filter sand in my snail tank, without issues. Is the repti sand much finer than this?
The snails are mostly there for algae and to look pretty...that's interesting about the warmer water, cause they do seem lethargic, they stick their heads out but don't move around much/at all. And I've never used Pool sand, so I can't compare the two, but this stuff is really fine. I'll unplug a heater and see what happens.
I've never seen Red Ramshorn snails, you should post some pics!:D
Ok just tested pH its around thats ok too right? Oh and according to the city calcium is 15.7 hardness 114mg/l just fyi
Hmmm another interesting development in one of the tanks...I've moved all the snails into the "happy tank" except for one which appears dead. His shell is dissolving extremely rapidly. Which doesn't make sense...(see above post)

I noticed my betta food has copper sulfate in it...could that knock em out quickly?
Nobody has any ideas?
Nobody has any ideas?
We're trying but there isn't a lot to go on.

Maybe at the lower temps bacteria are less active and thus using up oxygen and creating ammonia and other waste products less quickly. Until you increase the temp of the happy tank and see what happens I think temp will remain the main suspect.
I raise Blue and Red Rams horns and can say that they do not like my sand bottoms as much as my bare bottom or gravel bottom tanks.
I use white silica ( Very fine ) .
That and the 72-78 temp seems to be ideal.
Alright I turned off heater in one of the sad tanks and the remaining couple of snails in there didn't respond...they are still alive, but they haven't moved and stay mostly in their temp doesn't seem to be it.

Discus: If they are on the sand do they stay in their shell all the time and not move? Cause mine don't seem to be dying, just not moving/eating etc.

Mine move about .

It took some time and they seamed to struggle at first , but after a wile they seam to get the hang of walking on sand.
The smallest have the least amount of trouble moving on sand .
As you stated , there is always a bunch of sand stuck to there foot.
They drag it up on to the plants and don't seam to climb the walls as much as they climb the plants .
There is also a noticeable amount of slime building up on top of the sand.
The longer I leave the "mucus slime" the better they do at moving about the tank .
If I clean , and disturb the sand I see they have trouble moving for a wile .
I also notice that they tend to dig more. I even have some empty shells under the sand. I can only guess that they dug down then could not dig back out.

Also as mine get larger and there shells get bigger they have a real hard time staying up right.
With no way way to grip the floor they seam to just fall over. Then some seam to be unable to right them self's.
I have begun to remove Large sizes snails to bare bottom breeder tanks.
And use only the smallest to clear out the algae .

Notice how the shell is not upright ?

They almost look like they have to DRAG there shells threw the sand.
See less See more that you mention it some of my snails were doing that too, dragging their shells sideways, and really stretching trying to move like they couldn't get a grip. My sand looks like a similar size to yours too. I'm just worried they aren't eating...the couple I have in there haven't moved far in a couple days.

The rest are eating machines in the happy tank.

Hey thanks for the picture and the help...I'm gonna go stare at the snails for awhile.

I emailed zoomed to see what was actually in the substrate, here is their response:

"Thank you for contacting us. The Midnight Black Reptisand is actually a bi-product of copper mining and processing. I have tested it in water for copper traces and have not found any however I do not know if it will elevate other mineral levels in an aquarium. It was designed as a reptile substrate so use in an aquatic environment with invertebrates was not tested. Maybe a fish store could test the water for you and find out if there are other minerals present. Please let me know if you have any further questions."

I'm thinking that mixed with the copper in the betta food mixed with whatever is in the water may be the culprit....whatcha think?

Oh and copper is ok for fish right just not inverts?
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I only know that the tanks I have snails and sand ( white cilica ) I have a LOT more empty shells in then my 2 breeder tanks that have bare bottomes.
Breeder tanks have nothing but snails . I have recently set up a couple of planted tanks where I mixed sand and gravel , to better hold the plants ( gravel) and to stop young snails from getting trapped in the gravel ( sand).
It is working out extremely well. Good movement and no struggling.
The snails seem to like being able to move from rock to rock with very little time in the sand .
Plants are doing great as the gravel helps hold them in place.

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