Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

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Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:09 pm

I have a medium sized tank, with a Betta and plants. Not filtered or heated. Temp is about 78 degrees. I already received a bashing from someone on another site in regards to must having a filtered heated tank and I am a horrible person for having a snail in this condition... I am looking for constructive feedback, and request that you please REFRAIN from any bashing, my bf has had a snail/betta combination in an unfiltered tank in his work space for over a year now and they have been living happily side by side. So knowing it CAN happen... THIS is why I chose to try it in my space. Maybe he lucked out, who knows. I will do a PH/Nitrate test tonight but I do use the treated tap water solution in the water.

Snail was doing great last week, zooming around eating up everything... I do regular water changes and give him plenty of food, but not overfeeding. But snail has now been floating at the water line for about 2-3 days. I took him out, turned him over in case there was any air trapped. He had been sitting on a hard surface for 15 minutes and finally he's opened the shell door a bit but he's not walking around as it said they would in the Care Forum. I put him back in the water and his door's open but he's not attaching himself to the glass. Betta's started to nip at him too... maybe senses he's dying? This is the first time the Betta even acknowledged him since I got him. I'm just afraid he's not able to eat because he's been at the waterline so long. He also had some white fuzz mucous hanging off him but I cleaned him off and changed the water and it hasn't come back.

It is just a trapped air issue that causes them to float like that or is it that he's dying?

Thanks!
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:37 pm

UPDATE: Sadly, I believe snail is dying or has just died. He had been unresponsive for about an hour in the tank and I separated him from the tank with a small amount of food to see if anything happens overnight, and I will test my water and make sure its not the ammonia levels or PH before I freeze him. But as I took him out of the tank upon touch, the shell door did not move at all. Fingers crossed but it doesn't look good.
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby pbgroupie on Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:12 am

Hello and welcome to the forum family. :wave: The tank doesn't have to be filtered or heated if the conditions are right. Temps look okay and you want to keep them above 65. Apple snails have a lung and a gill and they can breathe in the water or use their siphon out of the water. If you do regular water changes you won't need a filter but they are very helpful and make keeping snails easier, IMPE. That being said, not all betta and snails are good tank mates.

Snails float for several reasons, most of them being they don't like where they are and are trying to float 'down stream'. It could be the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates or pH that is off. It could be the snail is getting picked on when you don't see it. The white fuzz could be snail slime which is secreted in excess when there is something that irritates the snail's flesh. Again, check the water stats. If you do the sniff test you will be able to tell without a doubt that the snail has passed. If it just smells like wet plants then it might still be alive but hiding. Snails can go weeks without eating so don't panic yet. Post your stats after you tested the water and we'll see if we can help you.
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:28 pm

Thank you! I am really happy that I found a forum that was welcoming and not lambasting me about having a 50 gallon tank so my tiny beta and little snail can feel like they're swimming free in the wild... :D

So snail is doing ok... has the will to suck.... he's in a shallow dish.

Water check results.

Nitrate no3 is safe
Nitrate no2 is not... 3.0 - oops
Hardness is moderate
Alkalinity is light... maybe 50
PH is low... 6.4 - double oops

So yeah... it's my water. My bf told me I was doing it wrong as I would add the tap water to the bowl and THEN put in the conditioner... I bought a jug of "clean" water to do a water change today... also bought some biological supplement so i can get the good bacteria growing on the gravel to cut down on the nitrate and ammonia. Should I remove about 10% of the water that's in there with the Betta and put that back in - Or should I do more?

Will try this and then introduce him back into the tank tomorrow...... should I put some lettuce in his dish or safe to leave him be?

Thank you! :tiphat:
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby pbgroupie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:33 am

You really should invest in a kit that tests for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. It will help save the lives of your wet pets and I can tell you want to be a good mom to them. Suggested water change is 25% and it's best to add the chlorine/chloramine remover to the water before you add it to the tank because it takes up to 10 minutes to work. Be careful the snail doesn't go 'walk about' in the shallow dish as he could fall and you'd have a whole other set of problems! I'd hold off on the lettuce until he's back in the tank. He'll also love algae wafers and even some cooked (unseasoned) peas with the skins removed.
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby NE Snail Mom on Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:48 am

Hi Tachi - Gary did not eat for 2 straight weeks and there were several times I was sure he was dead. I don't understand that fuzzy mucous stuff, either. He had a big wad of it today after sleeping for about 36 hrs, but I tested the water and it's fine. I sympathize with you about your friend having a snail that's just fine on his desk. My niece has hers in a bowl smaller than mine and basically ignores him and doesn't have a bit of trouble. I fuss and have tons of trouble. Maybe there's a lesson in there for us?! :)
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:50 pm

Thank you pbgroupie & NE Snail Mommy!!

I'll look into the Ammonia levels... I have the 5 in one test strips but it doesn't say anything about Ammonia though, unless that's what the Alkalinity means. I did put him back in the tank and he was the same, floating at the top. I put a piece of lettuce at the bottom... hoping maybe he'd get the strength to get himself down there again. But he's right where I left him yesterday.

I just watched them for awhile and the Betta is being a nasty little man to him :angry: so I separated them, put snail in a small cup floating in the bowl.

Just gotta wait and see I guess, .... My bf totally lucked out with his pair.... There is definitely a lesson in here somewhere. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:14 pm

UPDATE!!!

After separating them... snail submerged himself and is currently nomming away at his algae pellet! WOO-HOO!! So I'll leave them separate for a week, hope he gets better and then reintroduce him... if the same thing happens, I'll move him to another bowl on his own and try another snail in this bowl... maybe a smaller female betta would be a good bowl mate for this guy...
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby crystal blue on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:30 pm

Welcome to the forum.
I have to agree....BF really lucked out.
I had 3 beautiful fan tails that lived in 3 separate containers and you couldn't put anything else in with them. As a mater of fact, BaLoo would even strike my hand when I cleaned the inside of his container.
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:40 pm

UPDATE!!

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

He's back in the tank!!! At the bottom and totally zooming around again! YAY!!! Even his color looks so much better. Fingers crossed the water conditions made him sick and now that i have the right tools... everything will go back to normal. WOOHOO!!!
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby NE Snail Mom on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:56 am

So happy for you!
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby Tachi on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:15 pm

Ok... so he was doing really great... then did water change yesterday using tap water (had only been using bottled water since the last time)... woke up this morning and now he's floating again... he's totally hanging out of his shell, I thought he had died but he moved and was quick to close the shell door... so

a) the betta could have had a scuffle with him last night...
B) I did introduce new plants into the tank as he nommed on all the other ones maybe they made him sick.
c) Something in the tap water is getting to him... but my water levels are OK based on my testing strips.

So as much as I don't want to spend the $$$ on pet store goldfish water or bottled water... it may be the only thing that will help since there must be something in the local tap water that the betta can tolerate but the snail cannot and the nitrate remover/bacteria drops cannot neutralize.

I also noticed air bubbles were coming out of the shell... which made me think trapped air.

I added more nitrate remover drops to the tank. Hope things turn around again... but I'll do another water change with the bottled water and hope that it helps.

:(
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Re: Floating Snail... Trapped Air or Dying?

Postby pbgroupie on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:46 am

Strips can be fine for a down and dirty test, but for accurate testing you really should invest in the liquid tests.Are you adding a water conditioner that removes chlorine/chloramines and binds heavy metals?
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