Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

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Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:43 am

Hello,

My new apple snail, Midas, has been acting sick since yesterday and I think its my fault. He was happy and active, acting like a normal snail, until I gave him some lettuce. I had washed the lettuce for a minute with running hot water before putting it in the tank. Once he came out of his shell, Midas quickly got onto the lettuce. However, he did not eat it. In fact, he retracted a bit and became very still. I thought this was strange but watched him for a few minutes. He remained in that half-open position as though dead. I pulled the lettuce out, fearing that maybe it had pesticide and that I did not get it all off, and did a partial water change. After remaining in that same position for a while, he retracted fully into his shell.

I ran out and got him algae wafers and he eventually came out of his shell a little but remained floating. This morning, he was still floating and hanging out of his shell. I thought he was dead and lifted him out of the water and got no reaction. I poked his trapdoor gently and got no reaction. I put him back in the water and after a few minutes he wiggled his antennae out but he won't move much otherwise and will not stop floating. He is alive, though, because I waved my hand above him and he retracted quickly and then slowly came out. He has not eaten his food.

His water is mostly fresh. I used Prime water conditioner to remove metals and chemicals from the water. He is in a critter keeper, about 1/2 gallon or more. I have no salter or anything else added to his water aside from Prime. He occasionally releases slime off his body. Today there seems to be more slime than normal.

Please help me save Midas. I don't know if this is normal or if the lettuce did harm him. I have had him only for two days and cannot bare to lose him.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby pbgroupie on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:10 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum! :wave: If you are already treating the water with Prime that will help if there is something wrong with the water. I will mention that 1/2 gallon of water is not sufficent for an adult snail. They will need at least 2.5 gallons or more to stay healthy. While the tank he is in is okay for emergencies, it's not big enough for him to thrive in. If you were to get an inexpensive 10 gallon set up with a filter, you could have more than one snail (up to 4) and really enjoy them. I'd also suggest a test kit to check the pH of the water, and also ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I don't know how much you know about aquarium keeping, but read up in snail care about cycling a tank and such to help you. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to post them and one of our helpful members will do their best to answer them.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:33 pm

Hello, thanks for helping me.

I am keeping him in the quarantine tank for only a week to two weeks until I deem him healthy enough to live in my 5-gallon, cycled, betta tank. I was told not to place Midas immediately in with my betta so I am trying to make things work. It has a filter and I have an API water test kit. I know that the water here has 0 nitrites/nitrates and the ammonia will range approximately 0.10ppm to 0.25ppm of ammonia. But like I said, I treat the water with prime. I change about 90% of the water everyday so his his bioload does not spike the ammonia up to high.

There is clearly something wrong with him, however, and I am not sure whether or not he is alive right now. He is in his shell, but a small part of him is exposed. There appears to be something gooey coming out from the front of his trapdoor but when I take him out of the water it appears to be a very slimey part of his body. He was alive as of this morning but is not active, floating, and will not eat his algae wafer.

As I have been typing this, he has partially come out of his shell. He is not dead but moves very slowly. He looks like he is in the fetal position. I have determined that the slimy part seems to be from the base of his trap door. What is wrong with him and how can I help?
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:53 pm

This is what he's doing:

Image
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:01 pm

Image

Image

There is a white thing like what is hanging off of him on the ground. He has stopped moving but I cannot tell if he is dead. :(
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby pbgroupie on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:03 pm

I think your snail is suffering from ammonia/nitrite poisoning. I can tell by his foot and the slime. Take the snail out of the water and place him in a dish or on a plate with a trace of clean water. Keep an eye on him so he doesn't escape, but give him about 15-20 minutes and see if the swelling goes down and he starts to move around. Test the water in the bowl. Ideally it should be at 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites and have less than 40 ppm nitrates but the Prime will help neutralize that. If the first 'treatment' of exposure to air doesn't work, you can repeat it again. The oxygen exchange will help reduce the swelling. Ammonia <.25 can be toxic to snails.

On a side note, there is no reason to isolate or quarantine a snail as they don't carry disease like fish may as most snails are breed in captivity. The next caution is placing him in with a betta. Betta are not good tank mates with snails. It is a case by case basis, but generally they will nip, harrass, and otherwise bother the snail, causing them to close up and starve to death or risk losing body parts. If you are up to keeping an eye on them, after the snail has had the oxygen treatment you can go ahead and put it into the betta tank. Just make sure there are places to hide and to take him out if there are problems.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:43 pm

I did a 100% water change before I left for a meeting but he has no change. I will place him on a plate with water on it as you said. Should I add Prime to the water on the plate?

I was recommended an apple snail as a companion for a betta by experienced betta owners because my tank is too small for cory dory cat fish, which need to live in groups. I love apple snails and find them so cute. Do you think the lettuce did anything to him? Can removing him from his tank be harmful? If it turns out that my betta will nip at him then at least I have a separate tank for now until I figure out what to do with him. There are plenty of hiding spots in my 5 gallon, though, so there should not be any problems.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:23 pm

I have done what you asked, twice, and he is now floating in the betta tank. He is still omitting a clear ooze from his body and has become very inactive. He is still alive, however, but is showing no signs of improvement. I do not know how to get him to stop floating, to begin eating, or help him recover at all. Nothing I do seems to work. I've tried the air treatment, a 100% water change, adding algae wafers to stir appetite, and nothing is working. Is there any medication that can help him?
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby pbgroupie on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:33 pm

I can't say for sure it was the lettuce. Did you have any and did it make you sick? It just doesn't sound like something that would affect him in that way. You can continue oxygen treatments since they have a lung and a gill and it won't hurt him one bit to be out of the water. The trace of water on the plate is just to keep him comfortable and so he doesn't dry out. Slime is a protective agent and excessive slime just indicates a reaction to something that irritates the snail's flesh, but is not harmful itself. It may take several days for him to feel more like himself again. There is no miracle cure and floating doesn't always mean death. The only other thing to think of is something in the air that is getting in the water. Bug spray, lotions or perfume, air freshner, etc. can all cause a negative reaction.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:24 am

I had eaten the lettuce the previous day. I just find it strange that after a few minutes of hanging out on it, he immediately became like this. I do not use hairspray near the tanks or use perfumes that spray. How often can I use the oxygen treatments? When does it become too stressful for him? I want him to stop oozing and would LOVE to see him eat and crawl around again.

I tried putting him in with my betta but the fish attacked it brutally so I quickly got Midas out of there. I wonder if he would leave poor Midas alone if he wasn't floating.... I may try to put them together once more when Midas is healthy again, otherwise I do not know what I am going to do. I only have the 1/2 gallon kritter keeper.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Amysnail on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:53 am

Just a suggestion, have you thought of putting the fish in the kritter keeper and giving Midas the tank so he can have adequate room until he gets better. I have one fish who was with my snails originally, but the minute my dwarf gourami got nippy, I put him in solitary, and gave the tank to the snails. I love my snails and am fiercely protective of them. Hope this helps, and I hope Midas starts improving.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:01 am

I did think about it for a moment today but the kritter keeper is too small for the fish for long-term use. Although I kept him in it as a quarantine tank originally, it is not adequate enough for him to be in for the amount of time it would take for Midas to grow. He is still little and new, so it could be months for all I know until he is big. Would my betta not bother him if he is big? I don't think he'd go after the snail if it stayed at the bottom of the tank but my betta is a very territorial fish. He attacks anything, shadow or hand, if it moves too close to his tank. However, he has shown indifference to Midas when they sit side by side in separate tanks and when I had Midas in the betta tank and my better, Crusoe, isolation in a floating cup within the tank.

Midas is doing better but is not yet well. He is moving more, still oozing though, and has tried to set himself into the proper position. I think things may tun around for him if I'm lucky. I have placed a tiny amount of algae wafer at the bottom of his tank and a floating fish pellet, so I'll see if he nibbles anything tonight.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Amysnail on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:17 am

If he's territorial, he would probably nip him either way, the first time I saw my gourami nip at one of my snails antenna, I got the fish out, and I put him in a letter keeper until I could get him his own tank. Their antenna will regenerate, but they don't seem to be as long in my opinion, and I've heard that after a while they might not grow back sufficiently. I now have multiple tanks and lots of snails. I recently rescues some snails being kept with cichlids, and the damage was horrible. I've posted pics in a petsmart thread I started that shows the damage that certain fish can do. They stayed in their shells for three full days once I got them home, out of fear, they're now starting to do better. So please think long and hard before deciding to put the two together again. As far as the oxygen treatments, take him out as often as he needs it, but keep him wet. Sometimes when one of mine is under the weather, I give them a green bean or two, straight out of the can, but I wash it first. I really hope this helps, and I hope he continues to improve. Please keep us posted. We would love to hear more from you, and pb's advice is priceless, I would be lost without her posts.
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Sivan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:41 pm

This morning Midas has stuck himself to the side of his kritter keeper! I am very happy about it. However, he is not moving. I saw him wiggle his head slightly once, though, so I know he is alive. Chunks of the fuzzy white mucous are still coming out of him. They eventually drop to the bottom of the tank but the fact fact that they are on him at all makes me concerned. How can I provide him with any cleaner water than straight out of the tap with Prime added in? His first day was spent in such water and he appeared to thrive in it. I cannot figure out what is wrong with his water conditions or how to improve it.

If I take water from the cycled fish tank, could that help things? I'm really just guessing right now.

He still has not eaten, despite fish food and algae waiting for him since last night. How long can I let food sit in his water before it should be taken out?
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Re: Snail Sick: Need Immediate Help

Postby Amysnail on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:05 pm

I would just clean out any uneaten food when you change the water daily. Sticking to the glass is a good thing. Have you tried treated water from the supermarket? They have gallons of water for babies, I used to buy it for my son when he was a baby. A lot of mothers swear by it. I used it because the water from my tap is good but when the city treats it, it smells like bleach from so much chlorine. Have you tried giving him a green bean yet? Sometimes mine will eat green beans when one isn't feeling well and won't eat anything else. I got the idea for green beans from this forum after hearing everyone talk about how much the snailies love them. As far as the excess slime, although it looks bad, and it can be chunky and thick, it really is just a reaction to something irritating their skin. Once one of my girls was slimming like there was no tomorrow, and I couldn't figure out why. For days I thought something terrible was wrong. And I was doing everything I could to make it stop. After a while when I was holding her, she stretched out in my hand. The whole time a baby ramshorn snail had gotten under her shell and was irritating her. Sometimes the smallest things can make them slime. Try not to over think the slime. He sounds like he is improving. Please keep us updated. I check the forum at least five times a day.
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