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Old 04-19-2010, 08:17 AM   #1 
peapie32
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Mystery Snails & Betta Fish

Hi All!

I posted a thread last week about the compatibility of a mystery snail and a betta. My (well, my 8 year old son's) betta had been housed in about a gallon vase. A couple of you said that there was no way a snail could also go in and suggested that the size was maybe a bit too small for "Mister Betta" (my son is very original, lol!).

So, I upgraded the fish to a tank. It's 2.5 gallons. If I thought Mister Betta was happy before, he's estatic now! It's so much more roomier for him, so thank you for that suggestion. We did add the mystery snail and for the first couple hours he sat in his shell. Then he came out and started climbing on the walls, the "No Fishing" sign, etc... It was quite cute. However, over the weekend he hasn't come out. He'll partially come out, but then go right back in. He hasn't moved from the one spot he's in on the tank floor and he's on his back. I tried flipping him over, but he went right back on his back.

Now, the fish I noticed this morning is diving at it and fanning out his fins. I don't think the snail is dead since I've read that it smells like rotten eggs and they'll float. Is it possible the betta nipped at him or something causing the snail to hide? Or should I take the snail back to the aquarium store? We've only had him since Thursday.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #2 
doggyhog
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My way of telling whether a snail is dead is this:

Take clear cup (not to deep) and put some water in it, then take your snail and LIGHTLY drop him into the water. If he falls out of his shell, (Quite litterally. His insides will come OUT) he's dead. If he stays in his shell, he's alive!! Easy.

Bettas can bite and nip at snails. Making them very stressed. I'd return him. Not to mention that 2.5g is not enough for both a betta and a snail to live in. Yep, take him back if he's not dead.

Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:02 PM   #3 
vaygirl
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Yeah, I'd take him back. It sounds like he's being harassed. Also, those snails require 2.5 gallons just for themselves so it's just not enough room.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #4 
peapie32
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Thanks for your replies! Just out of curiosity how do you determine how many fish you can have in any given size tank? The tank "looks" big enough for both of them, but I'm sure there are factors I'm not weighing in. I'm really trying to get educated so we can have a happy tank experience!! Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #5 
vaygirl
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It's not so much about space, although a fish that has room to explore and hunt will be a happy camper. It's about water volume and waste. Basically, the more fish you have, the more poo and pee you have and that creates more ammonia which will poison the fish. The smaller the water volume, the more concentrated the waste. That's the reason smaller containers need to be changed more often then larger ones. The waste builds up and it can burn your fish, cause fin rot and eventually lead to early death.

Snails poo A LOT. I mean really, really just a bunch. My snails constantly have poo coming out as food is going in. It's ridiculous.

The general rule is one inch of fish per gallon but that's changed a lot over the years. I've read that that's fine if they're under 3 inches. 3 - 5 inches need two gallons per inch. 6 inches and up require 3 gallons per inch. There's a lot of conflicting information about that rule. I think going bigger is better. There's a lot more of a chance for a disaster if you're working with very little water vs a lot of water just because a larger volume dilutes the bad stuff more effectively.

Now I went and wrote a novel. :D I hope that helps. I'm kinda new to all this. I've been at it for a year.
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