Betta bit antennas off of my snails!!! Help?!
I know it's a long read, but I didn't want to exclude anything that may help you in solving my dilemma with me!
My Betta Legolas (yeah I have a Lord of the Rings theme) has been thriving for 8 months. I had him in a way too small 1.5 gal bowl for the longest time, and I decided I wanted to give him a little more space and some buddies. Recently I have set up a 10 gal with the works (heater, filter, lots of decor) and he was really happy the first day in it by himself.
I live a long ways away from the nearest pet store, so when I go to town it takes a lot of gas, time, etc. I happened to be near a PetSmart the day after I introduced Legolas, so I decided to purchase some Mystery snails. I introduced them in the evening to see all 3 (Pippin, Merry, and Sam) happily exploring the tank, until Legolas bit off Sam's antenna. Legolas had been aggressive towards them even when they were floating in the bag getting used to the temperature of the tank, but this?!?!? I didn't know what to do so I went to sleep hoping the snails would be smart enough to not get themselves hurt further.
Woke up 2:00 am (I have a wicked cold, couldn't breathe through my nose and I woke myself up lol) and so I decided to check up on my tank. Sam was floating in the corner. I gently picked him up and sniffed him but he didn't smell so I placed him back at the bottom of the tank. I thought the poor guy was dead for 15 minutes until he finally emerged and walked around a bit. Then I started looking for Pippin and Merry. Pippin seemed to be doing fine, reaching his lil tube up to get some good ol oxygen, but poor Merry was missing an antennae! I didn't see how it happened, but I started crying when I saw the poor thing! The other antennae was shriveled up and curled at the end, and he kept falling off things (the top of the tank, my rock formation etc). I fear for my snails every time Legolas nears them, however not always is it an attack. This morning he's been swimming very close to them and my finger against the glass does not fend him off. He got really close to Pippin (who was completely outstretched and exploring) and I got a rising fear he would nibble off his antennae too, so I put my finger to the glass, which usually deters him, but he continued to be curious with Pippin. Right now Merry is chilling on the glass completely inside his shell and Legolas won't leave him alone, he keeps coming back to check on Merry and swim VERY closely near him. Is he just being curious?
I knew going into this that he may be aggressive or he may be completely fine with the snails, and it breaks my heart that he keeps hurting them! I still have Legolas' old 1.5 gal bowl on hand half full of water. I'm debating on whether to move the snails into the bowl. I have an old filter I could set up as well as I could move some decor from the tank to the bowl. I'm scared to wait to see if Legolas' aggression dies down, but I would like for them all to live in harmony. What do you think is the best thing to do? I feel so overwhelmed with this whole ordeal!
Edit: A reason why Legolas may be nipping at them may be because he's hungry?? He ate two pellets this evening and about 5-6 pellets 2 days ago when I introduced him. I read that overfeeding happens a lot and I didn't want to give him too much. I usually feed him 3 pellets every morning, but his routine has been thrown off by these snails. What do you think?
Last edited by Bunnythegreat; 05-20-2017 at 03:18 AM.