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Discussion Starter #1
4 days ago I brought home a snail for my 10 gallon betta tank. The tank is heated, running an aquaclear filter, and is mixed live & silk plants. Weekly water changes and parameters are fine.

He’s my Betta’s first tank mate. I’m not sure what kind of snail he is, but he’s the larger one in this picture that I took at petco. The only snail I’ve owned in the past was a nerite who ended up living by himself. This was because my fish at the time ended up being too aggressive even just towards me so I didn’t want to chance it by adding the snail which I had already purchased and brought home.

This new snail had extremely long antennas when I brought him home 4 days ago, and naturally I was concerned about how my current betta would react to him after my last experience. I spent a few hours observing after adding the snail to the tank and my betta seemed completely unbothered. Didn’t flare or do much of anything really other than look at him and swim away. This morning however, I noticed that my snail’s antennas are considerably shorter. I’m assuming this was the fish’s doing. Now I’m baffled, because I still haven’t seen ANY signs of aggression from the fish towards the snail. Levi (my betta) actually started building bubble nests again shortly after adding the snail. The snail is moving around fine, and the only tank I could move him to is a 2.5 gallon Fluval spec with my sister’s female betta which has seemed sick lately, or in the process of dying from old age. Plus the snail poops A LOT - and I mean, A LOT, so I’m worried about how efficiently a tank that small could handle the amount of waste coming from the snail.

Before buying the snail, I read online that the bigger the snail, the less likely the chance that the betta will try to prey on it, so I decided to bring home the biggest snail that I could find at the time. Now I’m paying for it haha.

So my questions are: 1. How do I know if the betta is responsible for my snail’s shortened antennas? 2. Could any other factor have caused them to shrink or become injured? 3. Will they grow back? 4. Would moving him to the smaller tank be better than leaving him in the 10 gal that he’s in now?

And... 5. If I leave him in the 10 gal, what can I do to help control the poo situation? There are pellets not only scattered all over the place but also in giant piles, and I just did a water change this morning with a siphon and already the sand is filthy again. Would any other tank mates help?


Thanks!!
 

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I'd be willing to bet that the betta is responsible for the missing antenna, he likely viewed them as food and simply ate them and if he's not attacking the snail he'll probably not start. I had one that religiously trimmed off my ramshorn snails antenna, yet he never actively attacked them.

Yes, the antenna will grow back, the problem is that when they start to grow back he'll just trim them off again. I don't know it if will be the same with your snail, but my ramshorns lives were shortened by the constant trimming of their antenna.

You could move him to a smaller tank but you will need to do a spot vacuuming of the tank every day and top off the missing water, then around once or twice a week to a more through vacuuming and change out 25 to 50% of the water. You might be able to sell him back to the pet store you got him from, or you could leave him in your current tank and see how he does, but if the betta keeps trimming the antenna it'll likely shorten his life.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd be willing to bet that the betta is responsible for the missing antenna, he likely viewed them as food and simply ate them and if he's not attacking the snail he'll probably not start. I had one that religiously trimmed off my ramshorn snails antenna, yet he never actively attacked them.

Yes, the antenna will grow back, the problem is that when they start to grow back he'll just trim them off again. I don't know it if will be the same with your snail, but my ramshorns lives were shortened by the constant trimming of their antenna.

You could move him to a smaller tank but you will need to do a spot vacuuming of the tank every day and top off the missing water, then around once or twice a week to a more through vacuuming and change out 25 to 50% of the water. You might be able to sell him back to the pet store you got him from, or you could leave him in your current tank and see how he does, but if the betta keeps trimming the antenna it'll likely shorten his life.

Ugh this breaks my heart to hear. I don’t want to sell him back because most of the snails where he came from were dead, and this one was literally crawling over the other dead snails. What are their life expectencies? And do you happen to know what type of snail mine is?
 

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I'm not certain, but I think he's a mystery snail.

If he's a mystery snail he'll live to be 1 to 3 years old depending on care, and water temperature.

Here's a pretty good care guide on them. If you're in the U.S. I can just about guarantee that he's not a true apple snail but a mystery snail, but the two snails require similar care and the names are often used interchangeably. True apple snails will get to be up to the size of an apple, BUT they are illegal in the U.S.. Mystery Snail ? Detailed Guide: Care, Diet and Breeding - Shrimp and Snail Breeder
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so I’ve decided that Max the snail is going to have to be put in a new tank by himself because neither of my current setups are adequate for him. I’m thinking a 5 gal, so if I do that, would it be okay to add another snail so he has company or would the waste be too much for a 5 gallon? I also don’t want them to reproduce lol.

The only reason I got a snail for my 10 gallon betta tank was for algae control but I realized after some research that mystery snails aren’t great for that purpose. Apparently nerites are better. What are the chances that a Nerite would be safe with my betta, since their antennas are much smaller?
 
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