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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! My betta tank has been having algae so I decided to branch out and try my hand at nerite snails. However this hasn't gone as smoothly as I'd hoped. My first snail was active for a day, eating and moving along, but then it stopped moving and stayed completely within the shell for over a week before dying.

I got two replacements and things were going a lot better. They were zipping along and doing great! But then today, three days after getting them, they're also hiding in their shells and refusing to move. I've been checking their water parameters and temperature and everything. Well today I looked over the Hikari algae wafers that have been recommended on just about every nerite care site and find that an ingredient is copper sulfate.

So I want to know...are the snails poisoned and going to die? Is there a better nerite food? I'm a bit shocked right now and really hoping I can still turn this around.
 

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I cannot imagine the wafers have enough copper sulfate to harm the inverts or gastropods; however, there are always the exceptions. And these were not developed for either but for fish. I could not find a snail-specific site that recommended them but I could have missed some.

Do you know if the Nerites actually ate the wafers? Sometimes they will skate over food other than natural algae instead of remaining and people mistake it for eating. If you have algae in the tank there is no need to supplement feed wafers. You can, however, put some rocks in a bowl of water and set in a sunny location. Algae will form and you can use these to feed the Nerites.

Don't know if you are familiar with snails, but they often retreat into their shells for a week or more. The only way to know they are truly dead is the smell. It's a smell you'll never forget. So if they don't smell they aren't dead.

You might give these a try. They are specifically for snails and not very expensive. It's what I feed:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is my first time owning snails so it's all a paranoid filled mystery to me. I'm trying to do as much research as I can on them, their behavior, and diseases to watch out for but google seems to have a bias for telling me about mystery snails or more specifically how to kill garden snails. If there's any good nerite websites I'd love to have links!

Right now I have my two nerites in a quarantine tank. I saw mixed reviews on whether this was necessary or not but I figured better safe than sorry before I end up with two sick snails and a sick betta. The end goal is bringing these two into my 5 gallon betta tank to feed off the algae there. But right now they're in a 2 gal getting daily water changes to both keep the water warm and clean. My heater is keeping the tank at 70 F which I know is a low end. The 5 gal is a nice 78.

I'm not sure if they've eaten the algae wafers. They were at least moving around them. I know they ate some algae I pulled off a plant from the main aquarium because it was gone the next day. I also gave them some pieces of cuttlebone after my smallest snail kept crawling over my bigger one. I was afraid that maybe it was eating the others shell.

The small one has completely retracted into its shell and is pretty far deep in there. I picked it up and I THINK I saw the trap door closed. Again still new to snails so I'm trying to figure out all about them (plus they're super tiny babies, no bigger than a pea). Bigger one is stuck to the glass but not moving.

I'll try looking into the veggie sticks and making some algae specifically for their tank. Thank you! Until now I've only focused on bettas and was restricted with what I could do. But now I live on my own with a solid job so I'm absolutely determined to make the best tank I can.
 

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Take a whiff of the Nerite. If he's dead I guarantee you will know it. And they won't eat each other's shell so no worries.

If you decide to eventually get a bigger tank and try some Mystery Snails, I bought mine here:

They are the nicest I've found anywhere. Great support if you have questions. And you darn sure can't beat the price.

I feed them the sticks I linked and change their quarantine tank daily or every other day. If I forget and skip a day I add two drops of SeaChem Prime. The tank is about a gallon.

I bought the large Ivory and small Dark Purple and Light Purple. Next time I will order all small.
 

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When my mystery snail died I could smell it as soon as I walked into the room my tank was in LOL. When the nerite snail died I didn’t even notice until water change day when I found his empty shell in a back corner. I assume the pleco cleaned the shell out for me. If your snails are really the size of a pea.... you might not be able to smell it until you take it out of the tank. A dead snail won’t keep his door closed, it will just hang out all gross and well... dead. I agree it seems that there is a ton of info on mystery snails and very little on nerite snails and if they do talk about nerites it’s to compare them to mystery...
that’s is a great idea about the algae rocks. I’m going to do that today lol
I hope your baby nerites end up ok 💜
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, I hope they do too. It's really nerve wracking to see them with their trap doors shut all small and not moving after they were so lively the day I got them. My betta fish is happy as can be and these little guys seem so sad next door. Checked water parameters and everything is reading fine. Temperature likes to be around 70 which is unfortunate but the heater isn't doing as good as I'd like. I'm now wondering if they weren't eating the wafers and I'm not sure how to coax them out to eat some algae I've placed in there from the betta tank.

I'm going to try the algae rock trick. At least until I can get these two past quarantine. I really hope they make it. Snails are WAY more complicated than I thought. No smell yet though.
 

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Snails are notorious for going "dormant" or periods of time. I think people dispose of a lot of healthy snails because they don't know this. I admit, it scared the heck out of me the first time it happened.

There's no use in trying to tempt them; they will come out when they are ready.
 

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Update: both snails wound up passing away while still tucked into their shells. So I'm back to the drawing board trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong in snail keeping. I got a better heater which made me aware that my thermometer might be off because it reads as 68 despite being on top of the heater. Said heater is the same as the one in my 5 gal. A local pet store suggested that the water parameters are off. I've been using test strips for quick readings and it always returned 0 with nitrate and nitrite. PH read as near the 6 range which is best I got for irritating them. I'm letting the tank keep cycling while I figure things out. I figured my biggest problem would be transitioning a snail from the quarantine tank to the main one, not getting them to survive the quarantine itself.

I miiiiight try to get a nerite snail from said pet store. They're a smaller, family owned business and for once the people in the fish section seemed extremely passionate about fish keeping. I'll miss the cute horned shell, but I figure this way I can cut out shipping stress.

Either way this experience has been extremely depressing. I don't want to keep going through poor little snails like this.
 

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I am so sorry. I know how difficult it is go through such.

Can't miss that smell, can you? Before I learned about the smell, I almost tossed a Mystery Snail that had been inactive for 2+ weeks. Three days later he started moving around. I love those little Horned Nerites. I have them in my 2.5 gallon.

Do you have an Ammonia test? When the budget allows, get a freshwater liquid test kit. It measures Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and pH. You get more bang for your buck because you get so many more tests.

An interesting aside: I have a 20 long I let go dry and stay that way for two or three months (or maybe longer). Decided to set it back up. I must have miscounted because I found four live Nerite Snails! They apparently buried themselves in the sand. I've heard of that happening and have seen it with Assassin Snails but wasn't expecting it from Nerites.
 
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