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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. So today I went to petsmart and bought a small nerite snail for one of my betta tanks (not sure which one it is going in yet but all my tanks are 3 gallons and are heated and cycled). I've never had a snail before and I did do a bunch of research before I got one.

I have a couple questions.

1) My girl's tank have Epsom salt (1/4 teaspoon per gallon) because she has chronic SBD. Does mean I shouldn't put the snail in her tank? If I can't, its not a problem because I have two other tanks that have no medication or salts in them.

2) I don't know if he is alive. I smelled him at the store and he does not smell like rotten eggs. He has a slight dirty smell, its not a pleasant smell though. I believe he is dormant at the moment. His trap door is closed. I read on this forum that nerite snails can go dormant. Because I don't know if he is dead, I set up my small .5 gallon holding tank I used to use to cup my bettas when doing 100% water changes before I got filters for their tanks. I put some tank water and some of the gravel from one of my tanks (the water and gravel is from one of the tanks that does not have epsom salt in it) and added the snail to that. Right now its getting some sunlight (not completely direct sunlight) to get some algae to grow. Petsmart was out of algae tabs so I am going to go to petco and buy some.

If there any other way to tell if he is alive? Should I wait a few days and see if he moves or does anything? I don't want to add him to any of my tanks until Im 100% positive that he isn't dead because I know dead snails add all kinds of poisonous stuff to the tank.

Thanks!
 

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If you have to get close to smell the dirt smell and the trap door is closed then it's just in its shell. Possibly dormant, possibly just hiding from being moved around. I wouldn't put him in the tank with Epsom salt. That is designed to kill infections and some parasites and nerite are closely related to those. You will want a cuttlebone or some liquid calcium to add to the tanks he's in.
 

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+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the answer.

yes, I do have to get close. Like almost put my nose against it. It sounds like he is dormant or just hiding.

that's what I thought about the tanks with epsom salt, I'll add him to one of my boy's tanks.

yes, i forgot to mention that above. A cuttlebone is on my list of things to pick up at petco.

Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Cuttlebone floats so be prepared to find a way to sink it.
 

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Glad I saw this thread, i've never given my nerites any form of calcium but plan on changing that now. Will they eat it or will it just dissolve and strengthen their shell? Also, since both my bettas are in planted tanks, I dose Seachem Flourish twice a week which contains some calcium but it's likely not enough. Any opinions on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK. I went to petco today.

I bought some cuttlebone, broke it up into smaller pieces and trapped them under gravel in my tank.

added my snail

I also picked up some algae tabs. but i put a small piece in but removed it because my betta kept trying to eat it and I do not know if its okay for him to do that.

So far things are okay? My betta flared and nipped at the snail once and then flared at it again and then swam away. He has been watching the snail though. The snail is still inside its shell and I don't think he has come out yet. I'll keep on them both to see if my betta is going to be aggressive towards him. I picked the tank with the less aggressive betta, although he is a betta and is still a little aggressive.
 

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If the snail is still dormant you may want to put it on a bit of lettuce for a bit. The algae tab you don't want to leave in too long because it'll affect the parameters of the water as it breaks down. I have had my current nerite dormant for a month and literally the day I add a blue mystery snail because the nerite hasn't been cleaning, it comes out and slowly gets to work.

What type of algae tabs did you get? What is the ingredients? I had some that my Pandas loved, but it turned out they were pretty close to the old crappy food my betta was eating before I actually looked at the ingredients, they just had a green algae center. The algae tab also had things I'm pretty sure were bad for my shrimp, which explains why I had so much trouble with them.

And, StrangeDejavu, the Seacham Flourish having calcium could very much be helping them get some calcium, but I dunno how much is in that if that gives them as much as they need to maintain their shell. The cuttlebone will disolve and you will sometimes see the snails on it if it sticks out at all where they can get to it, but they don't need access to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ZZD - thanks! i'll add some lettuce tomorrow. Im concerned that my betta will eat it though. He's very curious and will nip anything.

I only left the algae tabs in for literally 5 minutes. My betta started to nip at them so I removed them right away.

I bought the Hiruku brand ones? i think. I probably won't use them really.
 

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Nerites aren't much for algae tabs; at least mine aren't. Lettuce, cucumber, spinach, etc., are much more to their liking if they can't find algae.

My Bettas pick at the algae tabs but more out of curiosity that anything. If they do manage to get a part of one in their mouths they spit it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nerites aren't much for algae tabs; at least mine aren't. Lettuce, cucumber, spinach, etc., are much more to their liking if they can't find algae.

My Bettas pick at the algae tabs but more out of curiosity that anything. If they do manage to get a part of one in their mouths they spit it out.
Yeah, I figured that. I have to go grocery shopping today so I'll make sure to get some lettuce or cucumber or something. Will it hurt my betta if he eats any of these things? he literally eats everything.
 

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I'm not familiar with that brand of algae tabs so I'm not sure what the ingredients are. Mostly nerites are picky so you can also try putting a couple of rocks in a glass and leave it in a window to grow algae and then put a rock in and swap them out every few days as the snail cleans the rock. It shouldn't hurt the betta as long as he doesn't eat too much. I've never seen a betta that willingly eats many veggie type foods.

I have found I have more stress about my snails than any other creature in that tank. (Close second is my vampire shrimp that is amazing at hide and seek) The fact that it is so much harder to tell when a snail is sick is not helpful.
 

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I'm not familiar with that brand of algae tabs so I'm not sure what the ingredients are. Mostly nerites are picky so you can also try putting a couple of rocks in a glass and leave it in a window to grow algae and then put a rock in and swap them out every few days as the snail cleans the rock. It shouldn't hurt the betta as long as he doesn't eat too much. I've never seen a betta that willingly eats many veggie type foods.

I have found I have more stress about my snails than any other creature in that tank. (Close second is my vampire shrimp that is amazing at hide and seek) The fact that it is so much harder to tell when a snail is sick is not helpful.
I am in love with Vampire Shrimp. I have two: Hester and Larry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update:

I'm so stupid.

I went to do a water change and gravel cleaning in the tank that had the snail in it and well the snail is no more. I forgot to take him out before hand and got sucked into the gravel cleaner and when I realized it is was too late.

I ended having to do an almost 100% water changes and probably messed up my cycle. I haven't tested the water yet. crossing my finger.

Thanks for the input everyone! I'll probably get another snail in the coming weeks.
 

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just how long can the nerites snails lay dormant? my nose is mostly desensitized to the rotten smell of the snails. I didn't know they could go dormant and ive probably have thrown out a bunch of snails as I wasn't aware they could go dormant. so far only 1 snail was really dead the rest were probably dormant. my current one was dormant for atleast 3 weeks in his QT tank. I threw him into the 5g tank for him to clean and within the day he took up his duties.
 

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@nel3: What I try to do is put the nerite in a plastic cup. I add some water and greens (doesn't matter if it's veggie or a cutting from the tank plants). Stretch a plastic or some cling wrap on the top and secure with a rubber band. Poke holes for air with a pen or a needle.

If it's dead at least you've contained it and it can poison the water elsewhere. If it's alive, it'll eat your plant bits. I usually wait around 4 days for this.

I've had mine since Jan this year and some had gone dormant on me. I almost threw one away until I picked it up and poked it - moved its trapdoor shut.

As for scent, it's supposed to be a mild earthy scent if they're alive. Dead ones are practically sewer pipes condensed in an inch - or so I've been told but can't really say. I think the last "dead" nerite I threw out was actually just dormant - no rotting smells.
 

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I had one go dormant on me a few weeks ago, too. I found him upside down in the sand almost completely out of his shell. I picked him up and he didn't retract or anything. Put him in a cup exactly like Vergil's method and threw in an algae wafer. No movement, no nothing all morning and night. The next morning I woke up, half his wafer was gone and he was sticking to the side of the cup. o_O I almost flushed him too, as I thought for sure he was dead. He didn't respond to being picked up, even touching the "gooey" part of the snail and his trapdoor did nothing.
 

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ty for the replies, unfortunately ive gotten rid of my other snails long ago that were most likely dormant. the only way I knew my current one was still alive was that he put down his foot in him secluded tank. I moved him with a stick to see if the foot was down. next time one goes dormant i'll give it a change in environment.

the only reason why I cant really smell the snails well is due to the foul smelling automotive oils I work around. I did smell one that was truly dead though.
 

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I had one that was pretty much dormant just over a month. He came out finally and was pretty lethargic and even fell over at one point, trap door partially open. I flipped him over and left him alone and he wandered off elsewhere. Apple snails can be dormant for months because they actually hibernate. With nerites if you aren't sure about the smell put it in a smaller container and try to put some algae in with it, like a rock left in the window in a cup of water. Some nerites are way picky.
 
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