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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Sorry, this is not about my betta, who is doing great.)

I have a mystery snail that I've had maybe two months. I feed him algae wafers, and he also eats some of the zucchini/cucumber that I feed my two oto catfish.

Three days ago, I put a strawberry slice in the tank and he was interested in that. The otos were cleaning his shell and his face –*I don't know if they hurt him? Cause since then (maybe it's a coincidence), he's been acting odd: staying on the bottom of the tank not moving, lying on his back or side, usually with the door of his shell open a little bit. I don't think he's been eating much, if anything.

He's 100% still alive.

I've taken him out of the community tank and put him in, essentially a bucket of water. (How much water does he need to survive?) I did this just because I don't want him to die in the main tank and have that negatively affect the other fish.

Is this normal snail behaviour? Should I just let him be? He's usually very active: always out of his shell, roaming around the tank or stuck on the glass.

Or, if he's sick, what can I do about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: My ammonia and nitrite levels are 0. Nitrate is 5-10 mg/L. pH is 7.0-7.5.

The snail comes out of his shell, but it's like he can't flip over. He keeps stretching out but doesn't seem able to get his shell upright. I tried to gently help him, but of course, he goes into his shell when I come near … so I'm not much help. I can't tell if his body is discoloured (lighter?) or swollen, but he definitely does not look healthy. I'll try to post a pic. For now, he's given up and gone back in his shell.
 

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My snails do this off and on. I did a lot of reading up and some go dormant for a time and I always end up anxious about them when that happens, but usually in a few days mine are back to normal.
 

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He also might be dying for whatever reason.
I had that happen with a nerite. It stayed on the bottom without moving for a couple of weeks. It was definitely still alive- it's trap would shut when i picked it up- but not for long.

I wasn't 100% sure it was dead at first because of the lack of activity. I googled and everyone said smell it. So I did. It was *most definitely* dead. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ugh, I hope he bounces back to normal. I really think he is ill – maybe dying – and not just dormant. What does a dormant snail look like? Mine doesn't look well. His shell is full of white fluffy slime (inside) and his body seems a little shrivelled (but maybe that's just cause I'm used to seeing him totally out of his shell and active). I took him out of the water and put him on a plate with a little water. He is lying on his side under the water with one antenna reaching out. To me, it seems like he gave a little effort to "stand up" but couldn't do it. :(
 

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I have read that otos can and will eat the slime coat off other fish. I don't know if snails even have a slime coat, but I would think they do. If your otos did do so, and if snails have a slime coat, your snail's skin could be irritated because it now lacks the slime coat protection, and that's why his shell is full of the white fluffies. It's excess slime production from irritated skin, kind of like when your eyes tear like crazy when your eye is irritated or dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm. Interesting! Is there anything I can do to help him recover? Like I said, I have him separated right now. How much water does he need to be in to survive/heal? He is in about 1.5-2L of water. I hope he recovers and then I'll put him back in the tank. I just didn't want him to die in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: The snail is out and moving around, but it still doesn't look well. I feel like his body is lighter. I still think his shell (inside) is full of fuzzy slime. And he has a lot of trouble balancing and "steering." I just fed him to see if he would eat and he's been struggling for like, 30 minutes trying to get this piece of food without toppling over.

The container he's in right now is plastic. Can snails climb plastic?



 

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Sounds like he's on his way out to me. I'm sorry! That's pretty similar to what happened to my nerite when it was dying. I put it on a piece of lettuce and it ate, but after that wouldn't even move to get food placed right in front of it. Mine died within a week of that kind of behavior. Keep checking to make sure he's alive- if it's big like my nerite, it can foul the water real fast.
All of my snails can climb plastic- mts's nerite and bladder (i think).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the reply. I will post what happens with this little guy. He is still alive today. His foot is very puffy and curled (he isn't coming fully out of his shell). I hate to watch him suffer, but I don't want to euthanize him if there's a chance he'll get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So it's been 10 days now and my snail is still alive. He doesn't come out of his shell much. I put him in a bigger container with less water, so it just covers him. He uses his breathing tube every once in a while to breathe air above the surface, and that's about it. The white fuzzy stuff in his shell is gone, I think, but he still won't eat anything. Do snails hibernate? When I thought he was dying, I took him out of the heated, filtered community tank and put him in a bucket of water (doing partial water changes daily). Should I put him back in?
 
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