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Old 01-15-2021, 06:46 AM   #1
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Can't keep ramshorns alive-help please?

Hi Folks,

I've been to three different local Aquarium Stores and we're all stumped, so I'm hoping that someone here might have some advice!

I set up a 20L/5gal tank in Sept 2020, and the nitrogen cycle was complete in Novemberish. Other than the ramshorns I'm trying to keep, all I've got are two albino cories and some plants.

Since then, I've unsuccessfully tried to introduce 4 different lots of ramshorns from 3 different suppliers, but the same thing happens each time. They'll be okay for a couple of weeks, but then they'll start withdrawing into their shell and fade away and die.

After the first lot died, I went to the first Aquarium store and they said it might be a pH problem, as my tap water was 7.6. Since then, I've started using Aqua One pH down and an oxy shell to help supplement neutralising the pH.

I got the second and third lot from a different retailer, and the same thing happened. They were fine when I introduced them to the tank (stuck the breather bag in the tank to let the water come to temp, slowly acclimated them to the water conditions by adding a bit of water in at a time etc) and for a little while afterwards, then they just retracted into their shells and died.

I went to another Aquarium store for advice, and they said the ammonia was slightly elevated (the first shade of green after 0) but probably not high enough to be causing my problems. This is also where I got the 4th lot of snails from. They recommended I get a copper test done, even though I live in a brand new apartment complex that uses PVC piping for the plumbing--just to make sure--but they didn't have that test, so I went to the third aquarium store.

They didn't detect any copper, and we tried to run through the possibilities:

I use a 30cm/12" T5 Fluro light, diamond quartz substrate, it has an Amazon Sword, an Anubia on driftwood, and some micranthemum tweedeii as "ground cover." I also have an air stone installed. The things I add to my tank are Aqua One conditioning salts, the pH down, an oxy shell, API root tabs, and Flourish Excel. I have a canister filter with coarse sponge, filter floss, carbon pad, and a ceramic noodle. I do a 20% water change every week by mixing the water in a bucket and testing to make sure it's pH neutral before slowly adding it in to the tank in front of the filter outlet. I replace the carbon pad every 2 weeks.

There's plenty of algae for them to eat on the tank, and they don't seem interested in the brine shrimps/bottom feeder pellets/algae wafers that I feed to my cories.

The latest thing I've been trying is to reduce the water temp. I was keeping it at the ambient temp of 25 degrees C/77F because various sites I've looked at said that ramshorns could take that temp, and that is also the temp that the second retailer was keeping theirs at.

A non-local friend of mine who is successfully keeping snails says he keeps his tank temp lower than that, so I slowly reduced the water temp to 22-23 degrees C/71-73F, and introduced the most recent batch of snails. They were doing really well up until the day before yesterday, when one of them started behaving differently. It stopped floating at the water surface like it used to and retracted into its shell on the gravel. It's still reactive for now, and its little tentacle stalk things are out, but it's behaving the way that the others did when they were on the way out. The other snail that I got at the same time is still going strong though.

Something that I've noticed is that before they start dying, they start developing white patches on their shells? Is that related? pic for example: https://media.discordapp.net/attachm...526&height=701

TL;DR: trying to keep ramshorn snails, they keep dying after a couple of weeks. No-one can tell why. I'm stumped, and really sad, because I really like snails and wanna keep some Any ideas?
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:48 AM   #2
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Did you ever get a kH test done, do a kH test? TDS? KH/GH test results?

With harder water it would seem their shouldn't be an issue.

What are you using to dechlorinate/ de - chloramines if you have those in the water?

Is this what you are using? How much? was this recommended to you to use? It is salt??? Maybe the water is too salty? I am not familiar with this product.
https://aquaone.com.au/2015-04-16-04...tem/2833-92093

You shouldn't need to use a pH down additive. Plants will be okay, and you can simply add a portion 25% distilled / RO water. Snails like harder water, more minerals.

Are you dosing the Flourish Excel correctly?

Do you add tap water between water changes due to evaporation?


Also maybe unsure of THE reason. A possibility is some chemical on the plants you got. Do you know if they were imported? Sometimes treated with stuff to kill pests, which could affect the snails. If they were in some ones / stores tank already for any period of time, this is unlikely to be the problem. I am aware of someone having this issue in the past. Importing is particular where you are.

I would use water which is the same temperature. And dechlorinated.

Stop adding the pH down, salt and Excel.

If you have plants which require Excel use, maybe you could take them out and add to a vase /container temporarily.

Do a series of water changes every day to 2 days for a week, 10 days using natural tap water parameters, which will eventually remove most of the additives, and get you to a new base point (gradually changing the tank water chemistry which is easier on the fish) and try the snails then and see how it goes. Or / also hopefully, the ones you have may live.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:14 AM   #3
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Hi, thanks for your response!

I have the API drop tests for gH and kH, and I've also gotten gH tested at store 1. My drop test for gH reads at 5 dgH, and the store said it was somewhere in the 90's (sorry I can't remember an exact figure!)

Third aquarium store said my TDS was 496 (I don't know the units, sorry, he just stuck a machine in my water sample and read the number off the screen).

I'm using Vita Pet Marine Master Water Ager (what a mouthful!) that I mix in to the bucket when I make water changes. Sorry, I forgot to add that in the first post.

Yes, that is the product I am using. The third aquarium store thought maybe the salt content was the problem, which is why we did the TDS test, and he said it was okay?

The reason I started using the pH down was because the first store said that 7.6 was too high.

I don't know if the plants were imported, but they have been in my tank since I set it up, which has been a few months now.

I am adding 0.5mL of Excel every day, though sometimes I forget. I just dose the same the next day at 0.5mL, and ignore the forgotten dose.

I haven't really noticed any evaporation in between water changes? The only time the water level really lowers by an identifiable margin is if I leave the lid off, because there's some spray from the air stone.

How big should the water changes be? 10%? 20%? And is that inclusive of the RO water, or just straight tap water? You recommended that I stop adding the conditioning salts, but my tap water is quite soft-- the drop tests give me 2 degrees for both gH and kH. I'm concerned that there won't be enough minerals if I stop adding the salts.

Thanking you in advance
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xebdur View Post
Hi, thanks for your response!



I have the API drop tests for gH and kH, and I've also gotten gH tested at store 1. My drop test for gH reads at 5 dgH, and the store said it was somewhere in the 90's (sorry I can't remember an exact figure!)



Third aquarium store said my TDS was 496 (I don't know the units, sorry, he just stuck a machine in my water sample and read the number off the screen).



I'm using Vita Pet Marine Master Water Ager (what a mouthful!) that I mix in to the bucket when I make water changes. Sorry, I forgot to add that in the first post.



Yes, that is the product I am using. The third aquarium store thought maybe the salt content was the problem, which is why we did the TDS test, and he said it was okay?



The reason I started using the pH down was because the first store said that 7.6 was too high.



I don't know if the plants were imported, but they have been in my tank since I set it up, which has been a few months now.



I am adding 0.5mL of Excel every day, though sometimes I forget. I just dose the same the next day at 0.5mL, and ignore the forgotten dose.



I haven't really noticed any evaporation in between water changes? The only time the water level really lowers by an identifiable margin is if I leave the lid off, because there's some spray from the air stone.



How big should the water changes be? 10%? 20%? And is that inclusive of the RO water, or just straight tap water? You recommended that I stop adding the conditioning salts, but my tap water is quite soft-- the drop tests give me 2 degrees for both gH and kH. I'm concerned that there won't be enough minerals if I stop adding the salts.



Thanking you in advance

I keep ramshorns, bladder, nerite and Malaysian trumpet snails.

Temp: 24 degrees
TDS: 96ppm
Ph: Low

So based on this we can rule out temperature issues. We can rule out lack of mineral/salt issues and we can stop worrying about ph.

What I donít do is add Excel (not good for aquatic life)
I donít add salt

Other things I do differently but are unlikely to be causing issues are.

I donít use tap water
I donít use fertilisers

I have used a type of excel product before in the past with nerite snails and amano shrimp and they did appeared to be ok.

First things first. Iíd get the salt content down. You will need a TDS meter. They are cheap as hell on amazon. Simply dip it and take a reading. My tap water runs at 30-40ppm TDS so If yours is as soft as mine you can continue to do water changes with dechlorinated tap water to get the TDS down or you can use RO. By doing this you will be reducing most of everything in the water so it will be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the issue is. Bottom line is the snails donít like something in your water so lets cut the TDS down.
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Old 01-31-2021, 02:25 AM   #5
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Hi!

I’ve been doing the water changes, and i even tried doing them with water from the taps at work. I don’t think it’s the water because when I put them in a bucket of fresh water they popped their heads out. I think it’s something IN the tank.

Maybe the substrate? What’s the best type of substrate for snails? At the moment I have fine gravel. Should I get a different brand? Go with Sand? Big Gravel?

I would like a planted aquarium so I would prefer to not not have any substrate.

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:41 AM   #6
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Could be the flourish excel as Iíve found that removed pond snails over time.

Although other tanks have been fine with it for larger snails.

Do you have a water chemistry report of tap water? Are other people in area keeping snails ok? Kind of wonder if there are a few normally little things in water chemistry but are adding up to problems.
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