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Old 01-11-2014, 02:38 AM   #1
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Mystery snails fighting and killing each other?

So from my searches with Google this seems highly unusual.

Several of my mystery snails appear to actively fight. For example earlier today two of them were facing off head to head - rearing back and bashing their shells into each other, and it appeared trying to "bite" each other. They were really going at it. I have also seen one get onto the other's shell and then they twist so violently trying to get at each other that I worry they will detach their mantles.

They also seem to have killed their lady snail. Poor lady snail Bloony has had another snail mounted on her for the last two weeks straight, and today we just found her wedged somewhere, unresponsive and hanging out of her shell. We're not totally certain she is dead but I've never seen a snail so far out of the shell and she certainly fits the description of a dead snail. she is out so far that some white body is out (her usual parts that are out are jet black)

I can't really understand what is going on. Has my research been inadequate and mystery snails are actually violent with each other?

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Old 01-11-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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Lady snail Bloony definitely died. It's very strange as I have been observing her in depth lately (since the other snails won't leave her along) specifically because I wanted to make sure she was handling things ok. I have no idea what happened to her or why she died which is very upsetting. I never saw her doing the "fighting" that the others did, but I wonder if she tried to twist one of them off and detached her mantle They were harassing her rather relentlessly.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:58 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your snail
I haven't heard of anything like this but maybe try applesnail.net I'm a member and have a look around there see if anyone else has maybe experienced the same thing.
It definitely sounds like her mantle has detached that happened to one of my girls after the male wouldn't leave her alone. Was she the only girl? Maybe the boy's were fighting over her? Sorry I'm not much help.

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Old 01-12-2014, 03:39 AM   #4
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Mystery snails fighting and killing each other?

Mystery snails will sometimes fight over mates. If you have two males and 1 female it is likely only one will get the female and the other gets mad and try's to steel the female. It sounds pretty stupid but they actually do this. The best combination for mystery snails is 2 males and 3 females or just have more females then males. The fighting should stop if the female is dead but I would still watch them. Btw if the snail is dead it will fall out of its shell or smell really bad.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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Is that in a 90 G tank?

How many snails? How big?

Do you feed them any meat foods, or omnivore sinking wafers/food? They like meaty foods in their diet in my experience and possibly if only algae fed they are getting desperate. I found that type of behavior from my Amano shrimp when we went veggie only with them. They were crazy!

I have not seen this sort of behavior from snails. Most curious about it.

I even had a big batch from babies and didn't notice hostile behavior.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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There are only 4 left now. 1 of them must be a different species (not an apple snail) as he has remained rather small and keeps to himself. The remaining 3 are male, I assume all apple snails. Yes, 90g

I've generally fed them only algae tabs, so I will take that advisement and send them more sinking wafers!

Thanks for the responses so far. I was hoping they would stop fighting now that their lady has passed on, but they are still at it! All 3 of them! Hopefully they are just hungry. I will send them some different foods today... it's really rather perplexing.

I'll also check out the mystery snail forum, thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:54 PM   #7
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There are many types of apple (aka mystery) snails. Some have been know to kill other snails. These types are not supposed to be sold as pet but sometimes make it into the stores. If you only had one female and several males than they more than likely stressed the lone female to death. The males can be really pushy with mating. I had two girls and one boy and the boy latched onto one particular female all the time. No idea why he chose her over the other snail other than that she was bigger and maybe a better bet for breeding. She got tired of it and would fight with him. I have seen her really try to kill him. He would go off for awhile and mate with the other girl but would always try with her again soon. It can be really hard to sex a snail. I recommend going to applesnail.net and checking things out. If you post a picture of the spiral of the snails and a bottom shot, someone can properly id them for you and may be able to sex them.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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I did find a great article about sexing them, which is why we were pretty sure there was the one lady snail and three males. They really must have harassed her to death.

I wonder if they just did not realize she is gone as the last few days they have stopped trying to beat on each other so violently. I haven't seen them outright fight for a while.

We actually had another lady snail as well, but she died under entirely different and sad circumstances involving an escape from the tank and terrible, terrible shell damage from the fall
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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The behaviour you saw with one snail on top of the other and writhing around, was likely simply mating behaviour. It often goes on for some time, and they can mate with more than one male. I've kept them for some time now and never seen such behaviour as you are describing, but I usually have at least six or seven at any time in a given tank, 29G, so usually there is a reasonable assortment of the sexes.

The 'apple ' snail that actually does kill other snails is called an Asolene Spixi snail. It is a member of the apple snail family, but is not a mystery snail. They only come in one colour, and always have a striped shell, and their stripes are not the same as the wild type stripes you get on some mystery snails. They kill and eat most small snail species and will go after their larger cousins too. They do not get as large as a mystery snail can. Where a mystery snail can get as big or a bit bigger than a golf ball, Spixis get to half that size.

They do prefer a variety of foods, and do like some meaty foods now and then, but they are scavengers and primarily, they eat dead plant leaves, algae and whatever else they find. If they find a dead fish or shrimp, they will eat it happily, but I don't feed mine meat based food specifically. They pick up the leftoevers from the fish, and I feed live foods a few times a week, and I'm fairly sure they get some of that too, when it hits bottom. I also make sure they have plenty of calcium in their diet. I make plaster blocks for them with a bit of fishfood added, and they eat the plaster, which is pure calcium, to get the fish food. Works well. You can also buy vacation fish feeder blocks that work the same way.

If you can post some pics of the smaller snail, probably be able to ID it.
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