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Old 03-19-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
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Mystery snails not doing well

We recently got four mystery snails for our new musk turtle set up. We had the tank up and running (turtle free) for a couple weeks before adding the snails, along with some ghost shrimp and minnows. The turtle had previously lived peacefully with guppies, so we were hopeful he would leave these guys alone. When we added the turtle in a week or so later, he made quick work of one of the snails.

We had stupidly gotten attached to the little guys, so we relocated the remaining three snails to our travel carrier while we tried to figure out a new set up for them. At the same time, the heat bulb in the turtle tank went out, so our bulbs ended up shifted around, and the lamp that we put on the carrier with the snails ended up way too powerful and heated the water well beyond what is reasonable. The few minnows that had been scooped in with them unfortunately died, and since then the snails have been not well.

One has still been fairly active, but the other two have not. One of those had been floating, and I was finally able to get quite a bit of air out of his shell, and now he's on the bottom, still very inactive. Now the active one is intermittently floating, but still moving around. From what I've read, these guys are fairly heat tolerant, and there have been a lot of changes in their lives recently, so I'm not sure if the issue was the heat or something else. They are now in a 10 gal aquarium with filter. They have been given fish flakes, turtle pellets, egg shell, and fresh veggies. I am awaiting bottom feeder pellets (there was plenty to eat in the turtle tank) and test strips which should be delivered this weekend.

Any advice appreciated. I've had the turtle for a long time, but we recently found out I had been given some (very) bad advice regarding his needs, so we're quickly trying to bring ourselves up to speed with aquarium keeping.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:57 AM   #2
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Good to hear you are learning better ways to keep your turtle and although it feels terrible when these types of incidents happen, it wasn't the first time and it won't be the last time. Since you are doing your best now, keep learning, and make a great home for your pets.

Are you familiar with the nitrification cycle?

Check this out and it will help give you many true and useful tools to keep your aquariums better! There are links for other helpful articles as well.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide...ater-aquarium/

The big thing is you need to know that these snails have been subjected to many things recently, travel to the fish store and changing again to new water system, then to you and more changes and equipment issues.

Their bodies can be damaged and in some cases they can recover.

Once I had accidentally injured a snail hit with a salt mixture and the poor guy for sure got burned (I didn't see him in the spot I dumped in the water ) it took a month of not really coming out of the shell and thinking he was dead. But he did recover and live a long life after that.

Keeping the water in as pure /excellent parameters as possible is very important.

ammonia, nitrite both 0 and nitrate 10-20 ppm

This helps make sure the above are not injuring your pets.

Do you have a liquid test kit?

Do water changes each day for awhile after getting the parameters at a safe number. Once at a safe level, then do a 25% pwc daily for a week and see how it is going. If your numbers are still 0 for ammonia and nitrIte and in safe zone for nitrAte, then skip a day and again test and do your 25% pwc.

Always of course, using temperature matched water which is the same and treat for any chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:58 AM   #3
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If the snail is dead, it will smell like it is rotting, and / or hang limply out of, or fall out of the shell.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:15 PM   #4
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Thank you! It does sound like these little guys are stressed and may still recover. This morning one of the dormant ones was a couple inches away from where she had been yesterday, so I'm taking that as a promising sign. We'll keep leaving them alone as much as possible.

I've been doing some reading on aquarium cycling. I'll check out the link Unfortunately I had never tested before. We will have all the testing strips this weekend (I went with the Tetra complete kit with the 6-in-one and ammonia strips - if you recommend anything else, I'm open to suggestions!), and will be regularly testing both tanks.

I feel pretty bad about the turtle. I've had him nearly 10 years, and the people who gave him to me seemed to know what they were doing, so I never really questioned their advice. They told me he was a musk turtle (accurate), that he was a temperate climate species (also accurate), and that because of that he didn't need any additional light or heat supplementation (INACCURATE). I had somehow gotten away with this ever since, likely because I lived in a series of fairly small apartments where he was in the room with the main heat source and there wasn't a ton of temp variation. When I bought my house last year, I put him in the dining room where there are lots of windows, but it also happens to be the only room that is sitting above an outdoor crawl space rather than above the basement, and with the thermostat on the other side of the first floor, that room gets quite a bit colder than the rest of the house. He stopped basking at all (he's never been particularly fond of it - probably because he was always a little too cold), and eventually stopped eating. After a couple calcium injections and a few weeks of antibiotic injections (and a completely new set up), he's doing MUCH better; he's active most of the day, and he's eating more than he ever has (RIP snail friend). We're trying our best to make the rest of his life amazing.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:44 AM   #5
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He's cute!

You usually would be able to take a sample to a lfs usually for no charge or a small charge...not sure if they are doing that right now with the virus precautions.

Online API water testing kits should still be available - work well.

Test strips can be right on target in the test results, but also I have had test strips which had been kept tightly closed, not contaminated by water splashes and double checked with the liquid test kit AND ended up being wrong and which led to inaccurate information which killed almost every fish in my tank.

My trust level is 0 if it involves the life of a fish in regards to test strips.

The turtle now has a UVB light?

Turtles are pretty messy eaters, leaving lots of parts of food all around in the tank.

This means you usually have lots of water changing to keep the water free of ammonia.

A water changing hose system like a Python or Aqueon are really helpful.

It sounds like you really are doing some good work for this guy to make him a good life .
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