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MissAnthrope's avatar

Why do my sister's Black/Golden Mystery Snails keep dying?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21458points) April 17th, 2010

The tank setup is fresh water, 1 gal. with an air stone pump, aquarium gravel, some empty shells, and a fresh water plant. I clean the tank every week or two, depending on water quality.

There are two goldfish and they are doing very well. The problem is that her Mystery Snails seem to die quickly. The first batch lasted maybe a month and we’re almost through the second batch and it just seems fast (I think we’ve had this batch for about 2 months). I had goldfish and snails in a regular bowl setup (no pump) when I was her age and I don’t remember my snails dying this quickly.

I did a bit of research into it and I read that the Mystery Snails often die due to lack of calcium in the tank (to keep up their shells), but we have shells in there that they seem to eat for this purpose, so I don’t think that’s it.

Is it normal for these Mystery Snails to croak so quickly? If not, what could be causing them to die?

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19 Answers

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

It could be bacteria.

Taciturnu's avatar

Goldfish aren’t good roommates for the snails.

“Good fish roommates for snails include, but are not limited to, Danios, Guppies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Neon Tetras, Cory Catfish, etc. All of these are non-aggressive fish that cohabit easily with snails. Some definite fish to avoid (in most cases) are: Oscars, most Goldfish, Cichlids, Angelfish, Puffers, Loaches, Barbs (most species) and some Bettas.”

Also, I do find that smaller tanks have a harder time remaining stable than larger ones, and goldfish tend to be “dirtier” than other fish.

janbb's avatar

They don’t call ‘em “mystery snails” for nothin’!

earthduzt's avatar

Could be several things, could be some sort of bacteria, could be poor water quality (goldfish tend to be “dirty” fish) and alot of inverts require pretty good water quality. Could be that they are lacking their specific food in the tank. I run saltwater and have snails die frequently…not do to any of the above but the damn hermit crabs that want their shells XD

dpworkin's avatar

I wouldn’t keep snails with carp. Goldfish are not interchangeable with tropical fish. They prefer cooler, saltier water. Try some Zebras or Neons with your snails.

Ludy's avatar

you should not clean your tank so often, not all bacteria is bad and you might be getting rid of good bacteria evey time you clean upyour tank

Ludy's avatar

maybe there is not enough algae build up for them to enjoy!!!

MissAnthrope's avatar

Is there some sort of algae-eating/bottom-feeding fish that will cohabitate well with the goldfish?

dpworkin's avatar

@Taciturnu You said it first and better. Sorry. GA.

Taciturnu's avatar

@dpworkin lol – no worries. Great minds think alike! :)

@MissAnthrope It’s been my experience that goldfish should stay by themselves. If you’re still stuck on adding something else, a 1gal tank isn’t very big. The larger the tank, the more flexibility you’ll have with what you can put in it.

earthduzt's avatar

@MissAnthrope as Taciturnu said 1 gallon tank really limits you. The best algae eaters for freshwater are Plecos but they can get up to eighteen inches and require much larger tanks, then theres smaller catfish but they do best in shoals of at least 5, flagfish are also great algae eaters but they can get up to 5 inches. Black mollies are a good algae eater, but they need certain algae like “fuzz algae”. Then there are freshwater shrimp, but again these are inverts and since the snails die they might too. Maybe upgrade to 10 gallon?

Taciturnu's avatar

@earthduzt I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but it sounds like you have a beautiful aquarium aside from your little problem. Wish I had some words of advice for you.I think @dpworkin had an idea, though.

earthduzt's avatar

@Taciturnu thanks, I posted a pic of my tank in my question thread just in case anyone wanted to see it, guess its not right to talk about tanks without posting a pic of it lol

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks to all of you, this has been a very informative discussion and I’ve learned quite a bit. If I weren’t leaving for 2½ months, I would definitely consider upgrading the tank because the idea was she’d keep the fish while she was here and then I’d have them after she went back to Italy (she’s here for the school year). I know she would love something a little cooler and prettier than goldfish, but I think the smart thing is to keep it simple at this point and stick with the small tank and goldfish.

I do appreciate being informed about why the snails are dying, and this will at least prevent any more poor little guys from going the same way (now that I know, I won’t buy any more).. I certainly would never intentionally kill anything, so I’m glad I know now.

I would eventually like to have a 5–10 gal. tank with fish and snails and such, so all that information is very useful for the future, as well.

SeventhSense's avatar

It’s a mystery.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Theyre starving to death. Mystery snails need a good bit of algae to survive. Not much will grow in a 1g tank, especially if your cleaning it often. I would suggest nerite snails for a tank of that size.

One thing you can try though is feeding them algae waffers or even cucumber to supplement their diet

SeventhSense's avatar

I think you were hasty with that screen name. I’m thinking Aquaman is more in order. :)

katherinefwebb's avatar

I’m having the same problem and I have come to the conclusion they are starving. I bought total of 6—3 blue and 3 gold and I am down to 2 gold. I just bought a house, so I am going to wait until after I get moved in before I purchase anymore. I used to do a water change and clean my tank every weekend but since I bought the Aquaclear filter I do a water change once or twice a month. I miss my snails:(

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