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Dead Apple Snail?

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#1 tqfan


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Posted 04 May 2009 - 10:20 PM

we have a fully grown golden apple snail (roughly golf ball size, maybe slightly bigger) and well, we think it's dead.

it hasn't moved from the same spot in the tank since yesterday. it is fully in it's shell and the operculum looks broken. there are a few smaller snails (ramshorn) attached to the operculum, and while watching them for a few minutes, the apple snail actually looked like it was moving slightly.

can't remember exactly how long we've had it, but i'd estimate at around 9 months. i may still have the receipt to check for sure.

how long do they usually live?

the fish are fed every day, on flake, occassional bloodworm, and pellets (algae, spirulena, etc) and the snail was also eating the duck weed stuff floating on the top of the tank.

anyway, like i said, we do think it's dead, but as this is our first apple snail, i guess i just want to ask and make sure.

if it truly is dead, any ideas why it died? such a shame :( it was such an amazing creature!


#2 milkton



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Posted 05 May 2009 - 12:32 AM

i don't know if its dead or not but this useful piece of imfo might help:

The longer snails live, the slower they move. Not sure if you truly understand it but give it a try!

#3 iSnail


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 06:18 AM

Two things you can check:

- take it out and smell it. Dead ones smell absolutely disgustingly like bad eggs.
- try pull it's operculum. If it's loose, then it's most likely dead. Live ones will normally try to shut tighter.

Can't remember how long they live but I think they live for a few years rather than one.

#4 tqfan


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

hi, thanks for the tips.

my dad did take it out yesterday and smell it, and put it back in, lol, so it doesn't smell.

it did move about quite a bit, we've often 'lost' it in the tank! but this is definitely not a case of moving slowly. we actually did wonder if they hibernated, cos that's really what it's like.

it's shell has lost it's colour a bit, too, it's paler in parts.

yeah, i'm sure i read somewhere they live for a couple of years, or more, but it depends on how old it was when we bought it. i've seen quite a few young snails on ebay, and they seem smaller than what ours was when we got it.

it's now coming up for 2 days tonight, since i noticed it like this. we just don't want to take it out, in case it is alive!

will try the operculum tip in a little while and see what happens.

thanks again.

update: okay, we have tried the operculum thing, accidentally poked the snail and well, yes, it moved! so we are rather confused as to why it won't come out of it's shell and properly move about.

could it be ill?

are there any dedicated snail sites out there that i can read?


Edited by tqfan, 05 May 2009 - 02:26 PM.

#5 pippoodle


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:30 PM

how many snails apple snails do you have
if you have more than one then the snail could be getting ready to lay eggs
as they will often float or not move for a few days before laying

Try this website for more info hun


Edited by pippoodle, 05 May 2009 - 05:31 PM.

#6 3ndl3r



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Posted 05 May 2009 - 08:42 PM

What is your water like? Acidic? or Alkali? This can affect Golden apples abit.

#7 tqfan


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:30 PM

we just have the one apple snail. we didn't want to get more than one per tank, and have them breeding, lol! i would like another for our other tank, though, as they are so cool to watch.
thanks for the site :good:

we had a bit of a mini celebration earlier, as it actually moved itself, without us poking it (although that was an accident!). it came out of it's shell a bit, so we're glad it's still with us.

will have to check the water. i did wonder earlier if it was maybe too cool for it, but it usually sits above 75. please don't take this as gospel, cos farenheit and celcius confuse me, so it's probably not even that, lol!

what temp do they prefer? also ph?

we've stuck a bit cucumber in, see if it eats it. if not, sure the plec will enjoy it!

also, could it be one of the other fish? i've not seen any of them attack it, in fact they don't bother about it. the plec was sitting with the snail earlier, and then sitting on it :rolleyes:.

we've got a couple of (small) clown loaches, a male red honey gourami (need to get him a mate), couple of cat fish, 6 neon tetras, 5 cherry barbs, couple of wcmm and a lone female guppy. like i said, none of them have ever bothered the snail before. got quite a peaceful tank there.


update (again, lol!): the water is at 81, but we're gonna turn it down a notch. about an hour ago, the snail went for a jaunt up the glass to the top of the tank to get some air. took it ages to get up there, and i left it when it was still up there. so it's looking good, yay!

we are still a bit confused by what has happened. i do think it's looking a bit smaller, it's actually body i mean, like it's shrunk! is this at all possible?!

thanks again!

Edited by tqfan, 05 May 2009 - 11:52 PM.

#8 3ndl3r



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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:50 PM

Apple snails by far prefer Alkali (hard) water. This is because it contains more calcium for there shells.

The only fish i would be maybe concerned about are the clown loaches. Snails form a large part in their diet, and maybe giving your snail trouble.

Maybe the snail is just hiting old age? I remeber just before mine died, he bacame bery lethargic and hardly moved.

#9 tqfan


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:58 PM

after i posted my last post, i read something online about the loaches maybe being the problem.

i do know clown loaches love snails, and i have seen the ones in this tank eating the little ramshorn snails.

when i bought the apple snail i did tell the shop that we had the loaches and she said the apple snail would be too big for them, which actually made sense.

but after reading what i did last night, i did think it could be them that's having a go at the snail. thing is, i've never ever seen them do anything untoward. one stays in their hideaway most of the time, the other is slightly less shy and is out and about more often. i did watch the two of them last night, the second one was nudging and what looked like nibbling the other's tail to get it to come out, lol, was quite cute to watch!!

they do come out more when the lights are out, or when no one is about, so yeah, they could be doing something then.

i also read the operculum should grow back, so that was a good thing, not that it's gone, it just seems to have a hole in the middle.

my dad was fishing tonight with a friend who also keeps fish, and his girlfriend's apple snail was 7 years old when it died! mine is definitely no where near that, but i also read last night that if kept in the higher range of their preferred temperatures (ie, what mine is near), they only last about 12-18 months, which might be right with how old mine is - depends on how old it was when we got it, something the shops don't always know.

it's not moved much again today, so we'll just have to wait and see how it goes!! i'll also keep a closer eye on it and the loaches, see if they ever go near it.

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