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Bladder/pest snail die-off?


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So I'm one of the weird ones that really likes the "pest" snails (Ramshorn are my favorites, followed by bladder snails). I keep them along with my mystery snails, nerite snails, and giant ramshorn snail. Recently, though, I've kind of noticed a pretty large die-off of bladder snails and ramshorn snails. The bladder snails, particularly, seem to climb above the water line and just die on the side of the acrylic or on the lid. My mysteries, nerites, and giant ramshorn are all fine. Is it because I reduced feedings in the tank? Are they just short-lived? 🤣 My imagination tends to run away from me, and I'm scared it means there's something wrong with my water. But my parameters are amazing (Amm 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10 ppm) .... so who knows.

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On 7/21/2021 at 7:46 PM, Bobbie said:

It’s probably a mix of reduced feedings (the weak and young die off) and short lifespans - I’ve got a load of pest snails in my tank and they never last more than a few months

Yep, seems right. We had a huge explosion in population and then I reduced feedings and algae is under control, so that's probably it. 

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:34 PM, Guppysnail said:

Bladder snails are designed by mother nature to self regulate. They are her cleanup crew. When food is plentiful they boom then die back then boom etc. they will not all die off you will always have the correcy number fir how much algae and extra food there is.  I know nothing about ramshorns though. 

The ramshorns mostly appear to be rather short-lived, but there's a ton of them in my 10 gallon (where I left them to breed along with my blue shrimp -- you can see tiny ramshorn-shaped balls all over the place, and I intentionally leave food for all of my snails). I still see bladder snails around! But not nearly as many as a few weeks ago. I kinda miss the 'snague' (snail plague) I had. 🤣

Edited by laritheloud
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On 7/21/2021 at 8:57 PM, Guppysnail said:

Awww.  I’ve just never had them.  Maybe once a month I will find one of the teeny tiny micro ramshorns that are clear attached to my glass they are super cute but just don’t populate for me. 🤷‍♀️

I went out of my way to buy a cup of the small 'pest' ramshorns. They started breeding immediately, and they breed quickly enough to replace themselves, but they are very short-lived.

My giant is a Colombian Ramshorn I think? I went to the LFS to buy an ivory mystery snail, which they didn't have, and impulse bought that guy instead because they had a whole tank of healthy-looking snails just like him. Best impulse buy ever. 

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I'm not sure what this is about. Mine do they same during heavy rains. They climb out the tank and sit there. They don't die. Take a few and throw them in some water and watch them climb straight back out. Small ones big ones they all do it. Something is up with that but i don't know enough about the species to work it out. Could be a sudden change in PH causing it as mine do it during the monsoon rains. They don't bother climbing out to die thats for sure, they just die down there. A sudden mass die back is very bad for the tank, this doesn't seem to have happened, think dead ones are eaten by live ones anyway. Could be fluctuating water levels prompt this like aquatic snails in the wild which climb out at low-tide then scramble back down when the tide comes in. Honestly don't know but its messy constantly brushing them off the rim of my concrete tanks. Looks to me like some kind of estivation, sleep, dormancy due to some trigger. Temps, water parameters. Its not food as I don't hold back on the feeding, they even eat dead fish. If the water is too acidic maybe their shells are in danger off dissolving so they spend more time out the water.....heavy rains are acidic. Salt concentrates could cause this so could stress, even predator behaviour. I use salt so it could be in a quest for less salty conditions, following the rain water.....and etc.

Would like to know the answer to this mystery because if it's a warning sign I can act accordingly.

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On 7/23/2021 at 5:01 PM, Guppysnail said:

@AntonThey are sensitive to barometric pressure is my guess. Mine do this as well. When I go fishing with my husband at the one lake we go to…he fishes with poles i fish with my eyes..giant aquarium! If it is right after a really heavy rain it brings the bladder snails by the droves to the edge of the water. 

I think you may be right Guppysnail! That would explain it in my case. So I guess the next question is why do they leave the water when the pressure drops. Could the bladder be causing problems for them. i guess they use those for breathing maybe. Maybe they would suffocate if they stayed under as the pressure is enough to squeeze the dissolved oxygen out of it?

Your story made me laugh. i used to do exactly the same thing growing up. We would go on week long trips up the coast of Africa in our land-rover on fishing trips/safaris with my dad who was based in Kenya. Fishing off shore in the sea and lagoons or inland in lakes. I spent most of the time examining the creatures living in the water rather than fishing. Well I never fished, occationally I threw a net to catch assorted wonders which i put in buckets which i would release after looking at them all. Magical worlds they are indeed. There weren't too many books in those days so even today when I come across a familiar fish species I see on the internet its a eureka moment for me which is just as thrilling as when i saw it the first time many years ago.

 

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It might be dissolved oxygen concentration. I know mine love the algae on my glass tops and I love them for it!  Maybe it gets softer or biofilm grows quicker? They are funny pets. They can always tell when there is protein film from bloodworms and surf upside down eating it so maybe they know because oxygen lowers. Maybe they look to the rain to shower and rinse stuff off. I know the bladders in the lake are always covered in goo.  
@Anton I’m  glad you got a smile and laugh. Life is all about joy 😁

Edited by Guppysnail
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On 7/23/2021 at 3:26 AM, Anton said:

I'm not sure what this is about. Mine do they same during heavy rains. They climb out the tank and sit there. They don't die. Take a few and throw them in some water and watch them climb straight back out. Small ones big ones they all do it. Something is up with that but i don't know enough about the species to work it out. Could be a sudden change in PH causing it as mine do it during the monsoon rains. They don't bother climbing out to die thats for sure, they just die down there. A sudden mass die back is very bad for the tank, this doesn't seem to have happened, think dead ones are eaten by live ones anyway. Could be fluctuating water levels prompt this like aquatic snails in the wild which climb out at low-tide then scramble back down when the tide comes in. Honestly don't know but its messy constantly brushing them off the rim of my concrete tanks. Looks to me like some kind of estivation, sleep, dormancy due to some trigger. Temps, water parameters. Its not food as I don't hold back on the feeding, they even eat dead fish. If the water is too acidic maybe their shells are in danger off dissolving so they spend more time out the water.....heavy rains are acidic. Salt concentrates could cause this so could stress, even predator behaviour. I use salt so it could be in a quest for less salty conditions, following the rain water.....and etc.

Would like to know the answer to this mystery because if it's a warning sign I can act accordingly.

You see, I thought they were alive, too. Until cleaning day/water change day came and I went to drop them back into the tank and their bodies smudged out all over the place when I took them off.............. It might be that some of them were totally alive but at least a couple of them were not.

Bear in mind I have an acrylic tank with pieces that span across the top (and collect humidity/condensation) so it isn't fully open. Algae tends to build up on the underside of the top and I'm guessing they like the smell/taste of it.

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:59 PM, laritheloud said:

I went out of my way to buy a cup of the small 'pest' ramshorns. They started breeding immediately, and they breed quickly enough to replace themselves, but they are very short-lived.

My giant is a Colombian Ramshorn I think? I went to the LFS to buy an ivory mystery snail, which they didn't have, and impulse bought that guy instead because they had a whole tank of healthy-looking snails just like him. Best impulse buy ever. 

 

Sometimes there are lucky ones I had one of mine that lived almost a year. He was the grandpa of them all. 😂 Also I have these spotted Rams horns that came on a plant they are really cool and I think you should check them out.

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:40 AM, Taco Playz said:

Sometimes there are lucky ones I had one of mine that lived almost a year. He was the grandpa of them all. 😂 Also I have these spotted Rams horns that came on a plant they are really cool and I think you should check them out.

I have the spotted ramshorns in another tank, LOVE them. They're all different colors from pink to blue to spotted. 🙂 

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:58 PM, Taco Playz said:

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We might have taken that too litrally, or god was a little over zealous. "Go in harmony with the earth the fish in the sea the birds in the sky..........every living thing on the earth" might have solved a lot of problems for our planet.  Time for another testament maybe? 😜

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:09 PM, Guppysnail said:

They can always tell when there is protein film from bloodworms and surf upside down eating it so maybe they know because oxygen lowers. Maybe they look to the rain to shower and rinse stuff off. I know the bladders in the lake are always covered in goo.  

Snails (as pests) are relatively new to me, they came with guppy grass from Taiwan shrimp imports.

I was indeed utterly amazed to see bladder snails "surfing uside down" on the surface the other day. There was no protein film. Grabbing my magnifier I was horryfied to see they were swallowing my moina culture which had risen to the surface. The mouths were going second to none open and closing injesting moina whole. I removed them and the eggs stuck on the glass. This is my mother ship culture which I use to seed moina vats so pradators are a problem. Someone told me they would clean up in there and prolong the culture. They do clean up but produce tons of dung and eat moina so that was short lived. I had to empty the tank etc. I think snails might not be the dimension Im looking for so trying to restrict them to the one infestation. A die back could be a disaster in a tank.

Yes it's true they get covered in everything from mosquito eggs to duckweed just everything under the sun. I imagine they could easily carry disease and pests like anchore worm and fish lice eggs etc. The fact they eat dead fish is also a bit worrying as internal parasites might be spread too. Not a big fan. I do like snails in nature of course all kinds and maybe some do make nice pets kept alone. 

Some have facinating relationships with bird parasites, like land snails do.

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On 7/24/2021 at 9:31 PM, Anton said:

Snails (as pests) are relatively new to me, they came with guppy grass from Taiwan shrimp imports.

I was indeed utterly amazed to see bladder snails "surfing uside down" on the surface the other day. There was no protein film. Grabbing my magnifier I was horryfied to see they were swallowing my moina culture which had risen to the surface. The mouths were going second to none open and closing injesting moina whole. I removed them and the eggs stuck on the glass. This is my mother ship culture which I use to seed moina vats so pradators are a problem. Someone told me they would clean up in there and prolong the culture. They do clean up but produce tons of dung and eat moina so that was short lived. I had to empty the tank etc. I think snails might not be the dimension Im looking for so trying to restrict them to the one infestation. A die back could be a disaster in a tank.

Yes it's true they get covered in everything from mosquito eggs to duckweed just everything under the sun. I imagine they could easily carry disease and pests like anchore worm and fish lice eggs etc. The fact they eat dead fish is also a bit worrying as internal parasites might be spread too. Not a big fan. I do like snails in nature of course all kinds and maybe some do make nice pets kept alone. 

Some have facinating relationships with bird parasites, like land snails do.

Bladder snail are not good for culture vats. Yes they will eat anything they can. Outdoor tubs yes they can and will get parasites. 

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:27 PM, laritheloud said:

You see, I thought they were alive, too. Until cleaning day/water change day came and I went to drop them back into the tank and their bodies smudged out all over the place when I took them off..............

Sounds highly possible. They're not at all robust being very thin shelled. So when clamped to a surface out of the water "smudging" is very easily achieved. I smudge loads fully intentionaly. I had a brief fondness for them but it was short lived. I prefer bacteria as pets to be quite honest.

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