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Dying Mystery Snail??


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I purchased a small ish black mystery snail from a big box store last Wednesday (6 days ago). He’s maybe the diameter of a nickel or smaller. It was one of 3 snails in the tank that weren’t empty shells. He was attached to the glass in the store. I did acclimate when I brought him home. He hasn’t been active in my 10 gallon. Mostly laying on his side. Once he was up on the glass. Twice I’ve taken him out to sniff him. He smells like nothing. Today after work he was again laying on his side. His flap partially open and most of his foot tucked way in. What’s odd is that he had my tank’s existing ramshorn snails circling and one is inside his shell.


I removed him and put him in a cup of tank water (as shown in photos). He does not smell at all. Is he on his way out?  Do the ramshorns know something I do not?


  • pH 7.2
  • Nitrates 50
  • Hardness 300
  • Nitrite 0
  • Ammonia 0
  • KH/Buffer 80
  • Water Temperature 78 F




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Unfortunately snails get no food at big box stores and are often kept in water inappropriate to their needs. My experience is when a snail does not get enough food or appropriate nutrients they need it seems to sort of paralyze them. 
At that point it can go either way. Place him directly on food. Sometimes they can muster enough to nibble and gain enough strength to eat more and recover. 
The ramshorns will try to eat any critter not moving or eat the yummies on the shell and the slime coat of the snail. Keep them away for his best survival chance. 
Make sure you have calcium and magnesium for him. Wondershell or my preference is zoomed nano block. Sit that very near the opening so he can get to it if he musters. 
I’m sorry you are experiencing this and for your little guy. 

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