FAQs about Pest Marine Snails Identification
and Removal 2
Related Articles: Gastropods, Sea Slugs, Mollusks, Abalone,
Pest Snails (Pyramidellids,
Heliacus, Murex...) Identification and Removal 1,
Pest Snails 3,
Pest Snails 4, Snail
Compatibility 1, Marine Snail
Compatibility 2, Marine Snail
Compatibility 3, & Marine Snails
1, Marine Snails 2, Marine Snails 3, Snail ID 1, Snail
ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail
Selection, Snail Systems,
Feeding, Snail Disease,
Reproduction, Mollusks, Sea Slugs, Abalone, Marine
Tiger sand conch trapped in maxima clam
Hi Wet Web Media Crew, my problem is simple, though the solution may not
be. I have a small Tiger Sand Conch that managed to fall into a Maxima
Clam. The clam cannot close and the snail cannot escape. My attempts to
free the snail predictably cause the clam to squeeze down and push the
snail in deeper. Any suggestions. VR, Doug C.
Sent from my iPad
<Tilt the clam at about a 45 degree angle w/ the excurrent siphon at the
lower-est point... Leave all else alone. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tiger sand conch trapped in maxima clam
Thanks for the rapid reply. I was all set to put your plan into action
but it seems the snail was merely waiting for the lights to go out to
makes its move. Within minutes of the lights going off it flipped
around, wedged the broad end of its shell against the clam lip and
launched itself free! Vr,
<Ah good! Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>
Help with clam gaping
> I'm hoping someone can help me with my maxima clam. I purchased it from
Pacific East Aquaculture on May 18 at a frag swap. It looked like it was
doing great for over the first three weeks - mantle extended, responsive
when the fish moved over it, new shell growth, intake siphon in a normal
> This past Tuesday evening, I noticed the clam was holding its intake
siphon open more than usual. I did some research and saw this could be due
<... more likely... Read here:
and the linked files at the bottom>
No corals are near the clam and my water parameters were in line, but the
clam had moved a bit and it looked like the mantle was being moved by the
powerheads. I moved the clam slightly back away from the flow on Wednesday
morning and made sure it was sitting on a flat rock. Here's the picture
after I moved the clam. It seemed happy the rest of the day, but Wednesday
night, the intake siphon was open more than usual again.
> On Thursday morning, I decided maybe the clam needed a little more light,
so I increased the intensity of my EcoTech Radion LEDs from 70% to 75%. I
run the Radions from 10am to 11pm in the natural mode. The clam has been
placed directly below one of the pucks of the since I brought it home. I
also added 1 tsp of reef buffer and 1 capful of AquaVitro calcification to
bring up alkalinity and calcium slightly because they were 8.0 and 410,
respectively, when I tested Wednesday night (my tank is 125 gallons)
Magnesium was 1320 and specific gravity was 1.025. I use a chiller, so my
temp is always between 77.5 and 79 degrees. The clam looked happy yesterday
during the day, but in the evening, the intake siphon was held open again,
as you can see in this picture below.
> When I woke up this morning, the clam looked like this.
Once the lights turned on, the clam started to look a little better. Here
are some pictures from about an hour ago. I also included some wider shots
so you can see the placement in my tank.
I tested my water this morning with these results:
pH: (in am) 8.17 (apex probe)
Ammonia: 0 (API)
Nitrite: 0 (API)
Nitrate: 8 (Salifert)
Phosphate: 0.5 (API)
Alk: 8.3 (Salifert)
Calcium: 405 (Salifert)
Magnesium: 1350 (Salifert)
<These are all fine>
Any ideas what may be wrong with my clam and what I should do to help it?
Thanks for any advice.
<Can only guess... perhaps an animal inside the system, maybe in the clam
itself bothering it... I'd dose (3X) iodide-ate and be observant. Bob
|Re: Help with clam gaping
Thanks for the advice, Bob. I will read all of the information you attached.
For the iodide/ate, do you mean I should do one dose three separate times
(like one dose each of the next three days) or 3 times a normal dose all at
<Either will be fine. I'd do all at once now.>
Re: Help with clam gaping 6/14/13
Thanks for the quick response, Bob. I'll let you know how my clam does.
Have a nice weekend,
<And you, BobF>
Fwd: Help with clam gaping 6/15/13
Hi Bob, I dosed the iodide and I was observing the clam. I found two small
snails crawling along the clam's shell.
<Ahh! The predators I alluded to earlier perhaps>
I took them off and got rid of them. They didn't appear to be the pyramid
<Oh, there are other species>
I was reading the information you sent on pinched mantle, too. Do you think
I should freshwater dip the clam or just continue to observe?
<For me, the latter>
Also, the clam definitely seems to do better when the lights are on. Now
that they are dimming for the night, the clam is looking worse. Do you think
I should keep the lights on that side of my tank on all night tonight?
<Worth trying; though I wouldn't leave on full intensity 24/7>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Parasite snails 8/15/12
I have some small snails hanging out on my turbo snails, I'm positive
they are a parasite of some sort.
I only have two Turbos, both of them have 5-6 of these little snails
hanging out on them at all times.
<Likely many more. They retreat into the sandbed after they have had
there fill. The Pyramids are also feeding on your Collonistas, Limpets,
and other gastropod hitch-hikers.>>
I've had the Turbos themselves about 6 months, they have been surviving
just fine with the parasites. My concern is if they will eventually kill
<Pyramid snails reproduce rapidly; the damage inflicted will rise as the
It doesn't seem to be what would happen based off how well they are doing
over the last half year, but I suppose it could happen.
My other concern is I eventually want to have a T. squamosa or deresa, and
I've heard about little parasite snails on clams being a huge nuisance
and eventually fatal to the clam. If these snails can parasitize (that a
more than one species, then I'm worried.
<There are thousands of species of Pyramidellids. Some attack other
snails, some only eat clams, and some are not so picky moving from one
to the other.>
But if they are obligate turbo snail parasites, then I'm not so concerned.
<I would manually remove them as I see them. There are quite a few
wrasse that will eat them. Thalamita sima will prey on Pyramids but
finding a properly identified one for sale may prove difficult.
Thanks for all the help! You guys are great.
Re: Parasite snails 8/15/12 - 8/17/12
Thanks for the quick reply.
I always see these Pyramidellids hanging out on the shell of the turbo,
not actually on the flesh. How are they feeding?
<They have a long proboscis which is used to suck out fluids.>
Do they stick out a long tongue similar to a butterfly and feast off the
flesh or are they boring small holes through the shell and feeding in
<Penetration is near the foot but the snail will be attached to the
I was looking today from the moment the lights turned on until now, which
has been about 4 hours, and I never saw a single snail on the actual
flesh/meat of the turbo. I assume they must be sticking out a long
tongue that is just too small for my eyes to see, or else when I'm
seeing them they aren't feeding but are just hanging around for a free
ride on their food source.
<Actually seeing one eat may be quite difficult, if not impossible. Try
watching after lights out with a red light.>
snail hitchhikers (WITH PICS) 5/1/11
I just bought two pieces of soft coral and when I put them in my
tank (bobbing around the top in plastic bags) I noticed a very
large amount of small snails in the bag with the mushroom polyps,
perhaps 20 snails.
I carefully inspected the second bag (containing starburst
polyps) in a large glass bowl and found 2-3 snails. I picked the
snails off the starburst polyp and introduced it into the
aquarium. I'm afraid to open the mushrooms bag because of the
sheer amount of POSSIBLY dangerous snails (I could easily miss
one). I know they're not pyramid snails and they don't
look like the Sundial snail pictures on WWM. I searched all over
and didn't see any similar snails. The fish store said they
have seen them before but didn't know much about them and
didn't think they were a pest.
<I find this hard to believe>
If so many were in with the mushroom coral it made me think they
were "mushroom predators" maybe?
<See the Net re Heliacus snails period>
It also had a little anemone on the back of the rock which he
said wasn't Aiptasia after I found it at home. Since he
didn't know about the snails maybe he didn't know good
<Not Aiptasia; see WWM re Actinarian ID>
I'm attaching three photos to
<I'd be physically removing these snails, looking into
other control means... perhaps a Labrid... Bob Fenner>
Predatory Snail Problem --
<Hi there, Lynn here today.>
I am having a problem with some predatory snails in my marine tank.
There are two types: one looks like a dove snail, but when it gets near
to a dove snail it chases it. When it is close it looks to stab it
causing it to fall off the tank glass. It seems to have recovered but
I'm finding a lot of empty dove snail shells.
<There are a number of possibilities as to the culprit, but it
sounds like some sort of predatory Whelk or possibly a Murex. In order
to narrow things further, I'd need a couple of photos and a bit
more information (where the snail originated, size, along with any
other observations not visible in the photos). If possible, when taking
the photos, try to get two shots from above, each showing the length of
the shell (at least one showing the side with the opening). This is a
whole lot easier to do if you can remove the snail to a bowl of SW. If
you're unable to do this, just do the best you can with a photo or
two of the snail while it's still in the tank.>
The second is white in colour and hides in the gravel. It is larger,
about 1" long, and I have only ever seen it eating mussel meat and
a fish I lost after being stung by one of my anemones. Is this likely
to be predatory or just a scavenger?
<It could be both. Again, there are numerous possibilities. You
could have a scavenging Nassariid (family Nassariidae -- includes
Nassarius spp. as well as the often light-colored Bullia spp.), some
sort of Olive snail (family Olividae), or something else entirely. If
possible, please do send along some photos and a bit more information.
Hopefully the combination will enable me to give you a better idea as
to what you're dealing with. By the way, if you're unable to
send photos, and decide to leave the snail in place, be sure to keep it
well fed with meaty bits of marine origin such as fish, clam, shrimp,
squid, etc., and keep an eye out for signs of predation.>
Is there a way I can remove the snails that are feeding on the dove
<I'd opt for physical removal on sight. I'd also recommend
periodic checks at night after the lights have been out for a
Thanks in advance
<You're very welcome.>
<Take care, Lynn Z>
Please Help/Tridacna Clam Health/Predators
You could not get rid of me for long,,, maybe a new thread.
<Hello Craig, and yes this will be a new thread.>
This morning I noticed two pyramid snails on my squamosa. I have a sad
face right now. After removing the clam I found about 10 more
underneath. Now I have a really sad face. Scrubbed all of them off and
returned. After inspection of the disgaured <discarded> water I
could also see three of what I could only describe as a really small
round flat clear worm, about the size of a pencil lead?????
<No idea here without a pic. Bob and/or crew may input here.>
Any way back to the devil snails, I am in trouble aren't I?
I also have a big derasa about 5" or so and could not find any on
him, he is attached to a old clam shell so I don't know if this helps
these snails from getting underneath. Both clams are on substrate.
<Are you sure these are Pyramid Snails? Pyramid Snails are generally
white in color, have a slender shell that tapers to a point, and do not
grow larger than a few millimeters. The Pyramid Snails use their long
proboscis, which is a tube-like mouth, to puncture the mantle of a
Tridacna Clam in order to feed upon the fluids and zooxanthellae cells.
A few of these snails will typically not pose a threat to a healthy
Tridacna Clam. If not controlled/eliminated, the snails can reproduce
every 90-120 days, and if left to multiply, can cause serious harm or
even death to the clam in a very short period of time.
If the infected clam has poor expansion and loss of color within the
mantle, it may be too late to help it. Pyramid Snails feed mostly
during the nighttime hours, and during the daytime, they will remain
either at the base of the clam, or on the folds of the shell where they
are difficult to spot. It is best to inspect with a flashlight a few
hours after the lights have turned off on your aquarium. The snails
will line up at the top of the shell just below the clam's
As you mentioned, it is best to remove the clam to a separate container
of aquarium water where you can physically remove the adult snails, and
brush the entire shell with a new toothbrush in order to remove any
I would do this weekly until no sign of the snails exist.
I will add that natural predators of Pyramid snails include several
species of wrasse within the genus of Halichoeres and Pseudocheilinus.
A few of the more popular species that are reportedly very efficient at
controlling these snails are the Six and Eight Lined Wrasse (P.
hexataenia and P. octotaenia), and the Green Wrasse (H. chloropterus).
Hoping this helps remove your sad face. James (Salty
Re Please Help/Tridacna Clam
Thanks again, after getting home about 7 est the Squamosa, believe it
or not is the fullest and most beautiful I think I have ever seen. I do
not know if this is because he may had been bothered for some time by
these pests? and now there gone he is happy again? I do believe they
are pyramid snails by pics and also where I first spotted the 2-3 up by
I forgot to tell you that I lost a maxima 2-3" about a week ago,
but for some reason he never really seemed happy in my tank, so I did
not check to see if it was a snail problem, and forgot to mention it.
Have these guys always been in my tank?
<Likely came in with one of the clams.>
I have had the maxima, now dead about 3-4 months, the derasa about the
same and squamosa around 2.Also when I cleaned squamy I notice a slimy
layer of ??? which after doing some research sounded like what their
egg masses are like. Do they only lay eggs on host?
I have never seen them on the clam after 1-2 hours of lights being off
only this morning about 3 hours before lights are to come on, and two
days ago my led moon light went out so now tank is in complete
darkness, could this excel the problem? Meaning they did not come out
of hiding because of the moon lights being on at night.
<Unlikely, there are full moons over the reefs.>
As far as the six line, I have a mc coskers <McCosker's> now
are they compatible?
<Compatible with whom, or do you mean will the McCosker's Wrasse
eat the snails? If so, I haven't heard any reports of this wrasse
eating pyramid snails.>
and I read they may not get rid of them because of their sleeping
habits at night time when the snails attack.
<The snails can/will also burrow into the sand bed near the clam and
is where the wrasses will find them.>
Are clams their only food source?
<Likely so, but not 100% positive. Bob or another crew member may
Meaning in worst case if all clams die, I would just have to wait out
their reproduction cycle to introduce clams again?
<If your clams are healthy now, there is no reason they should die
from pyramid snails as long as you remove the snails and scrub off egg
sacs as you have been doing. Eventually, you
should eradicate them completely and I would suggest getting a Six Line
Wrasse to help you out.>
As far as the worms, To <too> small to take a pic, after a close
look, looked like a round clear stingray no tail, instead of two eyes
looked like a brown dot. One more why don't they go after my nice
juicy derasa? Is the shell he is attached to help in any way?
<Possibly, depending on the clams location. Most folks that have
Pyramid Snail outbreaks will temporarily place their clams on live rock
once they are cleaned of the snails and eggs to prevent re-infection.
Pyramid Snails do not generally leave the sand bed for higher ground
other than feeding on a Tridacna.>
thank you, I will talk to you soon, have a great eveing
<evening>. I am off to kill these little ba%%((e((reds.
<That's the spirit, and can I please ask you to run future
queries through a spell checker? Will save me much time if I do not
have to edit/correct before posting on the dailies.
Thank you. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Please Help/Tridacna Clam
As far as the wrasse question, I mean will the two of them get along,
Six Line and mc coskers
<McCosker's, and here we go again, no caps where needed, no
spaces between sentences, etc.>
I hear the Six Line is not so nice.
<As long as there are plenty of security zones (live rock), and the
Six Line is well fed, there should be few problems.>
Also can the snails eat the clam from underneath, or do they just hide
<We have been through that in the first thread. A clam's mantle
is the dorsal body wall which covers the visceral mass and usually
protrudes in the form of flaps, and this is the area where the snail
attacks the clam.>
I promise I will have my wife help me with my questions to you as well
as the spell check thingy.
<Geez, I wouldn't think you would need your wife to press the
space and cap keys. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Please Help/Tridacna Clam
I am sorry, since my accident, I need help with a lot of things.
<Sorry to hear this, Craig. James (Salty Dog)>
Snail ID: Predatory/Scavenging Whelk --
<Hello Mike, Lynn here this evening.>
I searched through all the snail ID posts but couldn't find
anything that I thought to be an exact match. I would like an ID
of this hitchhiker snail I acquired yesterday.
<It's a Whelk, family: Buccinidae Pisaniinae.>
I'm going to assume it's not a welcomed snail as I came
home to find it attached to one of my Astraea snails. I quickly
separated them and quarantined the hitchhiker.
Here is a picture.
<From what I can see, your little snail looks very much like a
predatory Whelk known as Gemophos tinctus, aka the Tinted or
Painted Cantharus. Information can also be found on the
'net/elsewhere under several obsolete names, including Pollia
tincta and Cantharus tinctus. These snails prey mostly on fellow
Gastropods and Bivalves, but also scavenge and can get up to
about 1.25' in length. You did the right thing in getting
that little guy out of there! For more information/photos for
comparison, please see the following links:
I would be glad to send more photos if needed for proper ID.
<Thanks. If what you have doesn't seem to be Gemophos
tinctus, and you'd like to pursue an ID, please send along a
photo (or several) showing the other side of the snail, as well
as location of origin (if known). If the snail hitchhiked on
rock, etc., from around Florida or the Gulf of Mexico, chances
are good that it's G. tinctus. It's a very common
species. I've gotten at least several with every live rock
order I've placed from Florida. Here's a photo of the
last one I received:
All in all, they're beautiful little snails, but
unfortunately not so great in a mixed reef system.>
<You're very welcome!>
<Take care, LynnZ>
Snail ID? - Good Picture for Archive?
Thought this would be a good picture for the snail identification
section. I wasn't sure what it was myself... I looked through
the Marine Snail ID section, but saw no picture like it. It was a
pretty striking pattern - appears to be a hitchhiker from within
the Zoanthids. It is about Â½" to
Any ideas on what type it is?
<Mmm, yes. Appears to be a Heliacus species... I'd be
reading re. Bob Fenner>
|Re: Snail ID? - Good Picture for
Hmmm... Upon review, it does have the cone shaped operculum which
is apparently a distinguishing characteristic of the Heliacus sp.
It's an interesting looking snail, but I like my Zoanthids more
than I like it.
<Welcome Jon. BobF>
Dog whelks/Control 10/7/09
Is there a way to get rid of clam killing Dog whelks in my 185 gallon
<Can you not remove by hand and dispose of or find homes
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Dog whelks/Control 10/7/09
They are predators, they eat snails, tubeworms and clams by liquefying
them and sucking them out, why would anyone want them?
<I'm well aware of that, Linda, was my first thought, physical
removal, and what you do with them after that is your call.>
They only come out in the dark and it is a tall 185 full of rock reef
tank....I've been picking out the ones I can reach or see for over
<"Over a year" is leading me to believe these
snails/whelks are both predator/scavenger gastropods, unless you've
been feeding them a steady diet of clams, snails, etc., they should
have starved to death if they were strictly specialized feeders of
snails, mussels, etc.>
I can't even reach the bottom of my tank...I'm small.
<I've also asked Lynn Z, our in-house gastropod expert for her
input. See below.
Lynn, I did not send a reply yet, but my best suggestion, without using
copper, would be to remove all possible food sources from the tank and
starve them to death and letting a crew of hermit crabs clean
<<That would have been my thought too'¦ if you can't
remove the offending snail eater, then remove the food source and
starve them out. When they get hungry enough, they'll start
wandering about looking for food and at that time, grab them! I
wouldn't want to treat the whole tank with something like copper
just to get rid of a few snail eaters. >>
<Much in agreement with you, Lynn.>
<<Also, we don't even know what else is in her tank. To me,
the obvious answer is what you already said, physical removal.
You know what I'd do since she can't reach them? I'd
recommend getting a pair of aqua tongs and removing them physically.
It's the easiest, least invasive way to go. If they're only out
at night, wait until the lights are off for a bit, then go hunting with
a flashlight and pick the little suckers out. I'm just wondering if
those snails are really what she thinks? I mean, if they've been in
there for over a year, has she been keeping them stocked with snails to
<Was my thought also, Lynn.>
<<They may easily be scavengers as well as predators, which if
that's the case, she might be able to lure them out onto the sand
where it would be easier to pick them up. I'd wait until after the
lights are off then put a couple of pieces of shrimp, fish, etc., in an
open area of sand and see what happens. As for grabbing them once they
come out, here are the two tongs I use. I especially like the smaller
pair. I wouldn't trust them for heavy stuff, but depending on the
size of the snails she needs to pick up, one of these should do.
<Thank you for your input, Lynn. Much appreciated as always. James
Re Dog whelks/Control 10/8/09
First, I want to thank you <and Lynn> for all your time and
thought you've put into this!
<You're welcome Linda.>
I have researched them quite a lot and can verify they are dog whelks.
I must have had them for years before I finally realized....always
wondered why I kept having snails die and why I couldn't keep
clams. I don't see tiny ones any more so I am making a huge dent in
the population. They are easier to grab when they reach about 1/2 inch.
They do seem to scavenge, as I have found little ones in my sump also,
but give them a clam and they are happy as one! First, I tried to lure
them with grocery store clams. They were too clever for me, they'd
wait a few days till I was tired of watching for them and
<Nothing worse than a sneaky whelk.>
My tank is full of about 200lbs of live rock, invertebrates, and
corals, so copper is not an option.
<And one I would not recommend.>
I agree baiting them is the answer....I was thinking of putting the
bait in a jar for them to crawl into then retrieve the jar before they
crawl out but I think it probably needs to be another grocery store
clam in a shell or other shrimps, etc will be feasting.
<Yes, may beat them to the punch.>
Too bad there is no predator for them, but that could open a whole new
can of worms.
<I'm sure there are, likely gulls, crabs, other whelks.>
Thanks again for all your thoughts and help,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Snail Deaths/Gastropod Predators?
Hello WWM Crew,
I have been reading the site for about two years and have asked a few
questions myself. I can't thank you enough.
Here's the story. I upgraded my pump to an Eheim 1265 three weeks
Thank you, Salty Dog for the advice. I am happy with the increased
At the time of the pump switch out, I discovered a rusty steel clamp on
my old pump that shed a lot of rust into the sump return section as I
removed it, and cussed. I replaced all the water from this part of the
sump and thought every thing would be fine.
<Ah, water is like air, if an odor is in one room, will soon get to
(The short version of that story is that my husband was being helpful
with an aquarium emergency, and replaced my blown return lines while I
was at work. Bless his heart.) I also added 5 Nerite snails that day.
Since that time, 4 of 5 turbo snails have died. They became inactive,
and one by one I am finding the empty shells (I have assumed the
hermits cleaned the shells out). The Nerites have disappeared, and
discovered a dead limpet in the refugium also. At the first sign of
problems with the snails I checked my water parameters, found nothing
out of whack. Remembering the rusty clamp, I placed Polyfilter in the
sump and replaced the carbon/Phosban. I have read everything I could
find on your site regarding snails, and still I'm just not sure. I
must also add that one of the snails I added sure does look a lot like
a snail that Bob identified as a predator. But to me a lot of snails
look a lot alike.
<Yes, can be difficult at times to correctly ID.>
Tank info as follows: 2 years old, 90 gallon with corner overflow, 125
lbs. live rock, two inch sand bed, 240w PC lights, 30 gallon three
section sump with refugium in center, on reverse photoperiod, miracle
mud, and Chaeto, T 78, SG 1.025, phos 0, nitrate 0, KH 9, pH 8.0 I use
the API reef master test kit. Livestock: one A. xanthurus, two A.
ocellaris, three C. viridis, two BTA, toadstool corals, mushrooms,
green polyps, Ricordeas. Thriving pod population in tank and fuge. My
main question is could the snails have suffered from the rust, while
everything else looks no different, or is something else going on. The
tank is definitely suffering the loss of snails, as the algae has grown
<Is a good chance that snail you mentioned may very well be a
predator of gastropods. A picture of it would help us identify it for
you. If something were amiss with your water quality causing snail
invertebrates would be at risk also, and you report no problems in that
regard. This leads me to believe that you may have a predator in your
tank. I would move this "predator" snail into the refugium,
dead snails, and see if the problem continues.>
Thank you for your time,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Follow-up: Re Snail Removed From Main Tank,
add to Nassariid f' - 10/7/09
Dear WWM Crew and Lynn,
<<Hi Victoria, Lynn here with a follow-up.>>
I have a some more information for Lynn.
<Will pass on to her.>
<<Got it, thanks!>>
Snails have continued to die. After removing the killer snail, I placed
5 new snails in the tank, and only one lived. The next day I witnessed
Nassarius come out of the sand like zombies to eat the snails
<Eating the live snails, or were they dead?>
<<Yep, I'm wondering the same thing. By the way, what kind of
Nassarius snails do you have? Are they the small Nassarius vibex (up to
~1/2' in length), or do you have one of the larger varieties, for
example what's called a 'Super Tongan' Nassarius (up to
~1')? Also, what kind of snails did you add? >>
Mind you I have not seen this happen before, with the previous deaths,
and actually have not seen these Nassarius snails in 6 months.
<They do like burrowing in the sand.>
<<Yes they do!>>
These new snails were sent home
<<I'm guessing from a LFS?>>
...in a dry bag, not carefully acclimated. I was very surprised at the
<<Hmmm, not great but if whatever type of snail you bought has an
operculum (and the snails were tightly closed), not exposed to any huge
temperature swings (getting left in a hot car, for instance), and it
was a short trip home, then that shouldn't have been a death
I have never had snails sent home like this,
<<I've heard of it, but never gotten them that way either.
It's definitely not the way I'd personally want to see them
...and just floated the bag a while, added some water, set them in the
tank and hoped for the best. Few days later I bought two turbo snails
from LFS, carefully acclimated them.
<<Okay. Was there a significant difference in the specific
gravity/salinity of the water from the LFS and yours?>>
I observed them to be active during acclimation and when introduced to
the tank. Days later found one laying on side, closed up.
<<Do you have enough food to sustain Turbos? They're big
eaters and need a good amount to survive. You can always supplement
with Nori/seaweed sheets attached to either a veggie clip or
rubber-banded to a rock. If your water parameters were all in the
green, it's possible that the snails succumbed to too much combined
stress. That is, stress/issues related to
handling/conditions/transit/possible lack of food, along with an
additional acclimation into your system.>>
The other shell, cleaned out.
<<Sounds like scavengers got to it. There are a host of
possibilities: hermits, Nassarius snails, bristleworms, etc.. All could
have descended on the dead/dying snail during the night.>>
The shells are found all over, near where I saw them inactive.
<<Gotcha, and you've not mentioned any clicking sounds so I
think we can rule out a smashing mantis.>>
I do have hermits, maybe 6 tiny things, 3 slightly bigger than
<<Tiny or not, these guys are effective scavengers and sometimes
snail killers. This is especially true if they're hungry or need a
larger shell and don't have any available. I've also seen them
appear to gang-up on snails. I don't think it's necessarily a
pack mentality as much as it's a fight for food.>>
None in the newly dead snail's shells.
<<Gotcha, so we can rule out hermit looking for larger mobile
(My original snail deaths were 4 turbo snails in the tank for 2
<<May have run out of readily available food?>>
At this time I placed two of the remaining snails in the refugium as an
experiment. I am hoping to discover water quality issue vs.. predator.
Perhaps these snails are too far gone.
<<It's possible, as mentioned above.>>
I will just have to wait and see. I may go get a new snail soon and
place it in the fuge also. Any advice would be appreciated.
<I think you are on the right track with the experiment. Time will
tell here, and do keep us informed of your findings.>
<<Yes, please do! I'm inclined to think that what's going
on here is either the new snails you've gotten were already
compromised when you brought them home, or else it's environmental
(or both). I'd be curious to know what your water parameters are.
Also, just out of curiosity, do you dose for magnesium? Also, how are
the other tank inhabitants doing? Is there anything out of the ordinary
Thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate it.
<You're welcome, and will forward this to Lynn who has helped so
much in this matter. James (Salty Dog)>
<<Shoot James, you've already done all the heavy lifting! All
I'm doing is the sweeping up!>>
<<Take care, LynnZ>>