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I have 2 freshwater snails. I have noticed they appeared to have sealed themsel...


I have 2 freshwater snails. I have noticed they appeared to have sealed themselves up in the shell. One snail has not moved for 2 weeks and the other for about 5 days. Are they dead or hibernating?

It sounds like you have Mystery Snails (Pomacea bridgesii) which are common, large aquarium snails. These are one of the few freshwater snails with an operculum or a hatch that can close over the opening in their shell. They don't hibernate, but will pull into their shells for protection if the water conditions aren't right. You may have a problem with your aquarium water. Have you tested it lately? Are you doing weekly 10% water changes (not water addition only, but actually taking out old water and adding dechlorinated fresh water )?

You can bring in a water sample to your local PetSmart store and they will check it for free. It is important to use a water conditioner when adding water to your aquarium to remove chlorine, copper, and other toxins that can be in your tap water.


23 Jan 2011 5:46 pm

BeavisMom62 said:

If the snails are dead, they will smell to high heaven. But don't assume they are dead. Make sure to check your water quality and stay up with your water changes. They are as sensitive to poor water as any fish. But they can close up like that for a while. I had one that did that (before I knew as much as I know now) and I threw the poor thing in the garbage. Then, after checking out some snail websites and forums found that this could be normal behavior. So I dug the poor snail out of the trash, where he had been buried in coffee grounds and cigarette ashes for a couple of hours, washed him off and put him back in his tank. This was years ago and I still have him!

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