Having snails in the tank makes the tank more attractive and versatile. They enhance the aquascape and are very great and low-maintenance pets. However, snail behavior is weird. Sometimes owners see their snails floating on top of the tank, which makes them confused.
Why is my snail floating? A snail can float due to many reasons, some of them include, the water being dirty, the snail wanting to move from one place to another, the snail is dead, the snail is finding another place to sit and the snail is finding food or eating the upper film of proteins.
Why Is My Snail Floating?
Why is my aquarium snail floating? Snails are known for their different behavior. They do things that are beyond the understanding of their owners. One of such unique traits is floating in the water. Seeing a snail floating in a tank may make an owner believe that their snail is dead.
In most cases, floating snails are not dead. This is a common trait found in snails, when they are stressed, hungry, sick, or it is dead.
Why is my snail floating? When a snail is floating, it may indicate that the water in which they are isn’t clean enough. The owner should not ignore their snail floating. It is important to understand that something is wrong with snails and it should be changed accordingly.
If the owner finds water clean, there are other reasons too where a snail may float. Some of the reasons why a snail may float are as follows
When a snail is not comfortable with the water or recent changes an owner may have made, a snail will float. The owner should observe any recent changes that may have triggered such behavior.
If the water was recently changed, their wild instinct may not get comfortable with the water, which may be making the snail float and run away from the tank. The owners are advised to never add snails suddenly in a new terrarium or water. It will cause stress among them and they will try to escape by floating. Sometimes poor pH levels and temperature can also lead to snails floating.
Copper In Fertilizer
If the owner has live plants in their snail’s tank, then they might also be using fertilizer to grow the plants in the tank. However, sometimes fertilizer contains copper. If the copper is high in quantity, it can be deadly for invertebrates like snails, shrimps, etc. Though copper is good for plant growth, excessive exposure to copper can be poisonous for snails.
Copper can make snails sick and even lead to death in some cases. One of the symptoms of a snail becoming ill would be a snail hanging out of its shell. If the owner observes that is the case with their snail, then they should immediately change the water with clean fresh water.
To protect the snail, many copper fertilizers are good for snails, if possible the owner should ask for that fertilizer from where they buy fertilizer.
When They Want To Move Fast
Snails are known to be slow creatures but snails use a trick to change their place faster. Some snail species, like mystery snails, hold the air in their lungs. When they are closing their shells, a little amount of air gets stuck in a form of a bubble, which is used by snails to float. It is a conscious decision made by snails and it is a very common behavior. When they have reached the location they open their shell and release air, and sink.
Snails close their shells due to various reasons. It can be if snails want to change their place because of something that they don’t like, in simple words snails do it to go from one place to another fast.
Sometimes snails will float on the water surface when they are hungry or if they suspect there is some food on the surface of the water. If the owner has other fishes or live plants in the tank together with snails, snails will float on the water surface to eat the leftover food of fishes and protein produced by plants.
The Snail Is Dead
An unfortunate reason why a snail may be floating is that it is maybe dead. Snails only live for a year and in very rare cases more than that. However, the owner should assess all factors and reasons why a snail can float before concluding that the snail is dead.
Now the owner may ask what should I do if my snail is floating? They should check if their tank has any problem listed above, if so they should correct them.
How Do You Stop Snails From Floating?
Why is my snail floating and how to stop it? Before stopping the snail from floating, it is important to understand why a snail is floating. Is the snail stressed, is it moving to another place, did the owner add new fish or made any significant changes to the terrarium? Then the owner should check the water’s quality. How much ammonia, temperature, nitrites, pH level, and nitrates are there in the tank?
The owner should make sure that the nitrite and ammonia present in water should be 0 and nitrates levels should be around 15-25% of the water. The required pH levels should be around 7.0-7.5. Furthermore, snails require the water temperature to be at 75-85°F.
Additionally, the owner should check if there are any fish that are sick. A snail may be floating to get away from the sick fish. If there is any sick fish, it should be separated. Another reason can be aggressive tank mates. If any other tank member is bullying the snails, it may cause stress among them and they would try to escape the tank.
Furthermore, the owner should not add fish like critters, who consume snails. If the snail is eating the surface film of the tank, it may be possible that they are not given enough food, if that is the case the owner should feed more food to their pets.
If the water is too dirty it can also make them float, so the owner should keep the water clean and provide a proper diet to the snails. Snails shouldn’t rely on leftovers of fish and their waste.
How To Tell My Floating Snail Is Healthy?
There are different ways an owner can check whether their floating snail is healthy or not. The different ways to check if the floating snail is healthy are
- When an owner observes that their snail is floating, they should try feeding them some food, if they eat it, it means that they are healthy
- The owner can also make a little nudge on the shell of the floating snail to check if they are fine, if they retract and get into their shell, they are fine.
- If the owner is still unsure they can take the snail out and observe them, if they get into their shell and show movement, it is fine.
- If the body is not loose and the snail isn’t going into the shell then it is a serious issue. It should be taken to the vet.
Does A Snail Float When It’s Dead?
Do snails float when they die? Yes, it is a possibility. An owner may see a floating snail because they close air in their shells which means that my snail is floating but alive. However, if a snail floating hanging out shell, gets separated from its shell or hangs out of its shell, it can be possible that the snail is dead.
What Does A Dead Snail Look Like?
A dead snail may float out of its shell or hang with a moving shell. This shows that the snail is dead. Further, when an owner lifts the shell, it may seem too lightweight that also means that the snail is dead.
After confirming if the snail is dead or not the owner should immediately take out the dead snail and change the water as it may affect other pets.
Why Is My Snail Floating At The Top Of The Tank, Is It Happy?
How do I know if my snail is happy when floating? If a snail is sitting on the ground in peace and has a normal diet and eats the food, performing its normal routine, when the snail doesn’t seem sluggish or tired then it can be concluded that it is happy. Sitting in peace on the ground of the tank tells that they are fine.
Why Is My Water Snail Floating?
Water snails will float in water due to reasons including Unclean or unhygienic water when there are any sudden changes in the tank when they search for food when they find another place to sit when they are dead. It is important to keep an eye on the snail.
Why Is My Ramshorn Snail Floating?
Ramshorn snails may float in water due to reasons including when there are any sudden changes in the tank when they search for food when they find another place to sit, Unclean water when they are dead.
Why Is My Gold Inca Snail Floating?
Gold Inca snails will also float in water due to unhygienic water,, when they find another place to sit, when there are any sudden changes in tank, when they are dead, when they search for food.
Why Is My Nerite Snail Floating?
Nerite snails will float due to poor water, when they search for food, when they find another place to sit, when they are dead, when there are any sudden changes in tank.
Why Is My Black Mystery Snail Floating?
Black mystery snails like other snails will float because of poor conditions of water, when they search for food, when there are any sudden changes in tank, when they are dead, when they find another place to sit. However, a mystery snail floating for a week isn’t normal. The owner should check it immediately.
Why Is My Pet Snail Floating?
Poor water, sudden changes in tank, search for food, finding another place to sit, death are reasons why a snail will float.
Why Is My Ivory Snail Floating?
Ivory snails will float due to death, Unclean water, sudden changes in tank, when they search for food, when they find another place to sit.
Why Is My Golden Snail Floating?
Golden snails will float in water due to reasons including Unclean or unhygienic water, when there are any sudden changes in tank, when they search for food, when they find another place to sit, when they are dead.
Do Snails Float When They Sleep?
Yes, it can be possible for a sleeping snail to float because sometimes their shell locks air that makes them float.
Final Verdict – Why Is My Snail Floating
Why is my snail floating? There can be many reasons why a snail is floating at the top of the tank. Most important being that the water in the tank isn’t good enough for them, however it is not true in all cases. The owners shouldn’t presume that the tank water is dirty because a snail is floating.
Snails are also seen to float when there are any changes in the tank or when they want to search for food or another place to sit, they will float.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG OR WEBSITE, "Learn About Pet", DOES NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH MEDICAL ADVICE AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PERSONAL VETERINARIAN AND USE INFORMATION HERE AS GENERAL ADVICE.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.