7 Facts About Mystery Snail Floating | Fish Camp Rehab

Aquatic snails might love climbing into the glass of your aquarium, messing up your plants, and risking their lives by falling off high levels within your tank. But the mystery snail floating may appear unusual.

The fact that your snail is floating doesn’t necessarily mean that your snail has passed away, although it could indicate that the snail is uncomfortable with water. Certain snails float due to trapped air in their lungs and others eat away the film that sits on high points of the water surface.

Why is My Aquarium Snail Floating?

If you have one of these spike-topped apple snails then you know that they can be mysterious.

There will be a time when you’ll see a Mystery snail floating about in the water for hours or days, and occasionally, hanging out of its shell as it does so.

It could happen in the upper part of the aquarium or within its middle water column. However, is it dead? Perhaps this is a different character trait?

What to do if you see that your aquarium snail lifelessly floating between two places is crucial as it could signal problems that are affecting the water in the tank.

Why is My Mystery Snail Floating?

There are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about mystery snail floating. The mystery snails are famous for their bizarre behavior in particular when they are escaping their aquarium without leaving a trace or performing acrobatic tricks, such as leaping off the walls of the tank.

However, water snails will occasionally get themselves afloat.

The confirmed reports I’m aware of include not just Apple snails, but also Ramshorn as well as Bladder snails.

In that regard below are the most frequently-cited reasons your aquarium snail might be floating:

An aquarium snail might be afloat on top of the aquarium fish tank due to an abrupt shift within water parameters.

The snail purposefully traps air in its shell and then flounders off in an effort to change places.

Another reason that mystery snails are floating could be due to the hunt for food at the surface of the water. surface.

In some instances when the floating extends over longer than a couple of days, it could be a sign it is ill or dead.

1. It’s stressed by changes in the parameters of the water

Mysterious snails may float on their own surface of the aquarium. They can also float in the tank in the event that they aren’t at ease in their water parameters.

In the event that your drinking water has turned to the worse, the snails could float as a protest.

They might also try to escape the tank by getting out. They’re trying to remove the heck out of an unpleasant atmosphere. Your main concern is ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and nit.

Examine your water with test strips or the more precise liquid tests to see whether your levels are excessively high.

The levels of ammonia and nitrite should read 0 parts per million, and nitrate should read less than 40 parts per million.

If the values aren’t in whack If they are, you should change 20 percent of the water each day until they are lower, and snails will cease the floating madness.

Floating can be an alternative escape mechanism they’d use in the wild to escape from the ravages of pollution.

If that’s the case, then you’ll be able to see them constantly trying to escape the aquarium or hang out of their shell.

Both reflect the survival instincts, and since they are unable to control the quality of the water They will attempt to float out of the water making use of the current.

A snail will typically start to float following a major change in the water, or when it’s been added into the aquarium.

This is because the snail gets a bit stressed due to the sudden shift within water parameters.

The most common cause of stress is the temperature as well as the pH of the fluid.

2. It was poisoned by copper that is found in fertilizer

Some aquarium plant fertilizers may contain copper.

A small amount of Copper can be beneficial to aquarium development, however, in larger doses, it can be deadly to invertebrates like snails and shrimp.

If you’ve inadvertently dosed an aquarium fertilizer that contains copper into your tank of fish, your snail could have been poisoned.

Snails can float when they feel sick as well as dying. One of the best indicators to tell if an aquarium snail is ill is the snail hanging out of its shell but not attempting to attach to any object.

If this is the case it is recommended to immediately relocate the tank to a tank that has crystal clear water.

Another indicator that the snail is poisoned by something else is that it is a prolonged floating of days or even weeks.

Take note that some aquarium plant fertilizers contain copper within a safe level for invertebrates.

3. It is looking to move to another location

Aquarium snails, generally are generally regarded as slow-moving species but often they utilize a simple trick to accelerate their travel between locations.

Certain snails, like the Mystery snail that is a species of Apple snail, can carry air in their lungs, and it’s a normal thing for them.

If they are sharply closing their shells, little air gets stuck in there in the shape of bubbles. bubble.

It is used to begin floating in a different direction.

When they have opened their shells and let the air out when they open their shells, they sink.

Sometimes, they will shut their shells down due to aggressive tank mates and an efficient filter system.

This kind of behavior is common for snails and is one of the main reasons you’ll find your mystery snail floating all over the aquarium as if healthy and well.

They could do it frequently.

The same behavior is observed in Bladder snails and, occasionally, Ramshorn snails as well.

The ability to hold air in the shells of snails is an intentional choice that snails make when they wish to float.

4. It searches for food in the water

If your small-shelled family members are craving an extra protein film, they may embark on the floating quest to find food.

They’ll purposefully float up to high above the tank and stay fixed to the surface of the water surface, upside-down.

If you have an aquarium that can be well established with some fish and some living plants or algae, snails will have plenty of food.

Nevertheless, it is true that if you own an entirely new aquarium for fish tanks or an existing one is populated mostly with snails, you’ll often find them floating in the middle of your water and eating thin surface film.

The film itself is made up of remnants of food particles and proteins coming from living plants.

This film is safe for snails in the water and other tank inhabitants. It’s also a Mystery snail’s preferred snack.

5. It died due to old age

Aquarium snails float in the water when they die from old age.

If you’ve been unable to look after your snail since it was an infant baby It could be you’ve been shopping when you went to the fish store to sell you an older snail.

Mystery snails can live for up to one year under regular aquarium conditions. Pristine water quality may prolong their lifespan but it’s not often.

A snail is likely to start to float within a few hours of being added to a brand new aquarium. tank.

Take a moment, and determine the potential shock due to the alteration of water parameters before concluding that the snail has died.

6. Trapped Air

If some snails close up — mystery and apple snails are notorious for this — a few airs escape from the tank. Much like a balloon they leave behind the bottom-dwellers and begin floating up to the very high point in the tank.

When they’re open and fall down to the bottom or suction on something. This is often seen in snails with lungs.

7. Examine

The ability to determine if your snails are chilling out at the top of your tank or dead ones is a matter of close examination. You can pick up your snail in question to see whether it’s sealed inside its shell.

If the person is tightly shut, he’s not dead. If he’s hanging off of it and doesn’t respond when you gently touch him It’s likely he’s dead or sick. The only way to tell that for certain is to perform a smell test. Dead snails emit a smell that is horrid typically in the first 12 hours of dying.

What Can You Do to Aid Your Aquarium Snail Get Back to Normal?

In the first place, you must understand the motivation that is the reason for the floating.

Examine your water parameters and aquarium conditions. Examine Ammonia levels, nitrate, and Nitrite.

I would prefer the liquid test kit because based on my experiences it’s more reliable than strips.
Nitrite, as well as Ammonia levels, should be both Nitrite, and Ammonia levels should be equal to 0.

To evaluate the water parameters of your fish tank you can use a kit similar to API’s liquid Master Test Kit.

Maintain the Nitrate levels at a low by altering between 15 and 25% of the water in the aquarium.
The optimal aquarium pH for the majority of aquatic snails is somewhere between 7.0 and 7.5. It is recommended to keep the water temperature most enjoyable when it is between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (from 23.8 to 29.4degC).

Snails may also be extremely sensitive to the medications that are within the aquarium tank. If you’ve got one sick fish in your aquarium then put it in an individual quarantine tank and treat it there.

Aquarium snails are a peaceful species so look for tankmates that share the same temper.
Aggressive tankmates could cause stress on snails and cause them to get out of the aquarium.
Beware of all freshwater fish or critters who are recognized to consume snails to lessen stress on snails.

Make sure you are aware of your snail’s diet. If your snail is spending a lot of time floating upside-down on the aquarium’s surface and eating surface film it could require additional food.


There are some who claim that aquarium snails eat garbage produced by the rest of the tank’s inhabitants. This is, however, not the case.

The majority of aquatic snails eat mostly algae and living plant material, as well as leftover fish food. The presence of snails in your aquarium tank isn’t a guarantee that you’re free of cleaning chores.

Relying on freshwater snails for cleaning the fish waste can be dangerous for the entire aquarium pets you have because Ammonia levels can spike very quickly.

For those who don’t own any plants or algae in your aquarium, You can provide your snails with tiny bits of basic algae wafers.

Feeding snails every day is sufficient.
For more nutrition, give them blanched vegetables, such as iceberg lettuce or the green zucchini squash.

Help it manually.
If you’ve checked on the above however your tiny family members are still floating it is worth helping them out manually.

Take them in your hands gently and relocate them where they’re in a position to put the muscular foot on, like the tank’s wall glass as an instance.

But, you don’t need to save your snails every once they’ve got air inside their shells since this isn’t hazardous for them.
I have friends with snail owners who say they’re sure their snails float to keep them entertained.

How to Tell if My Snail is Dead?

The best way to know if a mystery is snail floating because it has died is to examine it carefully and then smell it.

The biggest sign a snail is dead is the scent emanating from the shell.

It is also possible to gently touch your muscular foot a few times.

If you notice that the snail’s corpse is closing up in the shell The snail’s body is still alive, and alive and well.

If the body isn’t moving and/or hangs out of the shell It’s likely that the snail has passed away.

When you’re certain that your snail is dead you should get rid of it from the aquarium as soon as you can.

A minor change in the water is likely to be required because otherwise, you are putting your health at risk to other aquatic inhabitants.

It Might Not Be As Bad As It Seems.

The act of watching the behavior of an aquarium snail that floats here and there in the aquarium is fun.

If it happens frequently but it’s not uncommon, you should determine if there’s an issue in your fish tank.

Review for water parameters, temperature, food availability, and tank buddies.

If all seems well you can accept that your mystery friend could be having fun because of their quirky nature.

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Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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