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astrea snails dying


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my tank is about 5 months old and in the past 2 weeks ive lost 4 astrea snails. they start to not move and then i find them foot up on the sand bed. i try to re position them to be down in the sand so they can get around but its futile. they dont move and flip over and when they die the hermits get them.


all my other snails do fine, cerith, Nassarius, nerites.


my clowns and goby are happy and fat, perhaps there is not enough food for everyone? ideas?


did a water change last weekend, corals are happy. params are perfect.

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Stick to other snails. Astrae are the "other hermit food".


Also, consider drip acclimating trochus. Unlike most snails, there is reason to believe trochus are particularly sensitive to sudden changes in salinity.


Really hard to go wrong with cerith.

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I've had my ups and downs with Astreas. You get some that live forever but a lot of times they are just iffy. I've got 4 in my tank that have been in there for probably two years though. Snails do not ship well - they sit inside of a large bag by the thousands after being caught and they roam throughout their own waste while being shipped. I've heard that only like 65-70% even survive the collection process to be sold, although I don't have any data to prove it. Then they get sold to LFS then moved to our tanks.


It's no wonder they don't have a good track record.

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  • 2 months later...

Astrea snails really can't maneuver in the sand very well. They naturally live in rocky areas of the sea, not in sand, so when they fall they land on rock. That allows them to continue climbing, whereas in sand they're essentially stuck. Please place your snails on your live rock, not in the sand, and they'll have a better chance of survival.

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hawks66, with a 5 month old tank I would doubt you have enough for the larger snails to feed on, unless you have LOTS of hair algae and other types of algae. I suggest you supplement with some dry seaweed until your tank has enough algae to keep the snails from starving to death.

About every 2 weeks I place a strip of seaweed in a container and place the large snails on top of the seaweed. That way I know they have plenty to eat and when they're satisfied they climb out of the container. Here's a pic of the container I use: http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/136661-where-to-put-chaeto/


The plastic holder prevents the shrimp from shredding the seaweed.

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  • 1 year later...
Sherman Merman

I have 4 in a 20 gallon, 3 stay on the rocks and one is always up in the top corner and won't come down. Originally I wanted a few trochus' but the LFS didn't have any. I settled for astrea, no complaints..yet.

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