Jump to content

Snail Comes Back to Life After Years??? (Fresh or Salt Water???)

Recommended Posts


My daughter just got a fish tank so she chose some rocks and shells from her stash that she's amassed over the years. She washed them and put them in the tank.

We set this up at 8 o'clock last night.

At 9 this morning she asks me to come and have a look at something stuck on one of the shells she put in.

It's a snail!!!

She's had this shell anywhere from several months to 2 or 3 years.

Now, the snail isn't looking all that well as he's not moving or stuck to anything and I'm guessing he's a salt water snail because we live by the beach and that's where her shells come from.

So we fish him out and the next thing, he's retreated back into his shell !!!!!
So after googling how to simulate sea water, we mix 35g of sea salt with 1L tap water and stick him in there.

But nothing happens and I'm freaking out wondering if we're killing this tiny miracle because maybe somehow he could be a fresh water snail.

Has anyone EVER heard of a snail - fresh or salt water - 'hibernating' for months or years and then coming back to life?

And is it possible that we killed him because he's a sea snail and we had him in fresh water overnight?

But if we killed him, can a dead snail retreat into its shell when you remove it from the water?

And is there ANY way to tell what kind of water he should be in??

His shell clearly looks like a salt water snail's shell.

Any help much appreciated

Share this post

Link to post

Are you sure it's not a land snail that was found outside, maybe a real beat-up one? Post a pic. 


Depending on species, I suppose it's possible it could have hibernated for a couple months. If that's the case, it's not a miracle, just something they can do. Sea salt like you get for cooking with isn't the same as reef salt, it lacks a lot of trace minerals, though I guess it could maybe work temporarily. Fresh water overnight would likely kill it, if it is alive. But I'm guessing there might just have been something meaty inside the shell that was hydrated by the water, and only appeared to retreat. Take him out and smell- a few seconds out of the water won't hurt him if he is alive, and if there's dead meat in there, you'll find out quick. 


Also, you probably don't want to put shells and rocks into what I'm assuming is a freshwater aquarium. They can leach minerals into the water.


What size tank, and do you have plans for it? I've been keeping freshwater aquaria for about a decade now, I can give you advice on cycling, stocking, etc if you're looking for some.

Share this post

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...