snails dying!


Reefing newb
the water parameters are perfect and for some reason the only ones that have died in the last month were all mexican turbos. it's been 3 deaths and for some reason the day or 2 prior of me finding them dead with hatch closed and stinking bad i have seen 1 or 3 reef snails like attached to the turbo like its sukin it or something so do they fight or what's going on? the deaths have been happening in my 29 gallon and in my 55 gallon. :frustrat:
That was going to be one guess.Also lack of eats.The one that are ataching might see the turbo is sick and getting ready for a meal.The 55 might be loseing snails do to the preditor you have(Mr. Trigger)

bkv1997 said:
What is your water temp. This time of year over heated tanks is most likely a cause.

the temp is 78-80 and i got the ac on all day . it's only the mexicans that are going down.
I have had this problem with snails too. My water was good also (I got it double-checked by the LFS). It started with all my margaritas dying (about 10 of them), just falling to the bottom and rotting away. So then I got three turbos, the same thing happened. So I forgot about snails for a while, but a month ago I got more margaritas, and only one is still alive. For my tank, it wasn't water quality, or temperature changes. The LFS had two suggestions: maybe accidentally introduced some kind of metal (like copper) into the tank (I tested for what I could and found no metals in the tank) and the other was that they were possibly starving to death??? Which means they're pretty dumb animals because my tank appeared to have enough algae for them (or else I wouldn't have brought them home!). So I have given up on snails altogether. Instead I use my red-legged and blue-legged crabs, lawnmower blenny, and tang to take care of the algae. So snail die-offs are a mystery to me too.

i wouldn't mind giving up on snails but the green stuff on all the glass walls are not going to be taken out by a tang so what i need to do is just to keep the same kind of snail wich have not died on me yet and quit on the turbos cause they eat alot but they are giving up on me too soon
Turbo spp. (turban shells (turbo grazers)

Good choice for reef aquariums, but some snails offered for sale, particularly those collected in Mexico, are subtyropical animals and do not survive well when housed in a normal reef temperatures.

Tegula funebralls - Margarita snail (margarite snail)

Come from the rocky intertidal of the Pacific coast of North America. Can tolerate only short periods of warm water in the summer in natrue. survive a few weeks or months in reef tanks then they die from being slowly cooked.

So If it were me I would go back to the lfs and get a credit for selling you snails for your marine tropical system that were not suitable. You always need to make sure you know where the animals come from and research before purchasing to make sure your system can support the animal.

Reflecting back on your fish dying on you, Ive been reading some articles and it almost seems like they have suffocated. not enough oxygen during the night hours, this can be caused by excessive bacteria, hydrogen sulfide from the substrait, lack of gas exchange at the surface, or, a contamination of the air environment around the tank, tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes from vehicles, or etc etc etc. just some thoughts. I really do believe your if fish were unmarked, they were dying from lack of oxygen.

good luck happy fishin.
Last edited:
jhnrb -- who was your last post (about the fish dying due to lack of oxygen) directed at? It was a bit unclear, sorry. If it was me, I've only had one fish die (the other 13 have been in my tank for 6 months now), it's the inverts I have had a hard time with (two cleaner shrimp, snails, and a brittle star). And thanks to your help, I now know why I've had the snail problems! I did look up the snails before I bought them, said that both margaritas and turbos can live in tanks at 78 degrees, and that they are commonly collected from Baja, Mexico. So I guess I got some misinformation from that website? I'm really glad I joined this forum...
Last edited:
Re: well

grunt said:
i wouldn't mind giving up on snails but the green stuff on all the glass walls are not going to be taken out by a tang so what i need to do is just to keep the same kind of snail wich have not died on me yet and quit on the turbos cause they eat alot but they are giving up on me too soon
Maybe some nerites and astreas,are good glasses cleaners.Here is a good pack
for a seller that I have used. $25 + $5(shipping)=$30 for 40 snails.Also if you email her you might be able to get a package for $1 per snail and $5 shipping
go get trochus snails. mine eat everything they move over. they survive my crazy-ass temp swings lately. they can right themselves if they fall over (ive seen it) and they are actaully pretty fast snaills too lol.

I have 4 and they basically keep my 55 clean within reason along with 6 hermits. they move over glass, rock, sand. you name it, hermits and all lol.
yeah i got one of those 2 weeks ago and now today that i got back from the field i see a reef snail and the trochus stuck together so i guess i got to wait and find out wich on is the one that will kick the bucket.
yep just like i thought now the trochus snail was found dead 2 days ago after the reef snail let go of it. so i guess i will have to stick to those since they have not died yet
i lose snails all the time water is fine just some live short lives like margarita snails and turbo snails. I just today added 10 astrea turbo snails, 10 nerite snails, 10 cerith snails, 24 onyx nassarus snails, and 3 emerald crabs cause got probs with bubble algae. we will see how long they last, they say some won't live long in warm water or anything less than 1.025 salinity so i don't know why they die off alot i'm constantly buying snails there are lasting longer now that i'm not getting hermit crabs anymore they say they will kill snails for there shells.
Yea I agree on no hermits...

If i add snails I always seem to loose a few the first couple weeks. After that they seem to live for a good while..

I have 5 to 6 turbo snails that have been in my tank for over 2 years. I stopped buying them because they get to big.

I recently got about 30 nessarius from a friend and about 40% died the first week the ones that lived have been fine for over a month now.

I just think snails like other invertebrates are sensitive to environment changes and a constant stable environment is probably best.