The various species of mystery snails might be fairly hardy creatures but it is a good idea to spend time acclimating them to your tank. Dumping them straight in probably will not kill the snails, as it would more sensitive creatures, but it is still going to cause stress. To help ensure your snails thrive, get them off to a good start with a few minutes work.
Check to make sure the knot on the plastic bag the snails came in is securely tied, so water cannot get in or out. If it looks like it might leak, place the snail bag in another bag and tie that securely.
Float the bag with the snails in your tank.
After 30 minutes untie the bag and remove about one-quarter of the water using a plastic scoop or cup. Throw the water away; do not put it in the tank. This is to reduce the possibility of introducing pathogens along with the snails.
Scoop up about the same amount of tank water, put it in the bag and seal the bag.
Wait another half-hour or hour and remove some more water, replacing with tank water as before. Repeat a couple of times until the bag contains mostly tank water.
Untie the bag and pick up the snails with your fingers or aquarium tongs. This obviously would not be recommended for fish but should not harm the snails and helps to avoid introducing bag water to the tank.
Drop the snails in the tank and discard the remaining bag water.
- If you already have sensitive aquarium creatures and are worried about introducing diseases, rinse the snails just before dropping them in the tank. Use distilled water of the same temperature as the tank. To warm some water for this purpose, float a bag of distilled water at the same time as you start floating the snail bag.
Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.