People often put nerite snails in their aquariums, but what does it mean when you look in the aquarium one day and find your nerite snail has turned itself upside down?
A nerite snail upside down usually means it’s weak, it’s dead, or there is something wrong with the water. There are a few other causes as well, which we’ll explore in more detail now.
1. They Are Dead or Dying
Nerite snails often flip themselves over when they are in the process of dying or they’re already dead.
The reason for this is simple: their shells simply aren’t strong enough to remain upright like they do when the snails are alive.
Most people check to see if the snails are dead before doing anything else because, in this case, they normally are, indeed, dead.
If you’re not sure if they’re dead, pick up the snail and smell it. If it smells bad, go ahead and dispose of it because it is dead and should be discarded. For the most part, this is the most common reason why your nerite snails are found upside down in your aquarium.
2. They Can Lose Their Balance
This isn’t terribly common for nerite snails, but they do occasionally lose their balance while climbing the walls of the aquarium. This is what these snails do best—climb and eat algae.
Chances are good that they were headed in the direction of some algae when they lost their balance and fell.
3. They Are Sick or Weak
Yes, nerite snails can get weak and sick, and when they do, they become very inactive. If they are weak and decide to try and climb, it is easy for them to fall off of the side of the aquarium.
The problem that causes them to fall is usually that they are hungry, sick, or weak for some particular reason. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check into the situation further if your nerite snail suddenly flips over in your aquarium tank.
When they are this weak, they are usually unable to get back into the right position, and they’ll remain upside down for long periods of time.
4. They Could Just Be Sleeping
Snails can sleep for up to three days at a time, so don’t panic if it’s been a while since you last saw your nerite snail moving around and being upright.
When these snails are flipped over on their backs, they might very well be sleeping. Snails can sleep in a variety of situations and positions, and if there’s nothing in the aquarium to get in their way, it’s easy for them to fall asleep at any time and stay that way for a while.
If you believe your snails are merely sleeping, the best thing to do is just leave them alone. They’ll eventually wake up and act normal again, but it is best if you leave them alone in the meantime.
5. They Are Floating Around in the Aquarium
This is another uncommon reason for nerite snails to be upside down, but it does occasionally happen. Sometimes, these snails float around upside down in your aquarium for one reason only—because they want to!
Usually, they’re doing this because they want to travel, so there’s nothing wrong with noticing that your nerite snails are floating around upside down in your aquarium!
Snails will trap some air inside of their shells, which makes them lighter and makes it much easier to float around from one location to another.
They can also do this if there is something wrong with the water parameter, so you might want to consider checking the water if this happens.
6. They Have the Wrong Tank Mate
If you’re going to put nerite snails in your aquarium, it’s good to do some research first and make sure you only include suitable tank mates.
Some fish, will constantly try to eat your snails, and your snails may be turning themselves upside down in an attempt to get away from them.
You can’t just put any type of species in your aquarium because some of them are simply incompatible.
Here’s a list tank mates you should avoid:
If you take proper care while selecting the right tank mate, you won’t have to face major problems down the line.
But if you don’t, you’ll have to be prepared for a constant chasing game because the snails are retreating from the tank mates that are trying to eat them.
7. They Aren’t Getting Fed Properly
Just like anything else in your aquarium, your nerite snails need proper nutrition to grow and thrive. If you aren’t feeding your snails right, they may become weak from hunger.
Remember that snails turn themselves upside down when they are weak, and there are lots of causes for this weakness.
One of the first things you might want to check if your nerite snails keep turning over is the diet you’re feeding them.
Remember that nerite snails need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and it’s a good idea to research their diet so you feed them the right things.
Finally, while it’s a good idea to check the water in your aquarium regularly, this is especially important when you notice your nerite snails turning themselves upside down.
Check the water’s temperature, pH level, and hardness level, as well as the levels of chlorine, nitrite, copper, and ammonia.
If you do this on a regular basis, the truth is that your snails turning themselves upside down is likely to happen a lot less often.
Keeping nerite snails in your aquarium isn’t complicated, but you do have to know what is wrong when they start turning upside down in the water. There are numerous reasons for this behavior, and they’re all very easy to recognize.
Hi! I’m Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of eFishkeeping.com. Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, and I enjoy this hobby with my full family. Read more about me here.