Possibly 7 out of 10 Japanese trapdoor snails dead upon arrival

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by max384, May 31, 2011.

  1. max384

    max384

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    I had planned on putting in some snails in my pond once the algae started to grow and early last week I noticed I had quite a bit of algae on the rocks and such, so on Wednesday I placed an order for 20 Japanese trapdoor snails from an internet site. On Saturday, they arrived at my house. I was surprised at how little water was in the bag. In fact, there were only drops of water, with a damp folded up napkin in there. I don't know if that was bad or not, as I've never ordered anything that is alive off the internet before. However, I had assumed they would be in water, not by a damp cloth. Anyhow, they only sent me ten snails, despite me ordering twenty and the packing slip that came with it saying 20. I'm sure this was an honest mistake and I'll be calling tomorrow to clear that portion up.

    However, what was troublesome was that only 3 out of the 10 were definitely alive when I received them. Three of them were quite obviously dead when I got them (meat out of the shell dead), and four of them literally have not moved an inch since putting them in the pond two and half days ago. Their trapdoor is in place, but there has been absolutely no movement whatsoever. How long should I give them? I don't want them to rot in my pond while I try and figure out if they're alive or not. Are there any good ways of determining whether or not they're alive?

    I can't help but wonder if the shipping container was inadequate and contributed to their deaths. What do you guys think?
     
    max384, May 31, 2011
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  2. max384

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I have only ordered them once, the ones that came took about 3-4 days to open their doors and start moving.

    Sorry about the problems you are having, if they don't help you maybe you can withdraw your payment until it is cleared up.
     
    addy1, May 31, 2011
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  3. max384

    max384

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    Thanks for the quick reply. That is good to hear. Three of them opened their traps and were off and busy within minutes, so the two and a half days for the other four seemed impossibly long. Hopefully mine will be off and moving in the next day or two.
     
    max384, May 31, 2011
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  4. max384

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    there should have been a little more water in the bag than that. but not much, they need to be kept moist but not fully covered by water. Watch them closely, some may take quite a while to come out, If they still don't come out in a day or two take them out and see if the trap door is still shut tight, if so put them back in. If no trapdoor then remove them completely. I would contact the seller, you paid for 20 and three came in dead out of 10, I can tell you I would be complaing to them already!
     
    fishin4cars, May 31, 2011
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  5. max384

    vertigo72

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    ALIVE OR DEAD? If the trapdoor is in place, and the meat is in the shell, the snail is alive. The only true test of a dead snail is an empty shell with no meat in it. The very nature of snails can lead a person to believe they are dead. Just like a turtle they suck everything in and play dead. If they float, they are not dead as long as the meat is in the shell. They somehow got air trapped in the shells and will work it out. However some snails have a tough time getting the air out. Some people mistakenly interpret floating snails as dead snails. This is not the case at all. Have patience and in a few days they will work the air out.

    http://www.pondkoi.com/trapdoor_snails.htm
     
    vertigo72, May 31, 2011
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  6. max384

    max384

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    Thanks for the information about proper packaging of those snails, from the sounds of it, that is likely non-contributory.

    The only reason I haven't contacted them already is because of the long holiday weekend. I tried sending them an email, but it kept getting blocked by their spam filter and sent back to me. It seems to be a pretty established website, so I don't think I'm getting scammed at this point. They open back up this morning at 9am.

    Thanks!
     
    max384, May 31, 2011
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  7. max384

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Offer to take a picture of the empty shells if they need to see them.
     
    addy1, May 31, 2011
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  8. max384

    max384

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    I just got off the phone with them. They apologized, said it was probably an error due to rushing to get a bunch of orders out prior to the holiday weekend. They told me they'd send out a brand new order of twenty snails right away, and didn't need pictures or anything. They also said usually they include a couple extra snails in an order to make up for any that might die in transit. They were extremely pleasant to deal with. I ordered them from pondkoi.com. I was a bit hesitant to include the company name until I followed up with them.

    Mistakes can be made by anyone. However, good customer service wins me over every time. Barring anything unforeseeable, I will certainly be doing business with them again.

    Thanks for the help guys. I'll keep you posted on how those four snails do and about the new shipment.
     
    max384, May 31, 2011
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  9. max384

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Fantastic, glad to hear!
     
    addy1, May 31, 2011
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  10. max384

    max384

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    Three out of the four possibles are definitely dead and out of the pond. The other one is MIA, I hope that means he crept away and is okay and not rotting in the pond somewhere. When I went out to the pond today, I smelled a foul odor when I got near. Then I noticed one of the snails had fallen out of it's shell and was lying in a rotting pile on a rock. I pulled it out and then checked the other two snails. One had it's trapdoor closed tight, but I noticed goo coming out of the side. I used my fingernail to gently pry it open and it plopped right out. I did the same with the third one with the same result. So, 6 of the 10 are definitely dead, one MIA.

    I checked my water and everything was good, and the water is crystal clear, but I still did about a 25% water change because of how awful the smell was, I figured it couldn't be good for the pond. I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow.

    Next time I'll do the smart thing and put them in a tank first and only transfer them after I see them move... and use gloves!

    WOW, do rotting snails stink! Holy hell, I washed my hands five times and couldn't get the funk off of me. I went and took a shower and I still have a slight odor on my hands. I may actually turn in my man card and use some of the wife's scented lotion on my hands to get rid of the smell!
     
    max384, Jun 1, 2011
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  11. max384

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    That's actually the best thing to do with anything living breathing critter you put in the pond. So much safer being able to monitor in a small inclosure and make sure everything is going good before adding.
     
    fishin4cars, Jun 1, 2011
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  12. max384

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Max try some lemon juice, vinegar, it cuts the smell.
     
    addy1, Jun 1, 2011
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