Snailo was found! ‘Tis true! At the last water test, we found out that our tank water contains too much ammonia from fish waste (ew). My darling husband took the natives to the pet store where they were instructed to do more frequent water changes to help eliminate the high ammonia levels.
During water changes I remove the tank decor to better clean the gravel. As per usual, the casual beach bungalow and Hawaiian mountain waterfall were placed ever so gently on a towel on the ground. As my husband siphoned the gravel, I began inspecting the tank decor, still in disbelief that Snailo could just “disappear” from the tank. Using my phone’s flashlight, I looked in all the nooks and crannies, not seeing any sign of Snailo. Resigning to the fact that I would find a dried up Snailo under a bed during our next move, I began putting the tank decor back into the water.
Soon, screams from my very excited natives are resounding throughout our walls. Shouts of “IT’S A SNAIL! IT’S THE BLUE SNAIL” were muffled only slightly by my frightened screams of “WHAT HAPPENED?!”. Once I realized I wasn’t about to be attacked by something scary, I looked down on the towel and see Snailo. Just this little blue mound of a creature. My instinct was to throw him back into the fish tank so I grabbed him gingerly, yet with a quickness, and plopped him into the tank…. only later realizing I should have checked if he was even alive. No one needs a dead snail rotting in the water when we already have an “unstable environment”, as my friend S said upon my announcement that the fish water contains high levels of ammonia (she’s in charge of fish and snail sitting during our absences, so she’s justifiably concerned).
After placing the tank decor in their respectful places, of course trying not to place the decor on my once again two snails who reside in the tank, I decided to remove Snailo from the water. I was desperately in search of a cup. I excitedly yelled, “I NEED A CUP!”, in hopes that the nervousness of the potential mortality of a snail is not detected in my voice by my natives…. Not only did I not want to confirm the death of the snail because of my fears of shattering my native’s young minds, but I also did not want to do what is required to determine if a water snail is dead. I’m an expert in this because I have extensively searched the internet for answers when Snailo appeared to not move during the day. For those who do not know, and most of you seem to know, snails are nocturnal…. not dead during the day.
My natives followed me hurriedly down the stairs to the kitchen to find a cup. This could not be just any cup. It needed to be small, never have been touched by detergents or soaps, and not currently occupied by curdled milk or moldy juice #kids.
I found a paper cup and decided it’ll do, though I’d have preferred a clear plastic cup, but ain’t nobody got time to run to the basement to find a plastic cup when a snail’s life rests in my hands. I ran back upstairs, natives in tow, grabbed Snailo and started Snail Watch 2017. It was much like watching April, only not for two months. #wasteoftime.
I filled the cup with tank water and tossed the snail into the cup. The natives and I decided that the snail is either dead or shy. My darling husband, being ever so brave, grabbed the snail to definitively determine if it is indeed alive or dead. Typically, the procedure includes touching its “foot” and smelling it, neither of which I was looking forward to doing.
My darling husband determined that the snail did not smell foul (insert explaining the definition of foul to my natives), and plopped him back into the paper cup of fish tank water. I decided that we need a clear container because the snail is now determined to not be dead, but just very shy.
The snail is transferred to a clear container for optimal viewing. I told everyone to exit the room, I turned off the lights, and I waited. and waited. and waited. I got bored and left the room. Kinda like watching April #whydidwecaresomuch
I returned later to find that the snail had come out of his shell, and not in a “laying half way out of his shell because he’s dead” kind of way, but in a “What container am I in? This is not my bungalow” kind of way. I threw in some fish food because I have no idea how long he’s gone without eating since he was stuck inside of that bungalow for so long.
By this time, my natives had gone off to school for the day, so I shouted with excitement to myself, triumphantly with my arms lifted in the air, “SNAILO LIVES!”, threw him in the water and continued with my day.
Snail owning is rough.