Empty Trochus Shell

BRS

simecircle

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
UK
Hi

Forgive if this is a "noob" question. I found one of my three Trochus completely upended and not moving at the front of my tank this morning. On closer inspection the shell looks completely empty! Did something eat him? Worse, did something kill him to eat him?

Aside from two other Trochus, all I have is 2 clowns a very small algae eating hermit crab (much smaller than any of the snails), a Nassarius and emerald crab. I am hoping someone with more experience could speculate.

Assuming I should take the shell out? (Part of me wondered whether the snail had pushed itself all the way into it's shell in a way that meant I just can't see it?)
 
Corals.com

fachatga

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
391
Reaction score
592
Location
oak park
Hermit crab probably ate the snail is my guess. It happens from time to time. My tank is littered with empty shells. I keep them there since hermit crabs will use them when they get bigger. Hermit crabs need some shells around otherwise they will kill each other for a new one.
 
OP
S

simecircle

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
UK
Thanks, but the hermit is literally 20-30% of the size of the snails, tiny. I cannot see where he would have put it all, plus I've seen him running away from (the much smaller) Nassarius. I suppose I could imaging the emerald being big enough at a stretch, but there is algae about for him/ her to eat.

Is it possible it just died and something else ate it? (I believe Nassarius are scavengers?)
 

N.Sreefer

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
542
Reaction score
721
Location
Dartmouth
Id bet it was the emerald they eat bloody well everything they can get their claws on. I seen a study on them in the wild, more than 50% of their diet is coral. I had one about 6 years ago that ate every paly in my tank and even ripped a hermit from its shell so it could eat its soft parts. And it wasn't scavenging it ate the hermit alive.
 

DED65

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 21, 2016
Messages
360
Reaction score
544
Location
Sparks, Nevada
Unless you see it happen, it's just a guess. Snails do die and the clean up crew will eat them. It could be that the hermit or the emerald crab was hungry. I would leave the shell in the tank for the hermit.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
S

simecircle

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
UK
Hmmm. I will keep an eye open! Thanks, all for the answers.

The other theory, that it had fallen on its back (I'm sure for quite a while BTW) and withdrawn so far into its shell that it couldn't be seen (and it's right at the front of the tank). Is that possible? I did leave it in the tank, flipped the right way up and I swear I've seen it move, almost out of the corner of my eye, like something's in it!! (and I know the hermit is elsewhere as I can see him)
 

fachatga

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
391
Reaction score
592
Location
oak park
I’m thinking if it’s been flipped this long something would have eaten it by now. I can be wrong. I’m fairly new too. But it doesn’t take long to see the fighting that happens within the CUC. They can be vicious But it is fun to watch the lazy snails hitch rides on the hermit crabs. And vice versa. My kids love when there are stacks of 3 helmets on top of each other waking around.
 
OP
S

simecircle

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
UK
Ha! Well, maybe I should get more crabs and just watch the drama unfold! :)

I am actually now sure it IS alive. It seems to be flipping itself on its back and completely disappearing into its shell and staying there until I flip it over, I'm sure it is alive as it does move, slightly, and I can see its antennae peep out . i feel it's either suicidal or unfortunately not very well at all... on its last, well not legs exactly, but you know. I'm not really sure what to do at this stage. Maybe it'll get better?
 

Alexopora

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
612
Reaction score
508
Location
Malaysia
Thanks, but the hermit is literally 20-30% of the size of the snails, tiny. I cannot see where he would have put it all, plus I've seen him running away from (the much smaller) Nassarius. I suppose I could imaging the emerald being big enough at a stretch, but there is algae about for him/ her to eat.

Is it possible it just died and something else ate it? (I believe Nassarius are scavengers?)
This is the most likely scenarios. Things that die in our tank quickly get eaten up by our cuc (be it other snails, crabs, hermits, worms).
 
https://www.youtube.com/c/ReefStache

Alexopora

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
612
Reaction score
508
Location
Malaysia
Hi

Forgive if this is a "noob" question. I found one of my three Trochus completely upended and not moving at the front of my tank this morning. On closer inspection the shell looks completely empty! Did something eat him? Worse, did something kill him to eat him?

Aside from two other Trochus, all I have is 2 clowns a very small algae eating hermit crab (much smaller than any of the snails), a Nassarius and emerald crab. I am hoping someone with more experience could speculate.

Assuming I should take the shell out? (Part of me wondered whether the snail had pushed itself all the way into it's shell in a way that meant I just can't see it?)
You can leave the trochus shell in there. As for hermits, i doubt they’ll actually move into the trochus shell since its not the right shape to house most of our hermits. The shape, aperture is just not favoured by most hermits. You will notice bristleworms, amphipods and even small red feather dusters turning it into their home after a while.
 
OP
S

simecircle

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
UK
Thank you to all that answered. I feel like it either has died, likely of natural causes, or some malicious intent from from some other inhabitant or sadly is on its way out.

Either way the strong advice from everyone (thanks again) is to leave it in there. I have other shells strewn, for the single hermit and they add to the aesthetic anyway and it does feel like the tank should be capable of processing it anyway. I keep a fastidious eye on all the parameters and it seems quite settled, albeit still quite young. Many thanks again!
 
Kessil
Top