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View Full Version : How to help a snail with a crumbling shell



jcarr71
03-24-2010, 06:48 AM
One of my mystery snails just isn't doing well. I've had the five for about a year now and they've bred a couple times. The other four originals are all in tip top shape, but this ones shell is eroding away. My research reveals this happens in soft water like mine. Is there anything with which to supplement their diet in order to help them maintain their shells? Some sort of calcium tablet or whatnot? Thanks.

Sarkazmo
03-24-2010, 07:06 AM
You could add some marine substrate like Aragonite or something along those lines. It's all calcium carbonate... coral skeletons. You can either add some to the substrate or put it in a bag and put it in your filter. Acidic water erodes the shells of snails leading eventually to their death. I've seen pics online of shells that've been patched but you'd have to research that for how it's done. Anyway, the crushed coral will raise the tank's PH over time as your acidic water breaks it down into components in the water that the snails will use to build new shells.

This is all supposing that you do have acidic water and your snail's not fighting off a disease. You need to test the water to see what the PH is and go from there.

Sark

korith
03-24-2010, 09:11 AM
Cuttlebone the stuff people give their birds to gnaw on, you can add that to your tank, or chips of it. Good source of calcium and fairly cheap.

Scrup
03-24-2010, 03:27 PM
hard water will help prevent the shell from being eroded.

A calcium source, like a cuttlebone, calcium rich foods, or calcium pills (cuttlebone is the cheapest) will help them build their shell and repair any holes they have. If the hole goes through to the flesh, its a bad thing, but with enough calcium in their diet, they can close it off. If its just a pit, like a chip, it wont go away, but having hard water will help prevent this from happening.

Wild Turkey
03-24-2010, 03:53 PM
All the above methods are great ways to get more calcium to the snail. You want to add calcium to the water column, crushed coral also helps increase the ph (it needs to be above 7)

They do need it in their diet, i feed pellets that are 20% calcium but in the short term kale is very high in calcium.

Any of those factors can make the shell rot away, having hard water wont be enough. I just picked up 5 blues from a lfs last week and they all have shell dmg but their ph tops the regular ph test (7.6+) They are still pretty young as well.

Its important to note that the higher the temperature in the tank the faster their shells (and they) grow and metabolize food, if you drop the temperature it slows them down and usually stops breeding, if you want them to breed you raise the temperature up to about 80 degrees. At 80, they live about 2 years, but in cooler temps they can live 10 or more years.