Snails, plants, and fish! Oh my! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Snails, plants, and fish! Oh my!

So I have two tanks, a 10g and a 20g, both planted. The 20g has Serpae Tetra and Bronze Cory, while the 10g has a Betta splendens.

Well, while raiding Petsmart of their Malaysian Trumpet Snails (the 10g has sand, so we wanted them for aeration) we saw they have Mystery Snails on sale for $1. Why not? Got a blue one for the 20g and a yellow for the 10g. And 17 MTS .... hey, they are a 'pest' so they're free

However, I know these guys need calcium for their shells, so my question is how can I supplement for this? I have really soft water, with a GH around the 25 ppm area.

And how do I prevent that from adversely affecting the fish and plants (I know calcium is a nutrient for plants, but sometimes with things too much is as bad as too little)?

I have slightly acidic water at a pH of 6.8 would like to keep it slightly acidic and soft as that is what the fish prefer. Calcium will make the water 'hard' though won't it?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 12:34 PM
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Oh Byron.. lol.

I just posted a thread asking some questions about MTS and he replied that the MTS do well in his tank despite his very very soft water. Heres a link to the thread so you can see exactly what was said. Malaysion trumpet snails.

Now as to the Mystery snails.. they proably wont do so well .
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was reading your thread but didn't want to hijack it ;)

I've seen a lot of people talk about supplementing calcium though via either powders, liquids, or cuttlefish bones. I'm just not sure how it will affect everything else in my aquariums.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 01:13 PM
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I use Seachem Equilibrium to increase mineral content since I use DI water. The minerals are sulfates rather than carbonates so the KH is not affected. KH, being a measure of carbonate or bicarbonate will only increase along with an increase in GH if the source is something like calcite or aragontite (different mineral forms of calcium carbonate) or mineral dolomite, which is calcium magnesium carbonate or rock composed of these minerals (like limestone).
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Can you translate down to a 5 year old level? :D

Pictures are always helpful, even if not needed to answer my questions ;) I thought it was a good photo though so I had to share.

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post #6 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 06:42 PM
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The Equilibrium is just a way to increase GH (which may be needed for the snails, though not much as your fish will do better in relatively softer water) without increasing KH, which could alter your pH, which you wouldn't want to do since 6.8 is a good level for your fish. Using calcium carbonate (in the forms I listed) or dolomite to increase GH (mineral content) would also increase KH due to the carbonate anion.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 11:38 PM
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Thinking about this a little more, my posts may not be at all relevant to the question. I had assumed that the snails will need additional Ca with such soft water, but I have no idea how a snail gets and assimilates Ca for its shell. Water chemistry may not be a factor at all if it it gets it solely from what it consumes, but again I don't know, hopefully someone that knows will chime in.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 11:57 PM
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Calcium needs for the snails shell comes from the water column. Well this is my understanding anyways. You know I have actually heard ppl using tums for this problem hmmm... thinking it was someone on this forum too? Maybe Lupin i think if memory serves me right? The MTS should be fine but the mystery snail I am thinking won't last long as I think it needs harder water for the calcium.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
Calcium needs for the snails shell comes from the water column. Well this is my understanding anyways. You know I have actually heard ppl using tums for this problem hmmm... thinking it was someone on this forum too? Maybe Lupin i think if memory serves me right? The MTS should be fine but the mystery snail I am thinking won't last long as I think it needs harder water for the calcium.
Disregard this message I am tired and confused here. Your GH and Ph is however too lower to support health shells on your mystery snail and I will leave it at that.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 05:13 AM
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Your pH will erode eveyone's shells. There is a difference between acidic water and soft water.pH matters most for snails. Actually, the tylo snails in Sumatra thrive in alkaline but soft water. This chemistry though is too dangerous to replicate in a closed environment. Your critters wont have time to adapt to fluctuations easily.
Best keep the snails separated and supply your water with calcium carbonate from tums, caltrate, cuttlefish bone, powdered egg sjells, crushed corals or limestones. The only disadvantage with tums is it does cloud up the water. The increased pH will.minimize shel erosion. They absorb calcium better when fed directly or they step on the calcium tabs as they crawl. Most snails like to smoosh their faces on calcium tabs anyway.lol

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