Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bigehugedome 03-16-2011 04:43 PM

Apple Snail Shell Issue

I recently noticed my snails shell has been becoming thinner, and appearing white. He is also starting to loose his color. I dont know what I should do, Like add calcium or something. So please advise

He is in a 5 gallon with a betta and lots of live plants, plus plenty of other baby snails from my plants. My ph is 7 and nitrates and nitrites are both zero. I do a water change every weekend.

He eats normally, there used to be alot of algea on the tank that he would much on, but now there is alot less because I let my plants grow out pretty wild and thefore less algea grows. I also use two different algea waffers, shimp pellets a couple times a week, after him and the other snails eat them all.

You can see a black line where his shell was when we got him (september) and compare it now, so he has grown alot since we had him

Here is a pic

Lupin 03-17-2011 07:48 AM

What test kit did you use?
Do you have KH and GH kits? If so, please test those and post the results here.

Assuming the reading is correct, your pH being neutral is still unacceptable for snails. It is dangerously close to acidity. Acidic water erodes the shells rather badly. You need to make sure your pH does not fall below 7.4. If your hardness level is below 150 ppm, that's barely enough to prevent the shells from pitting. You must ensure your hardness is increased. You can achieve this by adding Kent's liquid calcium (calcium chloride) to achieve at least 200-250 ppm. It won't be able to increase the pH however, so you may need to try calcium carbonate. Corals and seashells are calcium carbonate-based and are quite useful in situations like this. You may also need to supply your snail with calcium supplements. Caltrate, Tums, kale, collards and seaweeds are useful here.

The damage in this case is irreparable unfortunately but you can minimize further damage by increasing both the pH and hardness levels as much as possible.

dfbiggs 03-17-2011 08:00 AM

Sounds like you have a mixture of water parameter prob and a diet problem. You need to test your hardness GH. It seems you may have him in soft water. You should be around 12-25 dH with snails. (Unless they are pond snails, who cares about them..joking) You can add certain rocks like limestone, gypsum, & dolomite. I think adding a cuttlebone is the best option along with a diet of high calcium vegetables like spinach, squash, etc. You can google a list of high calcium veges. Every once in a while throw them a block of bloodworms..they love that protein.

Your snail definately has a calcium deficiency. Don't expect it to heal right away. Also, keep up on water changes, from personal experiences I have learned that snails shells will erode quickly in high ammonia.

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