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Help with bladder snails, not what you think.


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So, I love my colony of bladder snails. I love watching my army of tank roombas roam around cleaning literally EVERYTHING. Recently i have noticed a number of my bladder snails shells looking a bit bleached instead of the normal dark blackish sort of color. Is this normal? Is it a sign of aging? Or could this be a sign of calcium deficiency? Its not all of them, but maybe 10% of the population are showing white edges on their shell, some worse than others. I want to keep my bladder snails healthy and happy so they can keep doing the awesome job they are doing for my tank. 

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Without knowing your water parameters and water change schedule it's tough to say for sure. My first thought would be that they might have hit a critical mass in the tank and are now competing for the calcium in the water? Good calcium supplements would be crushed coral, vegetables with calcium as food, or this product https://www.aquariumcoop.com/products/wonder-shell

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17 hours ago, NeoNerd said:

My first thought would be that they might have hit a critical mass in the tank and are now competing for the calcium in the water?

I shall look into this. My source water is pretty hard. My tank parameters for right now are ammonia =0, nitrite =0, nitrate = 80, GH = 11dkh, KH= 6dkh, and PH = 7.4. Of that hardness i cant tell how much is calcium, and how much is other dissolved solids. But they do live in my 55 gallon ever growing army of guppies. Perhaps maybe the bladder snail population is peaking and petering out. I just have never noticed the white spots on their shells before. 

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I agree it's possible it could be calcium deficiency specifically and not just hardness in general - you could also add tums every once in a while if you don't do that already. 

I also get a fair amount of variation of color in my bladder snails (I try to grow them in several tanks for my puffers).  I also started getting what I thought were "clear" bladder snails, but they actually turned out to be pond snails.  The pond snails have cute little elf ears sticking out of their head instead of the thin antennae that bladder snails have.  

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57 minutes ago, Bru said:

I use fruity flavored tums and cuttlebones for my shrimp and snail populations. I just drop part of a tums in after a water change and a bunch of my shrimp will molt the next day and it seems to keep my snails shells nice and healthy. ^^

And the question is - whats the favorite flavor of fruity tums?  😉

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Thanks for the tips. Ill try the tums trick, been a while but i think i recall a video of @Cory demonstrating this technique. My water changes are a bot on the heavy side, about 25% one week and 50% the next week alternating. (I have very messy eaters). But again i dont know the calcium content of my source water either. Thanks again, for the tips. I also look forward to finding out which fruity flavor tums is best, lol. 

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