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Mystery Snail shell changing


Kimberly P
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Our mystery snail, Turbo, is a favorite in the office.  We've noticed his shell is changing - I'm assuming it's the growth that has happened since we have had him.  I'm guessing some mineral is missing from the water?  Also, it looks like algae is growing on his shell??

Current set up - 10 gallon planted tank w/driftwood.  Tank mates - betta, 2 black skirt tetras and a nerite snail.

Parameters: 10 Nitrates; 0 Nitrates & ammonia; hardness 75; alkalinity 40; ph 6.8

What can I add to the water to make it a better environment for him?  Also any ideas in tank mates? It's only a 10 gallon, but I am thinking of getting some algae eaters.

turbo.jpg

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That is new growth, we see it a lot with our snails that have come from a fish store (that don’t really specialize in caring for them) vs hobbyist bred or the ones we’ve bred ourselves. We’ve found it difficult to repair the damage already done on the old shell. But Turbo’s new growth looks quite nice!  I agree with all of the above, we use wondershells, snail food with added calcium, and tums (any flavor is fine) for our mystery snails. We’ve also found that they just love to eat, and so the more you feed them (balancing that with not over feeding other inhabitants) the more big and beautiful they grow. 
 

What kind of algae are you concerned about? If it’s on the plants, maybe some Amano shrimp. You could try neocaridina or caridina but your betta may kill/eat them. I have 2 nerite snails in one tank and they just leave trails through the algae on the wall rather than completely cleaning it off.  For wall algae your best bet is probably just to clean it yourself or replace your tetras with one bristlenose pleco (though 10 may be a bit small for them).   Plus if you’re feeding the tank, your algae eaters will prefer to feed the nice food your give them rather than your algae.  
 Check out A Girl Talks Fish’s video about balancing your tank to reduce algae.  The Coop has done a few videos on algae eater stocking options as well. 
Alternatively, maybe add 2-3 more tetras to your school? I don’t know how big black skirts grow to and whether that would overstock your tank once full grown.  

 

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I agree with the comments above that I think your snail would benefit from more calcium. I don't have any experience with supplimenting snail diet, but I've heard they make calcium rich foods that you could try. 

I do have experience with changing water chemistry to better suit snails though.

Your water is soft and slightly acidic, and your KH is on the lower side. This has two consequences: 1. Low KH means that dissolved calcium in the water is probably low and 2. KH buffers/stabilizes pH, so it's possible that your pH might dip down even lower at times. Those conditions might be causing his new shell growth to be thinner than the old growth and it might be causing those little white dots on his shell, which look like pits where his shell has been dissolved slightly because of low pH. 

I had similar issue in my tank with low KH and unstable/low pH with apple snails. I tried a couple things, 1. cuttlebone - would not recommend, it stunk like dead fish if it wasn't completely submerged but that was hard cause they float but many people recommend it and say that snails will actually eat it. 2. Aragonite or crushed coral (basically straight calcium carbonate) - I'm using aragonite right now to increase my KH and stabilize the pH, it hasn't really increased the pH but it's increased the KH from 0 to 60 ppm KH (which is still considered low) and my pH is much more stable now. 

In my snail tank, I just put a sprinkling of aragonite on the substrate (no more than a couple teaspoons at first since adding too much can increase pH too much. An even better way is to add the aragonite in a filter bag to your filter that way you can remove it if it's increasing you pH too much for your other tank inhabitants. I add a little more as it dissolves and as I can gauge how much it's increasing the KH/pH. 

Hope that helps! Apple snails are honestly the best. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your ph must stay above 7. 7.4-7.6 is awesome mine love it and I have many. Anything below 7 and the shell will continue to erode until it gets holes and eventually weakens your snail until it passes. epsom salt api liquid calcium wondershells dr. Turtle calcium block and are all products that have worked reliably for me and are super easy. Zoomed spirulina calcium blocks are also good. Aq coop sells most of these things.  Mine DEVOUR steamed fresh green beans broccoli stalks(florets make a mess) steamed baby carrots blanched zucchini I use a plant weight to sink them. It is so fun to watch them nom on fresh veggies green beans are their favorite.

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I have 9 mystery snails  one nerite  and a bunch of bladders. My first aquarium I bought as a dedicated mystery snail tank. I love them so much if you don’t have a bubbler get one every one of my snails play in the bubbles and then parachutes across the aquarium and then goes back to play in the bubbles more they love bubbles. 

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