I have kept snails for quite some time now but I am by no means a professional. I just love their weird anatomy and the antics they get up to in their tank. They have no tankmates, just two aquatic snails. They are from the same egg batch and (i believe) that means they will never mate.
My question lies with their shells- they seem to be scratched-up. The color is fading and they just aren't looking as pretty as they once did. I suspect it has to do with the hardness of my water- but it really could be anything. How do I soften my water? is that the problem here?
I feed algae pellets. They are in a 1.5 gal. no filter or anything fancy, no substrate even. just some seashells for calcium, a few fake plants, and dechlorinated tap water. I like it simple so I can do simple water changes.
Post by littlegoldsnail on Jan 29, 2021 18:52:07 GMT
What is your PH? If your water is acidic at all, snails can get a worn look to their shells. You can also add some cuttlebone or a liquid calcium supplement (found in the saltwater section at most pet stores. I’ve heard the Kent Marine stuff works well).
Also, mystery snails (just like fish) require a cycled tank with a heater and filter. Optimal temperature for mystery snails is about 76° with as little fluctuation as possible. Your snails will be a lot healthier if you get them a little 5 gallon or something and add a filter and a heater and maybe some sand on the bottom. I would also really recommend throwing some anubias in there. It’s doesn’t require fancy lighting or fertilizer or anything and it’s a super tough plant, and the snails will really enjoy it.
ammonia build up is harmful to your snails and will shorten their lifespan and give them a weaker immune system which makes it harder for them to replenish the calcium in their shells and makes it very easy for them to get sick. That’s why small uncycled, unheated tanks are really unhealthy for them.
I would also strongly recommend giving them a good diet if you want to help with their shells. Mystery snails love bloodworms, mysis shrimp, boiled vegetables, algae wafers, etc. despite common myth, mystery snails don’t actually eat algae. They will nibble on boifilm (bacterial film that collects on the glass), but It’s not a sustainable food source for them.
Post by littlegoldsnail on Feb 10, 2021 16:25:46 GMT
Snello is generally really good. What do you put in it?
Cuttlebone CAN help because it raises the PH, which can fix your problem IF you have acidic water, but if your water is already alkaline, then cuttlebone probably won’t do much. The only way to really figure this out is a test kit (which I generally recommend an API master test kit to anyone getting started with keeping fish or aquatic snails, it’s just a good thing to have on hand).
From my experience, aquatic snails don’t get calcium from cuttlebones very well, they usually get their calcium better through liquid supplementation or through food. Sometimes cuttlebone will help though, so it’s worth a shot.
However, most of what I was saying in my last post, is that it’s probably not just a calcium problem, or at least it’s a calcium problem caused by something else. Snails have a hard time absorbing calcium in the water when they are sick or have a weakened immune system. That’s why old snails tend to have it the worst. Most issues with aquatic snails tend to circle back to poor water quality (wether it’s ammonia, a wacked out PH, etc). The shell, in part, can show how healthy the snail is in general.
If you are keeping your snails in an un-filtered, un-heated, 1.5 gallon bowl, there’s bound to be problems. That tank (if you can call it a tank), is just not suitable for mystery snails. Mystery snails are big snails that make a lot of waste. They will likely have very short life spans and suffer from a lot of illnesses in a tank like that.
I’m trying really hard not to be rude, but you are going to have a very difficult time keeping healthy snails in a small amount of water like that, especially if there is no filter or heater and probably some drastic PH swings from experimenting with cuttlebone in such a small water volume.
If you don’t have the resources to upgrade your tank, then I would probably recommend getting ramshorn snails in stead a mystery snails. Rams come in lots of colors (red, blue, green, spotted, etc), and they are much smaller and more cold hardy then mystery snails. They would do a lot better in a small tank like that.