Caring For Your Snail’s Shell

Caring For Your Snail’s Shell

Snails have become a big part of the fish keeping hobby. They can be added to most aquariums, and are a great touch. Both decorative and helpful, snails are often added to help keep the aquarium clean of algae.

Although snails are very easy to keep, some extra attention may be necessary to keeping their home strong and sturdy.

The biggest thing that needs to be remembered about your snail’s shell is that they build it out of calcium. This means that having a calcium source to your tank is essential to keeping your snail healthy.

This also means that keeping a higher GH (general hardness) is also very important to keeping your snail healthy. More calcium=Higher GH. I personally recommend you keep a GH of at least 75ppm for your snails.

Calcium deficiency can be very bad for your snail. It makes it difficult for the snail to build its shell, and it can be easily observed.

This is an example of a snail with a healthy shell:

The snail has even coloring and a smooth, thick shell. Some growth lines may be present, and they are okay as long as they are faint and in small numbers.

This is a snail with a not so healthy shell:

This snail grew a much healthier shell once calcium was available, but you can see how calcium deficient he was beforehand. It’s very rough and blotchy, and shows almost no color.

Another thing to note about keeping your snail’s shell healthy is the pH of your tank. It is often said that having an acidic pH can dissolve your snail’s shell. While this can be true, whats most important is keeping a stable pH. All of my snails live in water with a pH of 6.2 and I haven’t had issues. As long as your pH isnt crazy low, and you’re properly supplementing your snail, it should be fine. It is however very important to keep a stable pH, because a sudden pH swing can be extremely stressful and even fatal.

Some ways you can supplement your snail with calcium is:
  • Adding unflavored cuttlebone to your tank; it can be found in most pet stores for birds, and it will simply dissolve in your tank raising the GH.
  • Food formulated for snails, or food rich in calcium
  • Homemade food for snails, like “snello”
Your shell is very important to your snaily friend, so it’s critical to help take care of it. Thank you for reading, and happy snailing!


First release
Last update
5.00 star(s) 6 ratings

More resources from ayeayeron

Latest reviews

Really informative and helpful. The pics were great!!
Very good for first time snail owners! I might suggest some info on other calcium sources like pulverized egg shells, or even unflavoured tums.
This is very informative to let me know what to use to keep my snail's shells looking healthy and in good condition! Also to know the PH level of the water for them. I recently purchased four beautiful olive green nerite snails to put in my three tanks with my male bettas and otocinclus catfish. I put one Wonder shell in each of the three tanks along with a small piece of cuttlebone.
Very informative. I did not know they made their shells out of calcium. Thank you.
Very valuable information :)
Very helpful, straight to the point and offers solutions.
  • Hugooo
  • 5.00 star(s)
Very informative, helpful, and worded well! I will definitely be observing my MTS shells to see if they are healthy. Maybe next time, you could write an article on how to make 'snello'!
Top Bottom