Calcium for snails

  1. Rarotongan Member Member

    I have some mystery snails with cracks in their shells and I am trying to raise the calcium levels in the water. The tank also has plants in it and platy and guppy

    I feed my snails calcium rich foods like zucchini.


    What is the best way raise the calcium levels in the water?

    Eggshells?
    Cuttlefish bone?
    Liquid calcium?


    Thanks
     
  2. matsungit Well Known Member Member

    Eggshells and cuttlebone are fine. With liquid calcium what kind are we talking about? Like the ones used in reef tanks? If so, be careful as they can result in drastic changes that can shock your fish.
     

  3. Sayba Well Known Member Member

    I just buy hand made calcium blocks off ebay, they dissolve in the tank and the snails munch them.
     
  4. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    If you use cuttlebone then you can drop the whole piece right in the tank, but you have to weight it down or it'll float away. The other option is to smash it up into fine pieces and put it in your filter (if it'll fit).
     

  5. Rarotongan Member Member

    Will any of these options make my tank milky?
     
  6. klj7678 Member Member

    The cuttlebone shouldn't
     
  7. Taitertot Member Member

    I have added cuttlebone, a few times and it didn't seem to affect clarity, another option would be putting a some sea shells in it
     

  8. Cobaltshark Member Member

    I have always used Tums. Just drop one in as needed. Make sure to use the REGULAR strength fruit flavored ones. Snails go nuts and fish will munch on it.
     
  9. shelleyd2008 Well Known Member Member

    Contrary to popular opinion, zucchini is not a 'calcium-rich' food. I feed mine a biscuit that I make using collard greens which are very high in calcium.

    Here is a partial list I found on applesnail.net.

    The calcium content (in mg) is per 100 gram serving
    1. Dill Weed 208 mg
    2. Turnip Greens 190 mg (I found out that these have a relatively high copper content , so probably not the best for snails)
    3. Collards 145 mg
    4. Parsley 138 mg
    5. Kale 135 mg
    6. Watercress 120 mg
    7. Beet Greens 119 mg
    8. Chinese Cabbage 105 mg
    9. Mustard Greens 103 mg
    10. Chicory Greens 100 mg
    11. Spinach 99 mg
    12. Okra 81 mg
    13. Leaf Lettuce 68 mg
    14. Cilantro 67 mg
    15. Purslane 65 mg
    16. Endive 52 mg
    17. Swiss Chard 51 mg

    Not listed, but also very good, are dandelion greens. 1 cup of chopped dandelion greens has 103 mg of calcium.

    Zucchini and cucumber, both often recommended as food for snails, ranked very low on the list. Summer squash (zucchini) only has 20 mg of calcium per 100 gram serving, while cucumber has 14 mg.

    Additionally:
    --You can give them fruit-flavored Tums or a Caltrate tablet, just make sure you don't give them anything with "D" added.
    --You can also make feeder blocks using Plaster of Paris, you can find recipes online. They are the same as the calcium blocks you can buy at the pet store or on eBay.
    --You can use cuttlebone.
    --I wouldn't recommend using shells unless you clean them very well, you don't want to introduce parasites!
    --You can use baking soda and epsom salts to increase the GH and KH (and subsequently the calcium) in your tank.
    --You could also use crushed coral as your substrate or in your filter. Remember, livebearers like relatively hard water (high calcium content).

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that your snails' shells won't repair themselves unless the 'cracks' are very shallow. You can fix the shells using egg shell, egg membrane, and other techniques (Do a google search to find the how-to's). Feeding and adding calcium to the tanks are merely preventatives and don't repair once the damage is done.