Calcium/health Questions

Goldie&Yami
  • #1
I have 2 mystery snails, which are usually active very goofy little characters. They are my original snails of the bunch(I also have 3 nerite snails-2 horned, 1 racer). I've had a golden(Goldie) and black(Yami) mystery snail for about 2 months now. It's only the mystery snails that are affected. They are usually very happy little guys with all their fast racing through the tank and even parasnailing(which I had never heard of til I saw one of them doing it one day). I love watching them. But the last couple days they have been very lethargic. They hide majority of the time now and are both super slow when they are out. And just last night I noticed a little piece of Goldie's shell was chipping away right by it's siphon. I picked it up and felt it's shell. Everything feels healthy, firm, and smooth but right there in the front-the very tip just feels soft and brittle. I was wondering if maybe they weren't getting enough calcium or other vitamins in their diet...?
My water is very hard straight out of the tap, it usually reads 8.0 without me having to do anything to it.

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20180322_224357.jpg Is hard water alone enough calcium for them?
I feed them algae wafers once or twice a week, and blanched spinach once a week. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong!! I miss my happy, energetic, bottom babies.
 
Rtessy
  • #2
It seems you're doing everything correctly with feeding and such. I see based on your profile that ammonia is at .25, that could be the cause. If you're worried about calcium, use either eggshells or cuttle bone, but it would be better to test your water with a gH/kH kit, API has one on Amazon for like $6 I think
 
sfsamm
  • #3
I'm not a snail expert but I know that mating behavior can cause damage to mystery snail shells, might be an idea worth looking into anyway!

I also agree with picking up a kH/gH kit, they are quite inexpensive and making sure you're at or above 6°gH would be a good start to assuring a proper amount of calcium is available. Thing is with those tests, they don't differentiate between Ca and Mg which comprise the majority of your gH. So there is potential that even of you have a higher gH (even 10+) that there may not be enough Ca available. Might try supplementing an invert food that has added calcium rather than plain algae tabs or pick up some cuttlefish bone and stick it under a chunk of decor or in the filter to help keep up Ca in the water. People also make snello and add crushed berry flavored tums to increase calcium in their diet.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
It seems you're doing everything correctly with feeding and such. I see based on your profile that ammonia is at .25, that could be the cause. If you're worried about calcium, use either eggshells or cuttle bone, but it would be better to test your water with a gH/kH kit, API has one on Amazon for like $6 I think
Is that the high range ph on the API Master Test Kit? Yes the tank they are in isn't completely cycled and I don't honestly think I will ever get it cycled with the goldfish I have in it. I will be revoking them very soon. Like in a few days soon. Would you happen to have any suggestions for my poor snails until then?
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
So I just read the thread "Understanding ph, kh, gh" And to be honest there is still a lot I don't understand about it. And now my head is kinda spinning.
 
sfsamm
  • #6
Basics... KH keeps your pH stable, gH is where your calcium and magnesium are which is generally a good thing to know for any inverts, hard/soft water fish and often for planted tanks as well. PH is a generic indicator of where those will lie.

But water chemistry is quite complicated so just because you have high pH doesn't mean you will have a higher gH, and vise versa. You can still have soft water and have a high pH. There's quite a lot more to it than those three parameters but those three are more or less the best to know and easiest to deal with in keeping healthy happy aquariums.

Does that help at all? I can try to help break it down if you have questions and others may be able to chime in as well. It's a lot when you first look into it and all stock has different preferences but most will adjust if they have their minimum requirements.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
No that makes much more sense thank you!! I think I was reading too much information at once. When I try to take in too much at one time I overwhelm myself and end up not taking in anything at all...Lol!
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Ok so let me get this straight. I need to get a kh/gh kit and cuttlebone.
Is there anything else I need to get like tests to read calcium, phosphate, magnesium, or copper? If I do eggshells to add calcium to my water for now how exactly or where exactly does it go?
 
Rtessy
  • #9
You probably don't need other tests, and for the eggshells make sure to boil them to kill bacteria and make sure to remove the membrane inside. If you have an HOB, put it inside something, some sack thing, otherwise it'll mess up the impeller. If you don't mind the look, you could put it on the gravel or even bury it. But I should let you know, it will take at least a week for cuttlebone or eggshells to start dissolving and releasing calcium. You could also use seashells from a local petstore, I know PetSmart sells some that are safe
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
You probably don't need other tests, and for the eggshells make sure to boil them to kill bacteria and make sure to remove the membrane inside. If you have an HOB, put it inside something, some sack thing, otherwise it'll mess up the impeller. If you don't mind the look, you could put it on the gravel or even bury it. But I should let you know, it will take at least a week for cuttlebone or eggshells to start dissolving and releasing calcium. You could also use seashells from a local petstore, I know PetSmart sells some that are safe
Ok is there anything else then I could add or supplement in the mean time to ensure my snails are getting their right amounts of Calcium? What exactly is the thing with driftwood?
 
Rtessy
  • #11
The only thing would be a remineralizer, but those are more for shrimp and for specific shrimp at that, and the cheaper ones are like $30. They should be fine for a week. And I'm sorry, I don't quite know what you mean by 'the thing with driftwood'? Driftwood will lower pH and kH, I don't think you would want that. It grows biofilm and I see my nerites eat off of it but not my mysteries
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Oh Ok! I've just seen a lot about it but I couldn't find anything on what exactly it's used for. So if it lowers ph then it would be great to put in a tank with corys? I've really been wanting to get some corydoras to add to one of my tanks. But since my water is very hard with high ph I wasn't sure how hard it would be to get the water parameters right to keep them.
 
Rtessy
  • #13
I don't really know about Corys, sorry I've never kept them. How do you know your water is hard, if you don't mind my asking. Do you have a TDS meter?
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
The water company has told me directly, we get hard water stains on everything(clothes, sinks, tubs, toilets, etc), and my ph straight from the tap reads high. 8.0 or higher.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
So I got some cuttlebone just a little bit ago. Does it go in the filter directly in the tank? Do the snails eat it?
 
sfsamm
  • #16
So I got some cuttlebone just a little bit ago. Does it go in the filter directly in the tank? Do the snails eat it?
You can put the cuttlebone where ever you want. I'd say break a chunk off and put it in your filter and then take another chunk and wedge it I somewhere discreet so the snails can eat it if they want.
It floats like a balloon lol so I usually cram it half under a decoration or a nice rock or something where I don't have to see it.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Thank you very much!! I know it's for birds and stuff to eat. I wasn't sure if the snails liked/could eat it. Does anybody happen to know what it might taste like to them?
 
Siphon
  • #18
The cuttle bone eventualy sinks, I scrape some off into my filter every water change just to help it break down

Ive seen snails eat over it but never eat it
 
Pringlethesnail
  • #19
The black one is sick and the yellow one isn’t feeling great either. I can’t get on here enough and say these things. Cuttle bone makes zero difference in any tank over 5 gallons. Buy calcium from the reptile section. Make sure it only has calcium phosphate and maybe vitamin d in it. Use a a little less than a table spoon per 10 gallons every water change. That will fix the shell problem. ALSO. mystery snails are OMNIVORES. please spread the word. I know there’s not much info online so it’s not your fault for not knowing. They need to be fed at least every other day. Preferably every day. And they need to be eating omnivorous pellets. The best one I’ve found so far are HikarI bottom feeder wafers. They’re in an orange package. I get them at petco. They have them on amazon. I give 1/2-1 pellet per adult snail per day. Also make sure the tank stays between 75-78 degrees. Please please please spread the word. Not enough people know the needs of mystery snails. Your snails look amazing and you can tell they’re well cared for. It’s possible their age is factoring into their recent decline. Even still you should get them some better food.
 
Siphon
  • #20
why would cuttlebone work for 5 gallon and not more? if you put more in...

You seam very sure so iam going to petsmart tuesday and gettin powdered calcium and try it
 
Snailwhisperer
  • #21
You can put the cuttlebone where ever you want. I'd say break a chunk off and put it in your filter and then take another chunk and wedge it I somewhere discreet so the snails can eat it if they want.
It floats like a balloon lol so I usually cram it half under a decoration or a nice rock or something where I don't have to see it.

I let mine float in the tank. The snails climb up the wall. Grab onto the cuttlebone, float around in circles for a while and parachute off. I wish I could post videos. Endless hours of fun!
 
Snailwhisperer
  • #22
The black one is sick and the yellow one isn’t feeling great either. I can’t get on here enough and say these things. Cuttle bone makes zero difference in any tank over 5 gallons. Buy calcium from the reptile section. Make sure it only has calcium phosphate and maybe vitamin d in it. Use a a little less than a table spoon per 10 gallons every water change. That will fix the shell problem. ALSO. mystery snails are OMNIVORES. please spread the word. I know there’s not much info online so it’s not your fault for not knowing. They need to be fed at least every other day. Preferably every day. And they need to be eating omnivorous pellets. The best one I’ve found so far are HikarI bottom feeder wafers. They’re in an orange package. I get them at petco. They have them on amazon. I give 1/2-1 pellet per adult snail per day. Also make sure the tank stays between 75-78 degrees. Please please please spread the word. Not enough people know the needs of mystery snails. Your snails look amazing and you can tell they’re well cared for. It’s possible their age is factoring into their recent decline. Even still you should get them some better food.

I have been wondering how much to feed mine. I have been using Aquatic Arts Invertebrate Pelets and Aquatic Arts Algae Wafers and zukini. How much should 8 mystery, 3 rabbit, one ramshorn and at least one pond snail eat?
 
Pringlethesnail
  • #23
Those invert pellets look like a pretty good basic diet! The food I mentioned had more in it, but is way more expensive. There is enough in there to satisfy all those snails dietary needs. I've never used those pellets so i'm not sure what size they are. From looking at pictures it looks like each full grown mystery would eat 1 a day and each rabbit would eat 1/2 to 3/4 of one the pond and rams don't eat much. When you have free time start the first day with 10 pellets. Two hours later come back to check on it. If they still have food- feed 8 the next day, if they don't and they're still looking for food- feed 12 the next day. If you give 12 the next day and there's some left after 2 hours go back to 10 or 11. So on like that. The catch is that you want to give them everything they can eat in 2 hours. They won't keep eating if they're full. Find out the maximum they can finish in that time and give them that from then on. Sorry, I know that was a lot of words lol.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
The black one is sick and the yellow one isn’t feeling great either. I can’t get on here enough and say these things. Cuttle bone makes zero difference in any tank over 5 gallons. Buy calcium from the reptile section.
Oh no! How can you tell this? These pictures are very spread out. Some from the first few weeks I brought them home, some from just this last week.
Why won't cuttlebone work? I already went out and bought two big pieces. Is there anything I can do with it that will be beneficial at all??
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
ALSO. mystery snails are OMNIVORES. please spread the word. I know there’s not much info online so it’s not your fault for not knowing. They need to be fed at least every other day. Preferably every day. And they need to be eating omnivorous pellets. The best one I’ve found so far are HikarI bottom feeder wafers. They’re in an orange package. I get them at petco. They have them on amazon. I give 1/2-1 pellet per adult snail per day. Also make sure the tank stays between 75-78 degrees. Please please please spread the word. Not enough people know the needs of mystery snails. Your snails look amazing and you can tell they’re well cared for. It’s possible their age is factoring into their recent decline. Even still you should get them some better food.[/QUOTE]
When I click on your link it takes me to sinking shrimp pellets, I was wondering if these would be good for my snails diet. I know they would really love it. After I did a water change in their tank tonight I was trying to feed them dried shrimp but I was having a real hard time getting it to them. I was trying to hold them underwater for them and they just trying hard to eat them right out my hand, but every time I would think they had a good grip they would lose them and they would float back up lol.
 
Pringlethesnail
  • #26
why would cuttlebone work for 5 gallon and not more? if you put more in...

You seam very sure so iam going to petsmart tuesday and gettin powdered calcium and try it

You’re right, theoretically if you put a ton in there it might work. Probably one bone per 3 gallons. Also if you crush them/ turn them into powder it’s more helpful, but you’ve still got to use a lot to make a difference in bigger tanks and keep adding it. I’ve been breeding these guys a few years now and I’ve got several tanks all different sizes and last year when I had a ton of tanks going I tried cuttlebone in one of my two 3, 5, and 10 gallons to see. The babies in the 3 gallon with the cuttlebone did for sure have stronger shells. The 5 I thought maybe the ones with the cuttlebone had better shells but it was really close, and in the 10 there was no difference. Then I tried the calcium powder in one of the 10s and left cuttlebone in the other one and it was night and day difference. Especially in the spiral wearing, the strength of the new growth, and in the “scrapes” on the shells. I realize that it’s not concrete proof that the cuttlebone didn’t work or anything but it was definitely proof that the calcium powder worked. Some of the snail’s shells started growing a slightly different shade because of how thick the new growth was. I am really impressed with the calcium powder and I recommend it to everyone. It’s easy, and it works.
 
Pringlethesnail
  • #27
LovingMyFish

You can tell by their operculum and foot! Check out the care guide I posted. As I said to someone else if you crush it it helps more. In my smaller tanks I used to crush it and put it in a piece of tied panty hose in the filter.

I’m not sure what link you’re talking about. I do feed mine shrimp pellets occasionally and they are good for their diet. The only thing is that they should get a variety of meat. If the shrimp pellets have fish meal in them as well that should be good.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
What discoloration of the shells mean? Or specks? I care a lot about my snails. I have a very close bond with Goldie for sure. He trusts me and I just love him. I would be distraught if I was to lose him. Lately he doesn't seem very happy or as active anymore. Anything other than calcium I could do to get him well again?
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
What's the name of the reptile powder you use?
 
Pringlethesnail
  • #30
I will message you directly because this thread has gotten crazy.

For anyone who is wondering the brand of calcium powder is not important as long as it doesn’t have anything besides calcium and maybe vitamin d in it. I’ve used several brands and I haven’t found that one was better than the others. I usually get cheapest that has the right ingredients.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Thank you. Sorry for all the questions. I just try to soak up as much knowledge as I can to put towards keeping all my water babies healthy.
 
Skye_marilyn
  • #32
So I just read the thread "Understanding ph, kh, gh" And to be honest there is still a lot I don't understand about it. And now my head is kinda spinning.
Can you leave a link to the thread? I think I remember that one.
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Can you leave a link to the thread? I think I remember that one.
I have looked and looked but I think it was old because I can't find it now. Idk where the search bar is to search for it and I'm not sure how to link threads yet. Sorry. Lol!! I'm still fairly new.
 
Skye_marilyn
  • #34
I have looked and looked but I think it was old because I can't find it now. Idk where the search bar is to search for it and I'm not sure how to link threads yet. Sorry. Lol!! I'm still fairly new.
It’s okay I found it good luck with your snailies!
 
Goldie&Yami
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
Thank you!! They are doing much better now!!
 
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