Is My Substrate Killing My Snails?

jobrien929

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I have a 15 gallon Fluval Flex that's been up and running for about 2 months. My LFS sold me Aquasolum to use as substrate when I told them I wanted to set up a planted aquarium. Fast forward to earlier this week when an outbreak of brown algae prompted me to add a couple nerite snails. After researching how to care for them (which maybe, just maybe, should have been done before I picked them up) it dawned on me that my substrate, which says it "lowers pH and softens water" is exactly wrong for my new cleaners.

I went out and picked up some hardness testing strips and the KH and GH of my water are both near 0. The pH is 6.4. I tested my tap water and got pH 7, GH 30 ppm, and KH 80 ppm. Am I right to be concerned for my snails (not to mention my shrimp)? Is there a solution to this problem that doesn't involve replacing the substrate?
 

Skavatar

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i'm not sure on shrimp. but snails should have atleast 7.0 pH or higher otherwise the shell will get thin and brittle. GH and KH should be slight to moderately high.

crushed coral is usually recommended.
 
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jobrien929

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Would adding a bag of crushed coral be enough to correct the problem or would I need to switch out the whole substrate?
 

e_watson09

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I'd try to add some crushed coral over changing the substrate completely.
 

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