Mystery snail shell turning black?

SnowDay
  • #1
So I don't even know if it's turning black or this is what new shell growth looks like or what's going on. I got this snail about 3 days ago and it shell was beautiful. It still is beautiful but there's this dark area at the entrance of the shell, I'll post pics. Ive been watching him everyday and this is very new. My water is very hard Ph 7.8-8 so maybe the pet store had soft water and the shell is growing super well now? But it was a very nice snail and so where all the rest at the pet store
Maybe I just didn't notice when I bought It, and all snails have a dark area where the shell starts?
Here's a much better picture. You can see the dark area looks good but why is it so dark? Is this new growth?
Also just worth mentioning. The snail is very active and seems to be very healthy. He's a fast little bugger! Every 5 minutes he's across the tank lol (not literally)
 

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JuDom
  • #2
Hi there! :)
Don’t panic, this is perfectly normal and just means that your snail is growing!
They start developing their new shell along the edge like that and as it continues to grow/harden(as you said soft -> hard water), you’ll watch that line move back on the shell. It’s called “conchiolin”. Pretty cool if you ask me.
If you ever notice the shell is brittle or has cracks/dents or is soft at all..that’s when you know there’s a problem. IE; water too acidic/soft.
Make sure you supplement its diet with some blanched veggies and cuttlebone for calcium as well.
And most of all! Enjoy your snail friend. :D
 
SnowDay
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hi there! :)
Don’t panic, this is perfectly normal and just means that your snail is growing!
They start developing their new shell along the edge like that and as it continues to grow/harden(as you said soft -> hard water), you’ll watch that line move back on the shell. It’s called “conchiolin”. Pretty cool if you ask me.
If you ever notice the shell is brittle or has cracks/dents or is soft at all..that’s when you know there’s a problem. IE; water too acidic/soft.
Make sure you supplement its diet with some blanched veggies and cuttlebone for calcium as well.
And most of all! Enjoy your snail friend. :D
Ok that's awesome thank you!! So the conchiolin you speak of, will there only be 1 or does it happen from time to time? Hopefully your ok with a few more questions haha. If my water is always on the hard side (calcium stains galore) do I need to supplement the water with calcium or should I just focus on feeding the little guy some higher calcium veggies? The water comes out of the tap at like 7.8 last I checked.
I just googled "mystery snail conchiolin" and nothing came up at all. Where did you learn that? Lol
Wait wait, I noticed the shell has lines in it. I was wondering if they were slight cracks or not. They don't look like cracks. Are those all the conchiolins? :D
 
JuDom
  • #4
Conchiolin are complex proteins that are secreted from the snail’s(mollusks in general) mantle. These proteins essentially
work with the minerals in your tank to create the hard exterior of the snail’s shell as it continues to grow.
So in short, yes this will continue to happen.
Also, I don’t always supplement cuttlebone but it’s a good practice to do even when you have water on the harder side. They’ll take from it if they need it, if not they’ll ignore it. Worth a test run :)
You said your pH is 7.8. What’s your KH and GH? Obviously calcium deposits suggest hard water but knowing your exact numbers is helpful.
 
SnowDay
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Conchiolin are complex proteins that are secreted from the snail’s(mollusks in general) mantle. These proteins essentially
work with the minerals in your tank to create the hard exterior of the snail’s shell as it continues to grow.
So in short, yes this will continue to happen.
Also, I don’t always supplement cuttlebone but it’s a good practice to do even when you have water on the harder side. They’ll take from it if they need it, if not they’ll ignore it. Worth a test run :)
You said your pH is 7.8. What’s your KH and GH? Obviously calcium deposits suggest hard water but knowing your exact numbers is helpful.
I've had a my tank for 2 years and everything has been super smooth other then a
lost fish here and there. But I cycled my tank without fish and im still learning lots to this day! The reason I'm saying all of this is because I don't even know what kh and GH is :( I just know ammonia is super bad nitrite is bad and nitrate is ok to a degree. And I know you want a stable pH at all times for the most part.
Oh and do the snails actually eat the cuttlebone? Or is it there to make the water harder?
 
JuDom
  • #6
I've had a my tank for 2 years and everything has been super smooth other then a
lost fish here and there. But I cycled my tank without fish and im still learning lots to this day! The reason I'm saying all of this is because I don't even know what kh and GH is :( I just know ammonia is super bad nitrite is bad and nitrate is ok to a degree. And I know you want a stable pH at all times for the most part.
Oh and do the snails actually eat the cuttlebone? Or is it there to make the water harder?
Don’t even worry about it! We are all constantly learning in this hobby. That’s a big reason why I love it so much. :D
GH- General Hardness ; Measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in your water. IE, how soft or hard your water is. An ideal level is between 70-140ppm for most freshwater aquariums. Certain things you add to your tank can affect this; stones etc. You can also add peat moss in a fine mesh bag to your filter if your water is too hard.
KH- Carbonate Hardness ; Measures the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water. It tells you your water’s “buffering” capacity, IE how well it neutralizes acids. Too low of a KH and you will have to worry about PH swings. Which can be hurtful to your fish. Typically freshwater aquariums do well between 70-140ppm KH.

You can get test kits for these at your LFS. It’s good information to know. :)

As for the cuttlebone, some of it will dissolve in the water making it a little cloudy but they will also graze on it as well.

I also just noticed your water has a slight tint to it. Is that driftwood/mopani? wood new?
I’m also curious about your maintenance routine.
Another side note, you don’t necessarily have to QT snails because they don’t carry many diseases..especially not any that can be transferred to your fish. :)
 
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SnowDay
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Don’t even worry about it! We are all constantly learning in this hobby. That’s a big reason why I love it so much. :D
GH- General Hardness ; Measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in your water. IE, how soft or hard your water is. An ideal level is between 70-140ppm for most freshwater aquariums. Certain things you add to your tank can affect this; stones etc. You can also add peat moss in a fine mesh bag to your filter if your water is too hard.
KH- Carbonate Hardness ; Measures the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water. It tells you your water’s “buffering” capacity, IE how well it neutralizes acids. Too low of a KH and you will have to worry about PH swings. Which can be hurtful to your fish. Typically freshwater aquariums do well between 70-140ppm KH.

You can get test kits for these at your LFS. It’s good information to know. :)

As for the cuttlebone, some of it will dissolve in the water making it a little cloudy but they will also graze on it as well.

I also just noticed your water has a slight tint to it. Is that driftwood/mopani? wood new?
I’m also curious about your maintenance routine.
Another side note, you don’t necessarily have to QT snails because they don’t carry many diseases..especially not any that can be transferred to your fish. :)
Yes the mopani wood is new! The only onraments I had there before were fake plants and a little Carribean looking hut with a fake mini palm tree attached to it lol. It was so tacky. I mean I'm just not a kid anymore! It was cute for sure but I'm getting way more into the natural look now. I boiled both pieces of wood for 1-2 hours (bigger one for 2). and I actually haven't gotten any fish pretty much since the start. I started with 5 rummynose and 5 scissor tail rasboras and like 2 guppies. I'm down to 1 rummy and 2 scissor tails. They all died at different times due to unknown causes tbh. Never had any sort of virus that took over the tank or anything. But the guppies had babies twice just recently! 2 made it the 1st round out of I think 6, and we have another 2 little guys :) So tbh I completely forgot about QT! I'm glad snails are safe haha. Guppies have been my algae eaters this whole time. I've never had that much algea honestly. I do weekly 25% water changes. I used to take alot of the fake plants out of one side to vacuum the rocks, then I'd move the other half of the plants/hut to the other side of the tank so I could finish vacuuming the other side. I only scrub the glass when it gets a bit green/foggy.

I started with the small peice of driftwood, then I got the large one a few days later and took out the hut. Then I got those rocks in the back shorty after to try and make an African dwarf frog hut. They were to big but there is way more hiding spots now! Tons of caves and crannies in the wood/rocks. I really like the look of the tannins. But my filter is getting clogged faster and all the media is covered in red goopy stuff, and the glass is developing red calcium stains! It's crazy.

Here's a before picture and an after picture
 

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BigManAquatics
  • #8
Yes the mopani wood is new! The only onraments I had there before were fake plants and a little Carribean looking hut with a fake mini palm tree attached to it lol. It was so tacky. I mean I'm just not a kid anymore! It was cute for sure but I'm getting way more into the natural look now. I boiled both pieces of wood for 1-2 hours (bigger one for 2). and I actually haven't gotten any fish pretty much since the start. I started with 5 rummynose and 5 scissor tail rasboras and like 2 guppies. I'm down to 1 rummy and 2 scissor tails. They all died at different times due to unknown causes tbh. Never had any sort of virus that took over the tank or anything. But the guppies had babies twice just recently! 2 made it the 1st round out of I think 6, and we have another 2 little guys :) So tbh I completely forgot about QT! I'm glad snails are safe haha. Guppies have been my algae eaters this whole time. I've never had that much algea honestly. I do weekly 25% water changes. I used to take alot of the fake plants out of one side to vacuum the rocks, then I'd move the other half of the plants/hut to the other side of the tank so I could finish vacuuming the other side. I only scrub the glass when it gets a bit green/foggy.

I started with the small peice of driftwood, then I got the large one a few days later and took out the hut. Then I got those rocks in the back shorty after to try and make an African dwarf frog hut. They were to big but there is way more hiding spots now! Tons of caves and crannies in the wood/rocks. I really like the look of the tannins. But my filter is getting clogged faster and all the media is covered in red goopy stuff, and the glass is developing red calcium stains! It's crazy.

Here's a before picture and an after picture
Just to be clear, there is always room for tacky and whimsical! Always better if you go overboard with the tacky, though!
 
SnowDay
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Just to be clear, there is always room for tacky and whimsical! Always better if you go overboard with the tacky, though!
Lol fair enough!! I did really enjoy the froggie hut for a long time, the whole redecorating actually started because the hut started loosing paint. Then I got into the live plant research and real wood/rocks and I fell in love!
I actually didn't realize how crazy tinted/cloudy the water is now until looking at the before picture I got a new filter cause my old one was getting clogged every 2 days xD I can see why now
 

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