Nerite calcium deficiency

wabash
Member
I first started using Zebra Nerites a couple of years ago to control algae. I get them at the LFS and he commented once on the fact that their shells were most often not in good shape but was unaware of the reason. They would only live in my tank for about 6 mos. and I just accepted that as the norm and purchased more. I have recently read that they can live to ten yrs and require calcium supplements to keep their shells strong.
If I put calcium in will this not harden the water and increase the PH which would preclude me from using them in a GBR tank? It is going to be a battle to get the water to an acceptable state for GBR's as it is.
I like the little buggers (Their color reminds me of a perfectly made espresso)and don't want to change but if I must what is another good algae eating snail that will not breed profusely?
 
bettafish2816
Member
it should be okay to add a calcium supplement, I use stuff that's actually made for reptiles, but you can use pretty much any kind of calcium carbonate
 
lew2000
Member
if you add calcium (not calcium carbonate (CAC03)) then you will affect the GH of your water
- though 200ppm does not harm fish. GH does not directly affect pH, except in planted tanks. I you use CAC03, then you will affect the KH and then pH will deffinitely change and not be stable. Since all snails and shrimp require calcium for their shells and exoskeletons, try adding small pieces of spinach for your snail(s). If you do add calcium (not crushed coral which is primarily CAC03) use the small calcium blocks you can find at an LFS for ease of use. You can also try adding feeder blocks which contain calcium.

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm = very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm = soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm = medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm = fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm = hard
 
bettafish2816
Member
lew2000 said:
if you add calcium (not calcium carbonate (CAC03)) then you will affect the GH of your water
- though 200ppm does not harm fish. GH does not directly affect pH, except in planted tanks. I you use CAC03, then you will affect the KH and then pH will deffinitely change and not be stable. Since all snails and shrimp require calcium for their shells and exoskeletons, try adding small pieces of spinach for your snail(s). If you do add calcium (not crushed coral which is primarily CAC03) use the small calcium blocks you can find at an LFS for ease of use. You can also try adding feeder blocks which contain calcium.

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm = very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm = soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm = medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm = fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm = hard
hence why i'm a liberal arts major and not a math/science major
 
haedra
Member
Good idea on the spinach... not to hijack this, as it's a related question. How often would you feed some spinach to be sure the snail(s) got enough calcium?
 
  • Thread Starter
wabash
Member
Thanks for the info, I am going to set up a high calcium minI tank and rotate the snails thru just to get them healthy. I have read that apple snails live in GBR habitat, do they suffer calcium deficiency problems due to the soft water?
 
coffeebean
Member
I have heard to use a cuttlefish bone in the tank to give the snails calcium. any opinions on that?
 
rainman
Member
coffeebean said:
I have heard to use a cuttlefish bone in the tank to give the snails calcium. any opinions on that?
Yes this does work, but putting the whole piece in there is not recommended, half of this should suffice.

Also, Nerite snails are naturally in brackish water and like high ph/calcium carbonate levels, and have higher susceptibility to shell growth and deterioration problems that Mystery Snails.
 

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