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Old 08-09-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
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Can I use sea shells to raise ph?

I have a 20 Gallon Aquarium with a 6.0 ph and I wanted to raise the ph to 6.8-7.2 because I have mystery snails and plan on getting rcs and I read they need ph around 6.8-7.6 for shell and healthy molting. Will sea shells raise the ph?

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Old 08-09-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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I have a 20 Gallon Aquarium with a 6.0 ph and I wanted to raise the ph to 6.8-7.2 because I have mystery snails and plan on getting rcs and I read they need ph around 6.8-7.6 for shell and healthy molting. Will sea shells raise the ph?

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Yes, crushed shells in the filter are best. Anything with carbonates in there (shells, cuttlebone, coral) will work.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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Yes, crushed shells in the filter are best. Anything with carbonates in there (shells, cuttlebone, coral) will work.
Do they have to be crushed? I put the whole shell in there.

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Old 08-09-2014, 08:56 PM   #4
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Ideally yes as it increases the surface area to react with the water (same idea as putting them in the filter where there is more flow). I've used whole ones and they just kind of sit there but my ph is above 7.2.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:00 PM   #5
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My understanding is that the snails need calcium more than a higher pH, though I've never heard of snails prospering at pH 6.0. Also, I've read that too high of a pH can be problematic, as your calcium can get tied up as calcium hydroxide and has a lower degree of bioavailability. A quick web search shows a pH range of 7.0-8.0 for mystery snails.

Note that your crushed coral (calcium carbonate) will dissolve slowly and that your pH will take a little while to rise... especially when you're doing weekly water changes. If you want to speed up the process, slowly add baking soda to adjust the tank pH to 7.0. Your crushed coral can take over from there.
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