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Old 01-03-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
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Mystery Snail Question

I got 4 mystery snails about a month or so ago. As their shells have started to grow out, it looks very thin compared to how they were when I first put them in the tank and I really don't know what is going on. These are my first snails, so still new to them. I have a piece of cuttlebone buried in my substrate. I have been feeding them butternut squash as of recently, I use to feed them cucumbers and summer squash but changed because of the higher calcium content in the butternut. I also tryed to feel them kale since it is one of the highest calcium veggies, but they wouldn't touch it. I haven't tryed spinach because of the fact that they wouldn't touch the kale. They really go crazy over the butternut squash though.
My blue mystery snails look worse than my gold ones.

All in all, I really don't know what else to do to ensure their shells stay healthy. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Ph: 6.6
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
Hardness: 6
Phosphate: 2
Copper: 0
I also fertilize using Flourish Comprehensive as well as all the macro nutrients.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #2
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Mystery Snail Question

I once had the exact same problem with my mystery snails. The problem is there is too much calcium in the water and it is causing the snails shell to grow faster than it should. I have a thread called apple snails they you should check out there is many people talking about this problem. The best diet for a mystery snail is cucumber, romain lettuce, cuddle fish bone, commercial pellets such as algae wafers and shrimp pellets, and live aquatic plants such as Cabomba. I would not recommend feeding them any kind of squash or kale do to the high calcium. The best thing for there shells is fish or shrimp and don't take out the cuddle fish bone. Sometimes I give my snails a piece of shrimp from a shrimp ring but you have to make sure it does not have any kind of seasoning on it.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:15 PM   #3
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Have you tested your water ? Snails need hard alkaline water to do their best - they do poorly in acidic or soft water.

The calcium in the water column isn't the only calcium they need, they need it from their food too. I'm not surprised they don't like kale.. but they might well like boiled spinach. Mine sure do. The taste is very different, and the texture is much softer.. kale is quite hard and fibrous. They might have eaten the kale if it had been boiled first.

Mystery snails don't usually eat live plants, they eat dead ones. So cooking leaves first helps a lot to make them more appealing.

And you can supplement calcium in a variety of ways. I make plaster of paris blocks for mine, with a bit of fish food mixed into them. I mold them in ice cube trays. The snails munch the plaster to get to the food bits. This is just like the 'vacation' feeding blocks for fish, and if you don't want to make them, you can buy them instead. I prefer the ones that have spirulina in them, makes them a pale blue green colour. I'm going to try adding spirulina to my next batch of home made ones.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleco1415 View Post
I once had the exact same problem with my mystery snails. The problem is there is too much calcium in the water and it is causing the snails shell to grow faster than it should. I have a thread called apple snails they you should check out there is many people talking about this problem. The best diet for a mystery snail is cucumber, romain lettuce, cuddle fish bone, commercial pellets such as algae wafers and shrimp pellets, and live aquatic plants such as Cabomba. I would not recommend feeding them any kind of squash or kale do to the high calcium. The best thing for there shells is fish or shrimp and don't take out the cuddle fish bone. Sometimes I give my snails a piece of shrimp from a shrimp ring but you have to make sure it does not have any kind of seasoning on it.
My tap water is very hard reading 11. My tank water is reading about 12. My kh from my tap is 8 and in my tank is 7. I just made them some snail jello too and added a lot of calcium tablets to it. I have to be honest, I have thought about this myself as well. My snails were small when I got them and I KNOW they have grown. They are suppose to grow very slowly.I lifted all of them up the other day to wipe off their shells and their trap doors don't close anymore because the shell is to big or the snails have gotten smaller? Well I raised the ph to 7.0 and I guess I will see what happens. If I was to get a calcium test kit, what would be a good target range for them to do well?
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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I have seen some snails who had undersized operculums..[ the door ]. They simply did not grow large enough to close properly, though the snails themselves grew fine and had decent shells.

I don't know if this might be a genetic deformity, or some other problem, such as a lack of some nutrient or too much of some nutrient. I'm not sure how much research has been done on snail growth.

The snail jello's good stuff but don't go nuts on the calcium supplementation, because too much calcium is potentially as bad as not enough. It must be balanced with the other minerals and nutrients snails take in as well, and that's true of any animal be it a mammal, reptile or invert.

This is why I prefer to give them the blocks that are made of plaster of paris, because then they can choose how much and how often to eat them. I put in just enough fish food to make them appealing, but then it's up to the snail how much he wants to eat of them.

As for water hardness, I doubt you'd find water too hard for Mystery snails. Unlike shrimp, they don't moult, so some extreme of water hardness should not be a problem for them. So long as the pH is not acidic, they should be fine. I know the water here is very, very hard, and my snails are doing great. I should run another hardness test and remind myself of the readings, it's been awhile but I know I have to put in 17 drops to get the colour change, which puts my water near the very top of the scale on the test.
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