Trumpet snails changing color?

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fearlessfisch

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I introduced Malaysian trumpet snails into two different tanks, one with black substrate and one with white. All the snails were medium brown in color when introduced, and all came from the same group.

Now, many months later, I notice that all the snails in my white-substrate tank have white shells, while the snails in the other tank remain brown.

Is this a camouflage adaptation, or is there something wrong with the water quality in the white substrate tank? The snails seem healthy and are reproducing. The fish and plants are also healthy.

I did a google search and found one other person online reporting this phenomenon with Malaysian trumpet snails. However, the other people on the thread on that forum didn't really seem to believe it could happen.

Anyone else encounter this or have some ideas?

Thanks.
 
Hmm...that is quite interesting.

I can't address your question directly; what I can say is that what I have observed in other species of snails is that shells turn white (when they aren't supposed to) when a snail has a lack of calcium. It could be a lack of calcium in the water (i.e. water is too soft and doesn't have enough hardness) or a lack of calcium in their diets.

Is there anything that could account for a difference in water hardness between the two tanks? Is there any difference in feedings in the two tanks?

Btw in any tank that has inverts (snails, or shrimp/crabs/crays/etc.) I always recommend feeding at least once or twice a week some sort of food that is calcium-enriched especially for inverts. Two good choices are Hikari Crab Cuisine and the "Veggie Sticks with Calcium" (which are NOT the same as the regular Veggie Sticks) you can get from Ken's Fish.
 
ive only noticed a color change in my MTS shells when there is new growth.
 
Interesting. The only difference in the maintenance of the tanks is that the white-substrate tank gets algae wafers as part of the fish diet every day, while the black-substrate tank gets them only occasionally. They are both on a regimen of Ocean Nutrition fish food and treats of bloodworms and fresh veggies. I have never supplemented calcium, but I will look into it now. The water in both tanks comes from the same tap.

The white-substrate tank has had less light over the past 6 months. It has also been understocked until recently. The other tank has more plant growth. Both tanks have a fairly large population of snails, so I'm not aware of specific times of growth.

I will buy the calcium-enriched food and see if i see a difference.

Thanks for the ideas!
 
The white spots could easily be from a calcium deficiency. One substrate may have calcium while the other doesn't. Putting a little bit of cuttlebone in the tank is the easiest way to add some calcium. You'll find them in the bird section of the store.
 
Oh rats. I was at the store just this morning and forgot.

I will pick up some cuttlebone tomorrow.

Thanks, BigJim, WhiteDevil, and JohnPaul.
 
Oh rats. I was at the store just this morning and forgot.

I will pick up some cuttlebone tomorrow.

Thanks, BigJim, WhiteDevil, and JohnPaul.

I introduced Malaysian trumpet snails into two different tanks, one with black substrate and one with white. All the snails were medium brown in color when introduced, and all came from the same group.

Now, many months later, I notice that all the snails in my white-substrate tank have white shells, while the snails in the other tank remain brown.

Is this a camouflage adaptation, or is there something wrong with the water quality in the white substrate tank? The snails seem healthy and are reproducing. The fish and plants are also healthy.

I did a google search and found one other person online reporting this phenomenon with Malaysian trumpet snails. However, the other people on the thread on that forum didn't really seem to believe it could happen.

Anyone else encounter this or have some ideas?

Thanks.

Yes I did just make an account to recover a thread that's been dead for 14 years.

Now that that's out of the way I have had my Malaysian trumpet snails for longer than this thread has been around I've had this same lineage of snails for over 20 years.

They have always had a brown shell, but I very recently introduced a white substrate and they are now White.

I too was wondering are they somehow consuming some of the minerals from the rocks? Or is it a simple camouflage adaptation?

I guess, realistically they shouldn't be ingesting anything from the rocks so it would just be camouflage?
 
Yes I did just make an account to recover a thread that's been dead for 14 years.

Now that that's out of the way I have had my Malaysian trumpet snails for longer than this thread has been around I've had this same lineage of snails for over 20 years.

They have always had a brown shell, but I very recently introduced a white substrate and they are now White.

I too was wondering are they somehow consuming some of the minerals from the rocks? Or is it a simple camouflage adaptation?

I guess, realistically they shouldn't be ingesting anything from the rocks so it would just be camouflage?
Snails do change color as they age, water parameters change, dietary changes, etc. They are not chameleons tho so highly unlikely they changed to match the substrate. I'd start with water parameters changed since you changed the substrate. (y)
 
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