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Jared
New Member
Username: aquascales

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 12:09 am:       

Hello!
My new snails are being really weird right now. They are currently having a growth spurt probably because of their new home's conditions. In the last 2 days or so, they have grown quite a bit with some growing 3/8ths of an inch. In two days! Is that fast? Well anyway, the new shell looks really different. It seems that they are forgetting to build the top layer of their shell (periostracum)because it looks to be absent.

Please look at the pictures I took and tell me what you think. The pictures aren't very clear though but it is easy to see the difference in their shells. So far their diet has only consisted of algae wafers, bottom feeder wafers, and fish flakes for the past week so maybe that is why their new shell is different.

They are kept in water with a high pH and a temp. between 68 and 75 F (they don't have a heater)

Everybody looks healthy since they are always looking for food actively and they eat a lot everyday. They are really fast too! I'll go to the store tomorrow and buy some greens rich in calcium for them.

http://photobucket.com/albums/f132/aquascales/Snails/

I hope they are ok...........
Jared
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Hannah Johnson
Regular Member
Username: bambi

Post Number: 694
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 08:28 am:       

I have some snails that are like that too, so i would be interested to know the answer. I think though that it is due to different (better) conditions.
"The girl with junk in the trunk will bunk with the best hunk!" - Amy Lee
"Shrimp Mom!"
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1645
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:28 am:       

You're exactly right, Jared. The shell irregularities are from a growth spurt. The new shell comes in very thin, and probably has a hammered appearance. It will thicken up in time, but the growth line will always remain. Until the shell thickens, be very careful that they don't get chipped.

Normally this occurs when the snails go from cool to warm water and/or food becomes more abundant. It's odd that it's happening in such cool water. They must have been nearly starved.

I'm not sure when you got your other snails, but it looks like most of them have serious spire erosion. Make sure you keep them in hard water with a pH of at least 7.5, preferably higher, to prevent the erosion from becoming a health problem for them.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Jared
New Member
Username: aquascales

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 04:33 pm:       

This is how they were shipped to me:
-24 nickel to quarter sized snails were packed to a bag (2 bags)
-Bags had lots of water (I think they were going for 1/3 water, 2/3 air)
-Cardboard box w/ no styrofoam insulation
-Only cushioning was crumpled newspaper (probably would have been ok if the bags arrived with air in them)

So far I have lost 3 snails; two died during shipping and one died in my tank probably because it's spire was knocked of during shipping. They all had shell damage (I knew what was coming when I placed the order because I ordered them that way) and they were kept in water with a low pH, were fed every other days in low temps at 68-70 F before they got to me. They all arrived with shells with chipped edges but now they have clean smooth new shell growth.

When I pulled the bags out of the box they were rolling around like marbles! Imagine that for 3 days while in the mail!

Wow they really want to grow! I was looking at them today (We spend lots of time together since we all share a room in the house) and saw that a few have grown over half an inch now. I first thought that they were forgetting to make the top layer of their shells because the ones that I think are jades are making new shell that is dark blue just like the blues in that tank are. They are so cool
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1647
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 09:59 am:       

That's an awful way for anyone to ship snails. At the very least, they should have been packed with poly floss in the bags to keep them from banging. There are a dozen things wrong with the shipping method, but no sense in going into it. Poor things.

Blue snails aren't actually blue. They have ivory shells, but the dark body showing through makes the shell look blue, so a blue snail is actually the dark bodied version of an ivory snail. A similar principle applies to jade. The snail's shell is gold, just like a gold snail, but the dark body makes it look green/jade colored. Jade is the dark bodied version of a gold snail. Other examples are purple striped vs. magenta, dark burgundy vs. burgundy, and wild vs. yellow striped.

With good care, high pH and hard water, most should be able to patch the shell damage. They won't ever look good, but it shouldn't be a health problem. Be careful not to overfeed them right now. That thin new shell damages easily, and if they grow too fast, it will have a hammered look and poor color. Also, if the body grows too fast, and the shell is too thin, it will sometimes split down the middle, forming a scar, or even a dangerous fissure. Slow, even growth is the key to healthy shell.

Sounds like they're lucky to have you looking after them.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Hannah Johnson
Regular Member
Username: bambi

Post Number: 695
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 10:13 am:       

Sorry to jump in here, but my purple striped snail looks like its getting a split...it has lots of new growth that appeared quickly, but hasn't grown in a while now. I noticed yesterday that it has a long scratch on the shell, almost as if someone has scored along with a pair of scissors? I'll try to get a picture.
"The girl with junk in the trunk will bunk with the best hunk!" - Amy Lee
"Shrimp Mom!"
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Jared
Junior Member
Username: aquascales

Post Number: 11
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 02:54 pm:       

I think that the seller didn't want to put much effort into packing and shipping these snails because they are damaged. The seller normally has perfect snails but the ones I got from them were placed in a soft water tank when they ran out of room for snails.

I'm happy you jumped in Hannah because I just noticed that one of my DSPs has developed a crack in her new shell. It looks just like a scratch or scar. Just like Karin warned. I am still puzzled at their fast growth because I have only been feeding them 4 algae wafers a day at the most. That's for 45 brigs that are now almost quarter size. The temp in the room they are kept in never goes over 74 F.
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1649
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 04:30 pm:       

That is weird, Jared. One algae wafer would normally be about enough for roughly 5 adult brigs in 78 degree water. All I can think is that yours were really starved before you got them.

Hannah (and Jared) the "scratch" sounds a bit like a fissure to me, but it's hard to tell from just a brief description. GENTLY insert something into it, like a fingernail or toothpick. If it's hard inside, it's healing just fine. If you feel soft snail body, it might need to be patched (depending on where it's located, how big it is, etc.).
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Hannah Johnson
Regular Member
Username: bambi

Post Number: 700
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 08:46 am:       

Hi again. Thought I would give details about my purple striped snail, and a couple pictures.
It did live in a 30 gallon a long time ago, but I had to medicate and so put it in a real small tank where the water was changed daily. The conditions in this tank obviously suited the snail much better (he had not grown in months previous to the move, and the new shell has no algae on it and is much more vibrantly coloured), and he grew about an inch of new, bright purple shell in about a week (maybe less).
Since then I have moved the snail to a 10g, where half of the water is changed once a week. It appears to have stopped growing, and the other day i noticed this crack/scratch:
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/5453/purplescratch15ja.jpg
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/7406/purplescratch26mb.jpg

Sorry the pics are blurry. It doesn't go all the way through the shell as far as I can tell, the scratch is white, thicker where the new growth started and sort of tails off thinly to the edge of the shell. (Not as deep there).

So as it doesn't appear to go all the way through the shell, should i be worried? Anything i should do? I only noticed this the other day so i don't think it can have been there too long.

Also I've noticed the spires look pretty bad on some of my snails (the purple one especially), but i have a pH of 8 and very hard water, and I add calcium (admittedly only when I remember). Is there not enough calcium?
Thanks.
"The girl with junk in the trunk will bunk with the best hunk!" - Amy Lee
"Shrimp Mom!"
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1655
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 05:33 pm:       

Hannah, you're talking about the whitish band that runs perpenicular to the stripes where the old and new shell meets, right? That's a really clear example of a growth line. It's absolutely nothing to worry about. It's just an indication that the snail went through a growth spurt and the new shell isn't as well calcified as the old shell. There's a ridge there that you can feel with your fingernail, isn't there?

The new shell looks smooth and even, so his growth spurt wasn't dangerously fast. Sometimes new shell will have a hammered look, indicating that the shell has grown a bit too fast. Steady growth at a moderate speed produces thick, smooth and healthy shell.

Their spires actually look pretty normal. We tend to want to keep our snails' shells perfect forever, and it's just not practical. Erosion is normal and natural, and since the spire is the oldest part of the shell, it's where you see the erosion first. If your pH is 8, your fine. Calcium additives help the snail to reinforce the shell from the inside, but your pH is responsible for the rate of erosion on the outside. As long as you don't get pits that go all the way through, you're doing fine. :-)
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Jared
Junior Member
Username: aquascales

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 01:05 am:       

I have concluded that my snails are truly crazy or just really weird. Some have grown just about an inch. I think that their shells have the hammered look because it kind of looks like my fingernails in a way. The growth is thick and solid I believe. I just can't see why they are growing still. Something in the water perhaps? I would take pictures but I lost my camera. Don't laugh but I think I lost it at the grocery store somehow....

I will take a picture of the snails with the crack that is parallel to it's stripes when I get another camera although I think that the snail is ok because it has put on a quarter inch of growth since.

Karin, are you Autumnagain on aquabid?
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Hannah Johnson
Regular Member
Username: bambi

Post Number: 708
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 08:27 am:       

Ah I see what you mean, but i don't think that's the part I meant.

This bit:
http://img238.imageshack.us/img238/1606/purplescratch2edit6oc.jpg
It definately dents into the shell, just not all the way through.

I have some snails that came from the same place as the purple snail, and i've had them the same amound of time, and the worst thing on their shells is algae. Almost no erosion, compared to this purple snail. He does seem to be developing a couple tiny holes, but i can't see if they go all the way through? I thought it was the MTS doing it so I've been picking out as many as I could.

Thanks :-)
"The girl with junk in the trunk will bunk with the best hunk!" - Amy Lee
"Shrimp Mom!"
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1658
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 09:12 am:       

Jared, I had a closer look at your pictures. That's pretty typical of fast growth. It may look solid, but it's not as thick and tough as the older growth. Still, for their size, that much new growth isn't that unusual. I suspect your guys were hungry when you got them, and there is more food available in your tank than you thought. You might try breaking it up and spreading their food out really well so all the snails can get enough instead of a select few getting more than their share. That should slow the growth of those "bullies" a bit and allow them time to grow better shell.

Yes, I'm autumnagain on Aquabid. Those aren't my snails though, right? I'd never ship snails rattling around loose in a bag together -- not my worst ones.

Hannah, I thought that was a reflection. Thank you. Because of the location and orientation, I suspect it's a fissure. It looks like it doesn't go all the way to the operculum, which probably means it isn't getting wider, right? If possible, try to slow the snail's growth rate a bit to give it time to calcify (cool the tank by a couple of degree F). It's almost certainly caused by fast growth and subsequently thin shell. Unless it widens, you shouldn't have to patch it, but keep an eye on the snail for activity level and any change in the fissure.

99.999% of MTS don't harm apple snails. We're not sure why some do. It might be the specific species, or some kind of environmental trigger. Pits are typical signs of erosion, and that's the far more likely culprit. If the snail wasn't raised in an environment conducive to good shell growth, the shell it grew at the time will never recover. He can reinforce it from the inside, but it's always going to erode faster than the shell he grew while under good conditions. Make sense?
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Hannah Johnson
Regular Member
Username: bambi

Post Number: 710
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 10:38 am:       

Ah, yep that does make sense. Nope I don't think it goes all the way to the operculum, (you mean to the front or the back?), it doesn't go to either anyway. It gets thinner and thinner towards the front of the shell. I'll lower the temp and keep an eye on it.

Thanks Karin :-)
"The girl with junk in the trunk will bunk with the best hunk!" - Amy Lee
"Shrimp Mom!"
Badman's Tropical Fish - Archives * Other Aquatic Pets * Look at me snails' shells..... Whats wrong?       

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