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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 09:40 am:       

I purchased 2 black mystery snails yesterday. I noticed when I got home, one of them has a split, and a crack in it's shell. Will this heal? What should I feed these guys, or is the flake food that makes it to the bottom enough?
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Musicalfingers
Advanced Member
Username: musicalfingers

Post Number: 1221
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 01:46 pm:       

Well, I can't help you with the first question, but I know that the snail gurus are going to ask for a picture or better description of the crack, so you can get "crackin" on that (ha...ha...ha...). I can help you with the second question though! Snails generally need a little supplement to the flake that falls to the bottom of the tank. I feed mine sinking algae wafers, sinking shrimp pellets, and Ken's earthworm pellets from http://kensfish.com - those are a particular favorite among my snails.
Out of insanity comes brilliance...or was it the other way around?
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1648
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 04:16 pm:       

Yep, if you can't produce a photo, we'll need a better description of the crack.

Where on the shell is it (at the shell openning, underneath, right up the middle like a racing stripe, around the spire, etc.)

Is it horizontal (perpendicular to the shell growth) or following the line of growth so the crack grows longer at the snail gets bigger.

Are you sure it's a crack, e.g., can you see through the shell to the snail's body? Growth marks often look like cracks. A photo would be best.

How you feed your snails will depend largely on what else you have in the tank. If your fish waste enough, you may not need to feed a couple of snails at all, but most of the time they benefit from additional food. Although sinking food is the easiest for them, and you get to watch them dogpile on it, they are perfectly capable of catching food off the surface by using their foot as a siphon. Also, snails are adapted to spending most of their waking hours searching for food, so letting them forage for sunken fish flake is just fine.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 16
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 08:44 am:       

There is a sort of split that starts where the shell ends and goes into the shell, on a sort of 'vertical' plane. Then there is a crack that is perpendicular to it. I got some calcium...Kent Marine Liquid Calcium. The LFS told me to do 1/4 dose, but he didn't tell me how often. I don't want to make the water 'hard'. Any ideas?

I also just want to add, when I first started reading posts in here about snails before I got my snails, I couldn't see what the fuss was about. I thought snails were boring, and I only wanted them to clean for me. Now that we have them, we find them to be one of the most interesting and most fascinating creatures in there.
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1653
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 09:55 am:       

Well, that sounds like cracks, and possibly nasty ones, but it's hard to say for sure. I hate to make a recommendation without knowing more, but here goes:

Add a cuttle bone bird chew to the tank. Weight it down if possible, and if you feed your snails, place the food on top of the cuttle bone so the snails will consume extra calcium as they eat.

Be stingy with your snail food right now. If it really is a crack, feeding them well will cause them to grow so quickly that they don't have time to properly calcify the shell at the crack, and it will get worse.

Go easy on the calcium supplement. Too much calcium will lower the carbonate hardness and pH, causing far greater problems than it cures. One drop per gallon per week is probably enough.

Pay attention to our pH. If your fish will tolerate it, keep your pH above 7.5. Ideally, it should be between 7.8 and 8.2 (baking soda works great). If your tap pH is significantly lower than that, you don't want to mess with it too much because it will stress your fish. If your tap pH is higher than your tank pH, check your nitrate. Nitrate significantly lowers pH, so frequent and regular water changes are in order.

If, after a few weeks, it appears that the snails are growing smooth, dark shell, and the cracks have not gotten worse, you can increase their feedings slightly.

If the cracks appear to get any worse during this time, you may need to patch them. Send me a private message from my profile and I'll send you Donya's paper on snail health and shell patching.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:24 pm:       

I'm currently not 'feeding' my snails. They scavenge the leftover flake food in the tank. So once a week for the calcium sounds like a plan then. Thanks. I'll try and get a pic of him for you. I just hate taking him out of the tank to get a good pic, and my camera isn't good enough to take a clear pic through the tank glass.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 25
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 07:32 pm:       

How do I know these snails are getting enough to eat?
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1654
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 05:20 pm:       

That's a good question. In my experience, hungry snails will climb to the water surface and skim flake food at feeding time. Just like fish, they quickly learn your feeding schedule, and associate the lid openning with food. If your snails don't do that, chances are they are finding enough food.

If you're not convinced your snails are smart enough to catch onto the routine, you can try dropping a cooked piece of vegetable into the tank. If the snails immediately cover and consume it, their diet might need a little supplementation. Hungry snails (or snails that "smell" something really tasty) will make a beeline for it. You'd be surprised how fast they can move when motivated. :-)
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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