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Raaan 01-08-2013 02:42 AM

Nerite Shell Eroding?
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I noticed my nerites' shells are starting to look a bit strange. Is its shell eroding from soft water? And if so, is there a way of reversing it so the shell grows back?

I tested the pH at 7.6, and I don't have a hardness test at the moment (I have one coming in the mail, it should be here in two days.) Ammonia, Nitrite are zero. Nitrate is ~5.

Pictures are of the snail and the tank it's in, in case it helps.

sbarbee54 01-08-2013 04:02 AM

Lack of calcium. Get some cattle bone and I would do weekly adding of calcium montromilite with water changes. It will keep the water crystal clear and help supplement calcium

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Raaan 01-08-2013 10:02 AM

Is this the sort of thing you're talking about? What kind of risk would there be of overdosing? And what size piece of cuttlebone would you suggest? The tank is a 1.5 gallon, so using any supplements is kind of tricky.

auban 01-08-2013 12:12 PM

i had to sprinkle aragonite around my tank for these guys:

lack of carbonates in the water and low PH is what causes them to erode. to help them develop new shell, they need access to food with calcium in it. nerites that have access to hair algae and BBA usually get enough calcium from their food to produce strong thick shells. they produce a coating on their shell that is resistant to corrosion, so they usually do better than the ramshorn snail i posted a pic of, but once spots show up, you really need to do something about it. otherwise, the corroded spots just keep growing and growing.

anything you can do to add calcium into the water will slow down the corrosion, and anything you can do to add calcium to their diets will help them produce thicker shells. you will never see the spots that are already there go away, but you can slow down the progression.

Raaan 01-08-2013 06:17 PM

Thank you for the response.
That's the part where I'm a bit confused, though. My water tests at a pH of 7.6, not at all acidic, and it's at least hard enough to leave scale on the glass whenever it evaporates. Could the water be lacking specifically in calcium, with other buffers affecting the hardness and pH, or is it more likely that I simply never noticed the state of their shells since buying them?

I want ahead and bought a cuttlebone today. Is there a chance that adding some to the tank will make the water too hard for either the nerites or the cherry shrimp in the tank.

auban 01-10-2013 12:19 PM

i doubt you can make your water too hard for cherry shrimp... i have some of mine breeding in a tank with pure aragonite for a substrate. ph is over 8.4 and gh over 300.

a lot of pet stores and suppliers use RO water to keep their livestock in, so its possible that the marks were already there. i guess its also possible that it just scratched itself on the substrate, though im not sure i have seen a snail do that before...

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