Transparent snail shells - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Transparent snail shells

I have small snails that have hitchhiked to my tank with plants. Their shells used to be dark brown, but are now becoming transparent. Does this indicate some deficiency, perhaps Calcium? I use pfertz root tabs and dose RootMedic liquid macros and micros every other day. I don't really care about the snails, but if there is a problem I would like to correct it. Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 04:59 AM
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Some of the pond snails can have translucent looking shells.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 12:06 PM
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i've wondered the same thing. I thought my snails were darker originally but now they are a translucent pink/brown. Maybe this is just a normal color pattern for them as they mature? In more acidic tanks or tanks with CO2 injection could it be a lack of carbonate ion and they're making thinner shells? My tank has a pH of 7.3 and no CO2 injection so it kinda blows that theory out of the water, unless the snails normally come from waters with pH levels higher than that. Ca seems to be a possibility. A few other possibilities: light levels; types of food/algae they eat; stress....

Would be curious to hear if anyone knows anything about this.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:29 PM
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I have seen that, and, like you, I associate it with low mineral, low carbonate, acidic water.

You could try adding a bit of cuttlebone to the tank and see if the snails will crawl over it and eat it.
Cuttlebone will slowly dissolve in water, raising the GH and KH a little bit. It is very slow, and weekly water changes will correct this back down to where you want to keep the levels. MIght be just enough to help the snails.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I have seen that, and, like you, I associate it with low mineral, low carbonate, acidic water.

You could try adding a bit of cuttlebone to the tank and see if the snails will crawl over it and eat it.
Cuttlebone will slowly dissolve in water, raising the GH and KH a little bit. It is very slow, and weekly water changes will correct this back down to where you want to keep the levels. MIght be just enough to help the snails.
My tank has pH of 7.3, a GH of 8 and a KH of 5 -- do you think these parameters are indicative of a tank that is too acidic and/or low in minerals/carbonate ions? I'm new to the freshwater world so I'm not sure how low a pH would need to be before it would start causing snail shells to thin.
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