Dead snail shells in aquarium... do I really need to pick em all out? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Dead snail shells in aquarium... do I really need to pick em all out?

So here's the deal. I have a fluval ebi I'm using as mainly a shrimp tank (couple pigmy cories and a couple harlequin rasboras in there all living nicely together) and due to some overzealous feeding by my fiance when I wasn't home had a nice little explosion of what I think were pond snails. Probably about 60+ of them at least within a week just popped up and must have kept on breeding like horny bunnies cause my tank was frickin COVERED in them. I picked out what I could and didn't feed for about a week and kept the feeding to the minimum for a while after that and now it's down to just a managable few of them that I find here and there cleaning on the glass.

However, now when I scour my tank I can see lots and lots of tiny little deal snails everywhere. I suck out what I can when I do water changes but there are quite a bit of them and it would be a huge PITA to tong-pick all of them out as they're worked into the substrate and sand and are probably lost all over. I'm hoping my shrimp probably ate what they could of the soft tissue and it's probably just the shells remaining, water params are all fine so it's not causing anything to shift but just wondering what if any effect a ton of tiny ~3mmx3mm snail shells will have on the water and if it's worth it to spend an hour or two rooting through the tank and ****ing up all my plants and substrate to pick them out
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 04:36 PM
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Nah, no need to remove them unless they are bothering you. They're mostly made of carbon and calcium, with a little protein sandwiched in between. None of those things are really harmful.

Eventually they will dissolve if you are running CO2 (or have soft water). They will dissolve more slowly than calcium nitrate or anything along that line, so they won't really increase hardness any unless you put a pile of them in there.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 05:35 PM
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As the shells break down your shrimp will eat them for the calcium.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 06:33 PM
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It really depends on how many there are in relation to how big the tank is. If there are just a few, leave them and it'll be fine. However, too many could raise the Ph of your water as they decay if you don't have a good buffer. If your tank is planted, that would be a bad thing. But I do not believe that shrimp are able to eat them, are they? How did you manage to not kill any shrimp during your snail war?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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I lost a couple RCS, never figured why but thought it might be from a Ph swing cause when I tested my water it had raised to 8.2 from the usual ~7.0 that it had been.. did a couple WC and the ph went back to normal. I have fluval stratum substrate in there and it's quite new so I don't think it would have lost the buffering abilities yet. As for the shrimp I figured they'd be able to pick off the few marimo balls I have and forage some dead plant stuff. It's a moderately planted tank I'd consider it, LOTS of crypt parva, lots of moss and a couple small swords and a hygrophilia kompakt.
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