crushed oyser shell? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Red face crushed oyser shell?

What is crushed oyster shell used for? Can you use it like gravel?
Newbie here...
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 07:23 PM
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I think crushed shell substrates are more geared towards marine/reef tanks. If I recall correctly, it has a very high calcium content, which buffers your water and changes your gH and kH. The best substrate for a beginner planted tank would be flourite or eco-complete. Both grow plants very well and don't affect your water parameters quite as much.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 07:53 PM
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good question...

how about for an economical substrate for the Chichlid tank.

does it grow plants?

I want to buy a bag and throw a little bit in the tank to provide some calcium for the Apple Snails, think they would eat it?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 09:24 PM
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I think that gH levels will also be affected by Cichlid substrate. I also doubt the snails would gain calcium by eating the substrate. Snails eat algae, not rocks, right? The more likely scenario is that your snails will gain calcium directly from the water. If your water is already pretty hard, I wouldn't bother.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 05:44 PM
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apple snails have teeth...

In fact, when I moved one of my golden apple snails to a tank with black apple snails, one of the black snails chewed off a strip of shell from the golden apple snail!

What are chitinous teeth? are they capable of chewing through oyster shell?

Here's a cut and paste from http://www.applesnail.net/:

"The mouth of the apple snail is a vertical slit opening, located between the labial tentacles and leading to the buccal cavity.
Food is located with the labial tentacles and when needed gathered from the water surface with foot.

The buccal cavity, a muscular cavity with a set of calcareous jaws, 2 radula knobs and the radula (rasp tongue), is situated behind the mouth opening.
The radula lies on top of the radula knobs (odontophores) and is covered with several rows (26 to 53), each consisting of 7 renewable chitinous teeth. When the radula knobs are moved from each other, the radula is bend and stretched, this spreading the teeth on it, which provides the grasp function.
After the food has pulled into the buccal cavity, the strong, calcareous jaws cut off the piece near the mouth opening."

I bought a 5# bag of crushed oyster shell yesterday for $2.99 usd. The 50# bag was only 9.99 usd, but I didn't need that much. So I'll drop a few pieces of oyster shell in the tank and see what happens. Has anyone already tried this?

BTW, oyster shell is already proven to be an effective substrate for the Cichlid tank.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 06:30 PM
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In GENERAL Cichlid and Apple Snails are plant eaters so are not commonly kept by the community here. For those with soft water (like the pacific NW) an oyster shell in the filter can help increase the GH. The shell does improve snail shell growth. I have seen pond snails rasp it but again, most people on this forum are using inert substrates for growing plants as the focus.

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Originally Posted by Mister Green
how about for an economical substrate for the Chichlid tank.
does it grow plants?
I want to buy a bag and throw a little bit in the tank to provide some calcium for the Apple Snails, think they would eat it?

Moved to Tucson.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:42 PM
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Oyster shell begins to dissolve when the pH drops below 7.5, and the calcium (carbonate?) released buffers the pH back up. Stops dissolving again once back up over pH 7.5 again. So it's a continual switch-on, switch-off process to keep the pH steady.

Which is why they use it in marine tanks where they don't like the pH to fall into the low 7s. Good for goldfish too which like approx 7.4.

You can put it in a bag in your filter where the water flow makes it work better. Whether it's in the filter or substrate though, the dissolvability deteriorates as the muck and bacteria coats it, so it needs to be renewed every now and then with fresh stuff.

Not sure how that all works if you want to use it with CO2 at a pH of 6.9 for example. It'll just keep dissolving, so keep increasing the hardness, so your CO2 will keep increasing. Does that sound right?
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