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Some of my Nerites have shells that are turning white. My understanding from reading is that this is probably due to low calcium in the water or in their food. I believe that I have hard water as my dissolved solids meter comes up with 290ppm in both the tank and straight from the tap. Our faucets usually develop mineral deposits. I use tap water for my water changes. My ph goes to about 6.5 during the day when my CO2 is on.

I would like to get a better understanding of KH in relation to PPM. My understanding is that 290ppm translates to about 16KH which seems very high. This is confusing considering the snails shells. Should I still consider adding a calcium supplement? The snails are active but I do not want to shorten their lives.

What am I missing?
 

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So is it the over-abundance of co2, or the lack of it the problem? I remember having this problem (cause unknown) and the snails died from it. Ramshorns, if that matters.
 

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From my experience it's not the lack of calcium that sometimes erodes the shell, but the co2.
Thanks.

Would it be the acidic Ph due to increased CO2 or the CO2 itself?

Oddly not all of the snails are affected. The smaller zebra thorn/horn's seem most affected.
 

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My snails always had shell issues if they were long-lived. Raising the GH and/or KH of my tap water didn't make a difference in my case so I stopped doing that. Raising the pH from 6.5 to 6.8 (via a reduction in CO2) did the trick though.
 

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From my experience it's not the lack of calcium that sometimes erodes the shell, but the co2.

This was my experience as well. I never had issues with my snail's shells until I started injecting co2. I'm in Southeast Texas, and our water is pretty hard. After I started injecting co2, every snail in there died and eventually even the shells all dissolved. All my other tanks are fine and have years worth of snail shells all over the bottom. At one point I tried to provide some more of a buffer in the water by adding a tray full of crushed coral/shells (left over from my old saltwater days) into my canister. That did seem to help, at least until all the stuff in the tray dissolved as well.

I could have done as suggested above by infolific and cut back on the co2, but at that time my lighting was so high I couldn't turn the co2 down or I'd suffer algae-geddon.
 

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This was my experience as well. I never had issues with my snail's shells until I started injecting co2. I'm in Southeast Texas, and our water is pretty hard. After I started injecting co2, every snail in there died and eventually even the shells all dissolved. All my other tanks are fine and have years worth of snail shells all over the bottom. At one point I tried to provide some more of a buffer in the water by adding a tray full of crushed coral/shells (left over from my old saltwater days) into my canister. That did seem to help, at least until all the stuff in the tray dissolved as well.

I could have done as suggested above by infolific and cut back on the co2, but at that time my lighting was so high I couldn't turn the co2 down or I'd suffer algae-geddon.
I agree, I have ramshorn in another tank without co2 and I don't see the same problem with the shells and the tank with co2 has much higher gh/kh.
 

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Do you often see snails riding on each other's back? If yes then they might be just eating each other's shell, hence the white spots. That would be a lack of calcium sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you often see snails riding on each other's back? If yes then they might be just eating each other's shell, hence the white spots. That would be a lack of calcium sign.
Not really but thanks for the tip!
 

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Really good information here. I am cycling CO2 from pH 7 to 6.6 now for about a year. My zebra nerite and huge population of trumpets started having shell issues. No problems with black nerite or black spike snails I used to add coral before CO2 and had no issue. Lately been using alkaline buffer and wonder shell to keep pH. After reading this thread I am going back to adding ground coral and raising the pH to a high of 7.2 and low of 6.8. Hope it works! Thanks for the clues and valuable information.
PS. “Black racers” are best and longest lived Nerites I have experienced. Really fast and no shell problems.
 
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