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Ways to add calcium to your tank?

9304 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  wkndracer
I tried a few forum searches and didn't find much on this topic.

I would like to raise some snails with out holes in their shells. Every one I've received in the past month has these soft water wear marks on their shells. Some are rather bad and those snails almost never move.

I do have hard water, but in planted takes i hear it does soften over time, would a bag of coral in my filter be enough, or are there calcium supplements you could add that won't harm the plants/fish. I did hide a couple chunks of cuddlebone in the substrate for now. Substrate is black flourite in one tank, eco complete + flora max in another, and gravel in the third.
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It's not really the hardness that matters... it's mostly the pH.

Snail shells wear away even at a pH of 7... If your tank has co2, the shells will wear away much faster.

People add calcium to saltwater tanks with coral, because the coral needs to pull calcium from the water column in order to grow. However, the pH is already very high.

The pH in planted tanks is fairly low, and so snails will sometimes just slowly wear away.

The good news is, the snails generally die of old age before their shells deteriorate.
Ah, i was hoping to sell my batch of baby purple snails to one of the local pet shops. Just want to prevent the holy shells until they are big enough to get rid of..

Maybe I'll just up my water changes in that tank to maintain a high PH.
setup a small snail rearing tank for them, a little 1g or 2.5g tank with coral substrate
On a side note, my red ramshorns love those invertibites, two actually seemed to be fighting over a small chunk of it. lol

Looked like a tiny match of tug-o-war.
The invertebites should provide plenty of dietary calcium for them :D
"... The water should have a GH and KH at least of 4 degree (bit more than 70ppm) for each. Ideal hardness and alkalinity would be above 6 degrees (>100ppm) for each KH and GH... "

Pet store bird supplies.
cuttlebone will dissolve slowly enough that you will probably not notice a change in pH.

Flavored cuttlebone might have harmful additives though...make sure you get plain one (usually cheapest).

Cuttlebone can be placed inside canister or hob filter along with media or pushed under substrate.

jrafael helped me out with info last year.

pH lowered by the the injection of CO2 isn't exactly the same as that produced by a lower KH value.
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I use straight calcium chloride when I want to add calcium I have a bunch left over from reefing. I just premix it with RO/di water and add it to my tank. make sure you have a test kit, because ODing calcium will cause a blizzard as calcium precipitates out of the water.
I like using cuttlebone myself. It's not a fast release method though which is what I prefer. Boil up a few chunks so they will sink and then drop them in the tank. Let nature do it's thing from there.
My friend raises brigs and she just crushes up a calcium pill (yes the ones we take ourselves) and drops it in the tank....she's got awesome snails with no holes in their shells, so I guess it works just fine.

She also said to feed spinach to them and that also helps with the shell staying good.
janftica I use Calcium tabs in our homemade gel food that I make, and for years I raised Brigs and they ate the same food along with zucchini with no issues from the Calcium tab. The food is primarily used for our fancy goldfish..but everyone loves the food.
Raising snails..they need lots of water changes due to to all the waste the kick off. Blue ramshorns are reproducing quite well in the Green shrimp tank..and having to add additional water changes to accomodate everyone. No..I did not mean to be raiding blues in a shrimp tank.. I think I found a home for most of them so that will be over...
Good luck with your snails.
I bred crap loads of brigs and apple snails years ago to sell around the state since you couldn't transport apples across state lines anymore and nobody had pink or purple brigs (got $5 apiece for dime sized babies at all the LFSs and like 50 cents a piece for apples at quarter size).
Having hard water and adding the calcium essentially just buffers the water but doesn't actually get absorbed by the snails.
You have to feed them lots of calcium rich foods to keep them from getting growth lines at the edge of their shells.
Dandelion leaves, collard greens, and spinach are good choices (descending order of calcium content). I fed blanched dandelion leaves in the summer when I could just pick them outside and collard greens in the winter from the store.
You can also give them Tums. They love the fruity flavors and they will chew on them and vacuum them up as they dissolve. Don't use calcium supplements that have vitamin D.
I also made plaster of paris food blocks which the snails and plecos both love.
Just get some DAP Plaster of Paris (the cheap stuff) and mix it with enough water to make a thick paste (really thick--you shouldn't be able to pour it). Add some spirulina powder if available until it is just the palest green (too much and the blocks fall apart) and granulated fish food (cheap crap works fine).
Scoop the mixture into the little plastic sauce/dressing cups you see at restaurants and let them harden for a week.
They last for a months depending on how much the snails and fish chew on them and they wont cloud your water or dissolve if you didn't use too much water when you mixed them.
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Cool info Franco I'm going to try the recipe :proud:
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