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Old 03-07-2004, 08:47 AM   #1
salt creepette
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are snails sensitive to high nitrates?


i have a 29g fresh water tank and we've had an apple snail for a couple years. lately here he has been not coming out of his shell. he's not dead, i dont think, but he wont come out and he wont eat. he looks okay just not acting right. i know my nitrates are a high 80-100 and ive started doing larger, more frequent (weekly 15%) water changes. should I take him out and put him in some newly dechlorinated water and see if he gets more active??? help my poor apple snail.
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:36 PM   #2
Deborah
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I've not had much luck with apple or mystery snails. I've tried three and none lived more than 6 months in my goldfish tank. But, at least one of them did hide in it's shell for a long time (weeks) and then come out and live for several more months.

Deborah

PS After I posted i remembered this site http://www.applesnail.net/
Seems that they are not too sensitive to water quality except that they can't tolerate copper and need water over a ph of 7 (that's probably what did mine in - my water is pretty soft)

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Old 03-07-2004, 11:15 PM   #3
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ok thanks i will check the ph. ive had this snail for a couple years now. maybe hes just getting old. what did yours 'do' when the died so i know what to look for?
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:49 AM   #4
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As I remember they died pretty quickly. One day they were moving around, a couple of days later I had an empty shell (could be the goldfish in the tank liked escargot). When they were just "resting" the fish never bothered them.

Reading more on the above site the deal with ph is providing enough calcium for the snail's shell. As a reefer I imagine you can find ways to add enough to their tank. :-) Us freshwater types are pretty clueless about calcium.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:50 AM   #5
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Now you've got me thinking about snails and I'm going to have to try one again. They are pretty fun to watch cruise around a tank.
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Old 03-08-2004, 01:01 PM   #6
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do you want mine?
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Old 03-08-2004, 02:24 PM   #7
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I'd love them. How long do you think it will take them to hitchhike from Texas to Oregon?

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Old 03-08-2004, 02:30 PM   #8
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I dont know how they react to high nitrates but I do know the acclimation process has to be slow just like in sw big ph swings are hard on them. I have had best luck with rams horns but NOT in a planted tank hehehhe DOH!!! (found that out the hard way)


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Old 03-08-2004, 07:59 PM   #9
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deborah i wish i could teletransport him to you.

although not foreign to saltwater, i dont supplement calcium (just keep up with weekly water changes, esp since i have only soft corals) so im not sure how to boost calcium in a freshwater tank. besides that, my husband insists we keep the snail. but i can see he's not doing well in my tank. im not sure what the solution is!
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Old 03-12-2004, 12:39 AM   #10
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You definately want to keep all you snails in neutral or slightly alkaline water. Their shell is composed of calcium and it will dissolve in acidic water. I found that out the hardway (for the snails) by trying to keep them with discus. The shells were completely eatten away by the acid (6.8ph) until the snail was covered only by a white soft paper-like shell. Once I realized what was going on, I removed the snails to better accomodations and the worst shell damage got a coat of nail polish (Hardasnails of coarse!) Within a few weeks normal shell growth appeared around the shell openings.
As to adding calcium to the freshwater tank, most tapwater sources will have adaquate calcium or you could just use a good buffer for alkaline fw such as Proper PH 8.2 or acid buffer. If you want the homemade method, buy a can of Pickling Lime in the canning section of the supermarket and add 1tsp to a gallon of water, stir and wait till the milkiness clears then add a cup of the clear liquid about once every other week or so. Don't mix directly in the tank or add too much too soon as it will cause the ph to rise rapidly which could kill your critters. Don't use the limewater on a planted tank-don't think most plants could tolerate it.
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Old 03-12-2004, 05:25 PM   #11
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i am starting to use RO water on my freshwater tank water changes. the ph is about 7.4. how soes ph affect calcium? does the calcium correlate to the ph and vice versa (did that make any sense)?

i guess i need to test the water for alkalinity? i hate to add pickling lime not knowing for sure if i need it although i bet i might.

so the pickling lime thing, can i do that to my reef tank if i need to boost the calcium?

i swear ive read up on calc/alk/ph but i cant seem to retain the information!!! i guess cuz i havent applied it yet, huh??
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:52 PM   #12
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Pickling lime is calcium carbonate, the same thing as Kalkwasser used in reef tanks. Calcium carbonate is alkaline so using it in a tank will neutralize the acids and raise the ph towards the alkaline range. Another way you can suppliment calcium in your fw tank would be to take some crushed coral or some fine liverock rubble and place it in a mesh bag in your power or canister filter. It's much easier and safer if you are not sure about what you are doing with the limewater. The liverock and coral (same thing) are composed of calciumcarbonate too, so they will dissolve gradually in fw and add calcium to the water while buffering it against low ph. This would be the safe easy way to accomplish what you want.
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