GONG asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

how do i add calcium to my aquarium?

OK this is how it goes, i have two gold fish in a 20 gal tank with two HOB (hang on the back) filters, and the tank has been going since the summer of 2005. I just bought a black mystery snail, i noticed that is shell is turning white and pretty much decaying. I read some where that snails need calcium to maintain their shells. (please feel free to tell me anything else snails need to maintain thier shell.

5 Answers

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    The only thing I could find out about the calcium was using drops was best for snails and a pet store near you would sell them including the correct amount for your snail as far as anything else; here are some other facts I found on your Snail--The Mystery Snail also known as the Apple Snail.

    Pomacea bridgesii - Apple Snails - Mystery Snails

    How I Take Care of Them

    Apple snails are easy animals to care for. They can exist in aquariums with non-aggressive gentle fish, and they consume algae and are helpful for the aquarium or pond. There are a lot of misconceptions about them that need to be cleared up.

    Some species, such as Pomacea canaliculata, can cause damage to plants. Their size is bigger and they can consume all the plants in an aquarium in a matter of a day or two.

    But I recommend Pomacea bridgesii, which is a species of apple snail that is great for a planted tank. They will not eat healthy plants and they love vegetables and fish flakes. They are sold under different names, including mystery snail, ivory snail, Inca snail, jade snail, and golden mystery snail.


    Fish flake, and tablets designed for bottom feeders are acceptable to apple snails. Vegetables added are better - high calcium vegetables will help the health of the shell. I feed mine green beans, spinach, darker green leaf lettuce, and shelled peas.

    www.applesnail.net has lots of ideas and food ideas for your snail.


    pH should be 7.0 or higher. Any lower and damage can occur to the shell. Erosion marks and holes will be seen.

    Something that also helps the shell is calcium. Some people add Kent's Liquid Calcium for marine tanks to the snails' tank at half dose. Also Kent's Marine Super Iodine. I have not yet tried this - right now I add Repti-cal Calcium Powder for reptiles, using about ¼ teaspoon per 10 gallons. I have also used eggshells, but will probably switch to the Kent's Liquid Calcium because of the reviews I have read at www.applesnail.net.

    Update 1: I have now tried Kent's Liquid Calcium. It is awesome! I also added Aragamax Sand. I am very pleased with how these have improved the snails' shells. The sand buffers the pH and the calcium does so much for them. I have stopped the Repti-cal reptile powder and have stopped the eggshells. Now my water is crystal clear! I have not tried the liquid iodine yet. I didn't want add everything at once.

    Update 2: I have also started using Kent's Liquid Iodine. A drop per ten gallons every few days.


    Apple snails can adapt to many environments. Anything between 72 degrees to 82 degrees is fine. I prefer 76 degrees.

    Tank décor

    Apple snails love to climb, and décor with no sharp edges is a great idea.

    You will see them go to the top of the tank and take in air through their tube, although they can also breathe underwater through fishlike gills. Leaving some room at the top is very important. I drop the water 3 - 4 inches from the top, which gives them room to move around and lay egg clutches. If you don't drop the water line down, your snails will suffer stress and will die.

    Egg clutches

    An apple snail is either a female or male, but not both.

    They lay eggs in clutches above the water line. If the eggs fall into the water they will drown, but if the clutch dries out they will also die, so what you want is a humid and moist environment. There are many ideas posted in the discussion forum at www.applesnail.net on how to keep egg clutches safe. The latest idea of hanging the egg clutches in a hairnet to keep from sliding in the tank is a great one. Another idea I have read about is floating Styrofoam in the tank and placing the egg clutch there. And another other is to put them with moist paper towels in a plastic container with lid (10 percent has to be open for oxygen). I have used plastic mesh that I cut and tied in a cube for the clutches to lay on. But most of my clutches make it just being on the side of the glass.

    The clutch if viable will hatch in 2 - 3 weeks, when you will see very tiny snails making their way into the water. They feed on algae and small food particles. I grind up fish flakes to powder.

    A problem if you have fish (e.g. goldfish) is that they will eat the baby snails. Some people opt for a small nursery tank, but my snails have their own tanks so I don't worry about that.

    When the babies get to be dime size they are ready for transportation, if you decide to do so. One clutch can produce anywhere from 30 - 100 babies.


    Apple snails live up to 2 or 3 years, but when they expire it's easy to miss. Some people keep the shells, but I dispose everything into the garbage as soon as I can!

    It's a good idea to keep your eyes on the older snails if there is an offensive odour. Some go dormant at times, so to check for a dead snail take a straw or pencil and touch near the "door" - if it closes up tight the snail is still alive. Another thing I do if I'm not sure, is place the snail in a gallon container of aquarium water and wait. Check after 20 minutes or so to see if it has moved.


    If you decide to keep apple snails you must consider the fish that might share the tank. Most fish will not bother the snails, but some do. My angelfish try to eat the apple snails' feelers, and my dwarf gourami attacked a snail.

    I know people that have angelfish and snails with no problems, so I think every fish is different. Goldfish might knock the snails off the glass. My apple snails mostly have their own tanks, but in one of the tanks I do have male guppies and rosy red minnows, and they do not bother the snails.

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  • 4 years ago

    Kent Marine Liquid Calcium

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I am not so sure that ghost shrimp require calcium. Recheck that. But anyways yes, they sell powdered and liquid forsm of calcium additive for aquariums.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Whats your aquarium's PH? Mystery snails need a high PH (8-10)or their shells deteriorate.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can buy liquid calcium to put in your tank. You can also buy your snail special food and feed him vegetables that are high in calcium (like greens).

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