Isn’t it interesting to know that mystery snails need calcium to maintain shells just like humans need it for their bones?
Yes, you read that correctly. Mystery snails need calcium to maintain a healthy shell and long life. However, it is not like humans where we can just pop a calcium supplement and go on about our day. Mystery snails get calcium from the water they are in and the food you give them. Hence, it is essential to ensure they have a never-ending source.
Now, if you are looking to increase the levels of calcium for mystery snails, this guide is for you.
Why is Calcium Important for Mystery Snail?
As mentioned, calcium is quite essential for snails. Now, why is it necessary when snails don’t have bones or eggs? Because they have shells! About 95% of a snail’s shell has calcium carbonate. This is why every snail needs a constant source of calcium to ensure the shell remains strong.
The main reason the shell needs to be strong is that they have soft bodies. The softness makes them vulnerable to predators. Moreover, they need the shell so the internal organs stay safe and protected constantly.
It is easier for the snails to keep up the strength of the shell as the shell is almost entirely made out of calcium carbonate. Plus, more often than not, calcium is available in the water they are kept in.
In addition, snail owners can provide meals with veggies that are rich in calcium. At the end of the day, what matters is the snail’s shell is provided the nourishment it needs.
How Do Mystery Snails Get Calcium
Out in the wild, mystery snails thrive only in water with high calcium content and favorable pH. However, it is in the tank where this category of gastropods tends to suffer a little.
Anyone who owns mystery snails has to ensure there are adequate sources of calcium for their pet. Two of the easiest way of providing the snails with calcium is as follows:
The effective and easiest way of providing your mystery snails with calcium is cuttlebone, which provides an excellent source of calcium. Also giving them calcium-rich food such as kale, soybean, leaf lettuce, zucchini is ideal as they will help nourish the shell.
In addition, these snails can also be given more commonly found calcium-rich veggies like cabbage and basil.
When it comes to water, ensuring there is enough calcium can be a bit of a task. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best calcium and mineral sources for mystery snails in captivity.
In this method of providing calcium, water mineralization is the best way to maintain the water’s pH balance and calcium content.
How Do You Check Calcium Levels For Mystery Snails
It is crucial to know how much calcium is in the water to maintain a balance. Inadequate amounts of calcium can lead to the shell deteriorating in the water.
However, it is not just the calcium levels, but even the pH, GH, kH, and TDS levels that must be checked to ensure the water is appropriate for the mystery snail. The best way to check for the calcium content in the water is to get a calcium test kit.
On doing the test, the first thing you need to look into is the gH, as it denotes the hardness of the water. There are also many kits in the market that mention the exact amount of calcium. You want to be looking for anything between 400-450 ppm.
On the off chance that there is not enough calcium, you can add it to the water via liquid/powdered calcium and supplements or treat water using mineralization. Also, make sure that the calcium does not increase too much. Too much calcium in the water can cause an imbalance in the alkalinity.
How Do You Add Calcium To A Mystery Snail Tank?
Now that you know how much calcium the water is supposed to have, let’s move on to the different methods of adding calcium. Usually, calcium-rich food or supplements are put into the tank to make the conditions more favorable for the mystery snails.
Calcium Supplements For Mystery Snails
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of vegetables that can be added to the water. Some of the most common ones are kale, spinach, green beans, and cabbage, all of which have different calcium content. We recommend blanching the vegetables beforehand to ensure they remain fresh for as long as 48 hours.
Get Calcium Into The Tank (Water Mineralization)
While adding veggies is a great way to get calcium into the water, it is not the only way. We believe in using more than one method to add calcium to be absolutely sure it is working. So, chicken eggshell powder and cuttlefish bones are pretty helpful in this regard.
Adding shells and bones to the water is called “mineralization” because minerals are added to the water to increase calcium levels.
Chicken eggshell has about 98% calcium carbonate, which makes it ideal for the mineralization process. All you need to do is boil the eggshells.
This is another excellent item to add to the water as it is an ideal source of calcium. They are available in the market and just need to be put into the water as is. Cuttlefish bone is of two types, so make sure you get the one with calcium carbonate.
With that, we finally come to the end of our guide on calcium for mystery snails. We hope this has been an informative and eye-opening read.
As you probably know by now, calcium is quite essential and ensures your mystery snails thrive. These snails are the ideal addition to your home aquarium as they are natural cleaners and will provide a clean space for all the fish. Just remember to feed them on time and ensure the water suits them.
On that note, we shall sign off. See you next time with many more such guides.
Until next time!