I've heard before about using nail polish to help preserve shells but I can't understand how it could work. I've never been able to keep nail polish on my own finger nails longer than a few days before it begins to chip off! Does one have to continue to reapply it to the snail shell fairly regularly?
ALSO, I don't think it's permissible for you to casually mention a baseball-sized PINK snail without showing us PHOTOS!!!!!
Last edited by inuudo; 11-11-2012 at 05:33 PM.
Reason: demand for photos
Oops, it didn't post the second pic! Here's how big Frank will be:
She's a little shy, but a very sweet snail once she warms up to you. (Yes, I know each of my snails' personality) She lets me hand feed her. Her sister, Fred, was much more outgoing. She went to school with me on a regular basis, and could shake hands. Unfortunately, Fred had a very tragic accident involving a very hard floor and a 3 foot drop. I patched her up, but there was internal damage to her liver, and I had to put her down. She was my baby.
Yep, the nail polish has stayed on. A few chips here and there, but it hasn't harmed her or her friends any. I have no clue how old she is, I got her as an adult. Cost me $6, too! She's layed 3 clutches for my, but only 12 babies survived. Its a shame they're illegal to ship across state lines.
At the moment, she and her pea sized babies are living in a 7 gallon plastic waste basket. Its just temporary, until my snail raising tubs outside warm up again in spring. Then I can start breeding snails again! At one time, I had several hundred baby snails sliming around out there.
Last edited by Maddybelle; 11-12-2012 at 01:14 AM.
I've been following this thread since you first posted it because I had similar (I thought) concerns about my apple snail. It wasn't until I read this that I realized that you were talking about the old shell not the new growth.
When I first put Snailio Iglesias in my ten gallon with neon tetras, the pH was below 7. I didn't realize the harm it was doing him until I could see growth on his shell and what looked like cracks forming. After doing a ton of research, I corrected the pH and hardness as much as I safely could (tetras like low pH) by adding a mesh bag of crushed coral to the filter. The pH is now around 7.6. The tetras are fine and Snailio's shell has improved considerably.
Here's a link to my youtube videos in which you can see the damage to his shell and the growth and repair. (The one called "Snailio Iglesias meets Slois Lane" shows it best.)
One thing you'll note is that the oldest part of his shell is greyish and there is some pitting. The grey parts were there when I got him, but I am not sure about the pitting; it may have happened in my tank because of the pH problem.
Another thing that should stand out is the distinct lines or ridges that run crossways (not the dark lines of coloration that run around the shell in the direction of growth). This is caused by a change in water quality. You can see two of the ridges quite clearly. I think the older one is from when I first got him as that is where the shell scarring starts; the point at which some of the scarring stops is probably from when I increased the pH. The most serious of the scars still continues through that part because it damaged the edge of the shell where the new growth occurs. I think that, with a bit more time, this, too, will end like the other scars did.
All of this is just to say, that if it is the older shell you're concerned about, I doubt that altering the pH or water hardness will fix anything (i.e. regenerate shell in that area), but you can ensure that new growth is solid and that old shell doesn't deteriorate further by adding crushed coral to the filter. A couple of other things I did were to put a piece of cuttlefish bone on the bottom of the tank (no idea if he pays it any attention, but it makes ME feel better!) and to give him spinach or zucchini a couple of times a week (he ignored these the first few times, but I persevered and now he's on them like stink on poop).
Maybe I'm blind, but I didn't really see what you were talking about with your snail. I mean, I saw the parts where you could tell there was a change in water quality, but I guess I was looking for something more like my own snail's situation. In any case, thanks for the help! I won't be able to go out anything for the next...week or so, but where exactly do I get crushed coral? Because it doesn't really look like cuttlebone's doing anything. My snail doesn't pay it any attention and his shell isn't getting any better. And since he doesn't eat veggies, it's (along with other calcium additives that have been suggested) pretty much my only option.
Make sure to get the calcium tabs WITHOUT vitamin D. I've had a few who had eroded shells no matter what I did. I finally just did what my snail friends on the unmentionable snail forum said: paint the shell with nail polish! You have to be very careful not to get any on their body, though. It can burn them. My baseball sized Pomacea insularum female, Frank, is now a beautiful pink. =)
Haha, I don't really trust myself to not get paint on my snail. I can barely paint my fingernails without getting nail polish everywhere. xp Is there a specific brand of calcium tabs to look for? Or is it just water has the highest mg for the lowest price? I remember someone mentioned something about Caltrate earlier in the thread....
I'm a bit late on here, but will tums harm my community tank? We have the fruit flavored kind.... Tums that is, not the fish haha. I have Teras (neons and glow lights) Cherry Barbs, Corys, a Rafael, and GloFish, a red Beta, and 3 snails. One is white and rather large, and two are smaller and black (or they were when I got them, a few months ago). I had another yellow one but he/she died last week and when the shell floated to the front and I scooped it out it was full of holes, pits, and cracks it was also really thin in places. I'm scared to death that the rest of them will bump off too.... I'll go grab some spinach now, my fish won't eat it but maybe my snails will.