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Old 07-26-2010, 06:11 PM   #1 
Learn To Fly
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Question Shells in tanks?

When I was at the beach I found a bunch of moonsnail (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9jTkGowIIL...g280409p09.JPG) shells. They have amazing colors, but not really unless they're wet. Then I had a great idea-maybe I could put them in my tank(s). If I made sure they were safe (vinegar test??) and cleaned them really well, would they be okay or would they harm my fish? None of them are big enough for a betta to fit into, and if they were small enough for a betta to get stuck in I could close the hole. They are all smooth, with no sharp edges, so that wouldn't be a problem either. So any opinions/advice?
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:23 PM   #2 
wallywestisthebest333
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don't shells normally degrade over time in heated aquariums? I feel like I read that somewhere before.

I know for a fact they make the water harder because they're made from calium and add it to the water.

Harder water is good for planted tanks though so if you're planted that might be a good thing?

I'm kinda uncertain too. =/ Seems like if you can have living snails with shells in your tank you should be able to have vacated shells in your tank too. =/

But I'm as uncertain as you are on this so I'd like an answer too! =]
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:38 PM   #3 
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i think it should be ok. AS LONG as you clean the shells throughly with bleach solution and again with vinegar just to be sure it should be ok. After the bleach solution make sure you sundry them and rinse until they no longer smell like bleach.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:22 PM   #4 
zoragen
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I have 2 snails - so I put a few shells in my tank hoping they will leach calcium!

I do add 1/2 a caltrate tab every week or so also.

Many people will tell you not to put shells in - but other than hardening the water a bit (which may or may not be bad) I've not heard anyone really having a problem with it.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:27 PM   #5 
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They will leach calcium carbonate and mineral deposits into the water over time as well as raise the pH.

You can keep them in a planted Walstad tank as a pH buffer if the soil isn't already dispersed with crushed oyster shells or something.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:59 PM   #6 
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Thanks, guys! I wasn't planning to go very many real plants at this point, given my failures, but I might give it a go with the shells. But doesn't hard water melt CTs' fins? Because that might not be a good idea if so and I think my water is pretty hard as it is because my CT's fins keep melting on me.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:14 PM   #7 
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If your water is already hard, then yeah adding another source of minerals would be even worse for your CT. Using a seashell in there would only be good for the tank if you have a soil substrate.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:25 PM   #8 
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Ah, maybe I should just leave them on my desk then XD. Oh well, so much for my amazing plan.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:55 PM   #9 
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lol they would make the water hard...assuming that you never ever do water changes...which you do, do water changes...They will be fine just wash them well!
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:22 AM   #10 
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Shells in freshwater take a long time to dissolve and the amount of calcium that does come from the shells will be removed during a weekly water change. I used shells in my 2.5 gallon tank for my snails I checked the water weekly and there was never any difference in the pH, just wash them thoroughly and keep an eye on the pH if you notice it elevating then remove the shells and do a 50% water change :)
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