Mystery Snail Shell Cracking

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Wysper

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Dec 10, 2013
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Edinboro, PA
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Crystal
I have had mystery snails for a while now, and this is the first time I've had one that developed a crack in the shell. I don't have a picture right now, but will try to explain what it's like.

Ivory Mystery Snail. If you look at the snail from the front, there is a triangle crack that started about in the middle of the opening and seems to be widening from the front back. It almost seems as if the shell would crack off to the left side if it is pulled or touched.

This snail is in a tank with a few other snails who show no signs of shell distress (other than some pitting at the center of their spirals that they came with from the previous owner). I do weekly 25-50% water changes in the tank, and have a cuttle bone in there as well.

Tank mates are 4 German Blue Rams, 4 Serpae Tetra, 1 Molly, 1 Platy and 1 Pleco. (The pleco doesn't belong in the tank, but he's housed temporarily due to Pearl Cichlid fry in his usual tank and I think he was eating the babies.) And 4 other Mystery Snails.

I really don't know what else to do for the little guy. The other Ivory I bought at the same time as him is healthy as can be and has even laid 3 clutches of eggs. (She is housed with a Light Striped Purple)

Any suggestions or actions I can take other than to wait for the damage to be repaired?
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Joel
Any chance at posting a pic? I've had mystery snails with shell anomalies, but I'd think an actual crack would kill them quickly.
 

Wysper

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Dec 10, 2013
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Crystal
I will get a pic tonight when I get home. I should have taken one yesterday when I saw the problem.

Problem is he is usually hiding in the back of the tank and behind the driftwood, so not always in line of sight to notice a problem right away.
 

Fishfur

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Aug 28, 2012
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Never seen a crack exactly like that one before, but unless it spreads open I would expect the snail to survive. The edge probably will not heal with so wide a chunk missing though. Narrower defects will close with some time. I've seen a few snails with quite shell large defects doing fine, though in the wild they'd be eaten, because they're vulnerable. The closed door won't protect them as well when there's a big defect in the edge like that. In a tank, no worries.

I wonder if that line going back from the 'V' is actually open or is really just a shell defect that's had a big chip taken out at the growing edge. I have seen some snails with marks something like this one. In those snails it was abnormal growth with a growing edge defect at the front, but the it wasn't truly an open crack, just a defect in growth. Does either side of the shell move if you press gently along one or the other side of that 'crack' ? No need to use a lot of pressure, but it would be very helpful to know if it's actually a crack or just a defect.

If there is a need for it, it is possible to patch shells, with great care. You need a bit of shell with similar curvature which is much wider than the place to be repaired and gel crazy glue. Take care that no glue touches the snail's flesh, only shell. The glue will cure very quickly even under water.

Very little glue is needed as it will spread far and wide. Don't try to patch the growing edge, as it expands with age and thus a patch will not work, but you could maybe bridge the crack behind the 'V' and help stop it getting wider, if it does move when you try to manipulate it. I would try to find out if it moves or not.

Snail flesh that is exposed to the water can become calcified but It takes time. Pin holes in the older part of the shell will do this. The front edge of the foot won't.

You might try giving the snails vacation fish feeder blocks to increase calcium intake. The blocks are made of pure calcium sulfate, and usually snails love the things, munching down the calcium to get the fish food treats inside them.
 

highpowermom

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Jun 5, 2015
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Resurrecting this topic because I'm also having a shell cracking problem, hope that's okay. My son's science teacher sent home a mystery snail from a chain pet store back on Nov. 30. I don't remember if he had cracks in his shell when he came home, but I found a photo from Dec. 10 (about ten days after we got him) where he has at least one crack:


I didn't notice it until January 23, when I saw multiple cracks and got concerned:



The local chain store (I can't remember which, we have Petsmart, Petco, Petland and Pet Supermarket all within a few minutes of our house!) told me to throw a chunk of cuttlebone into the tank, that it would leech calcium into the water, and give it time. Here is how he looks today (Feb. 10)--also, what is that appendage sticking out of his shell that looks like an elephant trunk??


He lives alone in a 1.2 gal National Geographic betta tank with filter, we feed him 1/2 an algae tab every couple of days and a chunk of zucchini once in a blue moon. I can try the vacation fish feeder blocks suggested above (how much and how often?), if it's a calcium problem. Is there anything else I can do? We have a separate 5.5 gallon set up with minnows and bladder snails, but I did not add the mystery snail to that tank because the minnows and bladder snails are canal-caught from our backyard in Florida, and I was advised not to mix store bought with them because they might carry different diseases.

Thanks so much!
 

henningc

AC Members
May 11, 2013
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I've had this problem with my Apple Snails. Ken;s Fish makes a product called Ken's Veggie Sticks with Calcium and it really works well. Kale is very high in calcium and my snails go bonko when I feed it to them. Between those two things and hiding egg shells under stuff the problem has stopped.
 

BettasOnVacation

Registered Member
Feb 12, 2020
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Resurrecting this topic because I'm also having a shell cracking problem, hope that's okay. My son's science teacher sent home a mystery snail from a chain pet store back on Nov. 30. I don't remember if he had cracks in his shell when he came home, but I found a photo from Dec. 10 (about ten days after we got him) where he has at least one crack:


I didn't notice it until January 23, when I saw multiple cracks and got concerned:



The local chain store (I can't remember which, we have Petsmart, Petco, Petland and Pet Supermarket all within a few minutes of our house!) told me to throw a chunk of cuttlebone into the tank, that it would leech calcium into the water, and give it time. Here is how he looks today (Feb. 10)--also, what is that appendage sticking out of his shell that looks like an elephant trunk??


He lives alone in a 1.2 gal National Geographic betta tank with filter, we feed him 1/2 an algae tab every couple of days and a chunk of zucchini once in a blue moon. I can try the vacation fish feeder blocks suggested above (how much and how often?), if it's a calcium problem. Is there anything else I can do? We have a separate 5.5 gallon set up with minnows and bladder snails, but I did not add the mystery snail to that tank because the minnows and bladder snails are canal-caught from our backyard in Florida, and I was advised not to mix store bought with them because they might carry different diseases.

Thanks so much!

Hi!! The elephant trunk your referring to is called his syphon (but i love elephant trunk so much more that i might just say that instead😂) it’s basically like a snorkel, just breathing.

my purple girl Odie had a crack when i first got her. Calcium is a really good way to help out, I suggest using snello. It’s extremely easy to make (like microwave easy- a college kids dream!) and your buddy will go WILD over it😂
Mine definitely do, i have three. Two ivory’s and a purple and they have sooo much energy.
Snello is really easy to make and store. It can be a staple in their diet too. Feedinging them maybe twice a week in-between their normal food.
If you look up Snello on google you’ll get a bunch of forums on how to make it!!
 
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