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Re: All my snails died... ???

> Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 15:16:43 -0600
> From: jlemons at myriad_net
> Subject: All my snails died...  ???
> I know that some folks hate snails, but I really didn't mind them when I had them.
> The never over populated, and they helped keep algea in check.
> Any way, my problem is, when I switched to RO water from tap water, I noticed a slow 
> decrease in the snail population.  Now I don't have any that I'm aware of.  I don't 
> know if the switch to RO water was the cause, or simple coincidence.  Any ideas what would
> cause this?  Anything I can change to make the tank more "snail friendly"?  I read 
> somewhere (don't remember where) that it could be related to carbonate hardness beging too
> low.  Is this correct, and if so why, and how do I fix it.
> Thanks,
> John

RO water has essentially all the minerals removed, and snails (like fish and
plants) need things like calcium to survive. Otherwise their shells get thin,
brittle and essentially dissolve. It's probably the low General hardness, not
just the Carbonate hardness that does it.

Fish can get such stuff from their food, sometimes, but they need minerals for
skeletal development, too. Using pure RO water is usually a very bad idea, and
most of us blend in some tap water to replace essential minerals. I breed a few
rain-forest puddlefish in pure RO water, acidified with peat, but those
containers aren't very good plant or snail tanks.

Make your tank more "snail friendly" by using at least 25% tap water in your
major water changes. Pure RO is OK for just making up any evaporative losses,
but that's no substitute for regular changes.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntley1 at home dot com

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