Can You Use Repti Calcium for Snails?

Use Repti Calcium for Snails

Can You Use Repti Calcium for Snails?

In various forums, you can find engaging discussions about snails, showing the deep concern aquarists have for their pets. A pet owner recently questioned the unhealthy appearance of her snails’ shells and whether Rept calcium would be a suitable solution to enhance their overall condition.

You cannot use Repti Calcium for snails because it is explicitly formulated for reptiles and amphibians. While Repti Calcium contains calcium and Vitamin D3, snails require calcium alone without needing Vitamin D3, especially when the calcium must be administered frequently.

A snail’s shell is prone to appearing thin and rough instead of the desired thick, glossy, and smooth when it lacks sufficient calcium. If you’ve ever wondered whether you can use Repti Calcium for snails, this article is tailored for you, providing all the information you need.

Calcium Cells From Snails and Response to Vitamin D

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  • Powder can be scooped or sprinkled from jar with dual access lid
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Repti Calcium, which includes vitamin D3, is not recommended for snail consumption.

Vitamin D3 significantly impacts the skeletal development of larger animals like mammals, preventing conditions such as rickets, as it affects calcium transport and sensing throughout the body.

However, the effects of Vitamin D on snails, particularly calcium absorption, are more complex. On the one hand, it enhances calcium absorption, but excessive Vitamin D intake can lead to toxicity in snails.

Vitamin D is oil-soluble and difficult for the snail’s body to eliminate, increasing the risk of toxicity.

Like children, snails can easily overdose on Vitamin D, making supplements with concentrated forms of this vitamin unsafe for them.

Excessive intake of minerals, even in animals, can cause illness, so they should only be consumed in trace amounts for safety.

How Do You Give Calcium to Snails?

Snails cannot obtain sufficient calcium solely from their food. While fruits and vegetables serve as a natural calcium source for them, these alone do not provide the necessary protein required for developing glossy and smooth shells.

One notable protein-rich option is dried baby shrimp, containing protein and calcium. Before adding them to the snail tank, it is recommended to soak the dried shrimp in cool water for a few minutes.

Some snail owners have suggested feeding soybeans, which are rich in calcium and protein. However, it is advisable to avoid feeding snails too much salt tofu.

Additionally, soybeans contain excessive starch, which can be difficult for snails to digest. It is also important to provide a constant supply of calcium within the snail’s habitat for them to consume at their own pace.

Related Reading: Do Snails Have Teeth?

What Foods Give Snails Calcium?

Cuttlefish Bones

Snail owners commonly keep pieces of cuttlefish bones in their snail tanks. This may be due to their affordability (costing about twenty pence to one pound per bone) and widespread availability in pet supply stores.

Cuttlefish bones are highly regarded because they provide snails with the necessary calcium without adverse effects. Feeding cuttlefish bones to snails is a straightforward process.

After purchasing an ample supply of calcium-rich bones, it is advisable to wash them thoroughly before placing them in the tank. Giant snails with a healthy appetite will readily consume the cuttlefish bones.

It’s important to note that snails may not consume all the cuttlefish bones within the recommended timeframe, causing the remaining bones to become slimy and soft.

Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the amount they require per feeding and only provide that much.

Egg Shells: Why It Is a Good Source of Calcium for Mystery Snails

Like cuttlefish bones, egg shells are a beneficial calcium source for snails, particularly Mystery snails. Many snail owners recommend using eggshells because almost every household has chicken eggs available.

For those who don’t raise chickens but keep snails as pets, the chicken section of a pet store becomes the go-to destination.

Related Reading: Unraveling the Mysteries of Mystery Snails

It’s important to note that not all eggshells provide adequate calcium. In this case, we are referring specifically to chicken eggshells.

While they are readily available and often cost-free for most snail owners, some effort is required to prepare the eggshells for the aquarium.

The process involves several steps, such as:

  1. Collect as many eggshells as possible.
  2. Wash them in clean, soapy water, using your hands to remove any membranes clinging to the shells.
  3. Place the eggshells in a container and let them dry in the sun.
  4. Once completely dry, crush them into a powder form using a bowl.
  5. Check the water pH before adding the crushed eggshells, as they can increase the levels.
  6. If the water pH permits, add small amounts of the powdered egg shells into the tank.

Unlike other snail species, Mystery snails require a higher level of calcium, typically a hardness of 70 to 90 milligrams per liter of calcium.

The calcium needs of snails depend on their age. Younger Mystery snails require more calcium due to their growth, while older snails may consume egg shells slower as their growth rate decreases.

Egg shells can provide the necessary calcium amounts for these snails.

Calcium Dolomite

In addition to the alternatives mentioned above, snail owners can utilize dolomite limestone to fulfill their pet snails’ calcium requirements.

This food supplement contains significantly higher levels of calcium and essential minerals such as trace elements and magnesium.

Dolomite limestone comprises 55% calcium, 35% magnesium, and the remaining portion comprises trace elements.

The process of preparing dolomite limestone for snail consumption is similar to that of egg shells:

  1. Clean and grind the dolomite limestone into a powder form.
  2. Mix the powder with the substrate to raise pH, ensuring a favorable impact on the snail’s outer shell layer known as the periostracum.

This outer part shields the snail’s shell from the harmful effects of an overly acidic environment.

Introducing calcium dolomite mixed with the substrate provides a valuable source of calcium for snails, as it can be absorbed throughout their entire body.

How to Tell When Your Snail Has Calcium Deficiency

Snails display several signs indicating a lack of sufficient calcium, including but not limited to the following:

  • Cracks appear in certain parts of the shell.
  • Noticeable holes in the shell.
  • Overall thinning of the shell.
  • Prolonged calcium deficiency can also result in significant whitening of the shells.

Summary

The essential mineral for the development of snails is undoubtedly calcium, as it is crucial for shell formation and repair.

Snails typically obtain calcium from their regular fruit and vegetable diet, while freshwater snails acquire it from their environment.

However, snails can experience calcium deficiency if they don’t receive enough of this mineral in their diet.

Introducing different food items as calcium supplements for snails is essential. However, it’s important to avoid using Repti Calcium due to the potential toxic risks associated with Vitamin D3.

Sources

Author

  • Paul Odoteh

    Paul Odoteh is an established writer and editor with nearly 10 years of experience in writing and editing. He holds a bachelor's degree in IT and has written for numerous publications and individuals. Currently, Odoteh is dedicated to expanding his blog, SnailPedia.com, which was inspired by his passion for owning an aquarium.

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