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Tips for happy snails and happy sunfish?

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#1 JackHaldane

  • NANFA Member

Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:17 PM

Hi all,


I have a cycled 10g tank with lots of plants, right now I'm giving it time to mature and to build up a population of snails, as I've read in various threads here that the baby snails probably make a good snack for pygmies. I recently got some ramshorn snails and decided to do a little reading about how to care for them. I'm getting about 50/50 "help I can't kill these things -and I've tried- someone nuke my tank God why are they immortal" and "you MUST have a pH of exactly 8.0 to keep your snails alive, and the Kh must be at least 4, calcium levels must be monitored obsessively and...". Is that second one even close to true? Will pygmies be happy in pH 8? How much do they care about water hardness (I'm looking at Okefenokee if it makes any difference)?


Right now I'm just using local tapwater, it's a little on the softer side (TDS from 80s-low 100s) but I have a few pieces of (boiled) seashell in there to leach calcium into the water, I'm also dropping in boiled crushed eggshell like I used to for my shrimp. Does this sound like an acceptable medium? 


I just want everyone in the tank to be happy, curious what has worked for others. I would love to hear "what are you talking about ramshorns just do their thing and you ignore them," but if there's more to it I want to do what's necessary to keep them in good health. Thanks in advance!


I've read many forum posts here and done some other research, but any general advice about keeping pygmies would be nice if you have a moment! Already have lots of plants in a cycled tank and a grindal culture going, anything else I'll need?

#2 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:54 PM

Some snail species DO need high GH (calcium +magnesium) hardness, but the common red+brown ramshorns (Planorbarius) and pond snails (Physa) typical in the aquarium hobby dont need much - anything above 2 dGH (35 mg/L) is probably enough.  If you're trying to propagate them, a bit more hardness (3 to 5 dGH) would be better.  Elassoma are not too fussy about pH and hardness; some species can even live in soft acidic water.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

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