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HELP me repair nerite shell please ASAP!


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When I got my 2 zebra nerites in January, they both had some pitting on the tips of their shells. I noticed today that one of their pits have recently become larger and deeper. I just saw the reason - my bladder snails are eating the shell right at those spots! I knocked the offending snail off, but I can't monitor the tank constantly. How can I patch/protect the holes? I have shrimp in the tank, so it has to be a non-toxic solution. Please help!

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Snails are able to repair their own shells if they are not too seriously injured. I would suggest putting them away from the bladder snails and any other possible "diners"and keeping your Ph on the high side(7+) and possible addition of ground cuttle bone or other forms of calcium.I never tried deliberate medication of snails, but this may help a natural process along. BBF

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There are 2 holes that seem to go all the way through. I don't think it can repair them itself since they're not on the growing edge of the shell.

And unfortunately, I don't have a snail-free tank. I just caught my other nerite on it possibly munching on the shell too.

I am going to have to come up with some sort of patch for it.

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Sounds like repairs are done with plaster of paris, covered with clear nail enamel. I don't know how safe nail enamel is....I'd try to find a 3-free or 5-free formula. Problem might be that the hole is too deep and you don't want the plaster going all the way thru.

Can you keep the snail in a temporary treatment tank?

 

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I ordered this putty https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Ocean-Epoxy-Aquariums-4-Ounces/dp/B001JSXBYO/ref=pd_sim_199_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MVWFJJ61Z2PME2KTXJFK and some cyanoacrylate gel https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FUGET5K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I read that the combo works well for adhering things underwater. I'm planning to glue small pieces of ramshorn shells to cover the holes, and then cover with a thin layer of glue followed by the putty. I'll let you all know how it works!

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Please do Sarah. :-)

 

Just a note.  The only shell that grows is at the lip of the opening.  That part is constantly added to which is why you will see rings with differences in water params.

 

You want to be careful with adhesives that it doesn't touch the body since the snail stretches and flexes all the way in the shell.

 

Outside holes will never be repaired by the snail itself since it is done with.  Think of a fingernail.  If you have a hole in the top white part of your nail it doesn't grow over.  Inside the shell is a tissue membrane which can repair the shell inside, but doesn't affect outside appearance.

 

Holes in snail shells are generally caused by the water being too acidic for them.  Pits and holes are from the water eating away the shell.  GH and calcium can help make the shell thicker, but ph will affect the structure over time. 

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16 minutes ago, Soothing Shrimp said:

Please do Sarah. :-)

 

Just a note.  The only shell that grows is at the lip of the opening.  That part is constantly added to which is why you will see rings with differences in water params.

 

You want to be careful with adhesives that it doesn't touch the body since the snail stretches and flexes all the way in the shell.

 

Outside holes will never be repaired by the snail itself since it is done with.  Think of a fingernail.  If you have a hole in the top white part of your nail it doesn't grow over.  Inside the shell is a tissue membrane which can repair the shell inside, but doesn't affect outside appearance.

 

Holes in snail shells are generally caused by the water being too acidic for them.  Pits and holes are from the water eating away the shell.  GH and calcium can help make the shell thicker, but ph will affect the structure over time. 

 

Right, it won't repair the holes since they're not at the growing edge of the shell. All 3 of my nerites came to me from the LFS with pits near the shell apex. All their new shell growth since I got them in January looks great. I'm going to check my parameters again just in case, but I think this one's pits developed into holes because of the other snails eating it. At least that's part of the problem.

 

I also wish I could get them to eat anything but algae. I'd love to feed them some calcium-rich veggies, but they ignore everything I've tried, including algae wafers.

 

I'm going to have to be very careful not to get any glue into the holes as I patch them. I don't want to harm the live tissue inside. I've been reading a lot this weekend, and some people use an egg shell membrane to line their repair patches. I hope my hands are steady enough to do this!

 

I'm planning to put my snail into my new quarantine tank for a day or two, just in case some chemicals leach from the patch. I don't want to harm my shrimp or fish in this process.

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So I patched the shell yesterday. I used a small piece of egg membrane and glued it over the 2 holes using aquarium/reef safe cyanoacrylate gel. I made sure to only glue the edges of the patch so the glue wouldn't get into the holes. Then I added a thin layer of aquarium-safe epoxy on top of that to protect the patch. I let it dry for half an hour (with the snail in a very shallow layer of water in a bowl), then put the snail in my quarantine tank.

 

It eventually started moving around, but it was pretty sluggish all afternoon/night. This morning I found it sleeping just above the water line, which I've never seen it do before. I placed it back in the water on a plant. It then crawled under an anubias leaf and stayed there. I added some prime to the tank, and left for work.

 

Do you guys think something is leaching into the tank water and bothering the snail, or maybe it's just pissed that I manhandled it and it now has a heavier shell to lug around?

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  • 4 years later...
On 8/24/2016 at 8:36 PM, sarah said:

He's back in the main tank now and doing great! Moving all over and eating up a storm. I think I'm going to call this a success :) 

 

How long did your snail live after this? Did the egg membrane not eventually rot? And do you know why egg membranes are used? 

I have a snail that needs help and I definitely want to know the ins and outs to using an egg for patch work before trying it myself. Thanks for posting 

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