Although mystery snails have always been a popular addition to aquariums due to their excellent algae eating and detritus eating capabilities there popularity has sky rocketed over the last couple of years due to the rare purple, black, and blue colored mystery snails coming onto the market. This has spiked the number of questions that we see from the community about caring for mystery snails in their aquariums with more and more questions being asked with each month that goes by.
The most commonly asked question that we have seen recently from the community is supplementing calcium for mystery snails to ensure that they have a healthy shell. Unfortunately, it is very common that mystery snails will have a calcium-deficient diet due to the snail requiring such a large amount of calcium. Thankfully, you are able to quickly and easily supplement the calcium in their diets with cuttlebone or even calcium blocks to help offer a nutritionally complete diet.
Still, we will be going into more detail throughout our article below in an attempt to go over a number of the different questions we see each month from the community about supplementing calcium into their mystery snails diet. The table of contents below should make it quick and easy for you to skip to specific sections of the article with minimal effort too but skimming the full article is recommended if you are new to keeping mystery snails.
Does My Mystery Snail Need Calcium?
Mystery snails do require a high amount of calcium in their diets as it is essential for the snail to maintain a healthy shell. If you have mystery snails in your tank then calcium is even more important as they can grow at a rapid pace and have to build their shell at the same speed to prevent issues during growth.
As we mentioned back at the start of the article, more and more aquarium keepers are starting to add the rare purple, black, and blue mystery snails to their tank due to their unique look but these do come with a slightly higher than average price tag due to being rare snails. The last thing that you want to do it purchase one of these rare mystery snail colors only to give it a calcium-deficient diet so its shell is either weak or unable to grow at the required pace and leave it open to becoming a quick and easy meal for one of your fish.
Some aquarium setups may be able to naturally provide the higher amounts of calcium that your snail requires but this is rare, especially for beginners so supplementing your mystery snails diet with calcium is highly recommended. We would also recommend that you supplement the calcium in the diet of any other type of snail that you keep in your tank too as it is very common for all species of snail in aquariums to be calcium deficient.
How Do I Give My Mystery Snails Calcium?
There are a number of different ways that you are able to supplement the calcium intake of your snails but taking advantage of cuttlebone is probably the easiest way to get your mystery snails to eat more calcium. You can also use calcium blocks if you want but you usually end up paying more for less calcium compared to just using cuttlebone.
As we covered in our article going over using cuttlebone for snails, the low price of modern cuttlebone as well as how easy it is to use will usually push it to the top of any potential calcium supplement for your mystery snails. It works in two ways with the primary method being for your mystery snails to actually chew on the cuttlebone once added to your aquarium and the second method for your mystery snails to eat the small particles of cuttlebone that breakoff and float around your tank.
Many people do choose to pay over the odds to use calcium blocks though due to them being much smaller than cuttlebone making it easier to hide in your aquarium to prevent it from drawing the eye. More and more people are also starting to make their own calcium blocks for their snails too but we feel that just going with cuttlebone is a much better option.
How To Avoid A Mystery Snail Calcium Deficiency In Your Aquarium!
It is very common for people to accidentally give their mystery snails a diet that is deficient in calcium due to most people just leaving them to feed on detritus or algae in their tanks. Thankfully, you are easily able to prevent this by adding cuttlebone or calcium to your aquarium for your mystery snails to feed on with the difference in shell growth between a mystery snail not getting enough calcium and one having plenty of calcium being obvious.
We would always recommend cuttlebone as the primary calcium source for your mystery snails over the other potential sources and we have gone over why we feel calcium blocks are a waste of time above, mainly due to their high price tag. Liquid calcium is becoming increasingly popular and although the product does work well and make it quick and easy to get calcium into the diet of your mystery snails, it is very expensive for what you are actually getting.
Some people also tend to make their own calcium sources to prevent a deficiency in the diet of their mystery snails with the primary calcium sources either being ground coral or egg shell but this tends to be a waste of time for aquatic snails. The majority of people you see on social media successfully using this are keeping terrestrial land snails where these methods work much better.
That brings our article going over supplementing calcium for mystery snails to a close. Making sure that your pet mystery snails get plenty of calcium is easier and cheaper than the majority of people initially realise and it is definitely worth doing, especially if you are adding the rare mystery snail colors to your aquarium. A simply, cheap cuttlebone will usually do the trick and make sure that all of the mystery snails in your tank have plenty of calcium in their diet and prevent any problems with shell growth.