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How To Treat White Spots On A Snail Shell!

The vast majority of people who are within the fish keeping community will keep some form of aquatic snail in their tank due to the snails ability to eat algae, biofilm, detertus, and leftover fish food.

This helps to reduce the pollution in your aquarium tank while also reducing the frequency of the required tank maintenance for your aquarium.

One thing that we have noticed people asking is why there are white spots on their snail shells with a number of popular aquatic snail species commonly having this problem we wanted to publish this article to try and help our readers.

The two most common reasons that there may be white spots on a snail shell is due to a lack of calcium in the snails diet or the CO2 levels in your aquarium being too high.

There are some less common causes of white spots on snail shells such as direct trauma to the shell or fungus growing on the snail but this is much rarer than issues with calcium intake or CO2 levels.

Thankfully, white spots on a snail shells are usually very easy to fix in most cases and the majority of people should be able to get their snail back to full health.

Even if the white spot on the snails shell is untreatable due to being from trauma to the shell, there is still a high chance that the snail will be able live with minimal issues moving forward and you may even be able to fix a cracked shell on your snail.

Is It Normal For A Snails Shell To Turn White?

It is not normal for a healthy aquatic snails shell to turn white or develop white patches.

The majority of the time, the white spots and patches on the shell of a snail is an early warning sign for a potentially serious issue that may end up causing problems for other creatures in your aquarium.

If your snails shell has been exposed to trauma, often pressure from a fish or other creature trying to eat it then the damaged area may turn white.

There are a small number of fungi that can take hold of an aquarium if they are left to develop without you treating them but you will usually have plenty of time before a fungal problem in your tank becomes so bad that the fungus starts to grow on your snails shell.

Even if the white spot on your snails shell is fungus, it is usually obvious and very easy to see as the fugus has a softer, feathery look to its surface where as issues with CO2 or calcium intake will have a more brittle look to it.

It can be common for snails to end up injured in some tanks, especially if you have crayfish with your snails but there are a number of ways that a snails shell can end up receiving trauma. If the shell of a snail is damaged then it will almost always turn white or develop white spots or flakes on it in time.

This is usually just a sign of the trauma though and is not necessarily an indication that the snail has a serious issue or that it will not be able to live for a long time even with its damaged shell.

Why Is My Snails Shell Turning White?

It is usually easy to find the reason that your snails shell is turning white. If the snails in your tank are closer to surface of the water then it could be an indication of high CO2 levels and if your are specifically noticing the problem with nerite snails then test your water parameters as they can be sensitive to spikes in certain levels in their water.

If the snails shell is turning white due to a lack of calcium then the shell will usually look brittle and weak and a shell turning white due to damage from trauma is usually obvious.

There are a couple of tools that you are able to use to double check the exact CO2 levels in your aquarium if you suspect that this could be the case but most beginners probably won’t have access to them.

In addition to your fish and snails being closer to the surface of the water in a tank with too much CO2, you will usually also notice your fish are more lethargic and that they may act erratically at times giving you an indication that this is why your snails shell has white spots.

If you have multiple types of snail in your aquarium and notice that the only type of snail having problems with white spots on their shell are the nertie snails and there are no signs of trauma to their shell then it is likely that the issue is due to water parameters being out of range what what the snail requires.

This is usually only an issue for nerite snails though so can usually be ruled out for other types of aquatic snails.

How Do You Treat White Spots On A Snail Shell?

The easiest ways to treat white spots forming on a snails shell is to reduce the CO2 levels in your tank if the problem is due to too much CO2 in the water or to find ways to get more dietary calcium in the diet of your snail if the problem is due to a lack of calcium.

If the white spots are due to fungus then the majority of aquarium anti-fungal treatments will be able to quickly make short work of the fungus and get rid of the white spots too.

We have this article on how to top up dietary calcium for snails that may be worth reading if you think that this could be why your snails are having problems with their shells.

The two best options are usually to use calcium blocks for your snails or to take advantage of the low prices of cuttlebone for snails as both are excellent options to increase the dietary calcium in the diet of your snails that are having problem with their shells turning white.

More and more fish keepers are starting to use an Aerating system or a CO2 injector for their tank for a number of reasons.

Although these can be a great tank accessory for some setups, some of the cheaper systems on the market can be problematic with the amount of CO2 that they actually inject into your tank not being reliable or consistent.

The control dials can be highly inaccurate on the cheaper models too with many people within the fish keeping hobby thinking that a cheap CO2 injector is set to low when it is adding far more CO2 to their tank than they thought.

What Type Of Snails Usually Have White Spots On Their Shell?

Nerite snails are usually the most common type of aquatic snails to have problems with white spots developing on their snail due to their additional sensitivity to the water parameters that they are kept in.

Both ramshorn snails and turbo snails can also both have issues with white spots on their shells to but in extreme situations, all types of aquatic snail can develop white spots on their shell, especially if it is due to a lack of calcium in their diet.

Although rare, some mystery snails can have parts of their shell be a different color to their rest of their shell. This is usually the rare colored mystery snails that have this issue as it is often the natural color of their shell coming through in certain areas.

Although this may look like your mystery snail is showing white spots, it can just be the natural color of the snails shell as most of the rare colored mystery snails have not got strong breeding lines yet so their snail shell color is often not consistent and the pale colors will commonly show in some areas.

In some tank and pond setups, often ones with large amounts of live plants, ramshorn snails can be more susceptible to fungal growth on their shells causing white spots to appear.

This should not be a problem for most of our readers as you really do need a huge amount of live plants in the snails water for this to become a real problem.

You can usually take the snail out of the water and gently touch the white area on its shell and if it has a soft, velvety texture then it can be a good indication that the white spot is fungus growing on the snail.

How Do I Prevent White Spots From Forming On My Snails Shell In The Future?

Maintaining consistent CO2 levels in your snails water supply and making sure that you offer dietary calcium to the snail on a regular basis should be enough to prevent white spots forming on the shells of your snail in the future.

If the white spots on your snail is due to trauma due to something trying to eat them then removing whatever is trying to eat your snails should stop the same thing from happening again too.

Some people who breed and sell aquatic snails have been known to sell snails that have not had proper access to dietary calcium when young causing long term problems with their shells.

This will usually be a problem for the snail for the rest of its life with the snail having a white, slightly translucent area on its snail, usually near the tip due to the shell being much thinner at that location and there is nothing you can do about this.

As we touched on earlier in the article, if your snails are having problems with white spots on their shell due to the CO2 levels in their water and you are using a cheap CO2 injector, it can be common for the issue to persist due to the cheaper CO2 injectors not being consistent with the CO2 they add to your water.

If you do want to prevent your snails having the same issue again in the future then you may need to look to upgrade to a better CO2 system to prevent the issues from happening every couple of weeks.


That brings our article going over why you are having problems with white spots on your snails shell and how you can look to treat them. Most people should easily be able to fix the issues due to the two more common causes, CO2 levels or a lack of calcium being easy to correct and most snails being able to quickly recover from the issue.