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Author Topic: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?  (Read 8251 times)
April
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Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« on: November 05, 2010, 05:00:52 PM »

I am just curious, as I have heard over the years, many opinions about whether or not to put seashells in a freshwater tank. I have a huge conch shell and would like to know if it is safe to use as a decoration in my new tank. Some of the info online suggests that they would eventually dissolve and raise the pH levels in an aquarium. Your thoughts?
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Hanna
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 05:30:55 PM »

Hmmmm I think I won't. I'd be scared there is some salt dissolved into the water and other stuff, especially if you collected it on the beach somewhere. If it is a bought one from some shop ( not aquarium shop ) and it is sort of glazed I'd be scared again because I wouldn't know how safe it is.

If it is one bought in the aquarium shop, I'd ask the staff there if it is suitable for freshwater. The other thing is that shells are rich in calcium, it would raise your hardness and perhaps the pH too and buffer the water. This are things I still need to get my head around it for a better understanding how everything connects together.
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 08:35:50 PM »

I have done this before and it definitely does raise the pH of the water after a while.
It shouldn't be too much of a problem if your water is acidic though (below 7.0).
People actually recommended buying coral chips or putting shells in tanks as a solution to very acidic water.
If you do put the shell in your tank you will have to do regular pH tests to make sure the pH doesn't get too high Smiley
Make sure you rinse the shell well before you put it in and sterelise it with boiling water.
But if your water parameters are fine atm then I probably wouldn't put the shell in the tank as it could change them and cause a lot of problems.  
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 08:40:55 PM by Abbiesaurus » Logged
April
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 01:17:51 AM »

Thanks for the heads up! I had wondered about any kind of coral pieces or shells before since a few have shown up in the big bag of gravel I bought from the pet store. Guess the manufacturer deals with both salt and fresh water substrates and a few pieces ended up in my bag.
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Hanna
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 02:47:06 AM »

I would worry having shell grit with them sharp edges because all our goldfishies are "rockstars".
Also we want to keep the pH around 7.2 because of hydrated lime and toxicity of ammonia ( if present ).
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Nossie
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 02:53:34 AM »

There are usually some imitation shells sold in pet shops Smiley Usually with rounder edges too so the fish won't hurt themselves Smiley So if you want a sea shell, you can just buy one! Cheesy
I was thinking about getting a few small ones myself at some point, but it just didn't happen xD
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fantailer
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 05:23:06 AM »

I was going to put shells as a bottom for my hospital tank! Shocked
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Nossie
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 11:36:36 AM »

Rather avoid putting any substrate in the hospital tank, at most you can add a few plastic plants and maybe some plastic pots for the fish to hide in.
Hospital tanks should be as simple as possible, and sea shells may be sharp. A sick fish may rest on the bottom and get hurt.
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April
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 02:12:24 AM »

I ended up putting the glass pepples that look like giant smarties in the bottom, much easier to clean and super smooth.
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aimeekat
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Re: Is it safe to put real seashells in freshwater tank?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 10:09:32 AM »

hey i know i am probably too late to matter on this post but my mom put a conch shell in her tank and it slowly bleached out and started to disintigrate. ruinied the beautiful shell she had gotten on her honeymoon with my dad and even worse i was not happy when i cleaned her tank and saw it because no telling what it released into tank.
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