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Arctic Mama

Wonder Shells! One of my favorite aquarium additives.

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For tanks that have high bioload or more unstable chemistry, you really ought to give Weco Wonder shells a try. At the advice of a man with far more experience than me I began adding these to my goldfish tanks and have seen improvements in behavior and water stability over just water changes, alone. My taps aren't overly soft or low in pH but still my fish are much happier with the shells in the water than buffering agents like baking soda and oolitic aragonite sand.

Here is an excellent article by Carl, the aforementioned smarter and more experienced aquarist than me, that got me started buying Wonder Shells.

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/MedicatedWonderShell.html

I can independently verify many of his claims in my own tanks, and they're even more notable in my Amazon delta tank than with the goldfish. Anyone struggling with their fish health and water chemistry would do well to read up on the links in that article, they're fantastic.

ALL my tanks have benefitted from the addition of the shells and the impact on the health of the fish is notable. I highly recommend them - they're the only additive I swear by beyond Prime/Safe water conditioner, and I am never without them. Cheap and effective are my two favorite combos and Wonder Shells fit the bill.

The 24 packs here aren't a bad deal if you live in an area where Carl can't ship cheaply, but I do recommend buying from his site to keep funding his great content and information.

http://www.petmountain.com/product/aquarium-water-conditioners/11442-505234/weco-wonder-shell.html

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How long have you been using these? One of the reviews said that they saw an increase in aggression, have you observed anything like this?

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Pfft, almost two years? No behavioral changes except fish who are active and healthy. I think it may make them in better condition to breed and that behavior can be seen as aggressive when in fact it's typical group courtship (my white clouds and goldfish have both been doing more mating displays).

Like I said, they're my favorite supplement. For the money I've not gotten more mileage out of any additive or buffer, especially in my more acidic tanks. It's very difficult to get adequate minerals in a small, acidic aquarium and this does it without raising the pH. That makes my catfish much happier :)

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Thanks for the info on these shells. I looked at both sites and have a question. On the first site it says large treats 45-60G, but on the site where they are for sale, it says large treats 5 gallons. Do you know which is correct based on your experience?

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In the other thread, I mention that the super size says it treats like 10-20 gallons. Somehow Taryl is able to extend the life of them immensely. I tried one for my 55, thinking it would be large enough aa it's the biggest size. It dissolved in like 3 days and I felt it was a total waste of money. My tap water is very soft, but I do buffer, but my pH is very high so idk. Didn't turn out to be something ii could use. I didn't get to see if it had any effect or not.

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I use these in my 36 gallon Molly tank.. They will dissolve fast if you have a bubble or a power head over the block... I try and keep mine in a spot that doesn't get much current in the tank :) They really do help  if you have low KH and GH :) Also give you Calcium and Magnesium too :) great for the fish :)

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Thanks for the info on these shells. I looked at both sites and have a question. On the first site it says large treats 45-60G, but on the site where they are for sale, it says large treats 5 gallons. Do you know which is correct based on your experience?

They're not very size specific. I've tossed a giant into a twenty gallon and a giant into a 100ish gallons. They exhaust at different rates in the different tanks. But my rule is one mini per week in my smaller tank and one jumbo one every two weeks or so in my larger tank, and that has worked. Chuck one in as far from the filter as possible and then when it's a little nub you toss another in. The sizes are pretty arbitrary from my own experience.

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In the other thread, I mention that the super size says it treats like 10-20 gallons. Somehow Taryl is able to extend the life of them immensely. I tried one for my 55, thinking it would be large enough aa it's the biggest size. It dissolved in like 3 days and I felt it was a total waste of money. My tap water is very soft, but I do buffer, but my pH is very high so idk. Didn't turn out to be something ii could use. I didn't get to see if it had any effect or not.

What's your current like? Mine dissolve twice as fast if they're near a filter or any flow. It could be that your water is just wonky enough that it needs the minerals at a great rate and exhausts them very quickly. I do have some of the best municipal water in the country, if not the best, which could help ;)

Not everything works for everyone, but current does make a difference. If they're really totally gone in three days I'd say they're not economical for you either.

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My water is pretty horrible. 1-2 drops on both KH and GH test kit. A pH of 8.8 on high range, and a pH drop down to like 6.7 or so in 24 hours when left out. Really bad. I do buffer with baking soda and GH booster and I'm sure my water could really use these, but I just can't afford to use them because they don't last long enough. I will try again and put it far away from the current (pretty strong in my tank, Helen has warned me to lessen it a few times, which I've tried). I have a fish bowl in the corner of the tank which doesn't get current. I'll try it in there and count how long it lasts.

Edited by mjfromga

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In the other thread, I mention that the super size says it treats like 10-20 gallons. Somehow Taryl is able to extend the life of them immensely. I tried one for my 55, thinking it would be large enough aa it's the biggest size. It dissolved in like 3 days and I felt it was a total waste of money. My tap water is very soft, but I do buffer, but my pH is very high so idk. Didn't turn out to be something ii could use. I didn't get to see if it had any effect or not.

This is what I'm concerned about. I have very low KH and GH. I've added crushed coral, which helped the GH but barely affected the KH.

On the other hand, I'm going on vacation soon, for the first time since I've had fish. I have three goldfish and three bettas, and now I'm reading horror stories about how people come home to sick and depressed fish. I'd welcome anything that would make the fish more comfortable, and would allow me to enjoy my first vacation in something like five years...

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Thanks for the info on these shells. I looked at both sites and have a question. On the first site it says large treats 45-60G, but on the site where they are for sale, it says large treats 5 gallons. Do you know which is correct based on your experience?

They're not very size specific. I've tossed a giant into a twenty gallon and a giant into a 100ish gallons. They exhaust at different rates in the different tanks. But my rule is one mini per week in my smaller tank and one jumbo one every two weeks or so in my larger tank, and that has worked. Chuck one in as far from the filter as possible and then when it's a little nub you toss another in. The sizes are pretty arbitrary from my own experience.

 

By jumbo, do you mean the one recommended for ponds? I'm intrigued by these and need to try them.

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Sorry, I keep using these terms interchangeably. They're the super size, this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Weco-37783000-Wonder-Shell-Ornament/dp/B003C5LI10

I didn't even know they made a pond size, I don't think I've ever seen those!

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Sorry, I keep using these terms interchangeably. They're the super size, this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Weco-37783000-Wonder-Shell-Ornament/dp/B003C5LI10

I didn't even know they made a pond size, I don't think I've ever seen those!

The pond size is 2-1/4 ounces

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This is one of the supers in my tank after two days - it's underneath the main spray bar so almost all the flow goes over it instead of hitting it or creating a current by it. See how it still has the ridges of the shell design, maybe just slightly softened from a new one? That's pretty typical in my tank. I don't think I see those ridges disappear until 5-6 days, and then it's usually exhausted down enough the shell looks smooth and slightly smaller.

https://flic.kr/p/LrA6HY

post-21474-0-71904700-1474314668_thumb.j

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Really impressive they last that long in there. I just ordered one to try again. Taryl, I'd like some help with placement when it arrives, if you'd be so kind. I think it's best in my fish bowl ornament, but my fish Shembje goes in there a lot and I'm not positive.

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Sure thing, when it comes we can take a look. I agree that inside an ornament might be a great choice. It would will be protected from the current there, and honestly a fish visiting won't hurt anything. My ancistrus regularly rasps on the shells and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference there.

And like I said, it might be that your tanks just eat them too quickly to be economical. I spend a few bucks a month on shells, but I won't spend a few bucks a week! I don't think that's unreasonable if you find they're gone overly quickly, but we will give it another shot.

You may also find that calcium from a farm supply place like they add in chicken feed is helpful to you, for cheaper per pound than the wonder shells. They're not exactly the same but it might be worth a shot?

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I love your bubble eyes.

 

Edit: Well, your bubble eye fish...not you, you don't look like you have bubble eyes :rofl3

Edited by HomerJay

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HA! I know what you meant. There was a moor lurking in there along with a celestial in that shot, but I have two bubble eyes and love them! They don't get much love for some reason, but they're a favorite variety of mine :)

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Sure thing, when it comes we can take a look. I agree that inside an ornament might be a great choice. It would will be protected from the current there, and honestly a fish visiting won't hurt anything. My ancistrus regularly rasps on the shells and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference there.

And like I said, it might be that your tanks just eat them too quickly to be economical. I spend a few bucks a month on shells, but I won't spend a few bucks a week! I don't think that's unreasonable if you find they're gone overly quickly, but we will give it another shot.

You may also find that calcium from a farm supply place like they add in chicken feed is helpful to you, for cheaper per pound than the wonder shells. They're not exactly the same but it might be worth a shot?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kjDCre-xPE

 

The shell is well on it's way. Anyway, shot this video of the tank today. I'm wondering if there's just too much current regardless. I do have a lot going on in there. The babies seem to be okay, but idk. Maybe behind the bowl may be better? Shembje ate all the leaves off the Water Wisteria so it looks terrible. Also, excuse the last bit about the kitten, he got stuck under the TV and I forgot to stop recording! I also wish to try one in Nericon's shallow storage tub and my little bedroom fishies tank, and the pond and... but errr... one thing at a time!

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Inside the bowl is probably still going to be the most sheltered, but under it by the thermometer is another good spot. I'd try those and time how long it lasts, but I definitely think some of the filter current and bubbler current could be to blame for the previous issue. It may still exhaust too fast but it's worth s try :)

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Inside the bowl is probably still going to be the most sheltered, but under it by the thermometer is another good spot. I'd try those and time how long it lasts, but I definitely think some of the filter current and bubbler current could be to blame for the previous issue. It may still exhaust too fast but it's worth s try :)

Thanks. I could cut off the bubblers probably, but I have come to where I just kinda like how it looks. There is some cuttlebone inside the bowl on top of the mostly eaten live plants. All the mystery snails died ages ago, but the fish still like to pick at it sometimes. It never gets any smaller, though. Let's hope I can get these to last longer. I'm sure it would help my fish because my water is just bad.

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I just put an Aqueon Quiet Flow 75 (400gph) on the tank, do you think this would be too much current? I also was going to start up a sponge filter with a power head that came with the tank. Did I get too zealous in my quest for over-filtration?

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Probably not, just fine the dead spot in a corner or underneath the filter return. Worst case scenario you can put it in a jar to shelter it, but most people don't have an issue with them exhausting too quickly. If you're getting less than two weeks out of one in a 50-60 gallon tank as Myra is, that's a little different and unusual :)

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Hi, Chris here.... Would these shells be a positive add to to a tank that is higher PH... My PH 8.0 with a tap of 8.2... I am running some peat moss to get the PH at a better balance... The reading I have done so far speaks to a lower PH conditions... Thanks so much... :hummm

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I just put an Aqueon Quiet Flow 75 (400gph) on the tank, do you think this would be too much current? I also was going to start up a sponge filter with a power head that came with the tank. Did I get too zealous in my quest for over-filtration?

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My tank has two of those filters and 3 sponges. I'm in your boat!

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