Empty Shells

Burgundy snails are a must in Europe as apetizers.  It is true that simply seing a terrestrial or aquatic snail  frequently inspires disgust.  Tastes and colors are not to be discussed.

Nevertheless it is a very practical need to provide a housing for some of our fishes.

One dozen per couple of similis, ONE. One mating couple. Shrimps also appreciate a goo hideout.
A field of Burgundy snail shells. One baby zoom pic :-)

But eating the Burgundy snail and simply putting the shell in the aquarium would be a big mistake !

The empty shell must be boiled (in order to remove impurities that remain inside, sterilise it and clear it from any remaining oily substances).  Do not use vinager ! the latter has oil remiving properties but it eats out calcareous substances, what in a very short time makes the shell look like this:


After 10 minutes of immersion in a solution containing vinager, the shell becomes useless, very ugly and on the brink of disintegration.  After a few weeks or months, only some scattered and useless pieces will remain.

After it has been thoroughly cleaned, the empty shell may be placed in the aquarium.  One small problem appears: it is filled with air and will therefore systematically come up to the surface.

Simply hold the shell so its entrance is turned up, the air will come out.  If some micro-bubles remain inside when the shell is laying on the bottom, these micro-bubles will pass through the calcareous structure of the shell.