• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.



Dec 12, 2006
Ok, I have a whole lot of shells I would like to use in an octo tank..can I? I found some of the shells on the beach a few years ago, and others I bought from souvenir shops. The most recent one I obtained is a queen conch I would love to use, I got it in a souvenir shop in Mexico last June. Can I put these in the tank, or do I have to clean them or anything like that?
I have shells and rocks in my tank that I collected on the beach in Brookings Oregon.
I inspected each shell for debris and rinsed everything with warm water.
The rocks and shells have been in my tank since day one and everything seems to be going just fine.
I would think anything that you have collected would be fine, I would worry about anything from a shell shop, you don't know how they cleaned out the shell, or if they treated the shell with some chemical.
I'll use the ones I collected then, at least. Do you think I could wash the shells from the shop or something like that? I really want to use the conch shell...
I have a massive amount of shells in both my octopus tanks, but majority was personally collected or from my LFS. I think I'd opt for extreme caution to use anything with a chemical smell even with extreme soaking and cleaning.
In the old days (greg - some help here) we used to attempt to kill all bacteria and create sterile tanks. All shells and corals were bleached for 2-4 weeks and then soaked for another 2 weeks - continually changing the water - to remove the bleach and then letting it dry completely. This procedure still has some merit for potentially contaminated shells as long as you can ensure the removal of the bleach.

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