How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

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Claudia
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How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by Claudia » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:32 pm

I recently ordered some beautiful turbos from Etsy seller seashellmart. They just arrived, and I sent off a question right away, as the shells are SO shiny, it appears they could be varnished. One even had a "made in Philippines" sticker inside it (west indian top/magpie) , and feels very heavy compared to the other shells. (How can a seashell be made in Philippines?) I wondered if it might be glass or something... His reply

"The tuns are cleaned and the turbos are mechanically buffed to a polished luster. All are natural shells."

They are so smooth and shiny like glass almost.. is this healthy for hermit crabs? They have over 3000 feedbacks so I have no reason to doubt their word for it but I really do not know anything about seashells, just that I avoid painted or unnatural ones for my crabs.. wanting everything to be all natural.. The shells just don't look like anything that would be found in nature, they are really THAT glossy. Can someone explain how you get a shell to be "mechanically buffed" to be this shiny and smooth?

They are beautiful but I'm a bit stunned and would just like to be sure before I put them in the crabitat.. don't want pieces of varnish flaking off into the sand as they crawl around...

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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:15 am

I am not sure about the made in Philippines sticker other than that is possibly where the shell came from. There are rules for importing. Magpie's are heavy shells. My hermits do not care for them.

It is possible to make a shell somewhat shiny by taking a buffer to it. If you want to take the shiny off, just simply boil the shells in dechlorinated marine saltwater to be safe :) Better to be safe than sorry - afterwards you can put a little olive oil on the shell to make it shiny again, but I have never done that. I like the shells natural. :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Claudia
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by Claudia » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:47 am

I found this page after I posted,
http://happyhermitcare.tumblr.com/post/ ... and-buying

It says "One thing you should be aware of is 'natural’ lacquered shells. These shells appear to be natural and smooth which can very easily be mistaken for polishing. These shells are just bad as painted shells (the FMR hermit crab shell packs on amazon have been known to supply this type of shell). Sometimes a bubble would form as pictured on one lacquered shell I have. If your shell has this type of bubble it is not a natural shell. Also, these shells will smell like an auto body shop when boiled so that is also another way to tell. If you have a super smooth shell that doesn’t stink when boiled, don’t worry it is only a polished shell! Don’t just put your new shells in the crabitat, they need to be sanitized first! You can do this by boiled the shells for 10 minutes in dechlorinated salt water"

Ok, so... I boiled the shells in spring water, to which I added a few tsp of the marine salt.. I didn't notice any odd odor, so I'm guessing none of them were lacquered. They also were a lot LESS glossy after boiling. Not sure why that removes the shine but it did... And one must have had some black stuff in it which came out after boiling.. one of my crabs moved in right away because today I notice one new shell is missing and I think that's her old shell on the sand... yes that magpie shell is very heavy I didn't use that one yet it's the one with the sticker. It was the most expensive also. If I would have known I would have skipped buying that one. I didn't realize the tuns had such huge openings also, I could have skipped getting those also. Well maybe in a few years they might fit, who knows. The crabs seem to have grown a lot since just August.

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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:38 am

Just an fyi, you need to boil the shells in dechlorinated water, not spring water. Yes, I mentioned that they would not be glossy after you boiled them. I said it would take the shiny off. You can put olive oil on them to make them a little glossy again, or you can buy a dremmel and polishing buffer piece to put on the dremmel to shine them.

In the future to encourage shell changes, you can boil in dechlorinated fresh water, and then dip in dechlorinated marine salt water. My crabbies love that.

Here is a shell guide to help you in the future with your purchases. http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 24&t=92552
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


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Claudia
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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by Claudia » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:44 pm

The spring water does not have chlorine in it.. I fill up my jugs fresh at the spring so I have no need of a dechlorinator.. We do not use the tap water for drinking or for the crabs :)

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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:43 pm

Claudia wrote:The spring water does not have chlorine in it.. I fill up my jugs fresh at the spring so I have no need of a dechlorinator.. We do not use the tap water for drinking or for the crabs :)
From the internet:
"Spring water — It’s from an underground source and may or may not have been treated and purified. Though spring water sounds more appealing, it’s not necessarily the best water for drinking if you have other options. Studies done by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) have found contaminants in bottled water such as coliform, arsenic and phthalates. This topic has been a popular one in recent years, sparking plenty of controversy."

So...you need to use a dechlorinator to be safe. ;)
Edit: It's not just about chlorine...here is the link to our forum: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92553
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Claudia
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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by Claudia » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:30 am

The quote you referenced was in regard to bottled (spring) water. I do not purchase bottled water because I can get it myself for free... I fill up my jugs at the source (at a farm in the country, coming out of the ground) .. it has not been treated, so there are no chemicals in there. It's what humans have been drinking for thousands of years.. It is similar to the well water mentioned in your other link (that is safe for crabs) .. there would be natural minerals in it, as it is filtered naturally through underground rock but no chlorine. I agree that with bottled "spring water" it's possible the company adds something to it before bottling... besides, even if they didn't add anything, the chemicals from the plastic can leech into the water. I use glass jugs for that reason. The main concern with sourcing your own spring water would be if the surrounding farm(s) used pesticides or herbicides or something else that could potentially contaminate the spring. This link might explain it better:

http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/drin ... water.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... ottle.aspx

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Re: How do you know if a shell has lacquer?

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:07 am

Wow, that sounds so nice! We have true springs around here, but animals do inhabit it, manatees, alligators, fish, so I guess it's hard for me to imagine PURE water. Plus, I just would rather be safe than sorry, but to each's own. ;)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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