Wonder Shell; Aquarium Mineral Block (for Cations, Electrolytes).
By American Aquarium Products (AAP)
Aquarium and Pond Water Conditioner; Regular & Medicated
We are the Original internet Sellers of Wonder Shells with over 30 years experience using this product;
Why buy from anyone else and then have inaccurate information or simply get the WRONG product,
since our Wonder Shells are unique and sold nowhere else?
As we do not just sell these, we also use these products personally & in our maintenance businesses.
Regular American Aquarium Wonder Shell (no medication)- Mineral Block;
Useful for Important Mineralization/Electrolytes, Calcium Carbonate, Water Hardness Control, & more.
Please scroll about 2/3 for information about "Medicated Wonder Shells"
OR to the bottom of the page to purchase.
Contains Calcium Carbonate/CaCO3+ cations (a VERY important element for proper Osmotic Function in fish as well as Redox Balance, which the latest research shows may be more important to fish health than parameters such as exact pH!); ALL minor, and trace elements in the exact ratio (with the exception of calcium) as found in the ocean, including magnesium sulfate.
A few other elements found include: Chloride, Sodium, Sulfate, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Bromide, Borate, Strontium, Fluoride.
Calcium and magnesium have been proven to help fish (and humans) during stress and to help prevent disease due to acid buildup in the body. These elements (along with Sodium Chloride/salt) are important for the prevention (& even treatment) of Columnaris and Saprolegnia/Fish Fungus)
These positive mineral ions (supplied by Wonder Shells) play a part in adhesion of Columnaris by reducing surface potential and repulsive forces
Providing a regular source of calcium and other important mineral electrolytes can aid in prevention and treatment of Livebearers/Molly Disease whose general cause is the lack of these important elements.
Wonder Shells add Necessary Minerals/Electrolytes (very important whether your source is this product or another method).
They perform this by adding a constant supply of positive calcium and other positive mineral ions that are depleted during Redox Balancing, despite GH tests which cannot discern the ion charge and may show high GH when in reality, these cations are depleted. (see also this article Aquarium Chemistry; GH, Depletion of Positive Ions)
Please note that as to Redox and osmoregulation benefits, these benefits are less noticeable to detect, however controlled tests in the 1990s bear this out.
For maintaining a higher pH or KH Wonder Shells should be combined with baking soda or better; Sea Chem Buffers (or similar).
Please note that Wonder Shells do NOT generally raise KH or pH (despite some incorrect claims by Weco and other websites that have not used these AAP Wonder Shells properly), they more aid in maintenance of these parameters by neutralizing harmful acids that result from organic decomposition.
Aids in Chlorine removal & helps keep aquarium clear
Excellent for use with Goldfish, Livebearers, Cichlids, and more.
These mineral blocks can help cure scoliosis in fish such as Guppys or even Bettas when lack of minerals is the cause.
Regular Wonder Shells can also aid in prevention and even treat HITH by virtue of the necessary minerals found within these products.
Each shell oxygenates, aerates and aids in neutralizing harmful acids resulting from normal bio processes; this makes the small Wonder Shell an Excellent Choice for Betta Bowls (especially when combined with Pillow Moss, Peat, Indian Almond Leaf Extracts, or Driftwood pieces).
Also useful in Amazon River environment aquariums such as Discus and Ram Cichlids as well as Bettas for addition of positive mineral ions based on the proven fact of the need for calcium and other minerals for osmoregulation and Redox Balance!
An excellent balance to peat, Pillow Moss (Frog Moss), driftwood, etc.
The use of Wonder Shells to balance softeners is similar to the concept as popular products such as Atisons Spa, except with the added benefit of CONSTANT mineral replenishment and when used with Pillow Moss or similar providing more of these ongoing benefits.
Concerns raising GH with Discus, Angels, planted tanks, etc, is at times over-rated, as this does not take into consideration the fact that essential positive mineral ions can be depleted while the GH still might test high (see: Depletion of Positive Ions.
For use with soft water fish or sensitive soft water plants, often a 1/4 dose of Wonder Shells solves this problem along with the more easily measured dosing of SeaChem Replenish at the time of a water change IF RO water is used (for example; a 1/2 medium Wonder Shell for a 60 gallon tank equals 1/4 dose)
The bottom line for use with soft water biotope fish use, is that it is not the raising of GH and mineral content that is important, rather a continuous flow of mineral Cations that would still be found in most native water, even if very diluted! So even adding small fragments of Wonder Shells on a regularly basis is all that is needed to maintain these mineral Cations.
Our many years of professional use and testing confirm this as what is most important and where this product is truly beneficial.
The Wonder Shell Mineral Block dissolves approximately as trace elements are depleted in an aquarium. Larger aquariums or those low in trace elements will dissolve Wonder Shells at a higher rate until stable. Calcium (which is the carrier for the other elements) will not exceed safe levels as aquariums will precipitate out excess. GH readings will reflect this however the GH will only show the overall hardness, not the balance of trace elements so higher readings (over 200 ppm) are only reflecting excess calcium.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that if your aquarium is low in electrolytes, the quick release of positive mineral ions can be stressful to many SE Asia and Amazon River fish such as Bettas as well as many shrimp (such as Crystal Red Shrimp). If not used before, it is strongly advised to start with a 1/4 dose and then work up to a 1/2 dose or more.
Example; a 1/4 Medium Wonder Shell or 1-2 small WS for a 10 gallon aquarium.
The sudden introduction of Wonder Shells in a low positive mineral ion aquarium is comparable to changing water in a tank with high nitrates or especially too low pH; the fish/invertebrates will need to be adjusted to the improved water quality or pH shock would follow from the water change!!
The FACTS are these fish (& invertebrates) still all need positive mineral ions regardless of the environment that they are originally from, this is a Fact of animal physiology!
Extremely useful in planted aquariums at maintaining hardness (and I mean general hardness, not KH as studies in photosynthesis prove) to counter act peak daytime photosynthesis.
Wonder Shells are also useful for other minerals required by plants.
Please see this article for more: Aquarium Plants; Information and care. Generally as in Amazon River/SE Asia aquariums, 1/4 to 1/2 Wonder Shell doses work best.
Can be used in marine aquariums, although better methods of adding essential minerals are available for reef aquariums in particular (such as with many SeaChem products).
However Wonder Shells are Excellent for use in RO water storage to aid in re-mineralization of RO water prior to top off for evaporation or mixing in Reef or other saltwater aquariums.
As well for fish only or FOWLR marine tanks they still can be useful for EVERYDAY mineral maintenance.
Provides crabs, snails and turtles with an easily available source of calcium for healthy shell growth.
NOT a cure all for poor water management, but a useful tool in proper aquarium maintenance. This is an excellent product, but the name is misleading, as Wonder Shells do not perform wonders, it is just a useful however not essential product with more than 30 years of aquarist use to back it up.
QUITE BLUNTLY THIS PRODUCT OR SIMILAR MINERAL CATION REPLENISHERS ARE TOOLS FOR A HEALTHY AQUARIUM THAT MOST FRESHWATER AQUARISTS SHOULD NOT BE WITHOUT (if in doubt, ask some members at Everything Aquatic or see the article: The importance of Calcium/Minerals in ALL Aquariums)
NOT the same ingredients as Plaster of Paris as some have stated, the Wonder Shell is vastly superior! See this article for more: Plaster of Paris In Aquariums
Please follow the directions and use suggestions WE PROVIDE, as the packaging provided to us & then re-packaged still dates back to the 1970s are partly incorrect.
These instructions are based on decades of experience as well as the unique ingredients we add.
The Wonder Shells should be placed of low water flow (current) for best results, NOT in filters.
They will dissolve approximately as needed for minerals/electrolytes and should be replaced when about Ό original size.
For aquariums set up for fish that come from bodies of water that tend to be more soft (these fish still need positive mineral electrolytes for osmoregulation and Redox Balance); The basic principle is to have at least some Wonder Shell piece, fragment, etc., present, no matter how small just to be able to provide constant mineral Cations THAT ARE PRESENT EVEN IN THE MOST SOFT OF NATURAL BODIES OF WATER!
As a starting point, we recommend a 1/4 dose (recommended AAP Wonder Shells per tank size), or even just fragments added as they dissolve as noted earlier on this web page.
The regular Wonder Shells (not Medicated) can also be broken for economy. Using a flat head screw driver placed in the middle of the shell, then hit with a hammer allows for easy splitting
For soft water aquariums, the use of SeaChem Replenish for adding essential minerals when RO water is used, then the use of 1/4 the normal dose of Wonder Shells or fragments to aid in the constant supply of essential mineral cations is suggested.
Regular American Aquarium Products Wonder Shells
Please Click on the pictures below to enlarge for a better view
*Small (set of three) for fish bowls- $2.49
Special - $1.99
*Medium for 10-40 Gallon (35- 150 L) Aquariums- $2.99
Special - $2.29
For a 10 gallon, we suggest breaking in 1/2 with a flathead screwdriver & hammer
*Large for 45-60 Gallon (170- 225 L) Aquariums- $3.99
Special - $2.99
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Medicated American Aquarium Wonder Shells
A useful aquarium treatment/disease prevention to have on hand for any aquarist!
An aquarium disease treatment with over 25 years of satisfied customers in both our pet store and professional aquarium maintenance route, now available on the internet!
NOT A CURE ALL or a replacement for antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections.
For serious Ich infestations, we recommend SeaChem ParaGuard followed by these Medicated Wonder Shells for prevention/follow up treatment
Active ingredients: Malachite Green, Acriflavin, Copper Sulfate, Methylene Blue
(Can also be used for fungus in aquatic turtles)
For a Medicated Wonder Shell with only buffered Malachite Green, consider our Marine Version further down this web page which are safe for use with even delicate plants and most shrimp, but are also less effective than the Standard Medicated version and do not treat Velvet or Fungus.
MEDICATED WONDER SHELLS:
*Small; set of 3 - $3.99
1-3 gal bowl (use 2-3 for a 5 gallon or 4-5 for a 10 gallon aquarium)
15 -40 gal tank
*Large - $5.19
45-60 gal. tank (use 1 Lg. & 1 Med. for an 80 gallon aquarium)
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Medicated Wonder Shells are a unique product that we have tested on our professional aquarium service (with 30 years experience) with excellent results. It helps oxygenate and add important minerals to your aquarium or small pond. But in addition to that it helps prevent and treat Ich (and other protozoan diseases), fungal, some bacterial diseases, even green water.
This product has the advantage of a steady flow of medication unlike the spikes of medication in traditional treatments, which is easier on the fish. An excellent product for use with Gouramis, goldfish, livebearers, discus and more. As a preventative, we recommend adding a shell(s) when you add new fish.
As a treatment, treat 2-3 weeks (and no longer); add another shell when the first one is 2/3 dissolved (a partial water change at this time is recommended).
HOWEVER, since this is a Medicated product we do not recommend keeping a Medicated Wonder Shell in an aquarium past 3 weeks and we recommend a 3-4 week period between usages, (unlike the regular Wonder Shells which can and should be used continuously).
*Do not dilute the aquarium bowl water by changing more than 10% water during treatment with a Medicated Wonder Shell, this only lowers effectiveness of the MWS.
*As noted earlier, please use our website instructions as no correct instructions are included with the packaging
*We recommend the Medium wonder shell for 15 to 35 gallon aquariums (occasionally 10 gallon tanks too) and the giant for 40 gallon or larger aquariums/ponds. Use one Large wonder shell per 40 -60 gallons of aquarium or pond water.
*Carbon or other chemical filtration generally should not be present when used as a treatment or strong preventative
Carbon (& other chemical filtration such as Purigen, BioChem Zorb) may used when Medicated Wonder Shells are used as a MILD preventative however this lowers effectiveness.
Use with other mechanical filter media is fine
Probably one of the most effective treatments for velvet available, as the copper sulfate and methylene blue not only kill the swimming stage (as in ich), but kill velvet (Piscinoodinium pillulare) in the dormant stage by destroying the chloroplasts.
Effective for mild to moderate Ich infestations
Effective for true fungal infections
Another positive to this product is the electrolytes in the wonder shell aids in osmoregulation. While the Calcium buffers the malachite green, which is more toxic at lower pH.
Not recommended as a cure or treatment for true bacterial diseases, only as a preventative or for mildly damaged fins
Used as directed, these will NOT harm nitrifying bacteria
Generally safe for use with snails and hardy plants such as Anubias and Java Fern (as copper levels are generally below .05), however I do not recommend their use with more sensitive invertebrates (such as many shrimps) or long term use with plants (short term use will generally burn back more sensitive plants, which will generally "bounce" back if not used long term).
There are years of professional aquarium maintenance use behind this product, however with this experience the acknowledgement that although Medicated Wonder Shells are excellent for prevention, follow up, and treatment for mild to moderate Ich and Fungus infection, I recommend either Quick Cure or more so ParaGuard for serious infections and THEN use the Med. WS for follow up (Medicated Wonder Shells are effective for serious Velvet infections though).
NOW AVAILABLE: MARINE WONDER SHELL (LG. ONLY)-$4.59
Can Be Used In Freshwater Where Only Malachite Green Is Desired (not as effective though-especially for fungus)
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Active ingredient: Malachite Green, no copper
One shell per 40 -70 gallon aquarium.
They are not as strong as the freshwater wonder shell, as the marine shell is lacking a few ingredients that are effective on ich, but hard on invertebrates. The marine wonder shells do work though and are safe for most invertebrates (careful with Cephalopods). We recommend that you follow a few other steps for marine Ich;
(1) Dip your fish in a methylene blue dip solution at double strength for 30 seconds to 1 minute (using freshwater at a ph of 8.2 works best)
(2) If at all possible move the fish to a bare hospital tank and treat with copper as well (often not possible).
(3) You can safely increase the Marine wonder shell if ich is not responding (not FW Wonder Shell!)
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Why Purchase from American Aquarium Products
For SeaChem Products, please follow this link:
SeaChem Aquarium Products
Including the premier Ich treatment; ParaGuard
& preventative Reef Dip
, as well the best available water conditioner; Prime
A decoration that also acts as strong natural acid buffer lowering KH and pH for softer water preferring aquarium fish
Kordon & Mardel Treatments
Home of the popular Mardel Ich Treatment Quick Cure, as well as Copper Safe
& Kordon Herbal Ich Attack
and Methylene Blue for fish baths
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Aquarium Test Kits
API, SeaChem, ReSun, & other aquatic test kits
TMC Reverse Osmosis Filter System with TDS Meter
The TMC Advanced Aquarium RO Water Filter system includes a TDS meter and operates at less than 2 cents per gallon; an excellent combination with Wonder Shell use!
TMC Fluidized Sand Bed Filters
The TMC Premium Fluidized Sand Bed Filter increases Bio Capacity of any Aquarium system, with unsurpassed Nitrifying Bio-Filtration.
Aquarium Sponge Filters
Premium ATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters for bio and mechanical aquarium filtration.
For PREMIUM UV Replacement Bulbs
UV Germicidal Bulbs
Including the popular:
9 Watt UV Bulb
EcoSense ORP 15 Redox Meter
Great for testing Redox before and after water changes, use of water conditioners, after addition of an AAP Wonder Shell, etc.
*I had a rainbow shark with severe fin rot. He had only half of his dorsal fin, half of one pectoral fin and only the spine of the other pectoral fin, and had absolutely no pelvic or anal fins left. You get the picture: this fish barely had any fins. I used Melafix twice/day for a week with no improvement. Two weeks later after no changes in fin growth I started Melafix a.m./Pimafix p.m. for about 3 weeks and the fins improved slightly. About a week after the second treatment my AAP Wonder Shells finally arrived in the mail. I put one in the tank and within 3 weeks the fins were completely regrown. It was amazing. I never would have dreamed it possible.
In addition, my snails have grown about an inch of new shell. The AAP Wonder Shells are an absolute success in the health of my fish. I would highly recommend them.
Amy T.- Everything Aquatic.
*I just placed my second order for medicated and regular "Miracle Shells".
I have a giant ciclid with occasional saddleback issues, no matter how clean and well-balanced we keep his tank. I don't know why they work as well as they do but they make medicating much simpler!
Thanks for providing all the information on your site about the product, the medication content and dosing recommendation. The product (as mentioned) lacks for packaging and/or instructions. Keep up the good work and your product info.
-Mary M. Williams, General Partner
-J. & M. Technical Consulting
.that is a good article (Aquarium Chemistry)....wondershells are a good product.
*An excellent and cheap way to do this is to keep AAP Wonder Shells in your tank. I always have 2 medium sized ones in my 26g, one that is almost wasted and one that is almost new
-fishfever (Everything Aquatic)