How Long Do Mystery Snails Live?

Ornamental aquarium snails make a beautiful addition to any freshwater fish tank. Snails are useful too, eating algae and cleaning up general detritus from the substrate that would otherwise pollute the water.

However, if you spot one of your snails laying on the bottom of the tank, apparently inactive, you may wonder if its dead. Detecting mollusk mortality isnt straightforward, but heres how to tell a snoozing snail from a dead one.

Snails can store air inside their shells, which gives them sufficient buoyancy to float. In nature, some snail species float on the water surface deliberately to be borne along by the current and, therefore, travel faster, perhaps in search of better feeding grounds. If youre concerned that a floating snail is dead, gently lift it out of the water and sniff the shell.

When a snail dies, it decomposes very rapidly inside its shell, and that creates a stink thats akin to roadkill on a hot summers day! Take a sniff of the snails shell, and youll quickly get a nostril full of a stench like rotting food or blocked drains. The foot is the small, flat area underneath the snails body that acts as a kind of trapdoor to the mollusks shell.

The trapdoor will be closed if the snail is alive to protect the creature inside its shell. If youre still not sure if your snail is dead, lift it out of the water and very gently try to pull the foot back toward you. If the snail is alive, it will immediately retract its foot back inside its shell.

Finally, put the snail onto a piece of flat plastic outside the tank and watch it closely for a few minutes. If you have assassin snails, you should know that they can remain asleep for several days after a meal before they begin moving again. Generally, after enjoying a few hours of rest, the snail will start moving around the tank again.

If your snail isnt moving and remains stuck to the aquarium glass or decorations, its most likely sleeping, hibernating, or resting. However, these exotic, beautiful snails come from the Indian, Pacific, and Caribbean oceans or from brackish swamps and lagoons. Only one species of nerite snails, Theodoxus danubialis , lives in a freshwater environment in nature.

Intertidal species of creatures need to periodically relocate from an underwater environment to an exposed surface. If the nerites cant get out of the water to satisfy that need, they quickly succumb to stress and disease and usually finish up dying. The warmer the water, the faster the snails metabolism runs, so the shorter its lifespan will be .

When an aquarium snail dies, as you would expect, it decomposes, although somewhat more quickly than other living organisms in your tank. The longer the dead snail remains in the tank, the more quickly the water quality will deteriorate. So, be sure to maintain your aquarium filtration system properly, carry out weekly partial water changes, and vacuum the substrate thoroughly to keep the environment clean.

Snails prefer a pH level of close to 7.0 and will tolerate a water temperature of between 65 and 82 Fahrenheit. That allows plenty of space for each snail to forage in and helps to ensure that the mollusks wont go hungry. If you want your snails to breed, leave a six-inch space below the tank lid or cover slide where the creatures can lay eggs.

Avoid fish species that prey on snails, such as puffers, cichlids, goldfish, and certain catfish. If you look after your snails, they will help to keep your aquarium clean and free from algae, as well as adding extra interest and another dimension to your fish tank ecosystem. If you enjoyed our guide, please share it with your friends, and dont forget to let us have your thoughts and comments in the box below!

How can you tell the age of a mystery snail?

It is impossible to determine the age of a snail to the naked eye: the shell does not present annual growth striations, these more or less light bands that show the number of winters that the animal lived. The only thing we can know is whether he is young or adult, adults with “lip” at the opening of the shell.

Why are mystery snails bad?

Why is it a problem? Chinese mystery snails can clog water-intake pipes. They may also transmit diseases and parasites to fish and other wildlife. They compete with native snails for food and adversely affect aquatic food webs.

How big do mystery snails get?

Mystery snails are among the largest freshwater snails in the hobby, growing to a maximum diameter of 2 inches or more. Some specimens may stay around 1 to 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

How long do snails live in an aquarium?

Aquarium snails live, on average, 3-10 years, depending on their species and the water quality of the aquarium.

The Mystery Snail is part of the Apple Snail family in which there are over 100 different documented species. Unlike some other snails, the Mystery Snail stays relatively small and should leave your aquarium plants alone (for the most part). They do like to graze on the tank glass and any other structures in your aquarium looking for algae. If you have a sand tank bottom, they may submerge during the day and come out at night. They are fairly easy to care for but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for this snail.

Origin / Habitat : Found in multiple places in South America Temperament / Behavior : Very peaceful little snail that should not be kept with more aggressive fish species, especially loaches.

Disease : Most issues are related to irregular shell growths due to improper or poor water quality. If the snail is isolated from fish and kept in good water conditions it may grow back. Most of the time they can be found attached to a structure or tank wall grazing on algae.

Gender : Very difficult to determine any external differences between male and female. Not only that, but it did it’s job of eating algae with gusto!From: CandaceThey’re actually omnivores or scavengers and protein is really important for their growth and health. I just wanted to let you know since I had a really bad experience with my first mystery snail and a mainly algae diet.More Freshwater Invertebrate Profiles

Mystery snails are South American freshwater snails that can add a dash of bright color to fish tanks. These Ampullariidae family mollusks spend a lot of their time crawling around and munching on fish flakes, particularly during the night hours. With proper care, these snails can bring joy into a home for a couple of years or so.

With proper care, nutrition and some genetic luck, mystery snails can live longer — think 3 years or so. In any case, tropical and subtropical temperatures are a must for all successful mystery snail living situations.

Apart from suitable water temperatures, feeding a mystery snail a proper diet can be a good way to increase chances of longevity. Fresh vegetables are a solid option for keeping a mystery snail full and satisfied, whether green beans, cucumber, lettuce, peas or carrots.

Aquarium snails are a popular form of algae eater and are loved by many aquarists. Mystery snails are one of the most common forms of pet snails in the aquarium hobby and are widely available at most pet stores. These are freshwater creatures that feed off green algae in the aquarium. Mystery snails are Gastropods and do well in tropical tanks with some patches of algae. They make great additions to community tanks and are very peaceful with fish and will not pose a risk to many species of fish.

This is a complete guide on how to care for mystery snails and explore the benefits of adding a few to your aquarium. Mystery snails were originally brought to California for consumption purposes in 1892 and were slowly introduced into the aquarium trade.

Image Credit: Michael Strobel, PixabayMystery snails come in a variety of attractive colors. There is no shortage of color choice with mystery snails which is why they are such a popular addition to many household aquariums. The foot of the mystery snail is a large muscle that helps them move around the aquarium and can be a tan to black coloration.

Another interesting part of the mystery snails body is the operculum which acts as a shield at the front of their shell opening. The head of mystery snails has two tentacles that they use to search for food around the aquarium and directly above are their eyestalks, which help them to detect light and motion in their environment. The siphon can stretch to nearly the full size of the snail and is used to help them pass water through their gills.

Image Credit: Madhourse, ShutterstockWhen purchasing a mystery snail from a pet store, you want to make sure they are healthy. Mystery snails are easy to care for, but they are not immune to poor health if the aquarium conditions are not right. It is easy to determine the gender of golden mystery snails, as females will have a darker whorl, especially near the tip.

Image Credit: TIPAKORN MAKORNSEN, ShutterstockMystery snails get large and can reach up to 3 inches in a standard aquarium. Mystery snails are active creatures that enjoy exploring a large amount of space in their environment. Large tanks will bring out the best of your mystery snail and ensures they are getting enough exercise to remain healthy.

They continuously pass waste inside the aquarium and can quickly foul up a small tank. By following that stocking guide, you will be able to keep the water parameters under control while giving your mystery snails their deserving space to roam. Betta fish Tetras Gouramis Danios Red-tailed sharks Mollies Swordtails Platies Shrimp Angelfish

Mystery snails are omnivores and consume plant matter and decaying fish or invertebrates in the wild. Although many aquarists think that a mystery snail will find all its food sources within the tank, this is not the case and can cause malnutrition and poor growth. Carrots, cucumber, zucchini, boiled romaine lettuce, and other green leafy salads can be added to the tank for them to eat.

Image Credit: PiqselsIt is no secret that mystery snails have the reputation to quickly overpopulate the tank with their rapid reproducing rate. If the water level is low which encourages breeding, they may take to laying their cluster of eggs along the rim of the tank or even underneath a hood or canopy. The eggs will look like a cluster of light pink balls bunched together from the hood of the tank or just below the waterline.

The eggs can be removed and placed in a container of wet paper towels if you plan to hatch and grow out the babies. The young snails will require a lot of food and high amounts of calcium to grow their shells. Mystery snails are fascinating and intricate pets that are not only great for beginners but also fit into many standard tropical tanks.

Raising mystery snails is a fun way to start your aquatic invertebrate journey and expand your aquarium knowledge! We hope this guide has helped inform you on all the interesting care aspects of mystery snails.

Is My Floating Snail Dead?

Many species of aquarium snails, such as mystery snailsSnails can store air inside their shells, which gives them sufficient buoyancy to float. In nature, some snail species float on the water surface deliberately to be borne along by the current and, therefore, travel faster, perhaps in search of better feeding grounds.In captivity, hunger is a common cause of snails floating at the water surface, often upside down, as they try to get at floating scraps of food. Many people assume that snails can survive on algae alone, but they can’t. So, be sure to supplement your snails’ diet with veggies and other high-calcium foods to help keep the snails’ shells in good condition.If you’re concerned that a floating snail is dead, gently lift it out of the water and sniff the shell.

Smell The Snail’s Shell

When a snail dies, it decomposes very rapidly inside its shell, and that creates a stink that’s akin to roadkill on a hot summer’s day! Like most dead organic matter,Also, if you test your tank water, you’ll most likelyIf there’s no obvious smell from the snail’s shell, sniff the creature’s foot. The foot is the small, flat area underneath the snail’s body that acts as a kind of trapdoor to the mollusk’s shell. If the foot smells pungent and rotting, then the snail is most likely dead, although poor water quality can cause the snail to smell bad, too.So, if your snail has a stinky foot but is still alive, test the water quality in your tank, and carry out a partial water change if necessary.

Take A Closer Look

Take a very close look at the opening of the snail’s shell. If you can’t see the body of the snail inside the shell, or if the body is hanging out of the shell without moving, the snail is most likely dead. Similarly, if the snail shell feels extremely light and you can’t see anything inside, the snail has probably died.Look for the trapdoor on the snail’s body. The trapdoor will be closed if the snail is alive to protect the creature inside its shell. If the snail had died, the trapdoor would be open.Very young snails and those species with thin shells can be examined for a heartbeat. Put a bright flashlight behind the snail, and you may be able to detect the animal’s heartbeat.

Still Not Sure?

If you’re still not sure if your snail is dead, lift it out of the water and very gently try to pull the foot back toward you. If theFinally, put the snail onto a piece of flat plastic outside the tank and watch it closely for a few minutes. If the snail is alive, it will come out of its shell and begin to move around in search of water, whereupon you should replace the snail into your tank immediately.

Is Your Snail Sleeping Or Dead?

Aquatic snails are often completely inactive for a while after eating a large meal. During this time, the creatures sleep while the food is digested. If you have assassin snails, you should know that they can remain asleep for several days after a meal before they begin moving again.Generally, after enjoying a few hours of rest, the snail will start moving around the tank again.If your snail isn’t moving and remains stuck to the aquarium glass or decorations, it’s most likely sleeping, hibernating, or resting. A dead snail would merely fall off the glass and lay upside down on the substrate.

For How Long Do Snails Sleep?

The duration of snail sleep varies from one species to another. Some sleep for several days at a time, although most snails sleep for around 13 hours, split across seven small nap periods. Some species of land snails can sleep for up to three years!Interestingly, if the snail’s sleep is interrupted, it will continue to be active until the next sleeping pattern starts.Snails are diurnal, remaining active during the day and sometimes at night, too, probably in line with the availability of food, the quality of the water in the tank, and the habits of the other tank residents.

Change Of Environment

Intertidal species of creatures need to periodically relocate from an underwater environment to an exposed surface. If the nerites can’t get out of the water to satisfy that need, they quickly succumb to stress and disease and usually finish up dying.

Typical Lifespan Of Popular Aquarium Snail Species

Mystery snails3 to 4 yearsNerite snails3 to 5 yearsRabbit snailsUp to 3 yearsAssassin snails2 yearsRamshorn snailsUp to 1 yearMalaysian Trumpet snailsUp to 1 yearPond snails1 to 2 years
Mystery snails
3 to 4 years
Nerite snails
3 to 5 years
Rabbit snails
Up to 3 years
Assassin snails
2 years
Ramshorn snails
Up to 1 year
Malaysian Trumpet snails
Up to 1 year
Pond snails
1 to 2 years

What Happens When A Snail Dies?

When an aquarium snail dies, as you would expect, it decomposes, although somewhat more quickly than other living organisms in your tank. The decomposition process releases ammonia into the tank water, polluting the environment and potentially harming the inhabitants of your tank.

What To Do With A Dead Snail

Although you could leave the dead snail in your aquarium for scavengers, such as hermit crabs, to eat, I advise you to

Tankmates

Choose tankmates carefully if you keep snails. Avoid fish species that prey on snails, such as puffers, cichlids, goldfish, and certain catfish.

About the Mystery Snail

The Mystery snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is a freshwater snail known by other names, such as gold snail, apple snail and Inca snail. The natural habitat of the species is the Amazon River basin in South America. Mystery snails appear in a variety of different vivid colors: burgundy, yellow, gold, blue, green, brown and purple. Some of the snails feature stripes, others don’t. Mystery snails, unlike many other species of snails, do not reproduce asexually. They are not hermaphroditic, requiring both female and male snails for breeding purposes.

Average Life Span of a Mystery Snail

Mystery snails, on average, stay alive for sometime between 1 and 2 years. With proper care, nutrition and some genetic luck, mystery snails can live longer — think 3 years or so.

Habitat Temperature

Water temperature can determine the life span of an individual mystery snail. Snails that live in water do not have the ability to manage their own body temperatures. Those that reside within slightly warmer H20 temperatures are more physically active, lively and energetic as a result of elevated metabolisms, and that could shorten their lives. In higher temperatures, a snail will move around at a swifter pace, consume food at a swifter pace and even grow at a swifter pace. The speedier the metabolism of the mystery snail, the speedier the overall development. In any case, tropical and subtropical temperatures are a must for all successful mystery snail living situations.

Mystery Snail Diet

Apart from suitable water temperatures, feeding a mystery snail a proper diet can be a good way to increase chances of longevity. The wee snails have immense appetites and will eat fish food, especially flakes. Algae wafers are another common mystery snail dining preference. Fresh vegetables are a solid option for keeping a mystery snail full and satisfied, whether green beans, cucumber, lettuce, peas or carrots. Mystery snails typically turn their “noses” up at any plants that are alive, as they generally favor dead plant material. However, if a mystery snail is hungry enough and no food is around, it may start eating living plants. Take note and make sure plenty of sustenance is always within access.

Origins of Mystery Snails

Mystery snails are also commonly referred to as apple snails or experts will use their scientific name,Mystery snails are also plentiful in the wild due to hobbyists illegally releasing them into the wild. This has led to large populations inhabiting water sources where they out-compete for indigenous wildlife.These snails have complex eyes and mystery snails have no other sensory organs in their eyestalks. If the eyestalk was to be damaged, the mystery snail can grow it back over weeks.

Mystery Snail Appearance

Mystery snails come in a variety of attractive colors. These colors are mainly described as golden, blue, purple, magenta, black, ivory, or hazelnut. There is no shortage of color choice with mystery snails which is why they are such a popular addition to many household aquariums. The shells come in banded, solid, or a gradient of color. The foot of the mystery snail is a large muscle that helps them move around the aquarium and can be a tan to black coloration. Some snails have a cream-colored foot and are commonly seen alongside the ivory shell coloration. The mystery snails have their apex on the side of their aperture and adults only have four whorls. Another interesting part of the mystery snails’ body is the operculum which acts as a shield at the front of their shell opening. This stops predators from reaching the more delicate parts of the snail.The head of mystery snails has two tentacles that they use to search for food around the aquarium and directly above are their eyestalks, which help them to detect light and motion in their environment. Their eyesight is relatively poor, and they rely heavily on their sensory tentacles to make their way around the aquarium. Below the eyestalks in their mouth and a secondary pair of tentacles that help them during feeding. Mystery snail also has a siphon, which is an organ that they extend to pump oxygen from the surface and should not be mistaken with the genitals of the snail, which is tucked away behind the operculum. The siphon can stretch to nearly the full size of the snail and is used to help them pass water through their gills.

Mystery Snail Gender Identification

When purchasing a mystery snail from a pet store, you want to make sure they are healthy. Mystery snails are easy to care for, but they are not immune to poor health if the aquarium conditions are not right.Here are some signs to look for to ensure that you are purchasing a healthy mystery snail, and not an empty shell:

Suitable Tank Conditions

Mystery snails get large and can reach up to 3 inches in a standard aquarium. They are not suitable for bowls that are too small to accommodate their size. Bowls do not allow for the proper equipment to keep healthy mystery snails. It is best to stick to a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for every one to four mystery snails. If you want to keep more than four, a 20 gallon is recommended.They should be kept in a standard rectangular tank that has both decent length and height. Mystery snails are active creatures that enjoy exploring a large amount of space in their environment. Large tanks will bring out the best of your mystery snail and ensures they are getting enough exercise to remain healthy.Aside from being highly active, mystery snails are also messy and produce a huge bioload. They continuously pass waste inside the aquarium and can quickly foul up a small tank.By following that stocking guide, you will be able to keep the water parameters under control while giving your mystery snails their deserving space to roam.

Mystery Snail Diet

Since mystery snails are peaceful community fish, they can be housed with a variety of different fish. This is another reason they are such popular additions to freshwater tanks!Mystery snail tankmates should be small enough to not fit a snail inside of their mouth. Larger fish will only see mystery snails as a quick food source and can potentially choke on their shell if the mystery snail is of a medium to large size.