What Do Mystery Snails Eat?

Mystery snails are one of the most popular additions to freshwater tanks. These slow-moving, peaceful herbivores, let you sit back whilst they do some of the cleaning for you.

CategoryRatingCare Level:BeginnerTemperament:CalmColor:Brown, black, blue, purple, gold, and whiteLifespan:1 yearSize:2 inchesDiet:HerbivoreFamily:AmpullariidaeMinimum Tank Size:5 gallonsTank Setup:Moderate vegetation, adaptableCompatibility:Community tanksThese snails have many names, one being the scientific name Pomacea bridgesii . There are no other sensory organs in the eyestalk, so it can completely regrow after a few short weeks if severed.

Making sure they are not scared all the time means they will be more active and able to clean the tank more effectively. On occasions, you might see the snails go to the top of the tank only to let go and free fall to the bottom. The operculum will fall off when the organism dies and will not properly close if something is wrong with the snail.

If a predator is spotted, the snail will tuck into the shell and close the operculum until they are safe. Natively they live in ponds, swamps and rivers where they can feed on dead or decomposing plants. The high oxygen levels are achieved through vegetation which is a key feature in many tropical communities.

Low levels of pH can start to dissolve the calcium carbonate shells of the snails leaving them open to harm from other fish. Adding calcium supplements can help ensure their shells are strong and healthy. Having hard substrates like pebbles, gravel, or sand will make it easy to move for these snail but they do not need one specific kind.

People often worry about keeping Mystery Snails with a Betta , but this should not be an issue if they are all getting enough food. Having too many can cause several health problems from damaged shells to lack of food or growth defects. They are very optimistic scavengers by nature, which means they will eat a wide range of food.

Because of this, you want to keep a medium to high level of vegetation, thus giving them a natural food source. This is one of the biggest reasons people buy these little cleaners; keeping the glass clean for longer means less work for you. If you havent cleaned the glass by hand, it is likely that you will be able to see the tracks of the snails as they move along and graze.

They have what is called a radula which is what they use to scrape the glass and remove algae, leaving a tire tread pattern in their wake. While these snails will likely be just fine on algae and plant matter, adding supplements will keep them healthy providing them with the right minerals they need. Leafy greens like lettuce or vegetables like zucchini, so long as they are washed and softly blanched.

Keeping the pH high and giving them calcium supplements can help avoid this problem. You probably guessed that the adult form of this parasite is found in rodents, but the larvae will use snails as a temporary host until growing into adulthood. This is something seen for the most part in the wild as these two species will likely never interact in the aquarium trade, meaning you dont have to worry about this too much.

Most procedures require you to take the snail out of the tank and apply some form of fish safe epoxy. They will leave their eggs in a cocoon which makes them easy to spot and remove if you do not want babies. Many aquarists choose to move them to their own tank once theyre hatched to accommodate the dramatic increase in numbers and to prevent them from being eaten as they grow.

Trying to hatch too many eggs may overload your tank and impact the nitrogen cycle, so only keep what you can manage. Baby snails will then fall to the bottom of the tank and begin their lives, eating the same food as their parents. If you want your snails to breed, try lowering the water level a few inches to make room for them to lay eggs.

If your tank is full of vegetation and has a community of peaceful fish and invertebrates, then these snails are for you.

What fruits can mystery snails eat?

You can feed lots of different fruits to your snails. Grapes, melon, pumpkin, cucumber, apples and pears hold up well in your aquarium and are easy for your snails to eat.

Can I hold my mystery snail?

Handling Mystery Snails. Holding these aquatic snails out of the water for a few minutes shouldn’t harm them. In fact, I’ve had some try to climb out of the tank — so keep a lid or cover over the aquarium to prevent escape. If you have your hand in the tank, they may come and investigate you, or they may be afraid.

Do mystery snails eat fish poop?

Dispelling the myth. That most people and fish-keepers believe that snails do eat fish poop arises from the observation that indeed, snails do eat some “impurities” that abound in a fish tank. Snails, though, do not eat fish poop. … They are also eating leftover foods that are for the consumption of your pet fish.

Do mystery snails clean your tank?

Mystery snails are easily one of our favorite freshwater creatures. We can’t get enough of these little guys! Not only are they easy to care for and fun to observe, but they also help make your tank cleaner by snacking on algae throughout the day.

A Mystery Snail is a freshwater aquarium snail often available in pet stores. A Mystery Snail shell is generally brown in color, although other Mystery Snail shells can be creamy white. Mystery Snail shells can be a solid color, have a color gradient, or have accents of light brown, dark brown, black stripes and other markings. Mystery Snail shell color variations and patterns are virtually limitless. A Mystery Snail head and body are generally dark grey or black, with its foot being a lighter gray. Mystery Snail body colors can also range from yellow, gold, blue, green, brown and purple.

Tanks with dead or dying inhabitants may indicate sickly conditions, poor water quality or contagious diseases. Finally, keep in mind that Mystery Snails can be kept in stores with tank mates that may bite off their tentacles, eye stalks and siphon.

A Mystery Snail is non-aggressive and docile by nature, liking a calm aquatic environment and peaceful tank mates. On some occasions when this free fall occurs they simultaneously release a couple of large air bubbles out from under their shells on the way down. Mystery Snail care is pretty easy and straight forward, making this species a good choice for beginners.

A Mystery Snail prefers to be kept in aquarium water on the hard side with calcium levels sufficient to maintain healthy shells and adequate growth. A Mystery Snail will open its operculum and try extending its foot to reach hard surfaces like gravel or substrate. The snail will often release its foot from the hard surface and free fall, but not recoil within its shell and closed operculum.

Its as though the snail can tell the difference between imminent danger from an aggressor as opposed to merely being startled by a sudden bright light flash. Favorite natural food sources can be forms of soft filmy algae that accumulate on slow growing plant leaves, aquarium glass and other hard surfaces. Supplements And Blanched Vegetables: Even if naturally occurring food sources are preset, a Mystery Snail diet also should include combinations of bottom feeder tablets, pellets, fish flakes, and algae wafers to help provide a balanced diet.

A dead Mystery Snail should be removed from a tank as soon as possible to avoid water quality problems such as Ammonia spikes. Goldfish and tough roughens like aquarium crayfish, Striped Convicts, Jack Dempsey, Oscars and other cichlids should be avoided.

Not only are they easy to care for and fun to observe, but they also help make your tank cleaner by snacking on algae throughout the day. This is why you can find them in so many home aquariums around the world.

In the wild, mystery snails can be found scavenging for plant matter in various bodies of water with rivers, swamps, and ponds being the most common. A lot of people dont know that there are types of mystery snails that are considered an invasive species in some parts of the world.

Weve seen some members in forums reporting inaccurate mystery snail lifespan estimate, so thats something we want to address here. You can obviously shorten it by giving them subpar care, but its extremely rare for a mystery snails lifespan to exceed one year no matter what you do. Mystery snail anatomy is pretty straightforward, but its worth going over to help you get a better understanding of the species.

Their eyes protrude and rest on top of stalks that can quickly be tucked in if the animal is in danger. Sometimes youll on;y be able to see their little tentacles sticking out if theyre searching the substrate for algae and plant matter to eat. You measure snails in diameter as opposed to length because its a more reliable indicator due to their build.

If subpar care has been provided its entirely possible for a mystery snail to stop growing at around one inch in diameter instead. While some completely healthy snails end up being this size, its usually an indication of poor care or breeding. This section will go into each of the main aspects of mystery snail care when it comes to their base habitat requirements.

This makes them a good fit for nano tanks depending on how many types of creatures you want in your aquarium. Water parameters are an area where youll want to pay close attention when it comes to mystery snail care. Mystery snails are an animal that needs a decent amount of calcium to thrive and help their shell grow.

Author Note: Mystery snails can have adverse reactions to copper which means youll want to do whatever it takes to avoid it. Since these snails spend most of their time scavenging for little bits of plant matter, an aquarium with no vegetation doesnt make much sense. While this is obviously good news, you shouldnt let it distract you from the fact that theyre still rather sensitive creatures when it comes to water quality.

Even fairly mild shifts in water parameters can cause your snail to go into a state of shock and experience adverse health effects. Consistently poor water quality can lead to your mystery snail getting parasites which are extremely hard to treat. Other less dangerous kinds of illnesses can cause deformities and irregular shell growth, which isnt ideal.

A mystery snail that hasnt moved for a while is likely suffering from some kind of health issue that will need to be addressed. In their natural habitat mystery snails spend all their time slowly searching for sources of algae and vegetation, and theyll do the same in your tank. This means your job will be to ensure that theres enough naturally occurring algae in your tank to continue serving as their foundational food source.

Algae wagers and sinking pellets/flakes can help supplement their diet as well and ensure that your mystery snails are getting enough to eat. Author Note: Its important to make sure that you dont have more algae and plant matter than your mystery snails can eat. By default, their reaction to any sort of perceived threat will be to duck into their shell until things arent scary anymore.

Mystery snails never stray from their primary task of searching for algae and organic plant matter to eat. Pretty much any freshwater fish without aggressive tendencies can be considered (as long as snails arent part of their diet in the wild). Since mystery snails are very passive and nonintrusive animals, most of their tank mates will hardly notice them.

Determining if a mystery snail is a male or female can be a little tricky and generally the recommended way to go about this is by simply seeing if they mate. The nice thing about breeding mystery snails is that you dont need to make any tweaks to the tank or water parameters. Weve been fans of mystery snails for quite some time, and we hope this guide has helped showcase the numerous benefits of owning these creatures.

If you have any questions about mystery snail care or the species in general, simply reach out to us on social media. We regularly answer questions and talk shop with other avid aquarists and would love to have you join the conversation.

Mystery Snail Facts & Overview

These snails have many names, one being the scientific nameThere are lots of other names for this snail including; mystery apple snail, golden mystery snail, spike topped apple snail, andBecause they are so common among aquarists, use the following general rule when purchasing snails for your tank. Take a few minutes to observe the group of snails at the store and pick the ones who are moving or attached to a surface; never buy a snail that has a cracked or damaged shell.The worst feeling when buying a snail is getting home only to realize the beautiful shell you picked out is just that: a shell.In the wild, these snails will live for around 1 year. They eat dead plants and clean the environment. This allows any nutrients that are trapped in detritus to be returned back to the ecosystem.A really interesting feature is their complex eyes which are placed on a cephalic eyestalk. There are no other sensory organs in the eyestalk, so it can completely regrow after a few short weeks if severed.Another interesting note is there are other species of this snail from China under the scientific name ofBoth the Chinese and Japanese snails are members of a different family; Viviparidae. They were originally brought to California for the food trade due to their size. Common apple snails are used in the aquarium trade.This article will focus on the common apple snail,

Typical Behavior

These snails are one of the most peaceful creatures you can have in your tank. They spend the majority of their time grazing on the algae that build up on the glass.If approached by an aggressive fish, they will simply hunker down and hide in their shell. This does mean that keeping them with peaceful fish is important. Making sure they are not scared all the time means they will be more active and able to clean the tank more effectively.On occasions, you might see the snails go to the top of the tank only to let go and free fall to the bottom. Sometimes they will only let go of part of the foot and slid down the glass quickly.

Appearance

Mystery snails come in a wide range of colors. The most popular are the black or brown, gold, and ivory variants. These colors will add a nice touch to your freshwater tank.You may also come across stocks of Albino Mystery Snails too. These are much paler than other varieties, though they may still have subtle patterns of brown or gold stripes.The shells come in solid, to banded, to a gradient color and the bright almost white head and foot color, add a pop of color. The color and pattern possibilities in these snails are almost endless.They will grow to about 2 inches in diameter at most. This relatively small size allows them to be included in both small and large tanks.When people think of snails they think of the spiral whorl starting at the apex (the top) and expanding downward to the aperture or opening.This is no different for these snails, but their apex is more to the side of their aperture. As adults they only have about 4 whorls, all of which are relatively small.Another part of their anatomy is an operculum which is the plate that is used to close the opening of the shell.Their operculum looks like a big nail when the snail is closed and is a good way to see if your snail is alive and healthy. The operculum will fall off when the organism dies and will not properly close if something is wrong with the snail.One of the most important parts of their anatomy is the head. They possess two large tentacles that are used to sense their environment and find food. Directly behind these long tentacles are their eyes which detect motion and light.Both of these together help to find food and to alert the snail of predators. If a predator is spotted, the snail will tuck into the shell and close the operculum until they are safe.Below this is their mouth and a second pair of tentacles that are used for feeding. They also have a siphon on the left side of the head used to pass water through their gills.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

This species is found in Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia, however they have now began to spread as invasive species to other parts of the world. The Chinese species especially is becoming a problem in the northern states of North America.Natively they live in ponds, swamps and rivers where they can feed on dead or decomposing plants. They will feed on live plants but only when no other source is available. They spend most of their time grazing on the bottom of the environment.The only thing they must watch out for is any fish or other creature that can break their tough shell. This can be any large fish or bird that may be lurking in the water.

What Size Aquarium Do They Need?

To keep these snails right at home, keep your tank full of vegetation. This not only looks nice but also gives plenty of natural food. Common plants to include are Java Fern, Java Moss, and Hornwort; all of which are incredibly hardy.These snails tend to swim out of the water, especially when food is low. Use a tight-fitting lid to ensure that all your snails stay in your aquarium.They are hardy by nature but try to avoid rapid changes in water conditions. They are well adapted for moderately moving, highly oxygenated waters.This is another reason why they are often added to tropical community tanks. The high oxygen levels are achieved through vegetation which is a key feature in many tropical communities.As for water conditions, the numbers are straightforward:The thing to keep note here is the relatively high pH. Low levels of pH can start to dissolve the calcium carbonate shells of the snails leaving them open to harm from other fish. Cracked, thin, or pitted shells can be a sign of low pH as well as low levels of calcium.Adding calcium supplements can help ensure their shells are strong and healthy.Having hard substrates like pebbles, gravel, or sand will make it easy to move for these snail but they do not need one specific kind. Each substrate will provide a different utility in your tank, so make the choice based on the rest of your tanks needs.

How Many Mystery Snail Per Gallon?

You can keep 1 or 2 snails for every 5 gallons. This gives them enough space to move and eat as they please.

Tank Mates

These snails have little interaction with the fish in the tank unless they are being eaten. Yet another reason peaceful fish are a must.Fish like tetras, guppies, and killifish will allow for the snails to mind their own business and eat away.Another good tank mate for them is other species of peaceful invertebrates. Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, and ghost shrimp all make great company for them and will not harm them at all.If you’re looking to keep the Gastropod theme going then consider Ramshorn Snails, Ivory Snails, and Nerite Snails.When putting them in tanks it is important to think about what fish or invertebrates are going to eat them. Oscars, cichlids, crayfish, and other aggressive fish should be avoided for this reason.People often worry about keeping Mystery Snails with a Betta, but this should not be an issue if they are all getting enough food. They will live peacefully alongside your Betta and even clean up after them.The same goes for most species of snails. They can be great tank mates if you’re worried that your Betta is getting lonely.

Keeping Mystery Snails Together

These animals will live together with very little issue. They will even live peacefully with other freshwater snails and invertebrates so long as they all have enough space to live and grow.The only thing to keep in mind is how many you have per gallon. The rule of 1 fish to 5 gallons is one that applies to snails too. It is a good rule of thumb as to not overcrowd your tank.Overcrowding is a problem for the tank itself and the well-being of your snails. Having too many can cause several health problems from damaged shells to lack of food or growth defects.

Diet

In the wild, these snails will feed on dead and rotting plants. They will also graze on algae build up on any surface such as rocks or sand. They are very optimistic scavengers by nature, which means they will eat a wide range of food.Because of this, you want to keep a medium to high level of vegetation, thus giving them a natural food source. Plants will naturally shed as they grow and this gives your snails perfect food on top of the naturally growing algae.They will suck onto the glass and eat the algae that grow off it. This is one of the biggest reasons people buy these little cleaners; keeping the glass clean for longer means less work for you.If you haven’t cleaned the glass by hand, it is likely that you will be able to see the “tracks” of the snails as they move along and graze. They have what is called a radula which is what they use to scrape the glass and remove algae, leaving a “tire tread” pattern in their wake.A great thing to see that lets you know you’re not the only one trying to keep the tank clean.While these snails will likely be just fine on algae and plant matter, adding supplements will keep them healthy providing them with the right minerals they need. Bottom feeder tablets, flakes, or pellets will all enrich their diets.It is also known that these herbivores love vegetables. Leafy greens like lettuce or vegetables like zucchini, so long as they are washed and softly blanched.Just remember not to overfeed or leave food in the tank for too long. This could damage your water quality and lead to health problems for your inhabitants.

Care

As discussed above, making sure your snails have healthy, undamaged shells is very important. Keeping the pH high and giving them calcium supplements can help avoid this problem.One of the most common parasites isThis is something seen for the most part in the wild as these two species will likely never interact in the aquarium trade, meaning you don’t have to worry about this too much.Grub Worms have been observed in aquariums where wild-caught snails were used. They appear as small, white cysts on the foot of the snail. When ruptured, flukes (parasites) are released into the water column. This is a problem for fish as the flukes will encyst their flesh and can only be removed physically. Grub Worms will stay inside the host fish until the host dies.The good thing about this is that Grub Worms cannot reproduce inside your tank.Most problems however stem from their shells. This is one of the most important things to look at to ensure health.It is possible to patch the shells of snails; however, this process is one that must be done by hand and very risky. Most procedures require you to take the snail out of the tank and apply some form of fish safe epoxy.

Breeding

Mystery Snails are gonochoristic which means a male and female must be present for reproduction.If you are looking to have more snails without going out and buying them, the breeding process is easy.The male and female will mate without any help or altered tank conditions.Once the female is ready to lay eggs, she will lay her eggs above or at the water surface. They will leave their eggs in a cocoon which makes them easy to spot and remove if you do not want babies.The eggs will be yellow, pink, or white in color.A single clutch of eggs could produce 20-40 healthy adults, but they may lay multiple clutches around the tank, leading to many more.A female could lay eggs weekly for nearly five months.Many aquarists choose to move them to their own tank once they’re hatched to accommodate the dramatic increase in numbers and to prevent them from being eaten as they grow.Trying to hatch too many eggs may overload your tank and impact the nitrogen cycle, so only keep what you can manage. Most eggs tend to be disposed of or hatched and promptly sold online or to friends/family.If they lay their eggs above the water the air surrounding the cocoon must be moist enough and eggs should hatch within a month.Baby snails will then fall to the bottom of the tank and begin their lives, eating the same food as their parents.If you want your snails to breed, try lowering the water level a few inches to make room for them to lay eggs. Also make sure there is plenty of food as they tend to spawn only when there is enough food to feed their next generation.

When Buying A Mystery Snail

As with any aquarium purchase, avoid buying Mystery Snails from tanks with dead or dying snails, fish or other tank mates. Tanks with dead or dying inhabitants may indicate sickly conditions, poor water quality or contagious diseases. It’s better to avoid these issues instead of getting involved with them.When buying Mystery Snails, look for snails with thick, non-pitted, non-cracked shells. Having thin, excessively pitted or cracked shells may be evidence the snail is unhealthy. It can also mean the snail has been in acidic water long enough to dissolve the shell and weaken it. And make sure the Mystery Snail shell does not have holes.Look for Mystery Snails that are stuck on the aquarium glass or moving across hard surfaces. If Mystery Snails are laying still on the bottom of the tank, laying upside down or floating on the surface of the water, it may indicate the Mystery Snails are dead or dying. Finally, keep in mind that Mystery Snails can be kept in stores with tank mates that may bite off their tentacles, eye stalks and siphon. So make sure the snail looks healthy, complete and intact before selecting.

Mystery Snail Behavior & Temperament

A Mystery Snail is non-aggressive and docile by nature, liking a calm aquatic environment and peaceful tank mates. Mystery Snails have no means to attack other tank inhabitants and has only its operculum and shell for protection from aggressors. A Mystery Snail can be very active during times when the tanks lights are on, steadily travelling throughout the aquarium on the hunt for food, interesting places to explore, or a quiet place to take a break. A Mystery Snail can also be very active when the tank lights are off, feeding at night in complete darkness. Sometimes soon after the tank lights go off, a Mystery Snail will extend its siphon and move to the surface to get some air. And for as active as a Mystery Snail can be, it is not uncommon for it to be still and appear dormant for long periods of time.It is often thought that Mystery Snails are slow moving creatures. For the most part this is true. But there are times when Mystery Snails can be seen moving very quickly across aquarium glass. Mystery Snails are also known to climb to the tops of tanks near the water surface and then all of a sudden let go of the surface and rapidly free fall to the tank bottom. On some occasions when this free fall occurs they simultaneously release a couple of large air bubbles out from under their shells on the way down. On other occasions, they do not totally release their foot from the glass. Instead it just loosens its foot a bit, sliding down the glass quickly while maintaining a bit of control on the way down.

Mystery Snail Care Issues

Mystery Snail care is pretty easy and straight forward, making this species a good choice for beginners. That said, there are a few care issues to keep in mind:A Mystery Snail needs to be in an established tank with sufficient size and water volume to support its needs. So avoid overstocking and keep the general rules of fish count in mind. Like most other snails, a Mystery Snail can thrive in a small established tank like a 5 or 10 gallon aquarium. They can also do well in larger established tanks as well.

Water Parameters & Tank Conditions

Ammonia and Nitrite levels should be at 0 ppm. Nitrate levels need to be kept from building up with regular partial water changes. Plant fertilizers, tank medications and treatments can be problematic as Mystery Snails can be sensitive to their ingredients. This is especially true for additives containing copper. Copper can be fatal.A Mystery Snail prefers to be kept in aquarium water on the hard side with calcium levels sufficient to maintain healthy shells and adequate growth. Cracked, thin or excessively pitted shells can be signs of Calcium deficiency. When keeping Mystery Snails it may be a good idea to buy a Calcium test kit as well as a kH test kit. Depending on the results of those tests, periodic Calcium supplements may be necessary. But be careful with pH shifts.

Avoid Hazards

Trying to rescue Mystery Snails trapped in a filter intake may further injure the snail or kill it. In this situation, its best to turn the filter off for a bit to see if the snail can wiggle its way out of trouble. But the better choice is to avoid the issue from the start by placing sponge pre-filters over strong filter intakes before the snails go in.

Snail Reactions

Another defensive reaction is when sensing danger. The snail will just let go of whatever it is on and allow itself to drop to the tank bottom, closing shut its operculum on the way down. What makes this free fall behavior more interesting is how the snail sometimes reacts to sudden bright light. The snail will often release its foot from the hard surface and free fall, but not recoil within its shell and closed operculum. Instead the snail simply lands on the tank bottom and resumes its business as if nothing has happened. Its as though the snail can tell the difference between imminent danger from an aggressor as opposed to merely being startled by a sudden bright light flash.

Mystery Snail Diet, Feeding & Habitat

A Mystery Snail seems content living in a planted aquarium. A Mystery Snail is a scavenger and live plants never let a tank stay “too clean”. Thanks to the vegetation, there’s almost always a plentiful source of food. Shed plant matter accumulates on the tank bottom for snails to eat. The Mystery Snail diet can be based on detritus and debris from this source.

Hardy Plants Work Well

On the other hand, soft delicate plants like floating Salvinia may be more apt to be eaten. Maybe keeping a supply of floating Salvinia in the tank may be the plant a snail goes for, leaving the other plants alone. Different hobbyists have different experiences with Mystery Snails and plants, so its good to ask the store clerk before buying.

Mystery Snail Lifespan & Dead Snails

A Mystery Snail lifespan is about one year. Lifespan may be longer if water conditions are good and the snail is fortunate. One Mystery Snail lifespan issue should be noted: it’s not unusual for a Mystery Snail to die shortly after being added to a tank. This sudden death may be caused by differences in water parameters, or stress associated with being transported from the store.

Lifespan

We’ve seen some members in forums reporting inaccurate mystery snail lifespan estimate, so that’s something we want to address here. This isn’t an animal where you can greatly extend their lifespan even with perfect care and habitat conditions.You can obviously shorten it by giving them subpar care, but it’s extremely rare for a mystery snails lifespan to exceed one year no matter what you do.

Appearance

Mystery snails look very much like a typical snail when it comes to their build. They have the basic shell curve that you find on a multitude of different species.The colors are where you can start to differentiate between them and other species. Mystery snails have a variety of different colors and patterns that you’ll notice when looking at them.Many times their shell will have a primary color of brown (usually light) or a faded white. This might be solid without any patterns or deviations, or it could be split up by some bands and stripes.Their stripes are almost always darker than their primary color and will vary in width. You might see a mostly white portion followed by a thin brown and then a more yellowish band right after that. There are a lot of possibilities!The bodies of mystery snails come in a variety of colors as well. Usually, this will show itself as a whiteish-grey but can also be yellow, dark grey, and black (there are a ton of different varieties you can get).

Anatomy

Mystery snail anatomy is pretty straightforward, but it’s worth going over to help you get a better understanding of the species.Their shells usually have no more than four whorls that start at the top of the shell and work their way down. The thickest point is where the bulk of their body is (obviously).Mystery snails have a very standard head shape with tentacles. Their eyes protrude and rest on top of stalks that can quickly be tucked in if the animal is in danger. Sometimes you’ll on;y be able to see their little tentacles sticking out if they’re searching the substrate for algae and plant matter to eat.Something interesting about the mystery snail is the way they breathe. These snails have a siphon near their heads that they use to move water through their gills. This is not a common setup and it’s one of the more unique aspects of mystery snail anatomy!Lastly, there is the operculum. This is the little lid that these snails use to cover up the large opening in their shell when tucked away for safety. It can be hard to see it depending on the angle and positioning of their foot, but it simply gets moved to the side when they’re out and about.

Size

If subpar care has been provided it’s entirely possible for a mystery snail to stop growing at around one inch in diameter instead. While some completely healthy snails end up being this size, it’s usually an indication of poor care or breeding.

Mystery Snail Care

Mystery snail care is fairly simple and something that anyone can do. However, it’s important to remember that just because it’s simple it doesn’t mean it’s hands-off.Mystery snails need consistency in their habitat in order to thrive and avoid illness. So even though the course of action is obvious, the downside of neglecting them is rather severe.This section will go into each of the main aspects of mystery snail care when it comes to their base habitat requirements.

Tank Size

If you plan on having more than one mystery snail in your tank then you’ll need to add some extra space. An extra five gallons for each additional snail is a good rule to follow.Some inexperienced aquarists assume that since these are small, slow-moving creatures that you can pack them in with one another. This is not the case at all. Mystery snails need their own space just like any other animal.

What To Put In Their Tank

Water parameters are an area where you’ll want to pay close attention when it comes to mystery snail care. These little creatures can be very sensitive to shifts in levels which means it’s your job to take this seriously.The most effective way to ensure this is by testing your water frequently (and with an accurate testing kit). Having the right information is the first step in protecting these adorable critters!Here are the levels you should pay attention to:Aside from these main levels to watch, you should also be aware of some additional requirements. Mystery snails are an animal that needs a decent amount of calcium to thrive and help their shell grow.While some owners add it into the water with supplements, you can also feed them calcium-dense veggies as a way of introducing the mineral into the water. A win-win!

Disease Potential

The mystery snail doesn’t have one particular disease or illness that plagues them. While this is obviously good news, you shouldn’t let it distract you from the fact that they’re still rather sensitive creatures when it comes to water quality.Even fairly mild shifts in water parameters can cause your snail to go into a state of shock and experience adverse health effects.Consistently poor water quality can lead to your mystery snail getting parasites which are extremely hard to treat. The parasites attack the snail aggressively and will often result in the death of your mystery snail.Other less dangerous kinds of illnesses can cause deformities and irregular shell growth, which isn’t ideal.The easiest way to tell that there’s something wrong with your snail is by observing them on a regular basis. If you see something on their body that looks different or their behavior and activity level has dropped significantly, there might be something wrong.A mystery snail that hasn’t moved for a while is likely suffering from some kind of health issue that will need to be addressed. They normally don’t let anything slow them down.The best way to ensure that your mystery snail has none of these issues is to simply do your job as an owner. Being serious about maintaining top-notch water quality and not introducing any contaminated materials to the tank will go a long way in helping your snails live long and healthy lives.

Behavior & Temperament

As you’ve probably guessed, plants and vegetation is the base of their diet in the wild. This holds true in captivity as well, with algae being the perfect mystery snail food.This means your job will be to ensure that there’s enough naturally occurring algae in your tank to continue serving as their foundational food source. This is something that some aquarists struggle with, so we’ll explain what to do in this section.As we mentioned in an earlier section, having smooth surfaces where algae can grow is step one. Plants you include will also serve as a helpful source of organic debris.You don’t want to rely on naturally-occurring algae entirely though. Algae wagers and sinking pellets/flakes can help supplement their diet as well and ensure that your mystery snails are getting enough to eat.Feeding them some veggies is another great food option too. Here are some they like:

Mystery Snails And Betta Fish

There are a ton of potential mystery snail tank mates you can choose from. Pretty much any freshwater fish without aggressive tendencies can be considered (as long as snails aren’t part of their diet in the wild).Since mystery snails are very passive and nonintrusive animals, most of their tank mates will hardly notice them. This species really makes it easy.Here are some common mystery snail tank mates for you to consider:

Mystery Snail Breeding

A lot of aquarists are interested in learning more about breeding mystery snails. They think because snails are a bit different that it’s going to be a tricky process.But it’s not!To start you’ll need a female and male in the same tank (obviously). The easiest way to do this is by simply buying one of each from a trusted seller.Determining if a mystery snail is a male or female can be a little tricky and generally the recommended way to go about this is by simply seeing if they mate.The nice thing about breeding mystery snails is that you don’t need to make any tweaks to the tank or water parameters. This is something that’s common with fish but for these snails, you can take it easy and let them do their thing!The female will lay her eggs near the surface of the water in a long lumpy coccon. This process can be very interesting to observe, so we recommend keeping an eye out for it if you’re planning on breeding!The eggs will sit there for a few weeks before little babies emerge. There’s nothing special you need to do for them, they can handle themselves!