DogsCatsFish & AquariumsReptiles & AmphibiansRodentsRabbitsExotic PetsBirdsFarm Animals as Pets

Mystery Snails

Updated on December 30, 2016

Mysterious Mysterys

The Mystery Snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is a species of Apple Snail. However unlike most apple snails, mystery snails do not eat plants. Or rather, they do not eat healthy plants. They also stay small, growing to just over 3in as opposed to softball size like other Apple Snails.

Food

Mystery snails will eat algae, and dead or decaying plants. Unless they are starving, they will not touch your healthy aquarium plants. Other things they enjoy are fish food, algae tablets (the kind you buy for bottom feeders), brine shrimp (and other frozen fish food), dead fish and insects, dead snails, and soft vegetables. If the veggies you feed them float, the snails will learn to come to the top of the water to eat them.

So, how much food do they need? You could use the usual fish rule and see how much they eat in a day and feed them the same amount constantly. However some snails have a wintertime hibernation period even in the best-kept aquariums.

During their period of inactivity, the amount of food they need decreases, but in spring and summer it increases. Especially if you have more than one and they are laying eggs.

Even if you keep your aquarium at the same temperature year round, your snails will go into a hibernation period to a greater or lesser extent. Your best bet would be to vary the amount of food you give them based on season and activity level. If you notice the food dissappears quickly, give them a little extra. If it sits around longer than usual, cut back a bit.

Buying Online

If you can't find mystery snails at your local fish store, or just can't find that elusive color, you can try to buy them online. eBay usually has a few, but they're not often anything but yellow. You can try LiveAquaria.com as when they're in stock, they often have a variety available, but they aren't always in stock. It's basically a hit and miss situation, especially in the fall and winter.

Identification

So you just got a snail and aren't sure if it's the Mystery snail or some other type of Apple snail. Before dumping it into your tank to see if it decimates your live plants, check out the shape of the shell. The spiral point of the shell is usually rounded as opposed to the sharper point of some other species, and the top edge of the shell opening is flat (hold the snail so the opening faces you and the spiral point is uppermost, the part of the shell opening that is the 'top' should be close to a 90degree angle. Flat/straight/what have you.)

Colors

Mystery snails come in 10 colors. Ivory (rarest), Golden (most common), Yellow, Wild Type (darkish shell with dark stripes), Jade (depending on where you live they will be either common or rare), Blue (semi-rare), Black (common), Purple (rare), Pink (rare, new color), Burgandy (rare, new color).

Water Conditions

They aren't picky about water quality. They can live just as easily in pristine, highly filtered water as they can in stagnant water filled with rotting organic waste. However, they do tend to prefer hard calcium rich water. If the water is too soft and does not have enough calcium, they aren't able to keep and build a strong shell. This opens them up to shell damage. If the little holes that appear in these conditions are small and only at the surface, you don't need to worry too much. However if they are large or deep, you have a problem.

Another thing to watch out for in the water is copper and other metals. Mystery snails are especially sensitive to these and will quickly die if exposed to them.

This includes medicines with them as well. If you see your snails go completely inactive or they try to escape the water after a water change, check the metal levels and add something like aquasafe to fix the problem.

If you have many mystery snails in your tank, the water will become cloudy. The reason is they have a large amount of microorganisms in their intestines which help them digest their food. These get expelled with the rest of the waste. They will not harm your fish, but you will see higher levels of them when feeding your snails fresh veggies.

Keeping Shells In Good Condition

A lot of you have seen it, your snails will be fine one day, and the next time you look in on them, they have pitted or dull shells. This is caused by a number of factors. Firstly, is your PH 7.0 or higher? If not, the water is too acid to keep snails and will actually eat away at their shells.

If the PH is fine, you also need to think about adding extra calcium to help the snails with actually building their shells. You can do this in many ways. Adding crushed seashells to the substrate, a piece of cuttle bone (the type birds use, just add a weight so it stays at the bottom of the tank), the vacation feeder blocks, Tums (yes I did say Tums! But not the peppermint kind, only plain or fruit flavored.), calcium supplement tablets (like we use for ourselves, but be sure the only things in the calcium is calcium or calcium and vitamin D.). I use both the cuttle bone, and the calcium tablets with an occasional 'treat' of a grape or strawberry Tums.

To make the shells nice and shiny, I also use Kent Marine Iodide. 1 drop per week per 10-gallons. This supplement will not hurt your other fish as long as you don't use the directions for saltwater.

If you are having trouble keeping your PH high enough, you can add 1tsp of baking soda per 10 gallons with every water change. Just be sure the fish in your tank will tolerate the higher PH before you try this.

Choices, Choices...

What's Your Favorite Mystery Snail Color?

See results

Breeding

Mystery snails are like mammals in that they have separate sexes. To breed them you must have a male and a female. They cannot make more babies with only one snail in the tank (except in one circumstance, see below).

To tell which gender of snail you have, pick up the snail and hold it so the trapdoor is facing upwards and the spiral point is downwards. When the snail comes out of the shell, look at the upper part of the left side close to the shell edge. If you see a longish protrusion coming out of the side, you have a male. Another way to tell (if your snails like some of mine refuse to come out when held upside down), you can either wait until they are in the middle of reproducing (the male will be on the top), or look at the shell shape. The male has a rounder shell opening.

Since they lay their eggs above the water line, if you want them to breed you must leave enough air space (4-6 inches) between the level of the water and the top of the tank.

Female mystery snails can store sperm for months, so even if you only have a single snail, if it was kept in a tank with males before you brought it home, it is possible to have fertile eggs. With no access to a male, the female may still produce eggs, but they will be infertile and never hatch.

After the eggs are laid, they are soft and have a pale pink color. In a few hours they will harden and get a bit darker. If you need to transfer the eggs to a different location (like a hatching tank), as long as you are careful you can.

The best way to do this is to wet down the eggs, wait a few hours then gently wiggle the eggs until they release from the glass.

Never keep the eggs underwater as you will drown the baby snails. They should stay moist and in a warm humid environment, but out of the water.

Hatching

The baby snails should hatch in 2-4 weeks. If you don't see any signs after 3 weeks, you can gently break the clutch into a few parts and also gently, move the pieces through the water. If the moisture in the air is high enough, this will not be necessary however.

If you see no snails after doing the above to a 4 week old set of eggs, either they were not fertile or the moisture in the air was too low. If unfertile, the yolks will be very thick and yellow, if too dry, the eggs will be dry and filled with air.

The best way to ensure lots of the babies survive in the first weeks after hatching is to have them in a tank with lots of algae. If this is not possible, you may try crumbling algae tablets into the water along the bottom of your tank.

There is no need for special foods like with fish, as the baby snails eat the same things as the parents from the moment they hatch. They also mature at 1inch, so if you do not want another generation that quickly, remove the eggs laid once they harden.

Temperature, Lifespan and other Info

Mystery snails are most active at night, during the day you may find they hardly move around at all and tend to hide in your plants or other hidey-holes around the tank. I have noticed if you manage to hatch your own, the ones born in your tank are less skittish of the fish or other aquarium inhabitants, as well as more active. My babies tend to move around at all times of day or night, and mostly ignore fish who move near them. Unless of course the fish is pestering them. Ones I've bought from LFS (local fish stores), tend to come out mostly at night, and are very shy. If a shadow or fish passes over them, they close themselves up tightly in their shells and stay that way for a bit before checking to see if the danger is gone.

Depending on what temperature you keep them at, Mystery snails will live between a year and a half to 4 years. The higher the temperature, the faster the metabolism and the faster they age. They will only get to be around 2-3inches, if they grow massively larger than that, you do not have a true mystery snail.

The best temperature to keep them at is between 65F and 82F. They will be more active the higher the temperature, as well as growing and eating faster. They are also more prone to reproducing when kept at higher temperatures.

Thoughts?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Rayzorridg 9 months ago

      We brought home 2 mystery snails, gold and striped, and 2 days later we have baby snails..... never saw eggs. How is this possible? They came from pet store.

    • profile image

      Gabe 9 months ago

      Wow so I have a ivory snail. Cool

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Depends on the kind of fish you have. But the most likely answer is, yes, they were eaten. Baby snails are tasty snacks to most types of fish. Try looking for them at night after you turn out the lights on the tank. Leave everything dark for an hour or so, and put out a lettuce leaf (weighted down), or aslice of blanched cucumber/zucchini/squash on the gravel.

      After an hour of the food being in the tank, and the lights off, check with a flashlight and see if you can see any tiny specs moving in the gravel and on/around the food. Be careful not to shine the light around and spook your fish! The babies are going to be small, about the size of a pinhead, and won't have a lot of color visible on the shells until they're a week or more old.

      If you can't see any babies, take the food out, you don't want it to go bad and pollute your tank. You can try looking again the next day in the daylight, and with the tank lights on, might be able to see them hiding in the gravel/plants/decorations. And if you still see none, then I would say they were eaten.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this info. My old snail laid a clutch about a month ago and about half of the eggs have hatched, but none of the babies can be found! Did my fish eat them or are they hiding in the gravel?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If there's always water on the eggs, you don't need to wet them. Too much water will actually drown the babies inside the eggs, this is why the mother lays them above the water line.

      The crunch you heard was some of the eggs getting smashed when you touched them, so those particular eggs are dead. That doesn't mean the entire clutch is dead though. How long has it been since they were laid? If it was longer than 4 weeks, then I would think the eggs either were never fertile in the first place (so would never have hatched regardless,) or something strange happened and the eggs were too hard for the babies to eat through to escape.

      You can try putting some of the tank water into a container and Gently breaking part of the egg cluster in the water. Then swish it around and see if any babies come out. They will be very small, so you'll need to look closely. If no live snails come out that way, make sure you have a male as well as your female. If you have both, then maybe the next clutch your female lays will hatch.

      If however it has NOT been 4 weeks, do not do the steps above. All my clutches hatched within 3 weeks on their own, but I've known others to take until week 4 to hatch.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just checked my snails eggs amd accidentally touched them while wetting them and the hard shell bit kinda went crunch. Are my eggs dead? My tank sits at 28°c. And there's always a drop of water on the bottom of the egg clutch so they shouldn't have dried out :/

    • profile image

      fenellashorty 4 years ago

      Very interesting

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      Well that was something I never knew. Thanks.

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      I love snails :) Thanks for sharing this lens!

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @Jeninia: They do sometimes come most of the way out of their shells. As long as they are acting normally, you don't need to worry. It's when they hang out of the shell and barely move, or if you pick them up and they fall out of the shells that you need to be concerned.

      Sometimes they decide to get a breath of air, and don't seem to realize that they are nowhere near the surface. So they come most of the way out of their shells, extend the siphon, and then once they realize the error, will climb to the top of the tank and try again.

    • profile image

      Jeninia 5 years ago

      Can snails stretch, like that first thing in the morning yawn and stretch we do? When I turned on the light in my tank I noticed that Spongebob (yellow snail) was almost completely out of his shell and his siphon was completely stretched out also. After a minute or so, he went back in and went up the glass and has been cruising the tank since.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @Jeninia: I still see your posts. The 3 you did today don't show up until I approve them, to cut down on the spam posts I get in my guestbooks.

    • profile image

      Jeninia 5 years ago

      Hmmm.... My post disappeared after I joined... I was posting as Jen

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My snails did the naughty for a really long time too... There were short breaks. I thought they were fighting and the bigger snail was trying to kill the other... Surprise!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: There are other fish in the ank but I have the water low enough that they can't get to them. So maybe it is just changed shape. I will tell my friend that has her :-/

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Mystery snails do not eat their own eggs, or other snails. If there are eggs missing, either they were not stuck as tightly to the cluster as they needed to be (and thus are somewhere in the tank, and no longer alive), or when the eggs hardened, the shape changed slightly and made you think some were missing. It's also possible something ate them, but as the eggs are laid above the water line, and you say the tank is empty except for the male, I can't think of how that would have happened.

      Also, just because you moved the female, doesn't mean she won't keep laying eggs in the new tank. It could take a few months before the stored sperm she got from the mating(s) she already had with your male is used up. So if you see more egg clusters in the new tank, get rid of them unless you want a bunch more babies there as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Will the male eat the eggs? I checked on my eggs this morning (laid the night before) and there are some missing off the bottom. The female was moved to a different tank cause I didn't want more babies. So he's the only one in there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Interesting, I had never heard of them before

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My snails have been doing the naughty for about 5 hours now, is that normal??

      And how long should I be waiting for to see eggs ?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I never timed my snails, but I'm sure it isn't all that unusual. As far as when the eggs will appear, they lay them at night, after all the lights go out. If you don't have any eggs by morning, you should have them within the next few days at the most. And once you have the first batch, expect to have a least 1 if not 3-5 new clusters laid every night until you separate the genders. And even then it'll be a few weeks before the females run out of fertilized eggs! You can slow it down by cutting back on how much you feed them, but if you cut back too far it will affect your snails health.

    • xXOUTDOORSXx profile image

      xXOUTDOORSXx 5 years ago

      I have a couple of these in my tanks

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Mystery Snails are only "Pomacea bridgesii". They are a variety of Apple Snails, and so they are related to "Asoline spixi" but they are not the same. (I did a little research after you posted about the genus your snails are from.) It's like lynx and house cats. Both are felines but they are not the same kind even if they are related. So your blues will most likely not be cross-fertile with the yellow Mysteries if that matters at all. Either way, they look gorgeous and I may have to pick up a few once my tanks are back up and running! *just moved states, now has to re-cycle 4 tanks...*

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: I think I finally have my answer to the blue snails. They are indeed mystery snails and lay their eggs in the water rather than out of the water. They are "Asoline spixi"

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @shecat71: For shipping? I have no idea, though it would depend on the size of the snails and the size of the box I would imagine. When I bred my snails I had lots of local people buying them, so I never needed to ship them anywhere. You might try asking on www.aquabid.com which is a website kinda like eBay but for aquatic life only. They have a forum and someone there should be able to answer your question.

    • profile image

      shecat71 5 years ago

      how many snails can you but in a small box without killing them

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'd recommend asking the nice folks at wet web media, they know tons more than I do on all kinds of fish/aquatic stuff. They're also pretty good about getting back to you quickly, just go to this URL and there is a link on the left of the page that says Ask WWM. Click that, then scroll down a little to past the steps about searching their site, there will be a blue link that says Ask the WWM Crew A Question. That's actually their e-mail address, if you just copy the link into your e-mail, you can attach the pics you have and they should be able to tell you what kind of snail the blue ones are. Hope that helps!

      http://www.wetwebmedia.com/

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: These blue snails look just like the other snails but lay live snails (resemble pearls). I have been trying to research and the closest thing I can find are trapdoor snails but the picture I have found look nothing like what I have. If you have an email address, I will send you pictures. Thanks

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Do the blue snails look exactly like your yellow mysteries (except for the color of course!)? If not, they most likely are not mystery snails. The only other freshwater snail I know of that has a blue form (and I don't know lots about other snails, so there could be lots of other blue versions!) is a Ramshorn. I think they lay eggs under water, and can be a good snail to have. You can see pictures if you do a Google image search. If it's not that, you may have to try taking a picture and finding a fish forum where there are lots of people who might be able to tell you what it is you have. Good luck, and let me know if you find out!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info on the tums. Another questiion. I purchased some yellow snails that I know for sure to be Mystery snails. I also purchased two blue snails that were supposed to be Mystery snails from the same store. However, these snails seem to be laying eggs in the water rather than above the water. They are a pretty blue but I am wondering if they are another kind of snail.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @shecat71: If the snails were that cold, I'm not surprised they're dying. Mystery Snails are tropical, which means they need warm water in order to survive. Anything below 60 degrees is likely to kill them. They prefer temps. between 65F and 82F, preferably on the warmer end than the cooler end. If you plan on shipping snails during cold weather, you're going to have to ship them with heat packs or you'll keep having this problem.

      If you DO start shipping them with heat packs and the snails stay warm during the shipping, then any loss after they've been in her tanks would most likely be due to her not following instructions or not having the right conditions for the snails. However in this case I would think it was the cold that did them in.

    • profile image

      shecat71 5 years ago

      how cold can snails make it being shipped, i just shipped about 50 snails in two boxes, they were from pea size to larger, i sent 1 adult blue female, they got there overnight and the temp that night was 40, she says all yellows were dead and now almost a week later she is saying the adult dided, i sent instruction on how to care for them i even sent her food for them, this lady is calling me everyday wanting more snails and i don't want to keep sending them to her if she is just not taking care of them.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry for the delay, I was moving states and just got internet back up and running.

      It depends on how many snails you have and how the shells look. I used to give mine 1 whole tums weekly. But I also had a couple hundred snails because I was breeding them! If the shells look good, nice and smooth with no pitting or discoloration, you can try half a tablet once a week and see if it all gets eaten. If there's a lot left over, take it down to 1/4 a tablet a week, if it doesn't last the week or if the shells look like they need some help, up the amount you're giving them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When you mentioned adding Tums to the aquarium, I did not pick up how often you did that? I have a 29 gallon tank with fish and snails and a 10 gallon tank with just snails.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I would think it pretty unlikely that any survived if the eggs were underwater for 3 days. Anything is possible though. If none hatch after 3 weeks, or the eggs start to stink, toss them as they're all dead. However on the bright side, since you got one clutch, you are pretty much guaranteed to get more. If you want to hatch out another batch, just keep an eye out and be sure not to drop them in the water. Mysteries are fond of laying their eggs on the hood of the aquarium, behind the filter intake, and along the top of the glass. Good luck!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am new with a mystery snail. There was some kind of cluster of the lid of my small tank, which a student wiggled off and let fall into the water. I didn't pay much attention until I thought of it 3 days later to look. After looking it up, I realized that cluster were eggs. I placed them back on the lid but I guess I am probably too late to save them?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I've never had my Mysteries produce any colors that weren't already in the tank. But it could be possible? Try doing a Google image search for "Pond Snail", if the pictures that come up look like the 3 unknown snails, you'll know what you have. If you do have pond snails, I'd get rid of them as they tend to multiply quickly. Check for clear slime with clear to whitish colored eggs inside the slime under the waterline. They'll lay clusters of them anywhere they can, plants, gravel, decore, etc. And unlike Mysteries, any two pond snails can breed, they aren't gendered like Mysteries.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have two golden mystery snails that have produced about 3 dozen babies in the past couple of weeks. They look like small popcorn kernels. However, I have one larger baby that is a mystery, no pun intended. He showed up about three weeks ago and was about the size of a pencil eraser. Last night I found two more tiny versions of him. Instead of people pale yellow, they are grey with a small golden brown spot on the end of their shells. Are these stowaways on plants or can golden mystery snails sometimes produce an "odd" baby?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sounds like your filter was too strong for the snail to escape. Until the snail reaches full size, you can put a piece of nylon stocking over the intake on your filter. This will keep the snail from being sucked into the grooves, but the water will still be able to flow normally. As for the missing bits, depending on what exactly is missing, it may grow back. Most antennae will grow back eventually, it just takes a while. Other bits of the face or body usually won't. But as long as the snail is eating and acting normally, you don't have to worry about it.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @shecat71: Anything is possible. Did they look blue in the store? Or before you put them in your tank if you bought them online? If so, then it's either the lighting in the tank or reflections off the plants or other decore that is changing the colors. If they didn't look all that blue before putting them into your tank, then it's quite possible the color they are showing is the shade they actually are. If you aren't sure, try taking one out of the tank and looking at it in normal sunlight. If it looks blue, then it's reflections in the tank.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My brand new snail has been on the filter for a whole day. I gently plucked him off but i think maybe his head was stuck in the thing too long? How do you keep snails from getting stuck in the first place cuz i think this one might be missing an eye or something...he just doesn't look right.

    • profile image

      shecat71 5 years ago

      i have 3 blue snails, the thing is the look more of a muddy green color, sometimes if the light hits them just right they have a bluer look to them, i have a lot of green plants in the tank do you think that they are just getting the reflection off the plants?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @shecat71: Depends on the size you plan on selling them at, but if you're careful you should be able to gently grasp the shell and wiggle a little to get them to release their hold on plants/decore/tank glass etc. Then just transfer them into a container with tank water in it and you're good to go.

      If they're very small, or you just aren't sure you'll be gentle enough, you can put one hand beneath the snail and use one finger on the other hand to lightly slide the snail along the glass or part of the plant until it decides to let go on its own. When it does so it will fall off and land in your hand. Don't put the finger on top of the snail when doing this, put it on the glass or plant and then move until you 'bump' into the snail. Then keep moving the snail like that until it lets go.

    • profile image

      shecat71 5 years ago

      i have deceided to sell blue, purple, pink and yellow snails, but my tanks are highly planted and now that i have some ready to go i need to know how to catch them without hurting them?

    • TheZinc LM profile image

      TheZinc LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

      Don't forget to inform your readers on the snails arch nemesis.. THE LOACH FAMILY.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 5 years ago

      @shecat71: They can have any plain or fruit flavored Tums. When I was keeping Mysteries, I would put half a calcium tablet in twice a week. But I was breeding them, so unless you have tons of babies in the tank that you're trying to keep in good condition, you shouldn't need to do it that often. Maybe a half tablet once a week or so depending on how the shells of your Mysteries look. The tums I used as occasional treats since I was doing calcium tablets and they basically do the same thing. If you want to use both (you don't have to or need to!) you can alternate. One week they get the half tablet of tums, the next it's a half tablet of the calcium. Just be sure to put whichever one you're using in the same spot in the tank each time. The snails will get used to it being there and seek it out when they need it.

    • profile image

      shecat71 5 years ago

      I have a cuttle bone in each tank so how often should i add a calcium tablet? Also how often to you give them a tums, my tums are a mix, does it matter are can they only have grape and strawberry?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: The antennae will grow back, it just may take a while. The snails will either learn to hide inside their shells when the frogs are near, or they'll get nibbled on again. Just make sure the snails are coming out to eat, if they hide all the time they'll starve to death. As far as other algae eaters, it would depend on what size tank you have for your frogs. Pleco's will get around a foot long, so you'd need at least a 55gallon for them. Unless you manage to get your hands on a Bristlenose Pleco, they only get to be about 4in. You'd still need at least a 10gallon for one though. Chinese algae eaters do well when they're small, but once they get close to full grown, they prefer to eat the slime coat off your fish instead of algae. Oto's (otocinclus) are a good choice if your tank is small (but at least 10gallons), but they like to school so you'd need at least a trio. Those are the only one's I'm familiar enough with to recommend. I have a lens about Oto's if you're interested, it can be found below this guestbook. Hope that helps you at least a little!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've just added two gold mystery snails to my african dwarf frog tank. One of my frogs ate the antenae of the snails. How damaging is this to the snail? Are there other algae eaters less likely to be damaged by the frogs?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @shecat71: Do NOT splash the eggs. You could drown the babies or knock the eggs into the water. Either will result in dead snails. Just leave the clutch alone and it should hatch on it's own in a couple of weeks. Depending on how many snails you can handle, be on the look out for more clutches. Now that you have one, you will most likely get a lot more, and if you don't have places to keep them all when they hatch, I would recommend removing and destroying the clutches you do not wish to keep. Remember, there will be a Lot of baby snails! Each of my clutches had at least 100+ hatchlings.

      As for your yellow snail, as long as the yellow is also a Mystery, it will breed with the blue ones. Then you'll get a mixed clutch of eggs, some yellow, some blue.

    • profile image

      shecat71 6 years ago

      will my yellow snail breed with one of the blues?

    • profile image

      shecat71 6 years ago

      I would like to 1st thank you for you help on my snails my blue snails are now doing great, i was added plants today and found eggs, i know they are supposed to be above the water line but these are about 2in above should i splash water on them every couple of days?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @shecat71: Mysteries and Apple snails should live between 1 and 4 years. Some live longer. The warmer your tank is, the faster they will grow and age. If the one that died didn't look so good and wasn't very active, it could have been sick or not as smart about finding food as your other one.

      When you feed them the algae wafers, try doing so after the lights in the tank have gone off. Your other fish usually sleep at night and the snails will have a better chance of getting to the food without competition from anyone other than the shark.

    • profile image

      shecat71 6 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: it's just a 30gal, i lost all my big tanks in the tonada, the snails have dead plant leaves and i feed agale flacks and there is some agale on the glass right now, i'm going to get some tums today, the snail that is doeing good is a bright yellow where the other one had a lot of brown in it and the shell didn't look that good it also wasn't as active, could it have just been getting old, also should i be feeding something else to, thanks for your help

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You can join by going to the very top of the page and clicking the link on the left that says Sign Up. Or by going to the upper right just under my avatar (the red-haired fairy) and clicking the orange button that says Create a Lens! if you already have a topic you want to write about.

      About your snails. They can NOT live in a dish of water. They will try to crawl out and die because they need to live in water not on land. A dish is way to small of a space to live in, and will get dirty very quickly. I would be like you trying to live in your toilet for your entire life.

      As for your dead one, one of two things could have happened. Some rainbow sharks become aggressive with tank mates over time and bully them to death. Some stay good community fish their entire lives, if all your other fish are doing well and not hiding or trying to get away from the shark, then the snail may not have had enough to eat and died because of that. Then the shark would have eaten it as they'll eat just about anything.

      You didn't say how big your tank was, or if you feed the snails specifically, so I'm going on guesses mostly. If you don't target the snails with food, they will slowly starve themselves to death in a tank unless it is really covered in algae. You'll have to put in food specifically for the snails and watch to be sure they find it and the other fish don't eat it all first. If the snail is nice and plump with no gaps around the shell opening and the snail, the shell is not eroding away and looks healthy, then it's probably getting enough food. If the snail seems like it is shrinking and fitting looser in it's shell, the shell isn't nice and healthy looking, or it spends a lot of time not moving or hiding in the shell, you need to give it more food. Healthy snails will be searching the tank for food for a good portion of the day. You'll see them crawling on the glass and over all the tank decorations/gravel munching away.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      first how do i join your site, 2nd i have, had 2 apples snails, i have had them for about a mo, they seemed like they were doing very good, this more my rainbow shark was eating what was left of one, i have barbs mostly, orange non agresvie, i'm getting 3 blue snails this week and don't won't to lose them any advice, also can i get these snails just in a dish of water as long as i change the water often

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Interesting creatures. I enjoyed learning about them!

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      A very interesting lens - blessed by this Squid Angel as part of the "Back To School Bus Trip"!

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: First, make sure they're baby Mystery Snails and not baby Pond Snails. If you're sure they're Mysteries, they can be re-homed when their shells are approximately 1/2 an inch long. As far as finding the clutch, check everywhere above the water line. Mine used to attach to the hood of the tank and between the filter intake tube and the glass as well as on the glass itself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi, I bought a mystery snail about 10 months ago. Approximately 2-3 months ago, we saw little baby snails everywhere. I know that they can keep fertilized eggs for a while but 6 months seems a long time! We now have dozens of them in the tank & was wondering, how big do they have to be to sell them. They seem to be thriving but I'm afraid there's not going to be much room for them soon as we only have a 50 litre tank. We have also noticed lots of tiny ones but have not seen another clutch.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I've only owned Ivory, Gold, & Blue mystery snails, but as far as I know they all should be the same as far as hardiness goes. It's possible there was something wrong with that batch of purple snails, or perhaps that they didn't get enough food. Some snails aren't as smart as others about being able to find the food you leave out for them. Sorry to hear about your losses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I bought 4 purple mystery snails about 6 months back and the last just died today. I have other colored mystery snails in the same aquarium who have lived a lot longer. I am wondering if the purple ones just aren't as hardy as the other more basic colors? They were bought small and they matured, grew, ate and such normally. The water is cleaned regularly and snail death hasn't been a problem with the other species.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a fresh water aquarium and gold mystery snails. They get this brown, flat disk like thing on them. Can you please tell me what that is?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You might want to consider getting a few assassin snails (Clea helena) to take care of your pest snail problem. They like eating ramshorns and trumpets the most, but they'll take out pond snails if presented with the opportunity. They also need both sexes to multiply and don't breed nearly as quickly as pest snails - on the off chance you do get babies, LFS will more than gladly take them off your hands.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: Things just got a lot worse. Just performed tests and everything failed miserably but hardness. Its acidic, high alkalinity, and peaked nites. Good thing I checked into all this cause there wasn't any other warnings, fish seam quite happy. I have some work ahead of me. Well thanks for all your help!!!

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Not sure what the eggs look like as the first link sent me to a bunch of different pics on a search result. That first snail is NOT a Mystery Snail. Looks similar to a Trumpet Snail, but not quite. It might be lymnea stagnalis, which is also known as a Giant Pond Snail. The two smaller ones are unfortunately pond snails. They will continue to breed and make more babies and the babies will do so as well, until your tank has millions of them. Unlike Mystery Snails, Pond Snails do NOT need to have a pair to breed. One snail on it's own will be perfectly happy laying eggs and creating more snails as long as the food supply holds out.

      I'd fish them out and start getting rid of them while you still have a decent chance to catch most of them. If your mom wants to keep snails with her guppies and betta, I'd look into getting something that needs both male and female to reproduce.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: Thanks for fast reply! After my post I had a better look at the tank and found a couple of egg patches that look like this:

      http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pond+snails&am...

      When starting up the tank, we noticed 3 snails, 1 big and pointed, and 2 smaller just like the onces overpopulating. The big one seldome does anything, even coming out of its shell is rare. The others we thaught died cause we didn't see them anywhere.

      A picture of what the big one looks like:

      http://www.moonfern.co.uk/images/2009_0719websnail...

      and the small ones:

      http://www.cutehomepets.com/wp-content/uploads/201...

      The pictures are from a bing search for 'pond snails' so I'm not very optomistic atm.

      As for the cloudy color, its green, but raises a new point. I tried using Aquasafe but it made the water so cloudy (white) after 2-3 days, that no one could see to the other side with a very low dose, so I stopped using it. For what Aquasafe does for fish coating I havn't found a local replacement, but the other features I have replaced.

      As for my experience, I had several bettas in a thirty gal for about 2 years long ago. But have done more reading than the average person.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: First I have to ask, are you sure they're Mystery Snails? You didn't say if you had one previous to all the babies, but if you did not have a Mystery Snail in the tank already, it is very unlikely that your babies are Mysteries. Pond Snails tend to hitchhike in on live plants and driftwood, and they are very hard to get rid of. If your babies look like the pictures above, then they are Mysteries. If however you do a Google search for Pond Snails and they look like those, your job will be harder.

      Mysteries are easy as they lay eggs above the water line and if you remove the eggs, you will NOT get any more babies. Pond snails lay eggs on everything they can inside your tank and you can't remove them easily.

      To remove the babies you already have, turn the lights off on your tank, let it get nice and dark in there. Then put a piece of weighted lettuce on the gravel of your tank. Come back in half an hour and there should be tons of the babies eating the lettuce. You can then remove the lettuce and dispose of it and the babies. Keep putting down more weighted lettuce until most of them have been caught. For the rest you'll have to pick them off with your fingers.

      Pond Snails are not something most people want, so you'll have to squish them and throw them away. If they are Mystery Snails, you can give them out to friends with fish tanks, or most pet stores will take them once they reach the size of a pea.

      Now, about the cloudy water issue. If it is WHITE cloudy, this is a bacteria bloom. If your mom's tank has been set up for less than 6 weeks, it is totally normal. You need to grow beneficial bacteria that will keep your tank healthy. Do a search on Tank Cycling for more information. (And if you already know this, just ignore me. No idea how long you've been fishkeeping so I thought it best to be thorough!)

      If you have GREEN cloudy water, that's an algae bloom. To fix that, keep the tank away from windows (or keep the curtains pulled), and don't leave the tank light on as long.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a problem with cloudy water and mystery snail overpopulation. I recently helped my mom setup a new 10gal aquarium with bettas and guppies. I taught them to take care of it and I monitor occasionaly. Recently there has been a major uprising of mystery snails, i've counted about 30 on the rocks and things, not including the gravel as it's difficult to distinguish them. I am unfamiliar with rasing snails and would like to cut the population down to clear the water. Thanks in advance!!!

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Pond snails and certain other snails can do that, Mystery Snails need both a male and a female.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I thought females reprduced by themselves without a male

    • turner-bob profile image

      turner-bob 6 years ago

      interesting lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: The snails eggs in the center should be fine... the outer ones are probably not going to make it do to lack of condensation... My first several batches of snail clutches, were like this... I didn't have enough condensation in my tank, the outside eggs were dry, but the inner ones were the ones that hatched... I have a new batch of snail clutches, that have their own tank and I have moved the clutches to the new tank with a small scrap of paper towel, lightly moist on top... still not all the outside eggs are moist, but I am pretty sure I will get a lot of new snails... lol... just be careful what snails mate... I have gold, black and had a blue... not pretty colors... anyway

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love my mystery snails, I have a black(F), gold(M) and blue(M) one, she laid several loads of eggs... and at first my fish left them alone... lol... I no longer have any baby snails... I am moving the newest bunch of eggs to their own tank... I have seen, Ivory snails, where can I get other colors...

    • profile image

      fish_problems 6 years ago

      I really like this lens! You have A LOT of good info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The heater is not a recent thing. I also use water conditioner to get rid of any chlorine in the water. I was smelling the snail last night and he smells TERRIBLE. I'm asuming that he died inside his shell.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hmmm... Well, since the door is sucked up tight, the snail is still alive. Which is good news! If the heater is a recent thing, it could still be in hibernation mode, or it could be a water quality issue. If you have test kits or test strips, I'd try testing the water the snail is in. If nitrites/nitrates are too high, it could be why the snail is in hiding. Also, if you use tap water, at different times of the year cities put additives into the water that are bad for fish. Same thing with well water depending on where you live, if there are lots of animals around stuff can sink into the ground and get into the water. If the water tests out fine (or you don't have any tests you can use), you could try using bottled water if the snail tank is small enough. Just be sure the bottled water has no extra stuff in it. Then leave the snail alone for a few days. If the betta picked on it enough, any movement from you could be taken as a possible threat and it'll have to get used to the fact it's safe again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The door is sucked up really tight in the shell. It still hasn't moved overnight though. I caught my betta picking on my snail a week ago and I separated them. I also put a heater in the tank and its on the snail side so he gets the most heat.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Is the door loose or sucked up tight into the shell? If it's loose and the snail smells really bad, there's a good chance it died. If the door is tightly up inside the shell, it might be a few different things. If the tank is cold, the snail may be hibernating since it's winter and they do that then. It could also be something in the water is bad for it and it's trying to keep as much water out of itself as possible so it stays alive. The third possibility is that something in the tank is picking on it, and it has shut itself up to protect itself. Sometimes fish will go after the eyes and feelers to see if they're food. If this happens enough, the snail will stop coming out for a while in self-defense. You'll be able to tell if this is the case since you've taken it out of the tank. Don't move the tub or jostle it. If the snail comes out in a few hours, that tells you something in the tank was bothering it. If it doesn't come out, check the door. If it's loose and it opens a bit when you *GENTLY* shake the snail, then it's dead.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi! I havn't been here in a while. Anywho my mystery snail has been closed up for 3 days upside down on the aquarium bottom. I flipped him over and put him in a small tub with food. He is right next to me right know. I've smelled him and he smells pretty bad but he always smells. I have also touched his trapdoor but nothing happened. He also hasn't been eating. Please help ASAP!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info SilvaraWilde. Just one more question. I have been looking at my egg clutch,(which I moved to a different tank in my room. They aren't on a side only on the raised platform in my tank.)and the outside eggs are dried out. So I was wondering what i should do to keep any surviving snails alive. Details: The tank has a part wire mesh for the hood so I can't get condesation and the eggs are 1 week old today. Any help about hatching snails would be great too!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 7 years ago

      I had never even heard of Mystery Snails until now. Now you have me curious to see if I might enjoy having some of these. I love the colors.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: If you want to breed them you will have to keep it kinda warm and leave a few inches between the water and the hood.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i loved how the info was true and i have done a lot of research and i found it was true i found a few more details about them i am trying to breed my 5 mystery snailks and wouls love for u too help me with that thankyou.

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Well, if you get all boys, you won't have to worry about more egg clutches. If you get girls, even if they never mate with a male, you'll still get clutches of eggs you'll have to scrape off the glass and hood of your tank.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @SilvaraWilde: Thanks! I'm having a hard time deciding if I should get all girl snails or all boy snails. Can you help me pick? Your awesome! Thanks again!

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Unfortunately, until they're about an inch long it's really hard to tell the gender of Mystery Snails. You have to hold them up and look inside the shells, look under the Breeding section of this page for an explanation of how to find out the gender. That section also explains that yes, your female can still lay eggs even without a male. The females can store sperm from even a single mating for months, and thus will still lay viable eggs. After the store is exhausted, they will STILL lay eggs, they just won't hatch anymore.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My mystery snail recently laid eggs and I want to keep some. I'm waiting for the whole clutch to hatch in a separate tank, then I'm going to pick out only one gender. Any help on how to tell the difference between a male and female snail before they mature? Any help would be great on how I should raise them. I also am keeping the male away from the female. Will she still lay eggs even when he's gone? Reply as soon as possible!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This is new to me. I had forgotten all about aquarium snails in my search for lenses on snails. A snail that doesn't eat healthy plants appeals to me. Now if they'd just introduce a ground squirrel that doesn't eat healthy plants and would chase away the ones that do I'd be ecstatic!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My snail seems like it went into hibernation and it isn't winter! Why is that?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Generally if snails are at the waterline, there is something in the water that is bad for them. And with your comment about the slime, that doubly points as something in your water. Snails excrete slime heavily if there is something making them sick, it's kind of like how we sweat when we're sick. You say you use tap water. Is it city water or well water? Do you use conditioner? Conditioner will take out most metals that will kill your snail. It's quite possible that there is something in the water now that was only a trace before and your snail can no longer tolerate it. At certain times of year, cities will add things to the water. What they add depends on the city, and you can usually call to ask what is being added to your water. If you are using well water, different things get in during different parts of the year. I have a well and depending on what animals my neighbors have, the rains, and a few other things, my water changes throughout the year.

      At this point your best bet is to move the snail to it's own bowl with treated store-bought water that has no additives listed on the label. Then see if it starts to perk up a bit after a day or two. Definitely check your parameters in the 10-gal and do a water change. If all your fish are acting normally, and the snail gets better, you can try putting the snail back into the main tank. If it has the same symptoms after being returned to the tank, then you'll have to figure out exactly what is in the water that's killing it. Be sure not to use anything that has copper in it, no additives, or decorations (any new rocks you 'found' and added lately? Some have traces of bad-for-snails minerals). If you can't find the cause and all your fish are fine, you may have to have a permanent separate tank with store water for the snail.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi! Within the past 4 weeks I have bought a mystery snail that my wife and I call 'Apple'. At first he was quit lively and moved all about the tank during the daytime, however this has changed recently. Now he has become very lethargic and hardly moves anywhere. He also only sits around the top waterline of the tank, against the glass, retracted in his shell. What's more concerning to be is what hes secreting! It's a very milky-glue like substance that he/she seems to be leaving behind where ever its been.

      I know that snails often go into random hybernation moments, but being new to snails I don't know if this is just its hybernation kicking in, or if something is ailing it! Out of the hours I've done researchig the web I have yet to find someone or thing that can help me, I'm hoping you can give me some insight! =( Also, I'm unsure if there are any metals in the water, but since I've been using my tap water since its arrive (for 4 weeks) I would think if I did have metals, that it would have died before now?

      Details-

      10g Tank

      Filtered

      Temps around 78-84 degrees

      Hard-water

      PH of 7.4+

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello;

      Do you still have extra snails ?\

      I can use some for my tank

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Unfortunately there are only 2 ways to get rid of them now that they have hatched. The first way is to pick them off the glass and drop them into another container. This is time consuming, and you'll need somewhere to get rid of them after you've caught them. Do NOT release them into the 'wild'. Either give them away to friends who have tanks, or your local fish store may take them. The other way is to get a fish that eats snails. Puffers and loaches do the best job. They will leave the broken shells all over your tank however. If you go that route, be sure it's a fish you want to keep. Getting a fish just to clean up your snail issue and then getting rid of it again is stressful on the fish, and not very nice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have a ton of snails in my 55 gallon tank. We didn't realize that our three big snails laid eggs and now they are over running us. how is a good way to get rid of the teny tiny snalis?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Depends on where you see the growth. If it's around the opening where the snail comes out, then yes. That's the end that constantly grows with the snail. If it gets a small chip, it is entirely possible for them to fill the chip in. However, if the growth you see is on the back end of the snail, near the spiral point? Then no, it's not possible. Think of the shell like your fingernails. Both are constantly growing as long as they get the right nutrients (calcium in the case of the snail), but your nail grows from the cuticle out, not from the tip in. Same thing with a snail shell.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      my mystery snail is black and looks like it is growing a new shell. is that possible?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry for the delay. Plant food -should- be fine, but check the ingredients and warnings on the bottle. If it says it contains copper, or is not safe for crustaceans or scaleless fish, then it will kill your snails.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have plants in my tank and am considering buying plant food to help them grow. Will the plant food hurt my mystery snail?

    • SilvaraWilde profile image
      Author

      SilvaraWilde 8 years ago

      [in reply to Too many snails!] Mystery snails lay their eggs above the water line, usually at night. If you don't want more babies, check the tank every morning for light pink clusters of eggs. They'll look like the picture in the breeding section. Check the glass of the tank, as well as the underside of the hood itself. Then gently scrape them off and you can throw them away. As far as the babies you already have, I'd ask your local fish stores if they would be interested/willing to take them off your hands. If not, try Craigslist for your area, someone will be willing to take them and give them new homes.