Mystery Snail Care Sheet

Bithimala

Member
Mystery snails are great additions to peaceful tanks due to their entertainment value. They are not, however, clean up crews, and require care and consideration to bio-load just like any other tank inhabitants. Unlike other snails, they require a male and female to reproduce, and eggs are easily removed if notwanted in the tank.

Common Names: Mystery snail, also commonly referred to as an apple snail, however those are a different genus/species, and will become much larger. Most of what will be found for sale, especially in the USA, are mystery snails.

Care Level: Easy

Size: 1-2inches, maybe a little larger

Water Parameters: pH 7-8, temp 72-78F ideally (though a fluctuation of about 4 degrees can occur on both ends), hard water preferred, should be added once a tank is cycled as much of the body is exposed, making them more sensitive to water quality concerns.

Life Span: 1-3 years. Metabolism and life span willbe shorter in higher temperatures.

Temperament/Behavior: Peaceful

Breeding/Mating/Reproduction: Simple if there is a sufficient amount of food for them. The male climbs onto the female and inseminates the eggs. The female then climbs above the water line and lays a clutch of eggs which hatch into baby snails after about 1-4 weeks.

Tank Size: 2.5 gallons per snail. Running less thanthat makes it difficult to ensure they are still receiving the nutrients needed for proper body and shell health. If using a HOB filter, it is recommended to use something to cover the intake to avoid them being sucked in and either stuck or injured.

Tank Mates: Many tank mates work well with mystery snails, though it is best to avoid fish who will think of their antennae as food or bully them around.

Diseases: Little information is available on many snail diseases, and most information focuses around shell health. Commonly mucus or slime will be seen if there are water quality issues. Copper content in the water can be deadly for them.

Feeding: Many people feel that snails do not need their own food source. This is not the case with mystery snails. They need something high in calcium for the health of their shells and a bit of protein for the health oftheir operculum. Fresh veggies such as green beans and zucchinI are usually favorites. They can be raw or blanched. Often snails purchased from stores have only been provided with weekend feeders, and may take time to realize that vegetables are food. Snail jello can be made as an option to help them learn to eat their veggies. It is also beneficial to add cuttlebone to the tank or in the filter for extra calcium. Cuttlebone is an inexpensive item that can be located in the bird section in most pet stores.

Tank Region: All over as long as there is a surface they can climb. They do also need to go to the surface of the water to take in air through their siphon.

Acclimation: Snails should be acclimated like fish, not just dropped in immediately. They also need time to adjust to the new tank parameters. When you put them in, put them in with their foot down, as it can be difficult for them to right themselves if they end up on their backs.

Please let me know if you see any changes that need to be made or anything that should be added on here. I realized that we have no care sheet for these guys, either as a sticky or with the fish care sheets.
 

Flowingfins

Member
Awesome write up, I've been considering getting some for a while now and you sold me

I noticed that you were missing spaces between some words, just thought I would let you know.
 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
Thanks! I'll fix the missing spacing this evening. Copy/paste from Word apparently only works but so well...
 

Bijou88

Member
Great care sheet! However, ime, clutches hatch in 10-15 days instead of 4-6 weeks.

 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
Bijou88 said:
Great care sheet! However, ime, clutches hatch in 10-15 days instead of 4-6 weeks.
Thanks, updated to 1-4 weeks. I've seen many people with clutches 2-3 weeks old, so I figure that's a decent range
 

CindiL

Member
Hi, nice care sheet

Wondering if I should blanch the zuchinI or just put it in the tank raw? I also bought some oto's at the same time I got two mystery snails and I think they will all benefit from the zuchinI slices.

How long should I leave it in the tank before replacing it?

Edit: ha ha never mind. The snail and the otos found it fast.
 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
CindiL said:
Hi, nice care sheet

Wondering if I should blanch the zuchinI or just put it in the tank raw? I also bought some oto's at the same time I got two mystery snails and I think they will all benefit from the zuchinI slices.

How long should I leave it in the tank before replacing it?

Edit: ha ha never mind. The snail and the otos found it fast.
I added info about raw or blanched to the care sheet Either way is fine. You'll be able to leave it in longer if it's raw. When I'm doing raw, I try to pull it out after no more than 24 hours to avoid it falling apart in the water. I say try, because my RCS adore zucchini, so when it is still completely covered and being devoured, I'm inclined to leave it in since it's certainly not going anywhere to foul the water.
 

CindiL

Member
Hmm. Maybe I'll put a piece in my shrimp tank too.
 

LittleNeo

Member
Can I put in raw spinach? And eggshell?
 

jtwizz

Member
How do you make snail jello?
 

ROBfromFL

Member
Great info, thank you. I bought a couple snails for my new tank because I heard they help eat algae. I'm not sure that was good advice it seems but my kids (and me too) love these guys.
 

KatherineCross

Member
I'm just wanting to sure, but would the cuttlebone affect anything with my bettas? I have two female mysteries in with a male betta and a male mystery with my female betta. Would it harm the bettas in any way?
 

KatherineCross

Member
Oh, just thought I'd add. You should never use salt with snails.
 

JLeeM

Member
Foxgirlgamer said:
I'm just wanting to sure, but would the cuttlebone affect anything with my bettas? I have two female mysteries in with a male betta and a male mystery with my female betta. Would it harm the bettas in any way?
The cuttlebone only works to a certain point and then stabilizes. To answer your question though, no it shouldn't hurt your bettas. I have it in my betta community tank. The betta, rasboras, and cories are all good. All three mystery snails and three nerites munch on it from time to time.
 

KatherineCross

Member
JLeeM said:
The cuttlebone only works to a certain point and then stabilizes. To answer your question though, no it shouldn't hurt your bettas. I have it in my betta community tank. The betta, rasboras, and cories are all good. All three mystery snails and three nerites munch on it from time to time.
Ok. Thank you!
 

K-plunk

Member
Possible to have snails with consistent lower ph 7-7.4. not sure of hardness. RO is my primary water supply. Note on ro water: Please don’t give grief, it keeps my perimeters stable . My tap is bad!

So, with that said I’d love to get a couple snails. My son likes the mystery snails and rams horn but are there other pretty colored snails to can have?
 

JLeeM

Member
K-plunk said:
Possible to have snails with consistent lower ph 7-7.4. not sure of hardness. RO is my primary water supply. Note on ro water: Please don’t give grief, it keeps my perimeters stable . My tap is bad!

So, with that said I’d love to get a couple snails. My son likes the mystery snails and rams horn but are there other pretty colored snails to can have?
Nerites come in lots of different shell varieties. Most people like the zebra and tigers. They're really good at eating algae too.
 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
AshleyM said:
Does the cuttlebone just float and add calcium to the water to be absorbed by the snails? Will the calcium hurt my African dwarf frog or my guppies? Mess with water parameters?
Cuttlebone will float for a while, and then may sink. You could also wedge it under something to keep it at the bottom of the tank or add it to the filter media. I don't have experience with frogs, but I'd guess extra calcium wouldn't hurt them. The guppies should be completely fine with it. As to parameters, I've heard some people reference it slightly impacting parameters, but personal experience I have never seen a change in parameters due to the addition of cuttlebone.

pitbull2299 said:
So I've had my snail for a little while and I've noticed he's become very lethargic. His water parameters are fine, but he won't eat any of the algae pellets I've left him or the cucumbers, and those are susually his favorite. He's still moving, but it's very slow and he spends most of his time sitting on the sides of the tank/on the leaves of his amazon sword. Help?
With the weather being cooler, has the temp in the tank decreased? Also, how old is he? Any chance he's being harassed by tank mates?
 

pitbull2299

Member
Bithimala said:
Cuttlebone will float for a while, and then may sink. You could also wedge it under something to keep it at the bottom of the tank or add it to the filter media. I don't have experience with frogs, but I'd guess extra calcium wouldn't hurt them. The guppies should be completely fine with it. As to parameters, I've heard some people reference it slightly impacting parameters, but personal experience I have never seen a change in parameters due to the addition of cuttlebone.


With the weather being cooler, has the temp in the tank decreased? Also, how old is he? Any chance he's being harassed by tank mates?
I don't think so; I keep my room at a steady 70-75 degrees F on the heat setting. (I keep several tropical plants in my room haha, so the temp has to be steady for them as well) I have only had him about a month, but by his size, I'd say he's getting older. When I first got Squoosh, he was tiny, probably less than an inch big. He's nearly doubled in size, from what I can tell. He lives alone, so I don't think it's that, either. I put in some freshly-blanched spinach in today and he jumped on it, but he is still moving slower than he used to.
 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
If the tank was at 75 and then moved down to 70, that would cause a decrease in activity. Some do also tend to go through phases where they'll be less active for a bit, then go back to zooming around everywhere. Maybe try changing around some different foods and such, but if he's going for the spinach, I'd go with that for a bit. Maybe he got bored with the other options, lol. I'd keep an eye on him for now, but it may not be any cause for concern.
 

BBnL

Member
Just read that feeding mysterys extra calcium in form of crushed egg shells and hikarI crab food also helps them. Spinach has more calcium than cucumber, I think, so maybe that's what your guy craves? Such cool creatures.
 

WeAreAllMadHere

Member
JLeeM said:
The cuttlebone only works to a certain point and then stabilizes. To answer your question though, no it shouldn't hurt your bettas. I have it in my betta community tank. The betta, rasboras, and cories are all good. All three mystery snails and three nerites munch on it from time to time.
Do you just drop it in??
 

JLeeM

Member
WeAreAllMadHere said:
Do you just drop it in??
You can put pieces into a HOB or canister filter pretty easily. If using carbon, make sure the water hits it AFTER the carbon. You can also put larger pieces in the actual tank, but it won't have as great an effect probably with carbon filtration in effect. Also, dry pieces float for a while. You can either let them do this until they sink, or boil them for a few minutes and then add them after they cool off.
 

Snailwhisperer

Member
I dropped mine in and let them float. The snails drabbed on, floated around and parachuted down. It was fun to watch. Eventually they sank. I a excited to have more floating pieces.
 
  • Thread Starter

Bithimala

Member
Snailwhisperer said:
I dropped mine in and let them float. The snails drabbed on, floated around and parachuted down. It was fun to watch. Eventually they sank. I a excited to have more floating pieces.
This is what I do.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Strange as it seems, in the years I have been a member at Fishlore and having many mysteries (that breed) I have never been to the snail forum. Thank you for this thread. A great read.
 

seth rodgers

Member
so it is ok to put raw zuchinI in and it will go to the bottom?
 

JLeeM

Member
seth rodgers said:
so it is ok to put raw zuchinI in and it will go to the bottom?
Raw zucchinI will float. You can do several different things to get it to stay on the bottom though. You can cut it into coins, boil them for 2-3 minutes, cool them, and even store in a freezer. You can just thaw what you need then. Or you can stab a skewer through it into the substrate. Or stab a fork into it and just put the whole thing on the bottom. You can even buy a contraption online called a screwcumber. Whatever works for you.
 

seth rodgers

Member
JLeeM said:
Raw zucchinI will float. You can do several different things to get it to stay on the bottom though. You can cut it into coins, boil them for 2-3 minutes, cool them, and even store in a freezer. You can just thaw what you need then. Or you can stab a skewer through it into the substrate. Or stab a fork into it and just put the whole thing on the bottom. You can even buy a contraption online called a screwcumber. Whatever works for you.
thanks!
 
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