Mystery Snail Care Guide & Species Profile

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The mystery snail is a freshwater snail of the Ampullariidae family. These snails’ color variations, ease of care, beneficial algae-eating behavior, and peaceful temperament make them popular with aquarists. Reaching up to 2 inches in diameter, mystery snails are ideal for small, 5-gallon tanks.

Mystery Snail Facts & Overview

mystery snail moving on substrate

Scientific name:Pomacea bridgesii
Common namesMystery snail, spike-topped apple snail
Distribution:South America
Size:Up to 2 inches
Life expectancy:1–2 years
Color:Brown, black, blue, purple, gold, and white
Minimum tank size:5 gallons
Temperature:68–82°F (20–28°C)
Hardness:7–18 dGH
Care level:Easy


The mystery snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is native to South America, where it inhabits rivers, lakes, and swamps of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. This species is common in the wild and isn’t considered endangered or threatened.

Like many other invertebrates, mystery snails are natural scavengers that feed on algae, food leftovers, and detritus in the water — behaviors that help keep tanks clean.

Adult Size & Lifespan

Adult mystery snails reach 2 inches in diameter, with females being slightly larger than males. This species has an average lifespan of one year in the wild, though can live up to two years in captivity with proper care and ideal tank conditions.


Mystery snails are prolific in the pet trade and are readily available at most fish stores. Expect to pay up to $6 per snail, with the price depending on the snail’s color morph. A group of six mystery snails costs between $18 and $30.

Mystery snails can be bought online from Aquatic Arts, LiveAquaria, and Flip Aquatics.

Appearance & Behavior

Mystery snails come in a wide range of colors. This species is peaceful and makes a wonderful addition to a community tank.

mystery snail climbing a log

Colors, Patterns, and Size

Mystery snails have large, attractive shells that come in a variety of colors. Common colors include gold, brown, black, and ivory, while the rarest varieties are purple and albino snails. Patterns and markings can also differ, though the shell is typically banded or solid.

Adult mystery snails are 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and males are slightly smaller and have more rounded shell openings than females. The easiest way to sex mystery snails is to take them out of the tank and look underneath their shells. The sex organ is located next to the lung sac. Males have a penis sheath, while females simply have a hole.

The mystery snail’s body is typically a light beige or ivory color with dark flecks, and its siphon (breathing tube) is long and protruding. This species can also breathe through gills.

Mystery snails are susceptible to several health issues that can cause shell changes. Signs of illness include shell discoloration, brittleness, and white spots.

Typical Behavior

Mystery snails are peaceful invertebrates that get along well with other species and their own kind. The snails are slow-moving, keep to themselves, and spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank eating algae, detritus, or food leftovers.

Mystery snails are well-known for their captivating jumping behavior, where they’ll climb up the tank walls, release their grip, and glide back down to the bottom.

When threatened, the mystery snail retreats inside its shell and shuts its trap door, called the operculum.

Mystery Snail Tank & Water Requirements

The mystery snail is hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions, though it thrives in a biotope tank setup (replicates natural habitat). The tank must be at least 5 gallons, densely vegetated, and have a hard substrate. Water should be warm and on the alkaline side.

planted tank for mystery snail
Mystery snails prefer well planted tanks

Habitat and Tank Requirements

The mystery snail is accustomed to moderately hard, alkaline water and temperatures between 68 and 82°F. The pH level should never drop below 7.5 because this neutral value can cause the shell to dissolve or grow improperly. Monitor the pH levels daily with a pH meter.

The substrate must be hard and offer good resistance to allow the snail to easily move around the bottom of the tank. Small pebbles, sand, and gravel are ideal. Avoid materials that are harsh or rough as they can damage the mystery snail’s delicate body.

Adding rocks and plants throughout the tank helps mystery snails feel at home. Suitable plants include anubias, java moss, hornwort, and bolbitis.

Mystery snails often go up to the surface to breathe in air, so ensure there’s a gap of 2 to 4 inches between the lid and water. Because of their adventurous nature and excellent climbing ability, a secure tank lid is needed to prevent the snails from escaping.

Water Conditions

Water type:Slow-moving freshwater
Tank size:Minimum 5 gallons, increase size by 5 gallons for every two mystery snails
Water temperature:68–82°F (20–28°C)
Substrate:Hard sand, pebbles, gravel
Tank setup:Densely vegetated with plenty of rocks. Water level a few inches below the lid
Acidity:Alkaline, 7.5–8.5
Water hardness:Moderately hard, 7–18 dGH
Filter:Filtration system that generates a low current
Lighting:Dim to moderate. Avoid harsh, direct lighting
Water supplements:Calcium

Keeping water fluctuations at a minimum and adding calcium supplements to the tank helps mystery snails live healthy, long lives. Make sure the lid is secure to prevent these invertebrates from escaping.

Care & Diet

Mystery snails are ideal for beginner aquarists because the species is peaceful, hardy, and isn’t picky over food. Common health problems that affect mystery snails include parasites, stunted growth, and shell issues.

Diet and Feeding

Mystery snails happily scavenge on algae and leftovers in the water, but their diet can be supplemented with algae wafers, pellets, and blanched vegetables like zucchini, lettuce, and cucumber. Adjust the amount of additional food based on the quantity of algae in the tank.

Avoid overfeeding mystery snails because too much food can lead to health problems and reduced water quality.

General Care

Mystery snails are easy to care for because they can tolerate a range of water conditions and have minimal feeding requirements. Perform partial, 25% water changes weekly to keep ammonia and nitrate levels low. Provide calcium supplements regularly, and keep the tank out of direct sunlight.

Common Problems

Mystery snails are a relatively healthy species, but poor quality water or an inappropriate diet can lead to several health issues.

Parasites can use mystery snails as their hosts. Affected snails present with white spots, lethargy, and shell discoloration. The affected snails should be quarantined immediately and the tank temperature should be gradually raised by a few degrees to speed up the parasite’s growth cycle.

Without proper nutrition, mystery snails can experience stunted growth. Provide a nutritious, calcium-rich diet with leafy greens and sinking wafers.

A lack of calcium in the water can cause the mystery snail’s shell to become brittle, cracked, and discolored. Calcium supplements and a stable, appropriate pH level can restore shell health.

Avoid using copper-based medications because the chemical is highly toxic to mystery snails.

Is a Mystery Snail Dangerous?

Mystery snails are peaceful and completely harmless. This species can be handled, but handling should be brief to prevent the snail from becoming stressed or drying out.

Mystery snails, particularly wild-caught snails, can harbor parasites and must be quarantined in a separate tank before being introduced to the main tank. The quarantine period should last for three to four weeks.

two mystery snails near a rock


Mystery snails are gonochoristic egg layers. As long as there are males and females in the tank, the snails will breed readily without any intervention. However, plentiful food, a low water level, and a warm temperature help establish ideal breeding conditions.

Females lay their eggs inside cocoons at the water’s surface. The eggs are pink and hatch within two to four weeks. To give the baby snails the best chance of success, remove them and raise them in a separate, 5-gallon tank.

Newly-hatched baby snails drop down into the water, develop quickly, and feed on the same foods as adults.

Breeding can be stressful for females because the males will persistently chase after them. Keep males in a separate tank for a few days if females show signs of stress.

Tank Mates

Mystery snails live peacefully with their own kind and other freshwater species. However, these snails are small and can’t defend themselves, so they shouldn’t be kept with large, aggressive fish.

mystery snail with tank mates

Suitable tank mates for the mystery snail include:

Should You Get a Mystery Snail for Your Aquarium?

Mystery snails are wonderful pets for beginner fishkeepers because the species is peaceful and easy to care for, and the snails help keep a tank clean.

You should get a mystery snail if you have a freshwater tank that’s at least 5 gallons, contains plenty of plants, and houses peaceful, small fish. Avoid mystery snails if your tank is on the acidic side or houses aggressive, boisterous species.

As long as the mystery snail is properly fed and kept in ideal water conditions, it’ll liven up your tank with its bright colors and captivating behaviors.

About Robert 468 Articles
Robert Woods is the creator of FishKeeping World, a third-generation fish keeper, and a graduate in animal welfare and behavior. He is also a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, and the Nature Conservancy.


  1. Sandra Gaffney says:

    We love our snails and have 2. They are yellow inca females and are definitely one of the biggest personalities in our tank. Ours are now 1.5 and 2 inches long and approximately 1 inch across.

    • Linda W. says:

      We have a white mystery snail. She has our attention. She is always performing these falls that end up gloding onto a plant and down a few steps of a house that we have in the tank. If I could post a video, which I have of her in action. She is hilarious!

      • Barbara says:

        I have one that does that too. S/he balloons or parachutes down to the bottom of the tank, the climbs up and does it again all day long. Very acrobatic! Sometimes bounces off the plants, tumbles, no matter. Cracks me up.

  2. Sean says:

    I got a gold mystery snail a month ago to add to my fish tank, just this morning I noticed a cacoon/sac with many eggs just above the water line. I thought it took two of them? Was it pregnant over a month? Derp…

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Sean, yes it is quite possible. Females can hold sperm for up to a year. Thanks, Robert

    • Catherine Sharp says:

      the females can hold sperm for months at a time.

  3. Sara says:

    I just bought a Blue Mystery Snail, how do I tell if I have a male or female?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Sara, males are normally smaller than females, if you turn the snail upside down, males have a white sex organ (you’ll need to wait for it to peak out of the shell). Thanks, Robert

  4. Cpen says:

    I have a few of these in different colors and love them. The males are aggressive toward other males and large adults will attack other smaller ones. I have a smaller tank for the younger ones so this doesn’t happen. Planting with smaller moss in foreground and java fern, swords and penny white seem to make them very happy. Water condition is key to long life and in smaller than 10 gallon tank I suppliment with algae wafers.??

  5. Mary Jane says:

    Hi, I just got a new black mystery snail but instead of an aquarium, I have a terrarium with no fish and just moss balls. What food/supplements will I need to put in the water to keep my snail healthy?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Mary Jane, they’ll get most of their food from the plants (I’m assuming you have some other plants in your terrarium?) and the algae. You can supplement their diet with bottom pellets or flake food. Thanks, Robert

  6. Katelyn says:

    I noticed a clump of something on the inside of my snails shell. Looks like eggs but not the ones I’ve seen in pictures. Any idea of what it could be? The snail is roaming around the tank just fine.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Katelyn, do you have a picture that I can take a closer look at? Thanks, Robert

  7. Shawn Arey says:

    Does anyone know if a golden male mates with a blue female, what color their offspring will be?

    • Alma says:

      I have golden shell with blue/dark body. They are beautiful!

    • Alix says:

      It depends on the genetics of each one! There are possibilities for almost every kind of snail, but you will mostly likely end up with about half-and-half golds and females. If you have any parent with a black or brown shells, the offspring will be mostly black/brown (this is called wild-type) because it’s such a dominant trait. That’s why I tend to keep my wild-type snails away from the designer ones when I’m trying to breed them. If you have any wild-type snails or they were ever housed with one, be aware that they tend to favor sperm retention of wild-type snails for some reason? I’ve noticed that in my population- whenever my guys retain sperm from previous tank mates, it’s always a wild-type tank mate. Maybe they just prefer breeding with wild-types for camouflage?

  8. B. Green says:

    I’m thinking about starting a 5 gallon tank with a betta, two ghost shrimp, and a mystery snail. Would a snail do well with a betta fish? I’d hate for him to be scared all the time. Also, how do the snails do with artificial plants? This will be a beginner tank for me. I’m not experienced with live vegetation.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hello, this sounds like an ideal beginner tank. You can choose artificial plants as long as you feed your snails and shrimps algae wafers. Thanks, Robert

    • Mel says:

      I had a very with the snails and ghost shrimp but about two months in my very attacked and killed them all:(

    • Frank says:

      I have a betta with a snail and they get along just fine. I had 4 ghost shrimp also in the tank but as soon as they got nice and fat my betta ate them all….except for the heads which was hilarious.

    • Kayla says:

      I had a betta with two snails, the betta killed them both. I hear it just depends on the fish though.

    • Barbara says:

      I got my betta and mystery snail at the same time and held my breath. I think this helped as the betta hadn’t established his territory yet. I think the betta May have nipped off one feeler on the snail so I kept an eye out to see if the betta was harassing the snail, but he mostly leaves it alone and the feeler did grow back. I think it really depends on the temperament of the betta. The mystery snail is very active, climbing up and parachuting down the tank all day long. Love watching it and it is some company for the betta. I know people say male bettas are solitary but without a chance to breed and raise babies as is their instinct, I think they can get bored.

    • Brandy says:

      I know this comment is old, but wanted to reply in case others were wondering.
      I have a 5-gallon tank with a betta, 2 beautiful mystery snails and 6 ghost shrimp. Occasionally the betta will dart to remind the shrimp that he’s the boss but otherwise everyone appears to get along beautifully. No one’s become lunch, yet. I also keep the betta well-fed, though. Brine shrimp and pellets. I also add a tums to the tank occasionally for the snails’ shells. They love it.
      I also have 3 plants; crystal temple, melon swords, and micro swords.
      Hubz and I love to sit and drink our coffee in the morning and watch our tank. I always thought of snails as slow, but ours move pretty quickly! LOL

      • Erik M. says:

        I know I’m super late, just thought I’d comment my experience! So ghost shrimp… I had them w a betta/snail combo, wayyyy back in 2005! I was 18 then; I had kept a few tanks at that point in my life, yet I was an amateur with fish, & more w inverts. I was a green thumb w the plants from a young age. Just sayin!!

        That being said, I am glad it sounds successful for you, bc mine was slightly problematic. I know people are worried about Bettas becoming nippy; but actually they are very secretive fish. The aggression is their emo-antisocial way! If they were a zodiac sign, it wouldn’t be Pisces, thats for sure. More like a scorpio! Love the one who they’re closest to (the human), everyone else is potential enemy, so must display fearlessness. I’m jk.. but the shrimp, they are sooo much more active than I anticipated! Unlike the dwarf shrimp species, like cherry, amano, etc.

        I really learned how reclusive bettas are by mixing them with the ghosties. The constant swimming around was very stressful. Plus they are the greediest eaters ive ever seen in any aquarium creature. If I fed anything, in any tank, the ghosties could look like they’re at a buffet. You’d swear they were on “My 600 lb. Life,” JK. I had to cordon them off just to feed the fish. Like, I’d keep the shrimp in a net, covered, for five mins kinda. That’s what tenacious eaters ghost shrimp are. If I fed frozen worms, to my 65 gal tank, God save us. Cause the shrimp would be carrying a BUNDLE of bloodworms around while gathering more. Like winter was coming and they needed to fatten up?!

        Wafers, flakes, I usually pulverize a bit for better chewability/digestion, but ghosts hoard those, too. Mini Hikari foods, pellets, frozen, don’t matter. I never would’ve thought these 30-cent shrimp from Petsmart would steal all my fishes’ meals! Also, ghosties grow huge compared to dwarf varieties. I didn’t expect that, like the 18 yr old I was. lol.

        I’d be thinking of a larger tank soon, if I were you! But you do you! 🙂 Or, replace with amano at some point. Buuuut, in my experience, anytime there were fish mixed w amano shrimp, I NEVER saw those shrimp again. EVER. And where I live, they aren’t 30 cents. They’re more like $2-5 each. Spent the money, added shrimp first OR after fish – didn’t matter. Like, they ra, in a ten gallon box. Haha, fled and died. Almost as emo as a betta!! I do have tons of plants in all my tanks, always have; but even nano fish, like neon’s, endler’s, otocinclus, or cory pygmaeus sent the amano FLEEING. So the betta…bottom line for me – ghost shrimp, stress betta; small shrimp, never see shrimp again. haha! It’s really not that abysmal, not trying to sound dramatic. I was disappointed in my own ignorance in the past, is all. 🙂 email me if you wanna chat – clearly I can talk about this crap to no end! sorry for the rant!! its an addiction… [email protected] I’m Erik in San Diego. Later!!

      • Erik M. says:

        also, if you’re still unsure about plants – just get anubias, java fern, + bolbitis (African water fern). Also Bucephalandra aka ‘Buce’. These are very forgiving plants, and prefer low light. They can burn or turn yellow if the light goes too high. But they will still thrive in most cases, and just get bigger, faster. The real benefit is they’re epiphytes, meaning they grow epiphytically, attached to objects in the water. so no soil needed. Simply tie them to rocks, driftwood, or buy them already attached to wood. Over time, the long roots will find their way and dig down. You can trim these plants a lot though, they really seem indestructible. One piece of java fern leaf will produce babies. Plus these plants occupy some of the same niches, environmentally, as bettas. Not super fast-flowing water, where they feed off of fish waste, dead plant matter + crumbs of fish food 🙂

  9. Tara says:

    I have a 5-gallon tank with a beta fish. I have some live plants started but they aren’t growing much yet. If I were to get a moss ball would that be enough food for a mystery snail? My tank is brand new so I doubt it would have much algae.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Tara, moss balls are great but I would also recommend feeding them some algae wafers too. Thanks, Robert

  10. Glenn Campbell says:

    Hello. Our golden snails started of as a pair; we know have over 40 spread through 3 different tanks. The breeding pair have passed on but their offspring who are all different sizes due to their environment and tanks. You can really see how closely related to Octopus they are. (Cephalopod). Sometimes they swim/float upside down;. foot out searching for food. Water tension. Looks quite funny. Cheers Glenn.

  11. Jamie Lewis says:

    When Mystery Snails start breeding, they can put rabbits to shame! Up until recently, I had been removing the clutches as laid, freezing the eggs (I don’t want to be responsible for introducing an invasive species), and tossing them out. I’ve literally done this process at least two dozen times. Even with removing the eggs, I ended up with half a dozen hatching and growing to adulthood. I ended up identifying my males from females when I found them breeding and put the genders in separate tanks. My population dropped due to some dying of old age and a few escaping the tank. I put one of the males in the female tank, and clutches statred appearing again within days. I pulled three clutches for incubation (in a storage bowl lined with paper towels that I floated in the tank). My first hatchlings appeared today and I’m staggered by the sheer number that’s coming out of just one clutch! I’m planning on raising them in a breeding tank floating in my main tank, but I suspect that I’ll have TONS of snails that I won’t need!

  12. Jackie says:

    Hello, I was wandering if it is normal for a mystery snail to hang out above the water line? If so, how long can they safely stay there before they dry out? Thanks

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Jackie, this is normal behavoir, they are likely just grazing on things that have built up on the water line. If you’re concerned just gently move him back into the water. Thanks, Robert

  13. SHERYL says:

    I really love snails. I have some in each of my tanks. The Nerites do lay those white eggs around but not too bad. If they are on the sides, I s rape them off. If in the substrate I just leave them. Is this okay? I love Mystery snails. Is it pkay to not have cats and algae eaters (fish) if I have enough of these to keep my tank clean? Of course I do clean the substrate and do water changes regularly. LOL I also have some of the little Trumpet Snails(?) that hitchiked on my Aracharis plants. They do multiply but not overly and I often find some deceased. They do a great job although I never see them burrowing into the gravel. I think these are the ones who are suppose to like to do that.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Sheryl, as long as you don’t find you have huge algae build ups, they should be absolutely fine. Regular water changes and maintenance will also help. Thanks, Robert

  14. Kylee says:

    Hey i was wondering if this woud be overcrouding my tank/what should i do instead? I have a 55 gallon tank and was looking into buying tropical fish. I want a variety in my tank. Would it be okay to have 5 ghost shrimp, 5 cherry shrimp, 5 mystery snails, 10 guppies, and 5 platies. In this tank there are only real plants. I havent gotten any of these yet but i do have the plants so i can edit the plan.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Kylee, this doesn’t sound like overcrowding to me – have fun! Robert

  15. Ashley says:

    Hello, my son received a snail and a beta fish in a tank from
    His grandparents last week for his Birthday. When we first got Mr.Snail (my son named him) he was all yellow. Now within the last couple days he has a large black area on his shell. Is this normal?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Ashley, it depends what type of snail it is. Gold Inca Mystery snails develop a black part on their shell which is totally normal. Thanks, Robert

  16. Katie says:

    Hi Robert,
    My mystery snail flipped on its back and hasn’t moved. There also seems to be a thin, white filmy substance coming from him. What is that and is there something I should do?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Katie, this is a normal response for a snail that feels threatened, or if the water chemistry is different to normal. Are there any factors which could have caused this? Thanks, Robert

  17. Chloe says:

    Hello, I would love some problem solving support as I am concerned about our mystery snail. We have him in a 5.5 gallon tank with a Betta and four tetras for a month. The tank seems to be cycled, I’m testing for this every other day and changing water twice a week. The snail has become very inactive and is not interested in the algae wafers I provide for him. He isn’t moving much and seems to not be able to close his foot plate (forget what it’s called) completely all the time.

    I haven’t checked the KH levels (going to buy a test tonight). Aquarium has no live plants. Would love any helpful advice. I am new to this hobby and care that I do my best to keep things healthy for our new friends. Thanks!

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Chloe, thanks for your message. Firstly, your tank is quite heavily overstocked with that many fish, I’d suggest upgrading to at least a 10 gallon tank, depending on the Tetras you are keeping. When you do a water change, do you just change around half of it or do a full change? You only need to carry out partial water changes. You’ll need to have left your tank for around 4-6 weeks before adding any fish, to ensure it is cycled properly. Many thanks, Robert

      • Chloe says:

        Hi Robert,

        Yes I realized after that the tank is heavily stocked. Beginners excitement I suppose. Thanks for the advice to upgrade. I change about 25% of the tank twice a week currently. We’ve had the tank since September 8th and as I said I’ve been monitoring water conditions.

        Do you think that the overstocking is the cause of the snail’s malaise? And that getting a bigger tank will improve the water quality enough to support it’s health?

        Thank you for your advice,

        • Erik says:

          you only need to change 25% once a week…or 50 like I did, that might be best w that many fish. Then again ive only had ten gallon at the smallest ever. That counts as nano, right… lol. Or get more anubias, java fern and bolbitis fern to offset/absorb some of the excess nutrients.

  18. Tee says:

    Hi Robert,
    I have two mystery snails in a 10 gallon live planted tank (along with 6 fishes who ignore the snails). The male is constantly mating with the female. How can I assess her stress level? It seems like he won’t leave her alone, and I worry about her losing conditioning/getting sick/etc. Any recommendations? Are they social or solitary? Is the companionship worth the physical stress, or would she like the tank to herself? (I see, and remove, a few egg clutches a week).

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Tee, watch out for any signs of stress including change of shell color or deterioration in the shell. I would imagine that they are fine living together. Can you add some plants or hiding spots for the female? Many thanks, Robert

      • Tee says:

        She has plenty of plants and a little “house” to hide in. He’s just fixated on her. Are they a solitary species or do they tend to be communal? Thank you!

        • Fishkeeping World says:

          Hello, they are solitary and she’ll be fine on her own. Thanks, Robert

  19. Craig Thomas says:

    I have a ton of newly hatched mystery snails. I have them in a 10 gallon tank. How much water should i have in the tank?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Craig, just a regular water level is fine for them. The lower water level is mostly to encourage breeding. Thanks, Robert

  20. Sadaf Shaw says:

    I just noticed literally ten minutes ago that there are tiny little bugs on top of gravel layer of my 10 gallon tank. I saw a couple on my golden mystery snail as well. Ugh! Help! I have one guppy and three harlequin rasboras with artificial plants. Are these parasites harmful?? I cannot get much of a picture since they’re tiny but the size of a needle head. Tiny!! They look almost grayish.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Sadaf, can you describe them any more so I can help you to identify them please? Thanks, Robert

  21. Cody says:

    I have a 3.7 gallon tank with one betta and two mystery snails. Is this a case of overcrowding? I’ve had them for the past few months(just bought a heater with the weather changing) but was thinking about a 5 gallon tank if necessary. I’ve also included a few live plants and moss ball.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Cody, I wouldn’t keep a Betta fish in anything less than a 5 gallon tank. Robert

  22. Andy says:

    Just got my first Inca snail. Noticed that there’s a white film all over the shell with tiny white spots . Not solid, so don’t think it’s inch . Kind of cloudy. Can’t find anything online. Any ideas ?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Andy, The spots could be forming because your water is too acidic. Check the water parameters and feed some calcium fortified shrimp food, algae pellets and boiled spinach in small amounts. Thanks, Robert

  23. Wayne Eckersley says:

    Hi; I currently have about 12 Apple Snails and are actively laying eggs which we have now incubated in a plastic aerated tub with damp tissue (following articles on You Tube by Rachel O’Leary and others)
    Can you please clarify if these are ILLEGAL in the UK. According to DEFRA they are in the UK and Europe yet they are readily available in Aquarium Shops?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Wayne, yes they are illegal in the UK. Many thanks, Robert

  24. Fred says:

    Hi. I keep reading they are good for the tank, focus on algae… but when I dropped them into a tank of Jungle Vallisneria, the otherwise healthy plants got CROPPED in under 10 mins. They could have gone for algae, instead went after the plants. What plants are SAFE around these chaps?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Fred, these fish are herbivorous so there aren’t many plants they won’t eat. What you can do it choose fast growing hardy plants such as Anacharis which you can read about here: Thanks, Robert

  25. Stacie says:

    I have 2 blue mystery snails and the larger one has been attempting to mate with the smaller one relentlessly for the past week or so… however, I have realized that the smaller one does is a MALE! What is happening? Why? The bigger one keeps damaging his shell doing this pointless act.

  26. lucinda says:

    This information is great! This is my first time with a snail, and I have been trying to learn as much as I can about them. This is going to be a long comment. I have a gold mystery snail, and I wasn’t feeding him correctly (or enough I suppose). he was moving around the tank a lot, the stopped and was hauled up in his shell for probably two weeks. I tested my water, some levels were not in good zones, and I knew that probably had a little to do with it. I got the levels where they need to be, but when he started coming out of his shell I noticed the door was not attached like it should be. I did some reading and learned of some things I should be feeding him. I still have him in the tank, but isolated. I started with some spinach since I didn’t have kale, but made sure I got some. He has been out of his shell and moving about like he used to, but his door is still not where I would be comfortable reintroducing him to the tank. Should I let him go in isolation, and see if he regenerates, or just prepare him his own tank and see how he does?

  27. Jon says:

    I have a 55 gal tank with 4 angelfish and lots of java fern will mystery snails be ok thanks

  28. Emily says:

    I am starting a group project and was looking for suggestions on the best set up for a beginners tank? Our project is directed toward the diet preferences of the snails with fresh (blanched) vegetables, algae wafers, and shrimp pellets. We planned on carrying the diets for one week a piece and measuring different variables to determine their growth after their each diet.
    I just need to know the best habitat for them since they will have to be in a controlled environment. We have two ten gallon tanks arranged for them and will most likely have 3-6 snails each one.
    Would artificial plants suffice? Is there a preferred substrate? How often should the water be changed? What is the best calcium substitute, powder/liquid or cuddle bones? How can I anchor the blanched vegetables in the aquarium, or do I need to?
    Thank you for the advice,

  29. Emily says:

    I am starting a group project and was looking for suggestions on the best set up for a beginners tank? Our project is directed toward the diet preferences of the snails with fresh (blanched) vegetables,

  30. Aaron Harris says:

    My snail went up to the water level and a tentacle came out and extended toward the surface. He did a weird undulating motion while he extended it. What was that about?

  31. Crystal says:

    I just bought 2 mystery gold snails yesterday. They were active most of the evening and this morning one was but now they both have been mostly closed up in their shell. How long do they stay closed up? One has been at least 12 hours and the other half the day. Normal?

  32. Stephanee says:

    We bought a mystery snail with 2 balloon molly fish, but it died after a few days. I then bought a living plant and let the water adjust for a few days before getting a new snail. One day after adding the new adult snail, there was a teeny tiny baby snail cleaning the glass when we woke up. Could it have been attached to the adult when I brought it home? We definitely did not have eggs, and it was honestly one day after bringing home the new friend.

  33. Nicki Klunk says:

    We have a snail and a beta. We have had them for several months now. Over the past couple of months the snail is being mean to the fish. The snail comes out of the shell and will smack the fish in the face. And last night had had the fish cornered and had a hold of it. Should we separate them or is this normal? We have never had a fish and snail last this long.

  34. Donna Triola says:

    Good morning. I was wondering if the white eggs my mystery ? laid are fertile?

  35. Clair says:

    I have a small tank well oxygenated, with 2 tetras and 3 mystery snails. I have Had bad luck with having pond snails and rams horn snails take over this tiny space when I only want mystery snails. I am Hoping to add some plants to the space but want to ensure they are pest snail free. If i treat the plants then rinse well and wait 2 weeks or so before moving to my mystery tank will that be safe for my mysteries? Most plant treatments kill invertebrates which is what i want But not the “good” ones. Which plant treatments do you recommend? Thx

  36. Hk. says:

    I have put two snails in my aquarium but my Tinfoil barb is chasing it down. What is the solution for it?

  37. Matt says:

    Hello Robert!

    I recently bought 2 blue mystery snails for my 10 gallon tank and was reading that hard water is preferred for their health. What is your recommendation for increasing water hardness?

  38. anonymous says:

    omg i got a blue mystery snail today and this was so helpful thank you

  39. Jordyn says:

    We have a 5 gallon tank with a snail and a betta. It has a small waterfall at the top to filter and cycle the water and there’s a small betta tank heater. Our snail was pretty active for a while when we brought him home (the tank was pretty dirty because our daughter had accidentally put too much food in) but he hasn’t moved now in about 6 weeks. He’s stuck on an artificial tree, the water is very clear and there’s no smell. We aren’t sure what to do. It feels like a long time and like he must have died, but we don’t want to throw him out if he’s still alive. We don’t want to un-stick him and check him out because if he’s alive, then we can’t re-stick him and it leaves him exposed to the betta. Any advice?

  40. Avi says:

    My mystery snails just laid eggs! I’m so excited. I’m wondering if I need to worry about the cardinal tetras in the same tank eating the babies? I’ve seen them eat worms and peck at tiny pond snails when they drop from the sides of the tank, so I wasn’t sure if I need to move the egg sack to a different tank or something if I’m hoping to raise some. Is there advice on how to go about setting up a snail nursery if that is the move? thank you!!

  41. Sandy says:

    What type of calcium do I add to my tank for my snail? I have read on other sites a crushed tums but this site just says to add calcium but offers no suggestion in the article. Or how often.

  42. REESE says:



  43. Heather says:

    I had two mystery snails in with my male betta however, he got aggressive so I moved them into the tank with my female betta (10 G). It is a relatively new tank so there isn’t a bunch of algae so I’ve been making sure to put algae wafers in. The thing I’m worried about is they seem far less active in this tank. They seem to stick to the side near the water line and not move. I’ve tested the water and everything comes back ok and the heater keeps it around 78.6. Could the flow rate be too high (it is quite low for my betta but stronger than my last tank)? I’m just not sure why they went from being so active to quite inactive. Any insight would be appreciate as I want to keep them happy and healthy. Perhaps I’m overreacting. Thanks!

  44. Mallory says:

    Hey there! I recently upgraded my betta and mystery snail from a 5 gallon to a 10 gallon tank. I guess I carried away and bought two more mystery snails. It was only after purchasing them that I did research and realized the 1 per 5 rule. The three of them will NOT stop breeding!!! I don’t have space for all of the babies and I don’t really know what to do with them. I plan on contacting local pet stores to inquire whether or not they would take some of them off of my hands but I’d really love it if they just quit mating!! All three are mating with one another and at times they seem to all participate at once…??? I have no idea what’s happening. Any advice on how to just get them to quit? I plan on moving the small ones to my old tank until I get rid of them. Should I move one of the adults there too? Thank you in advance!

  45. Sheila Aaron says:

    Y does my mystery snail stand up sometimes on his butt and just hangs there 4 awhile? Is he ok?

  46. Blake C says:

    I’m starting a brand new first time Betta home! I know I’m excited too! My question is about mystery snails though. I see their water parameters are a little different than the Bettas, but listed as a good tank mate; Are they hardy and can adjust? Or do I need to do something special or extra for them?

  47. Bear says:

    I have 2 mystery snails. One has a brown plate…the other doesn’t seem to have one at all. Is that normal? Both are active and seem happy. They like to climb silk plants and the keel off to bottom. I do plan to add live plants as I can.

  48. zach says:

    Hi! I currently have a non-planted 55 gallon community tank. I am thinking of adding a mystery snail but there are no plants. I drop algae wafers in often but they usually get gobbled up by my peppered corys and even the mid tank community fish will come down and nip at them. I’m afraid the snail will be too slow to get to the algae in time. Thoughts?

  49. Hector says:

    I just put 3 mystery snails in my 29 gal. tank and it was great to see them eating the algae that started to grow 3 weeks ago. It is well cycled and have 15 fish in the Tank with peaceful fish. I read where a cuddle bone in the tank was a good source of calcium for the snails, please comment.

  50. Gloria says:

    Do snails need to be separated when they are too “loving”? Can they overdo it?

  51. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for such wonderful guides. I have several mystery snails in my large, 37-gallon tank, and I could watch them for hours. Also, could I have your permission to use your amazing guides as reference material on my Twitch page? I would love to have links to guides for each type of animal in my tank.

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