As far as we have heard, most aquariums don’t take the risk of keeping snails in their tanks because the rumor has it, they breed to an excellent degree.
But when it comes to mystery snails, you should know they are quite different than snails.
But why aren’t they known for being pests?
That’s a common question every pet owner asks. You will have to acquire more information on their breeding process to get your answer.
How do these mystery snails mate, whether they mate or fight, how many eggs do mystery snails lay?
Let’s find out all.
Mystery snails aren’t asexual. They can only reproduce when a female and male snail mates.
During the process, a male snail will attach itself to the female snail and fertilize her. Then the female would lay viable eggs over the waterline after a few days had passed.
It will take about two to four weeks for the eggs to hatch.
This is the entire process that we have told you briefly. We’ll discuss more details on this as we move ahead.
In this Youtube video below, Prime Time Aquatics discussed how to keep mystery snails alive. They can be a great peaceful addition to a community tank.
Lesser known facts about mystery snails
Before we dive into details about how mystery snails mate and everything you will have to do as pet owners, we would like you to dive into the lesser-known facts about mystery snails.
The mystery snails come from a group of water animals known as gastropods. It means “stomach-foot.” Mystery Snails are known to be the largest freshwater snails you can find on the planet.
One of the main characteristics of an Apple Snail or a Mystery Snail is a breathing siphon. If your snail comes with a breathing siphon, then it is indeed a mystery snail.
Another defining characteristic of a Mystery Snail is they lay eggs above the waterline. They are the only fish animals that deposit their eggs in a terrestrial environment.
Another interesting fact about snails is just like humans, they are also either left-handed or right-handed. Apple Snails or Mystery Snails are known for right-handed, which is also referred to as dextral.
Mentioning a few other lesser-known facts about mystery snails,
Tentacles and tankmates
You’re not going to find mystery snails to be friendly with other fish in the aquarium. In fact, most fish tend to bite at the tentacles of mystery snails.
This does hurt them but doesn’t lead to long-lasting damage. Mystery Snails will eventually heal and learn to keep their tentacles closed.
We suggest keeping them in a different aquarium or with fish that won’t pick on their tentacles.
They tend to shine brightly when left alone in their natural habitat.
Mystery snails are known for adapting to their environment pretty quickly. They will eat anything available to them and go with the regular diet that their owners provide them with. Mystery snails can also eat their own kind when they are dead.
However, their preferred mode of diet is rather decaying vegetables.
Breeding these snails is relatively simple and straightforward. As mentioned earlier, mystery snails aren’t asexual, so you will need a male snail and a female snail to procreate.
They will usually breed when there is an increase in their food appetite, and the temperature is warm.
A female snail will always lay eggs above the waterline. So, make sure you leave at least 4-inches of space in the aquarium above water level for the snail to reproduce.
How to breed mystery snails?
Breeding your snails would be the next step to keep these amazing creatures in your aquarium for a long time. This can be a fun and rewarding process.
But where and how to begin?
We are not going to hold back, sharing everything that we have gathered about mystery snails mating from our own experience.
Figure out your colors
First things first, just like the decision you make with cats about the colors. You will have to make the same decision here as well. You can mix some colors of mystery snails to create different colors. They’ll look vibrant in your aquarium.
For instance, golden x blue or wild can give you jade color.
If you strictly stick to one color, make sure you have the parents of the same base color. Making different colored mystery snails mate can even sometimes give you various colors in one breed.
Identify the breeding group
Mystery snails have a specific gender, unlike some other fish you see in the water world. This indicates that you will need a female and make to reproduce. You can figure out the sex of the mystery snails by looking under the shells to see their reproductive part.
This isn’t really a fool-proof way to identify the sex. It’s quite tricky, and sometimes even not experienced owners get any help with this.
So what we suggest is that you get a large group of mystery snails, at least 8 or 10, so there is some assurance a few of them will be of another gender.
You can assess their breeding behavior. A male snail will always try and mount a female snail.
Though they sometimes try to overpower other male snails through this behavior, remember, a male will always be on top, so that’s a little indication for you to figure out the breeding group.
Setting the breeding mood
The best way to set the breeding mood is by raising the water temperature. But wait, don’t do it too quickly, so they end up being shocked. In an ideal situation, we would suggest raising 1 or 2-degree temperature every day until it reaches 77 to 79-degrees.
Personally, we don’t go over 74-degree because we have snails being stressed in higher temperatures. But it’s up to the kind of mystery snails you have and their threshold for higher temperature.
Now it’s for you to provide them with as much feed as you can. Mystery snails need lots of food to induce breeding behavior and to develop eggs.
You can feed them with food containing calcium and protein. Also, don’t forget to add more and more vegetables to the aquarium throughout the day.
The clutches will be as big as good and rich the food is.
Also, since you will be increasing the amount of food. Don’t forget, you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of water.
This will involve daily aquarium maintenance. Bad water stresses out snails and will eventually discourage breeding behavior.
Finally, female snails will require access to oxygen above the waterline to lay their eggs once the breeding has taken place.
Make sure you have at least 2-inches of space of the waterline so that snails won’t have trouble.
Once the eggs have been laid, cover the tank, so there is some level of humidity inside the aquarium because that is also necessary.
In our experience, we found replacing the old water from the aquarium with slightly cooler water stimulated breeding. You can try this as well.
Wondering for how long do mystery snails mate? It will take at least 1 to 6 hours for the process to take place. The male snail will have to crawl over the female snail and mount on her until he is on her right shoulder.
Once they’ve set the position, they perform the deed. Some females tend to go around doing their daily activities and scooting over in the water without a disturbance, while some would just curl up.
Some females will even try to throw their male counterparts off.
You need to know over here that male snails are capable of killing their female counterparts by over-mating with them. You must separate them if the mystery snails are breeding too often.
They only need to mate once to get the eggs.
But we also suggest not to pull the pair apart. Wait until they are done mating. Once it’s done, you can separate the female snail to another fishing tank with all the other pregnant mystery snails.
You can call this tank a harem where all the females lay eggs which are later hatched.
Hatching the eggs
Another common question asked by the pet owners is how long until the female mystery snail lays eggs? It completely depends on the water temperature. Under warmer temperatures, the eggs are usually laid sooner.
Once the female has laid her eggs, remember not to move the clutch for a few days. In the beginning, the clutch is just too sensitive that you can easily end up crushing it.
After a few days, you can move the clutch with your finger or use a razor blade to do it.
Some pet owners even prefer moving it to a hatching container, also known as an incubator.
We found raising the newborn babies in a breeder box hatchery to be much more efficient. This will keep the newborn babies safe from fish having a tendency to attack them.
As the fertile clutch gets near to hatching, it will turn into a darker color. This is the indication that baby snails are chewing the shell and can come out any time soon.
Another thing you might be wondering is that how many eggs do mystery snails lay, and how many babies should you expect from a single clutch?
The answer could be 100s.
You need to ensure you’re prepared to handle the numbers that could come out and what will you do once the babies grow.
Also, not every clutch is fertile.
Some females can lay infertile eggs if they haven’t mated with a male. These clutches can be dud in color, won’t hatch, and are much smaller in size.
So, this is everything we could gather on the mystery snails mating. We hope we have addressed all of your concerns and you got some useful information about the Mystery snail mating.
So, if you are an owner of mystery snails, you should keep all the mentioned points in mind if you want to prepare them for mating. It’s of extreme importance these snails are taken care of, and all the essential steps are followed in the same order.
That’s all for now!
Keep reading this space for more information.
Some FAQs about Mystery Snails Mating
In this section of the article, we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about mystery snails mating.
How long do mystery snails live?
Mystery snails can live for a year. They can live longer if they are provided with good water conditions and if they are fortunate enough.
How old will mystery snails have to be for mating?
The lifespan of mystery snails is usually a year, so it’s hard to determine when they are mature enough to mate. As far as we know, most mystery snails are sexually mature enough when they reach a quarter of their final size.
You can encourage the breeding behavior by providing them with food rich in calcium and by raising the aquarium’s temperature.
How frequently do mystery snails mate?
Mystery snails are quite fond of mating, and they mate very often. This is why you will find male mystery snails even trying to mount other male snails. Moreover, one mating session will leave the female fertilized enough to lay multiple clutches of eggs.
If you feel your mystery snails are mating too often, then you may wanna separate them. Female mystery snails can get hurt by over-mating.
How long do mystery snails mate?
Usually, a mating session will last for up to 6 hours. The pair will be attached firmly during this time while copulation takes place.
How long after mating will the females lay eggs?
It will take about 2-4 weeks before the females lay eggs after mating. During this time, we recommended earlier that you can put them in a different mystery snail aquarium. It will ensure that not only they are safe but also under complete protection once the eggs are laid.
How big do mystery snails get?
A mystery snail will grow up to 2-inches at max. They have a small lifespan which is why mystery snails lay hundreds of eggs in one breeding.
Do Mystery Snails lay Unfertilized Eggs?
Yes, sometimes mystery snails may lay unfertilized eggs. You can identify them very easily with the help of their color. The unfertilized mystery snail eggs will not change their color and remain pink even after one week.
Why my mystery snail keeps coming out of water?
Mystery snails are very curious about their surroundings. They love to explore their natural habitat. Therefore, most of the time, when you find your mystery snail out of the water, there is no cause of concern. However, poor water conditions, not enough food, and overcrowding are three other factors that can force your mystery snail to come out of the water.