It’s true that many people do not keep snails as pets, but it’s about time people look more into these prolific aquatic animals. However, many beginners and even advanced hobbyists and aquarists alike can be surprised when snails lay eggs.
In this blog, we’ll discuss various freshwater snails, identifying freshwater snail eggs, and the methods of taking care of them.
Identification of Snail Eggs
Depending on the species, some snails lay one to four eggs at a time, while others can lay up to hundreds! So, how do you identify freshwater snail eggs then?
Of course, their appearance also depends on the snail species. But generally, you would see a small cluster of tiny eggs protected in a gelatinous sac. Sometimes you might even find multiple clusters at once in your aquarium.
The eggs usually have a jelly-like texture and are semi-transparent. Most eggs are white or cream-colored, while others may range from orange to pink or blue.
Where to Look for Freshwater Snail Eggs?
Now, this is an important thing to be aware of, especially if you are a beginner and have never handled snails before. Snails in your water tank usually hide their eggs in places that may be overlooked.
For example, they usually lay eggs on decorative items, rocks, and wood pieces. Sometimes you may also find a cluster of eggs inside the exposed glass and tank lip or hood. However, the most common place to find freshwater snail eggs is on plants, especially those that have broader leaves.
The Different Types of Freshwater Snails
There are different kinds of freshwater snails that you may find in fish tanks. First, however, we’ll talk about the most popular ones you may come across in pet stores.
Ramshorn snails have a lifespan of about one year and are usually ¼ to ¾ inches long. They come in hues of translucent pink, peach, or blue. They are a good addition to your freshwater snail collection. However, they can become pests from pets in a matter of days due to their rapid breeding abilities.
In addition, they eat fish waste, discarded food, and some types of algae which does a good job in cleaning up your aquarium. However, make sure to clean their eggs from your water tank periodically because they have a habit of hiding them, risking your water tank from getting overcrowded.
If you are a beginner and just starting your snail-keeping journey. Then the Nerite Snails are the best choice for you. They are also the most popular freshwater snails because they are perfect for munching down fish waste and algae, helping your aquarium stay clean.
These snails are around one inch long and can live up to two years. They are also a great addition to your collection for their ability to co-exist peacefully with other aquatic animals.
Additionally, it is easy to control the Nerite snail population because they don’t produce asexually or young.
Nerite snails can also be further classified into various groups: Zebra Nerite, Tiger Nerite, and Black Race Nerite. All of these species have unique markings and quirks.
Assassin snails can live up to one year and can be as small as ¾ inches or grow up to three inches! Appearance-wise they have beautiful, elongated shells adorned with black and brown stripes.
The reason for their popularity is that they help balance the snail population in your water tank. Hence, the name “Assassin snail.” They are a good addition to your collection if you frequently deal with sudden snail population explosions.
Plus, you also don’t have to worry about their population since Assassin snails don’t reproduce without mating.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
This species of snails also live up to one year and can grow up to one inch long. They have become popular among hobbyists and aquarists for their multiple benefits, most prominently for eating up algae and plant detritus at a rapid pace, helping to keep your water tank clean.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails also help by keeping the substrate aerated which helps keep water toxicity levels down in the water tank.
Appearance-wise, these snails look beautiful with their delicate shell and wide range of colors from grey, cream, and shades of brown. However, your water tank must have a layer of sand substrate because Malaysian trumpets like to dig in search of food.
One disadvantage of keeping these snails is their ability to reproduce rapidly since they’re asexual, so they don’t require a partner to mate. Hence, you may need to get rid of their eggs frequently to avoid overpopulation.
Rabbit Snails are a great addition to your freshwater aquarium due to their ability to co-exist with other aquatic animals. Plus, they are easy to take care of, so beginners do not have to fear keeping them as pets.
Rabbit snails are also known as elephant snails or bunny snails. They usually live somewhere between one to three years and can grow up to 3.5 inches long! Rabbit snails also do a great job at eating algae, keeping your water tank clean.
Mystery snails are surely one of the most popular types of freshwater snails amongst hobbyists and aquarists. These snails come in different colors and have large colorful shells, which could even imitate as decorative items for your water tank.
Mystery snails co-exist with other aquatic life, meaning they’re safe to keep with your fish, shrimps, and plants. They also help keep your water clean by eating algae off of glass, decorations and keeping your substrate clean.
Additional Tips And Tricks
Keeping freshwater snails as pets is a fun hobby that doesn’t require much of your time. However, before buying any scale, make sure you do adequate research. That is, learn about their diet, breeding style, tank parameters, and pH levels of your water.
Additionally, do not keep your snails together with more aggressive aquatic pets such as crabs, jellyfish, crayfish, and loaches.
Let’s jump into some common questions most beginners and hobbyists have when they start keeping freshwater snails as pets.
Q1. What should I do when I find freshwater snail eggs in my aquarium?
Ans. If you’re scared of your water tank overpopulating, then there is always the option of removing the eggs.
However, there’s nothing to worry about concerning the safety of eggs since the gelatinous mass helps protect them, making them hard to break into. Just make sure to keep them safe from other aquatic animals which may eat them.
Q2. How long does it take for the freshwater snail eggs to hatch?
Ans. The hatching period depends on the species of snails you have. Many freshwater snail eggs do not have a fast hatching period. For instance, Ramshorn snail eggs hatch in a week, whereas some species may take somewhere around two to four weeks. The slowest hatching period is of Assassin snails which is one to two months.
Q3. How do I care for my young freshwater snails and freshwater snail eggs?
Ans. Most species of freshwater snails are easy to take care of. You don’t have to do anything except make sure they have a balanced diet and are near their parents.
Additionally, freshwater snail eggs also do not require much interference except when you want to remove them. But the freshwater snail eggs are usually protected in a jelly-like sac, making it hard for them to get damaged.
Q4. How do I stop my water tank from getting overcrowded?
Ans. The shortest answer to this is removing snail eggs from your water tank periodically. However, it is hard to control the population of some snail species. For instance, Ramshorn snails multiply rapidly, and their eggs sometimes are transparent, which makes them hard to be seen.
Other freshwater snail eggs are easier to spot since they are colored in various pink, blue, orange, or white hues. If you have Malaysian Trumpets and Mystery snails, it’s best to clean your water tank from eggs every seven to ten days.
Q5. What water tank size should I get?
Ans. That is one of the most important questions to ask because the wrong tank size could pose a risk to your aquatic pets. Many freshwater snails do not take up much space due to their small size. (They can grow up to a maximum size of 3.5 inches)
However, a ten to fifteen gallon is optimal, considering your pet freshwater snails don’t reproduce quickly.
Additionally, make sure to have the lid of your tank secured safely since some snails tend to escape the water, especially when they are ready to lay eggs.
Q6. Is my snail pregnant?
Ans. Generally, pregnancy in snails depends on their species. However, you may have an idea whether your snail is pregnant by looking into her genital tube. If the cavity is filled with eggs, you have your answer.
You can find the genital cavity of most snails by having its body facing towards you while holding it by the shell. You may find the genital tube located on the left side of its body.