Mystery snails are fun and easy to breed. Whether it is for an experiment or for profit, anyone with an extra aquarium and a watchful eye can raise these curious and delightful creatures.
Mystery snails are a variety of apple snail which are popular among aquarists for their housecleaning abilities. Many fish aquarium owners end up with excess fish food at the bottom of their tanks. Mystery snails will make quick work of the mess. Attaining golf ball size at adulthood and being the curious creatures they are, children and adults alike will delight in owning one or more mystery snails. It is amazing how quick and graceful they are. Some may even be brave enough to eat from your hand.
To breed mystery snails it is suggested that you have a spare fish tank of at least 10 gallons in size as a breeding tank and later the baby raising tank.
First, lower the water level by 5-6″. Mystery snails lay their egg clutches above the water line. Don’t worry, mystery snails are oxygen breathing aquatic snails. That is what the thick tube is you see them waving around. Think of that as their snorkle.
If you have a breeding age male and female pair of mystery snails, it should not take long at all for your female to take the hint and get to laying. She may even lay two egg clutches within the first few days. Mark your calendars.
Mystery snail eggs hatch in 2-4 weeks. In my experience, I have always had them hatch out on the 14th day like clockwork. Be sure the enviroment is humid. If there are water droplets on the tank in the empty space at the top, it’s fine. When the mystery snails hatch, they will crawl down to the water and immediately begin eating the very same things their parents eat. (fish flakes, squash slices, green beans, algae wafers, etc.) It is much safer to feed some squash slices and canned green beans than to try and feed enough fish flakes and risk bacteria growth or not being able to see if there is adequate food or not. I keep baby fish fry in the same tank as my snail babies so they do get fish flakes but only what the fry don’t consume. I also feed frozen brine shrimp. Be careful not to overdo this, either.
In a couple weeks, you will begin to see the colors of your mystery snails. They will take after one or both parents and maybe a throwback or two from their grandparents. Colors of mystery snails range from the common bronze and gold and semi-common blues to the rarer oranges, pinks and purples! The rarer the color, the more chance you have in rehoming the hundreds of mystery snail babies you could end up with if you take on breeding of mystery snails.
Remove the parents from the breeding tank prior to hatching or the tiny hatchlings may try hitching a ride inside mom and dad’s shell and cause serious irritation.
To control the mystery snail population, you can use a clean razor blade to cut off the egg clutches you don’t wish to have hatched out.
Warning: if you plan to house your mystery snails with fish, make sure you aren’t housing them with snail affectionatos such as clown loaches and ciclids or you’ll only end up with empty shells to show for your efforts.