How to Hatch Aquatic Snail Eggs

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Aquatic snails are useful for eating aquarium algae.
Aquatic snails are useful for eating aquarium algae. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Part of keeping up an aquarium involves knowing what to do in the instance where you discover that your aquatic snails have laid eggs. If you want the eggs to hatch successfully, and not be eaten by the other aquatic animals living in the tank, then take proper care to ensure you help the eggs hatch. Aquatic snails that live in aquarium tanks lay their eggs above water toward the top of the glass tank, out of reach of other aquarium inhabitants.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladle
  • Mist spray bottle
  • Aquatic net breeder
  • Putty knife
  • Aquatic plants

Use a ladle to scoop out some of the water in the aquarium, allowing for approximately 2 inches of space between the water level and where the cluster of snail eggs were laid. This helps keep the eggs safe from other fish that may otherwise prey on them.

Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the cluster of eggs daily. Snail eggs need to be kept moist in order to prevent them from drying out and becoming infertile. If you notice the eggs drying out and losing their goo-like substance, increase the misting to twice a day.

Examine the eggs daily to look for signs that the baby snails are starting to break out of the eggs. This process will generally take place between two and four weeks after the eggs were laid.

Attach an aquatic net breeder to the glass tank just below where the egg cluster is. An aquatic net breeder is a mesh net compartment that is intended to keep the snails safe as they begin to hatch. Net breeders can be purchased in pet stores in the fish section, and some come with metal hinges that rest on the top of the tank rim, allowing the net breeder to dangle lower in the tank. Other net breeders come with suction cups that allow them to affix to the tank.

Situate the net breeder so that the bottom inch is submerged in the tank water, and the top of the net breeder is barely touching the bottom of the cluster. You have two options: you can wait for the snails to hatch and fall into the net breeder, or you can use a putty knife to gently scrape the nearly-hatched eggs into the net breeder.

Notice the consistency of the egg cluster as you move them into the net breeder. If the cluster of eggs is crumbly, and you see tiny brown snails on the inside of the eggs, then the snails are ready to hatch. Assist the snails in the hatching process by dipping them into the water of the net breeder, and then swishing them around back and forth with your hand until the egg disintegrates and the snail appears.

Add aquatic plants into the net breeder to give the snails something to attach to, eat, and use for protection or shelter.

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