How to Care for Baby Mystery Snails

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A mystery snail has a life expectancy of about two years.
A mystery snail has a life expectancy of about two years. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

The mystery snail is an aquarium snail. There a several different types of mystery snail and it is difficult to classify these snails. Various names are used such as apple snails and golden apple snails. A common form is classified as Pomacea bridgessii. These snails belong to the family Ampullariidae. The mystery snail comes in a wide range of colors, including gold, brown, tortoise shell, black, white, green, blue, purple, pink and ivory.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium
  • Aquarium plants
  • Aquarium light
  • Air stone
  • Air driven sponge filter
  • Fish food
  • General hardness kit
  • Plastic box
  • Paper towels

Care for Babies

Use a plastic box to transport the baby mystery snails. Put damp paper towels or moist synthetic filter cotton in the box to protect the shells during transport. Mystery snails can stay out of water for days even weeks. Make some breathing holes in the lid. Baby snails can also be moved in water-filled plastic bags.

Keep baby mystery snails in an aquarium with the parents. Large fish may eat baby snails, so keep fish in a separate tank. If a new aquarium is used, prepare it with plants two to three weeks before adding the baby mystery snails.

The recommended number of snails per tank is 1 per 2 1/2 gallons of water. You can keep more baby snails in a tank, but it is ill-advised because snails grow quickly. The filtration and aeration of the aquarium also influence how many snails you can stock. A tight-fitting lid prevents the snails from escaping. Provide small ventilation holes.

Mystery snails prefers tropical conditions and keep the temperature of the water between 65 - 82 degrees F.

Use a general hardness kit to test the water. Use a product like Aquasoft to treat the water if it contains metals. The water level should be at least twice as high as the largest baby snail. Leave a 2-inch gap from the top of the tank, and provide filtration to keep the water healthy. An air stone or air-driven sponge filter will help to keep the water well-aerated.

Provide light to the aquarium to encourage the growth of algae on the walls. This may give the snails the only food they can reach. Baby mystery snails eat the same kind of food as their parents, but a young snail raised in a tank may not be able to reach the food. Fish food is the preferred diet, but snails may also eat aquatic plants. Regular feeding may prevent snails from eating plants. Baby mystery snails also eat lettuce and other vegetable likes carrots, cucumber and spinach.

Tips & Warnings

  • Water with a pH above 7, is required for healthy shells.
  • During the first weeks, many baby mystery snails die.
  • Baby mystery snails grow quickly and they may devour aquatic vegetation.

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