10 Mystery Snail Fact’s You Didn’t Know

Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by cmoarz

1. Mystery Snail Shell Growth

1) The shells of snails grow by only adding new material at the edges. This is called conchiolin.

2) The shell grows more rapidly when it is moist because the expansion and contraction is facilitated by water.

3) A mystery snail’s shell will have rings on them much like a tree. These rings become more pronounced during water parameter fluctuations. The ring will become larger and darker. To maintain a perfect clean-looking shell, The water perimeters should be as stable as possible.

4) Mystery snails need a ph of at least 7 in order for their shell to grow and remain strong. They also need access to plenty of calcium-rich foods and calcium tank supplements such as cuddle bones to keep their shell healthy.

2. Are Mystery Snails Asexual

Mystery snails are not asexual; they aren’t hermaphroditic either and require both males and females of the same species to produce fertile egg clutches. It’s a very common misconception that mystery snails are hermaphroditic and asexual, but this isn’t true.

3. Mystery Snail Snorkel

The mystery snail snorkel is a very unique feature that they possess. It’s a long tube that goes from the opening of its shell right behind its left eye. This tube allows them to breathe without leaving the water.

If you watch very closely, You can watch expand to the surface, and actually expel water from the tube before allowing air to enter, And then the tube will fill with water again as they bring it back in.

An interesting fact about the mystery snail’s snorkel is how reckless they tend to be with it, sometimes sucking in all sorts of gunk or water.

4. Can Mystery Snails Flip Themselves Over

Mystery snails are completely capable of flipping themselves over if they are on their back. If the snail doesn’t seem interested or seems like it’s having issues, it could be for another reason, such as stress or being cautious. It’s most noticed when putting it in a new tank.

It does no harm to help lift her over yourself, but chances are if she isn’t interested in your help she will just roll back over.

5. Do Mystery Snails Eat Fish Poop

Mystery snails are what are called scavengers. This means they eat any fish food that has fallen to the bottom of the tank as well as leftover uneaten food. They also will eat algae, both diatoms, and green hair algae.

But will they eat fish poop? Absolutely not. You won’t find any species of snail or bottom feeder that will eat poop. You will need to rely on plants, filters, and manual scooping with a net to deal with excess poop, sorry!

6. Where Do Mystery Snails Come From

Mystery snails originally came from East Asia, Japan, and the Philippines. There are believed to be over 700 different species of mystery snails.

They first made their way to the Americas in the early 1900s. Originally they were sourced over to America as a protein source.

They were also sold frequently as pet snails and used for fishing bait in the U.S., still are today, but only by a few fishermen.

In Europe, Mystery snails were introduced to Britain in 1855 and were used to feed animals as a cheap, rapid breeding source of protein.

7. Can Mystery Snails Live in Cold Water

Mystery snails are not tropical creatures. They can survive in water temperature as low as 45°F, but prefer temperatures right around the 70s to high 50s for optimal growth and health.

In general, Anything less than the low 70’s will have them go into hibernation. Coldwater just above hibernation levels will slow their growth and extend their life dramatically, however, their activity will drop to nearly zero.

8. How Often Do Mystery Snails Mate

Mystery snails do 3 things, They eat, they poop, and they mate. In fact, They mate a lot! These frisky snails will attempt to mount any snail they see.

The female mystery snail can hold enough of the male’s genetic material to fertilize several clutches of eggs.

If you have a male and a female mystery snail, it’s guaranteed you’re going to see the male on top of the female’s right shoulder more often than you don’t.

9. Mystery Snail Shell Changing Color

Mystery snail shells will change colors rapidly as they age. Young snails tend to be much more colorful than older snails, and the color range on a single snail is diverse.

Their shell may also change color drastically based on the water parameters in your tank. If their shell color has changed dramatically, don’t panic and assume it’s dead or dying.

Very rarely, Sometimes a snail will develop 3 or even more colors at once. Sometimes it’s a sign of bad water perimeters, and the dominant color will eventually take back over once the water is cleaned up.

10. Mystery Snail Shell Erosion

Mystery snails shells are supposed to be hard and strong. If the shell is soft, brittle, and seems like it’s eroding, that means the water is too acidic and the hardness needs to be brought up.

Snails require an abundance of calcium and calcium-rich hard water to have thriving hard healthy shells.

Check out our identification guide What does snail eggs look like To help identify more snail eggs


Owner of AquariumGravel.com and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!