Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by cmoarz
Welcome to the fascinating world of Mystery snail poop. You might be wondering what would you possibly want to know about disgusting snail poo, And yes, You would probably be right.
Unless you’re a mystery snail owner. It’s important to know as much as possible about your mystery snail poop if, for example, You want to clean it up as quickly and thoroughly as possible (which is always a good idea), Or if you want to know whether it’s harmful to your other fish.
Maybe you’re interested in knowing the nutritional value of mystery snail poop. That might seem like a strange thing to someone, But a mystery snail owner would understand. It’s incredible how fast food goes in and back out and looks barely digested! So is it really poop? Can my bottom feeders eat it? These are the questions aquarium owners ask! (Well, some of us!).
What Does Mystery Snail Poop Look Like?
Alright well, this seems like a good place to kick off this article. You see, A lot of new snail owners seem to be confused over mystery snail poop.
So many times I’ve had readers email me and ask whether this image is poop or eggs.
No shame in that – When you don’t know something, you don’t know something. So let’s fix that.
First of all, I have to say, once you’ve seen mystery snail eggs, You will understand how funny it is to get these types of questions. They are very very different in just about every respect.
The main difference between snail poop and snail eggs are the size, coloration, and consistency. Eggs are laid in bright pink clusters above the water line, While snail poop often takes on the appearance of little white beads stuck together in a long line of slime.
Although to be fair, mystery snail poop can take many different forms just like anyone’s poop really.
But, as a demonstration, here are a few images of snail eggs vs snail poop.
Pictured above is a clutch of mystery snail eggs attached to the side of an aquarium.
And pictured below, Is a picture of mystery snail poop.
As you can see, They are quite different. But it’s easy to see why some people may get confused as new owners take in the sight of these mysterious egg-looking strings.
Do You Have to Clean Snail Poop, And If So, How?
Just like anything else in a closed ecosystem such as an aquarium, You do need to clean up and remove mystery snail poop.
Mystery snail poop can cause a variety of issues in your aquarium, such as a spike in ammonia and nitrites. This is why it’s important to keep on top of your snail poop removal.
While it doesn’t have as large of a bioload as other fish or snails, it’s certainly enough to cause problems.
As a general rule, You can remove most mystery snail feces by simply cleaning up the tank with a gravel siphon by punching the vacuum into the substrate.
One of the larger problems with snail poop is it tends to break up into smaller pieces which makes it really hard to net out manually.
A good filter also helps, even if you are vacuuming it up. Even with a vacuum, the poop tends to break up with even the slighted amount of agitation and clouds up the tank water.
With a good filter loaded with filter floss, You can avoid most of this issue.
Do Mystery Snails Poop a Lot?
Yes and no. It depends on how much you feed them. If you’re feeding them freshly blanched broccoli every day then you’re going to be seeing a lot more snail poop than if you’re feeding them 3-4 times a week.
It’s also important to note that, While they do eat quite a bit, Not all of it gets turned into waste.
You might have noticed a lot of the time the mystery snail poop looks exactly the same as what you fed them. Almost like it’s only been partially digested.
That’s because the snail’s intestines are actually really short and only the very first few inches of their digestive tract house all the enzymes and acids that do all of the work.
The rest of it is just a holding area, And most often what you feed them comes out looking exactly as it did going in.
But that leads people to an interesting question, Can bottom feeders eat this partially digested food?
Does Anything Eat Mystery Snail Poop?
The answer is no. No fish or bottom feeder is going to be very interested in eating partially digested broccoli (or whatever else you feed them). Some food gets digested better than others.
While it still might contain some nutrients, It’s not really worth it for them. It still (presumably) tastes like poop, and wreaks of ammonia which fish will always avoid.
So to answer your question, nothing is going to feed on mystery snail poop aside from bacteria that work to break it down.
For them, I suppose it’s probably delicious.
Can Mystery Snail Poop Be Used In A Garden?
Yes! Aquarium waste makes a great fertilizer!
A lot of people (myself included) use the waste from their aquariums to fertilize their gardens.
Mystery snail poop is no exception.
All you have to do is dry it out before using it, which doesn’t take long in a greenhouse or in warm weather at all. Once you’ve dried it out, Run it through a screen to break up any chunks and you’re ready to go.
You could also turn it into a “tea” for your garden (like worm casting tea), or just use the dirty aquarium water to water your plants.
Mystery snail poop can be a great fertilizer for your garden, roses, house plants, and more!