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A freshwater Mystery Snail is a freshwater aquarium snail often available in pet stores. These snails come in different shapes and colors from all over the world. Their shells can be a solid or gradient color, have colored accents, and other markings. The shell color variations and patterns are limitless. Heads and body are generally dark grey or black, with its foot being a lighter gray. The mystery snail also has an operculum that serves as a “trap door” used to seal itself in its shell.
A mystery snail is non-aggressive and docile by nature and likes his tank mates to be the same. They can be very active when the tank lights are on, steadily travelling throughout the aquarium on the hunt for food, interesting places to explore, or a quiet place to take a break. Also can be very active when the tank lights are off, feeding at night in complete darkness. Sometimes after the tank lights go off, a mystery snail will extend its siphon and move to the surface to get some air. Also, it’s not uncommon for it to be still and appear dormant for long periods of time.
Activity: For the most part they are slow moving but, there are times when mystery snails can be seen moving very quickly across aquarium glass. Also, known to climb to the tops of tanks near the water surface and then all of a sudden let go of the surface and rapidly free fall to the tank bottom. Sometimes this free fall occurs as they simultaneously release a couple of large air bubbles out from under their shells on the way down. Other times it just loosens its foot a bit off the glass, sliding down quickly while maintaining a bit of control on the glass.
Sensitivity: Snails seem able to differentiate between safe touches and unwanted touches. If threatened, the snail can react very quickly, folding its body back into its shell, protecting its eyes and closing its operculum.
In another defensive reaction it will just let go of whatever it is on and allow itself to drop to the tank bottom and closing shut its operculum on the way down.
Upside down?: Completely upside-down mystery snails often have difficulty righting themselves when coming out of their shells. A mystery snail will open its operculum and try extending its foot to reach hard surfaces like gravel or the flooring. If the mystery snail’s foot cannot reach a hard surface, the snail may be unable to turn right side up. If too much time passes, the mystery snail may die. Mystery snails laying partially on their sides seem to fare better, but the best practice it to make sure the snail is upright when placed in the tank bottom.
PH of the water: A mystery snail prefers to be kept in aquarium water on the hard side with calcium levels sufficient to maintain healthy shells and adequate growth. Cracked, thin or excessively pitted shells can be signs of calcium deficiency.
Hazard of filter intakes: A BIG mystery snail care issue involves filter intakes. The snail may be drawn to a strong filter intake searching for edible matter. The hazard it may get its head stuck in the slots. Trying to rescue snails trapped in a filter intake may further injure the snail or kill it. In this situation, its best to turn the filter off for a bit to see if the snail can wiggle its way out of trouble. But the better choice is to avoid the issue from the start by placing sponge pre-filters over strong filter intakes before the snails go in.
Feeding: A favorite natural food source are forms of soft filmy algae that accumulate on slow growing plant leaves, aquarium glass and other hard surfaces. They also like fresh vegetables like leafy greens, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, and carrots. Always make sure that the vegetables are totally fresh and carefully washed before feeding them to your gold mystery snail. Spinach is especially beneficial for the snails as it can provide them with valuable calcium. (PHOTO with many teenie snails -- a cucumber slice is being eaten by babies recently born)
Needs safe tank mates: Mystery snails are peaceful creatures requiring tank mates that are shy, peaceful, and non-aggressive. Tank mates can include various freshwater shrimp, other docile snails, and calm community fish.
Tank mates to be avoided are Goldfish and predators like aquarium crayfish, Striped Convicts, Jack Dempsey, Oscars and other cichlids. They may attack a mystery snail and pick at the snail, yanking off its eyes, tentacles or even eat it outright.
Lifespan: Average is about one year (up to 3 years if lucky). Be aware that it’s not unusual for a mystery snail to die shortly after being added to a tank. This sudden death may be caused by differences in water parameters, or stress associated with being transported from the store. So do your research and have everything prepared and up an running before you purchase your snail.
Before buying a mystery snail go to: https://www.aquariumcarebasics.com/freshwater-snails/mystery-snail/
for excellent advice on how to make sure you purchase a happy, healthy, complete and intact FRESHWATER MYSTERY SNAIL.