The Fish Guru

Unraveling the Mystery: A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Mystery Snails

Introduction to Mystery Snails

Freshwater snails are an essential part of many aquarists’ collection. They are peaceful companions that can help keep your tank clean of unsightly detritus and algae.

One of the most popular freshwater snails is the mystery snail. Mystery snails are native to South America, and they are commonly kept as pets due to their unique characteristics and behavior.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of keeping mystery snails, their availability and cost, and their health.

Benefits of Keeping Mystery Snails

One of the most significant benefits of keeping mystery snails is their ability to help keep your tank clean. They are efficient grazers that will happily munch on leftover fish food and algae, reducing the amount of waste in your tank.

This makes them an excellent addition to any setup, especially if you have a lot of fish that produce a lot of waste. Mystery snails are also peaceful and can coexist with most aquarium inhabitants.

They won’t bother your fish, and your fish won’t bother them. This makes them a popular choice for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

Availability and Cost

Mystery snails are widely available, and you can purchase them at most pet stores. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can usually get one for under $5.

However, the cost may vary depending on the color variety you choose. Some types, like the blue or golden mystery snail, may cost a little more due to their unique appearance.

Health of Mystery Snails

Maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of your mystery snail. Poor water quality can lead to various health issues, including inflamed foot, receding osphradium, collapsed mantle, and copper poisoning.

Signs of a Sick or Dying Snail

If your mystery snail is sick or dying, there are several signs you can look out for. These include inactivity, reduced appetite, floating, a strong odor, and a discolored or damaged shell.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to take action immediately to diagnose and treat the issue.

Common Illnesses and How to Save a Sick Snail

Inflamed Foot: If your snail’s foot is inflamed, it could be due to poor water quality or a physical injury. You can reduce inflammation by maintaining good water quality and providing a calcium supplement.

Receding Osphradium: The osphradium is an organ that plays a vital role in the mystery snail’s sense of smell. If it is receding, it could be due to poor water quality or an infection.

You can prevent this issue by performing weekly water changes and keeping your tank clean. Collapsed Mantle: The mantle is a crucial part of the snail’s shell, and if it collapses, it could indicate severe damage.

The cause could be physical trauma or infection. If your snail experiences this, you must isolate it from other snails and provide a calcium supplement.

Copper Poisoning: Copper is toxic to mystery snails and can cause death if not treated immediately. If your snail is showing signs of copper poisoning, you must isolate it immediately and change at least 50% of the water to remove any copper present.


Mystery snails are fascinating and beneficial creatures that can add life to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and are popular among aquarists of all levels of experience.

However, maintaining good water quality is essential for their health, and you must keep an eye out for any signs of illness or distress. With proper care, your mystery snail can live a long and happy life in your aquarium.


If you are new to the world of mystery snails and want to learn more about how to care for them, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some frequently asked questions about mystery snails that will give you a deeper understanding of these fascinating creatures.

How to Save a Dying Snail? If you notice that your mystery snail is dying or sick, the first thing you need to do is to isolate it from other snails in your aquarium.

Next, you should perform a water change to improve the water quality. This can help reduce any stress on your snail, and it may even help it recover.

Lastly, you can feed your snail a calcium supplement to help strengthen its shell and improve its overall health.

Mystery Snail Behavior

Mystery snails have a very intriguing behavior. They are known for floating to the surface of the water, which is called “snail-rafting.” This behavior is believed to help them find a good spot to lay their eggs.

Mystery snails also like to hide in plants or aquarium decorations, and they graze on algae and other debris in the water.

Anatomy of Mystery Snails

Mystery snails have a unique anatomy, which includes their shell, osphradium, foot, and mantle. The shell is a crucial part of the snail’s body that provides protection and structure.

The osphradium is an organ that is responsible for the snail’s sense of smell. The foot is used for movement, while the mantle is a part of the snail’s body that creates and maintains the shell.

Common Issues

Mystery snails can experience various issues in their lifetime, including shell problems. One issue is a cracked shell, which can occur due to physical trauma or poor water quality.

Another issue is the appearance of a black line on the shell, which is a sign of a bacterial infection. Additionally, some aquarists struggle to control algae growth in their tank.

While mystery snails can help with this issue, it’s important to ensure that you don’t overfeed your fish, as this can contribute to the problem.

New Snail Care

If you’ve recently acquired a mystery snail, there are a few things you should do to ensure that it adjusts well to your tank. Firstly, you should confirm that it is alive by inspecting its shell and making sure it’s properly attached to its body.

You can do this by gently touching the snail’s foot, which should retract into the shell. Additionally, you can encourage the snail to emerge by providing some low-lying plants or sheltered areas in your tank.


In conclusion, mystery snails are fascinating creatures and can make a great addition to your aquarium. However, it’s essential to provide them with proper care to ensure their health and longevity.

This includes maintaining a balanced diet, clean water, and regular water testing to ensure optimal water quality. Additionally, supplementing calcium can help keep their shells strong and healthy.

If you are a fan of mystery snails, we encourage you to share this article with the rest of your community on social media and spread the word about these amazing creatures. Mystery snails are freshwater snails native to South America that are popular among aquarists due to their peaceful nature and ability to help keep tanks clean of detritus and algae.

To maintain their health, it is crucial to maintain good water quality, provide calcium supplementation, and monitor for signs of illness. Mystery snails have unique behavior, anatomy, and common issues that require special attention.

It’s essential to be diligent in caring for these fascinating creatures to ensure their longevity. If you are a mystery snail fan, don’t forget to share this informative article with your community.

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