Mystery snails are one of the favorite choices of aquarium enthusiasts for their aesthetic values. However, these creatures have a high rate of reproductivity. It may have an advantage when you are looking to expand their number but this quality of mystery snails also brings a nuisance.
Because taking care of this huge population of mystery snails can become a little overwhelming for us. Besides, the tank will lose its visual beauty too.
You see, they lay an egg cluster that can contain a massive number of eggs which is around 50 to 200. Though not all of them survive, still there is a fat chance they will be overpopulating your aquarium as the young snails grow and reproduce rapidly.
Why Should You Prevent The Mystery Snails From Breeding?
- It’s really important if you want to keep the population of the aquarium under check.
- To maintain the water parameters as too many snails will generate huge wastes and ruin the water quality and cause harm to their other tank mates.
- If you already have limited space in the aquarium then controlling the snail population becomes a necessity to allow enough room for your other fish to thrive.
- Snails are vigorous eaters, so a huge population will outcompete your other animals and make them nutrient deficient and sick.
- Besides, maintaining a large number of mystery snails will take extra maintenance work such as frequent cleaning of wastes and uneaten foods.
- Sometimes the aquarists prefer to keep two different varieties of mystery snails from breeding to ensure that they don’t hybridize.
- Lastly, when you are trying to make your aquarium look aesthetically beautiful, the overpopulation of mystery snails isn’t exactly the best idea.
Now, let’s discuss how you can efficiently stop the mystery snails from breeding–
5 Ways To Stop Mystery Snails From Breeding
1. Separate The Males & Females
One of the easiest ways to stop them from breeding is separating the male and female mystery snails into two different tanks. There are a few characters to look for while you are trying to determine their gender.
You see, female snails are slightly larger and rounder in shape than males. But the most reliable method is by closely inspecting their genital organs. Because the males have a penis that extends out of their body while the females have a genital pore. But this method needs you to handle the snails by yourself in order to inspect them closely.
I have also observed that the male snails are more active than the female ones and they tend to climb up the walls of the aquarium. Besides, it’s also a good idea to separate the female snails just after they have laid eggs so that there is no room for confusion.
Also, another idea is, while buying you can get a specific gender, either male or female for your aquarium then you won’t have to go through separating them.
2. Manipulate The Temperature
The thing is the mystery snails prefer to reproduce when the water is slightly warmer. So, if you want to prevent them from breeding you can lower the temperature just enough to slow the reproduction rate.
But if the water is too cold it can affect the snail’s health so you have to keep it around 68-75°F or 20-24°C. However, it’s not good to suddenly just lower the temperature because it can stress out the inhabitants of the tank. Rather it should be slowly decreased by adjusting the heater of the aquarium over a period of a few days.
After that, keep monitoring the temperature regularly with a thermometer to make sure the temperature is not rising out of the range. And most importantly make sure the temperature you’ve chosen is suitable for your fish and other tankmates.
Though keep in mind that sometimes this method might not completely prevent the mystery snails from breeding. This method will be more effective when it’s integrated with giving them the right amount of diet and removing their eggs manually.
3. Control Their Diet
You see, mystery snails need a certain food supply to continue their reproduction. This is where you can step in. but this one is a very tricky method because if you limit their diet too much, the mystery snails can starve to death.
Before opting out for this method be sure to remember that we want to keep our mystery snails healthy and happy while we control their population as well.
You see, they require calcium rich foods such as kale, spinach, etc to help with their breeding. So, you can reduce them to lower their ability to breed. Instead, you can give them other vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce, carrot, etc which are low in calcium.
Also, avoid overfeeding them because an ample supply of food will help them to breed. Besides, make sure to remove the uneaten foods from the tank. You can also feed them moderately on alternate days to avoid the chances of overfeeding.
Lastly, make sure to monitor the behavior and health condition of your mystery snails while doing so. And change the diet to a better and more balanced one if controlling the diet doesn’t seem to suit them.
4. Reduce Light
Another thing you can do is, reduce the light in the aquarium to control the breeding of your mystery snails. Because when the light is lower the growth of algae also slows down. As a result, the snails have limited food sources except those that are provided by us.
Besides, when they receive plenty of hours of light, it increases their breeding rate in some of the species. So by reducing the time of light exposure, you can trigger the decrease in the breeding rate.
First, gradually reduce the time of your aquarium lights every day. Slowly bring it to 8-9 hours of light exposure and make sure you keep this time consistent otherwise it can trigger stress in mystery snails.
Besides, create some hiding areas for them with aquatic plants and other decorations so that they can hide there. This will also help to reduce light exposure. However, make sure the hours of light you are providing do not create problems for your other tank inhabitants.
5. Remove The Egg
So, imagine you couldn’t separate the male and female mystery snails in time. But it’s still not too late! You can look for the eggs above the water line near the aquarium glass or aquarium lid and then you can try to manually remove these egg clusters before they start to hatch.
The advantage here is, mystery snail eggs are the largest and most noticeable among all the other snail species. They are somewhat pinkish and translucent and found in clumps.So, you won’t find it very hard to identify them.
You can use a thin card to separate the clumps of eggs from the aquarium glass and then put those in vinegar. And if the eggs are on any rock or driftwood then you will have to remove that rock and scrub it clean. You can also boil the driftwood and then place it back in the aquarium when it cools down.
This removal process will help you to maintain their population. Besides you can introduce some predatory fish species like cichlids, gouramis, goldfish, rainbowfish, etc to eat the mystery snail eggs which you couldn’t remove by yourself.
Besides, whenever the tank feels populated, in order to balance the population, remove some of the excess snails and find them a new home. And you need to check the tank plants regularly for slimy trails because they secret slimy substances before laying eggs. This is when you can get alerted that the snails are about to lay eggs.
Also, make sure to change 25% of the tank water every week because if the water is agitated snails find it difficult to continue their breeding. In addition, aquarium filters can also do the work for you and keep the tank water agitated and influence them to reproduce less than normal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What kills mystery snails?
Poor water conditions can definitely kill your mystery snails especially if they are exposed to chemicals containing copper. Besides, algaecides, insecticides, and pesticides can be fatal to them.
2. Should I remove snail eggs?
Removing them will prevent them from hatching and turning into baby snails. This is very crucial if you want to control their population because baby snails also have a high reproductive rate. Besides, baby snails also like to gorge on aquatic plants and reduce the beauty of the aquarium.
3. What are mystery snails sensitive to?
Mystery snails are very sensitive to high nitrite and ammonia levels. This is why the presence of both of these should always be zero in your aquarium. Also, they are sensitive to aquatic plant fertilizers if they are copper based.
Mystery snails are a beauty. But if you leave them unchecked they will quickly reproduce and fill up your tank with a huge number of baby snails. The good news is, there are many ways to control their reproduction and slow them down so you can maintain your aquarium’s aesthetic value.
Control their food intake and manipulate the temperature and light. If required then remove the eggs manually. But make sure to follow this article thoroughly so that you don’t mistakenly end up causing any harm to them.
I hope, in this article, I was able to reflect on my experience with the mystery snails especially to stop them from breeding. Share this one with your other aquarist friends to help them out with this problem too.
Be sure to check out my other articles about different issues with the mystery snail to keep yourself informed and stay ahead of the problem. Don’t forget to mention what more you want to know about the mystery snails in our next article.