Mystery Snail Not Moving- 9 Reasons and Solutions

Who doesn’t love such a peaceful pet like a mystery snail? But they can’t add a beautiful wave in the fish tank if remained inactive. That’s why hobbyists search for the reasons behind them and the solutions

A few days ago, I also went through this problem. And yesterday I was explaining to my friend the reason for this problem.

There are 9 reasons I found behind the mystery snail not moving. Those were lack of food, poor water quality, temperature problem, oxygen issues, disease or injury, tank situation, aestivation, new atmosphere, and activity at night.

Let’s discuss those causes in detail with effective solutions-

Why Aren’t My Snails Moving and How I Revived

Reviving Inactive Snails Guide

1. Lack of Food

If you want to list down the causes behind mystery snails not moving for days, you should first think of their food problem. Though they can survive several days in food scarcity, it may cause stress to them and lead to mystery snails not moving much.

That’s why it is important to make sure that your snail is getting enough food regularly. Mystery snails are generally herbivorous and will eat algae, plant matter, and other vegetarian foods. You can try feeding them a small piece of blanched zucchini, lettuce, spinach, other leafy greens, or commercial snail food.

For their perfect nourishment, offer a variety of foods and make sure that they are getting enough to eat. But avoid overfeeding them. This may also cause them to move a little. On the other hand, excess food can contribute to poor water quality which is responsible for their sessile behavior. 

2. Water Quality

Water condition, related to feeding, is also a reason for mystery snails not moving from my point of view. Mystery snails, like all aquatic animals, are sensitive to changes in water quality. Poor water quality can cause stress and health problems, which can affect their behavior and ability to move.

Water contamination can take many forms, including high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, low oxygen levels, and the presence of pollutants or toxins. These contaminants can affect the snail’s ability to breathe. If the snail feels difficulty in breathing, it may become lethargic and have a decreased ability to move.

Additionally, certain contaminants can cause damage to the snail’s nervous system. Simply, it affects its coordination and ability to move. For example, exposure to heavy metals such as lead or mercury can cause neurological damage that can impair the snail’s movement and behavior.

3. Low Temperature

If mystery snails are new to you, you may face such temperature-related problems in your pet. Most of the new hobbyists don’t know that like all snails, mystery snails are cold-blooded animals, which means their body temperature is regulated by their environment.

When the temperature drops below a certain point, mystery snails may become inactive and stop moving. This is because their metabolism slows down and their body processes become sluggish in response to the cold. In extreme cases, very cold temperatures can even cause the snail to go into a state of dormancy, known as “aestivation”, in which it may withdraw into its shell and stop moving entirely.

That’s why if you are new to bringing an aquarium in your place, you may miss the point that mystery snails are not well-suited to cold temperatures and can even die if exposed to extended periods of low temperatures.

Also, some experienced hobbyists may make such mistakes like me. Hence, it is recommended to check the water temperature and keep it between 68°F and 82°F (20°C-28°C) in the case of mystery snails not moving after a water change.

4. Oxygen Issues

Last year, I was confused that I maintained the upper points properly but still, why is my mystery snail not moving? Then I researched more and found a new point and that is oxygen issues.

Mystery snails require oxygen to survive, just like most other aquatic organisms. They breathe through gills and obtain oxygen from the water they live in. If there is a lack of oxygen in the water, the snails may become lethargic which causes mystery snails to move slowly.

When there is not enough oxygen in the water, the snail’s metabolism slows down. This is responsible to make the snail less active. In extreme cases, the snail may stop moving altogether and appear to be dead.

However, even if the snail appears lifeless, it may still be alive and it is important to provide it with oxygen-rich water as soon as possible to prevent it from suffocating.

It’s worth noting that mystery snails are relatively hardy and can tolerate low oxygen levels for short periods. However, prolonged exposure to low oxygen levels can be fatal to them. Therefore, it is essential to maintain good water quality and provide adequate aeration and filtration in their aquarium to ensure their well-being.

5. Disease or Injury

If none of the above factors seems to be the issue, your snail may be sick or injured. While mystery snails are generally hardy and resistant to disease, they can still become ill or stressed if they are kept in unsuitable conditions.

Look for any signs of illness or injury, such as discolored or damaged shells, lack of appetite, or unusual behavior. You may be sure of its situation if it is diseased or not.

Also, if the snail is not moving due to injury, it may be because it is physically unable to do so. Injured snails may have damaged or broken shells or limbs, which can make it difficult or impossible for them to move. But both of these cases require intensive monitoring of the behavior of mystery snails and take appropriate action if they appear to be in distress or unwell.

6. Tank Situation

The most beautiful thing that I love about mystery snails is mystery snails are typically peaceful creatures and are not aggressive toward other tank mates. Mystery snails are generally slow-moving creatures and may not move around as much when they feel safe and comfortable in their environment.

This is especially true if they do not perceive any immediate threats from other tank mates. However, they may be intimidated or stressed by more active or aggressive fish or other animals in the tank. If the snail feels threatened or uncomfortable in its environment, it may move around more to find a safer place to hide or to avoid potential predators.

On the other hand, if the tank mates are peaceful and non-threatening, the mystery snail may feel more at ease and may not feel the need to move around as much.

7. Aestivation

One possible reason is that the snail is simply resting or sleeping. But mystery snails do not sleep like humans due to their nervous system. They are known for their ability to aestivate. Aestivation is a state of dormancy that they enter during periods of extreme heat or drought.

During aestivation, the snail seals itself inside its shell with a layer of mucus and becomes inactive, reducing its metabolic rate and conserving energy until conditions become more favorable. This is also responsible for freshwater mystery snails not moving.

8. New Atmosphere

Sometimes, the new environment makes the mystery snail not move into the new tank. Mystery snails require a specific environment to thrive. If they are not moving due to a new atmosphere, it could be because the water conditions have changed and are no longer suitable for them and they need time to adjust.

If you introduce snails in your new tank or bring some It is also possible that the mystery snails are simply adjusting to their new environment and may take some time to become active again. In any case, you should monitor the water conditions and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the snails have a healthy and comfortable living environment.

9. Active at Night

Last year I was astonished with my pets, “Why aren’t my snails moving?” I maintained all the factors perfectly, but still, the snail hasn’t moved in 3 days. But one night suddenly I found that my snails were moving at that time.

Then, I noticed them for some days, and trust me I found a new fact. My snails used to move only at night. But they remained inactive for days. From then, I suggest to people notice their snails properly to understand their behavior. This fact may also be a reason behind the mystery snail not moving hanging out of the shell.

How to Overcome Mystery Snails Moving Problem

Mystery Snails Movement Issues Solution

Check the Water Parameters

I always take mystery snails moving problems seriously as my avoidance can result in the death of the snails. In this case, my first activity is always to check the water parameters.

You should also test the water in your snail’s tank for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels using a water testing kit. Make sure the pH, temperature, and water hardness are within the recommended range for mystery snails.

Change the Water

If the water parameters are off, change the water immediately. Do a 25-50% water change and make sure to add a de-chlorinator to remove any harmful chemicals in the tap water. This initiative will help your snails to get out of stress.

Improve Filtration

Ensure that the filtration system in the tank is functioning properly and is adequately sized for the size of the tank. Improper filtration makes the water parameters imbalanced. As a result, your tank water will remain contaminated still after changing it regularly.

Clean the Tank

If the water quality is poor, there may be a buildup of waste and debris in the tank. Clean the tank thoroughly, including the substrate and decorations. Sometimes, tank substrates may also pollute the water.

Check for Other Issues

Make sure that there are no other issues with the snail’s environment, such as high levels of light or temperature extremes. It is important to maintain good water quality to ensure the health and well-being of your mystery snails.

Regular water testing and monitoring, as well as appropriate filtration and water changes, can help to prevent water contamination and keep your snails healthy and active. Thus, you can get rid of blue mystery snails not moving.

Can a Mystery Snail Recover From an Illness?

Sure! I have experienced such situations several times. A mystery snail can recover from an illness if the cause of the illness is identified and treated promptly. If your mystery snail does become ill, it is important to identify the cause of the illness and first.

Common illnesses in snails include bacterial and fungal infections, parasites, and poor water quality. Some symptoms of illness to watch for in your mystery snail include lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal behavior, changes in color or texture, and visible signs of infection or inflammation.

Treatment options for mystery snail illnesses will depend on the specific cause of the illness. In some cases, over-the-counter medications may be effective, while in other cases, a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets may be needed.

But, it is important to follow the instructions of the medication and to monitor your snail’s progress closely. With proper care and treatment, many mystery snail illnesses can be successfully treated and your snail can make a full recovery.

However, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to the health of your snail. At least I prefer this much. Maintaining a clean and well-maintained aquarium, providing a balanced diet, and avoiding overcrowding can help prevent illnesses in your mystery snail.

How Do I Know If My Mystery Snail Is Dying?

Several signs may indicate that your mystery snail is dying. Here are a few things to look out for:


If your snail is not moving or responding to stimuli, it may be a sign that it is not feeling well.


If your snail is floating at the top of the tank, it may be a sign that it is experiencing health problems. While snails do occasionally float to the surface to breathe air, prolonged floating can indicate a problem.

Foul Odor

 A foul odor emanating from the tank may indicate that your snail has died and begun to decompose.

Shell Damage

If your snail’s shell appears damaged, it may be a sign of illness or disease. Check for cracks, holes, or discoloration.


If your snail’s body appears discolored or has developed dark spots, it may be a sign of poor health.

Failure to Eat

If your snail is not eating or is eating less than usual, it may be a sign that it is experiencing health problems.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action quickly to determine the cause of the problem and provide appropriate care.

How Long Can a Mystery Snail Survive Without Moving?

It is not normal for a mystery snail to be motionless for extended periods. If a mystery snail stops moving while still submerged in water, it may be an indication of an underlying health issue, stress, or environmental factors.

However, if a mystery snail is removed from the water, it may not survive for very long without water. Typically, a mystery snail can survive for a few hours outside of water if the conditions are favorable.

The actual amount of time that a mystery snail can survive without moving or water will depend on several factors, including its health status, age, and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. In general, it is best to ensure that the snail is provided with appropriate water conditions to ensure its survival.


How Can I Tell If My Mystery Snail Is Alive?

If your mystery snail is alive, you should be able to see its operculum (the hard plate that covers its shell opening) moving slightly as it breathes. Also, by gently prodding it or tapping on its shell you can understand it. If it is alive, it will retract into its shell or move slightly.

Can A Mystery Snail Die If It Does Not Move For A Long Time?

Yes, a mystery snail can die if it does not move for a long time. Inactivity for an extended period can be a sign of illness or other health problems, which can lead to death if left untreated.

What Are The Ideal Water Parameters For My Mystery Snail?

A: The ideal water parameters for mystery snails are a pH level between 7.0-8.0, a temperature between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit and ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm. They also prefer moderate water flow and a substrate that is not too coarse or sharp, as it can damage their soft bodies.

Final Words

Hence, let me allow you to finish here. The entire conversation about the mystery snail not moving was derived from my experience. Additionally, I also researched the mystery snail trap door and Why is my new Nerite snail not moving. Now, I am working in Ramshorn snail not moving.

If you want to know about these topics too, you can ask me. I will try to share my experiences with you. Keeping mystery snails in a good environment is the most effective way to prevent their inactivity and the way to increase liveliness in your fish tank. Hopefully, the information will help you a lot.

Howard Parker

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