Mystery Snails Mating or Fighting:  Identifying Behavior

Most people ignore the mystery snails’ behavior of climbing, understanding that they are mating. But do you know it can be a sign of fighting between them too?

Though their fighting may not cause much injury to them, this harms their nourishment and breeding activities. That’s why I have noticed them for a long time and identified the differences between their mating and fighting. 

Here I will figure out those points that I found after spending a lot of time with them along with the causes behind their fighting and the way to stop them from fighting against one another. 

How to Understand Mystery Snails Are Mating Or Fighting? 

How to Understand Mystery Snails Are Mating Or Fighting

I have already experienced a lot of people who can’t understand the mysterious behavior of these mystery snails if they are mating or fighting. Even though I am well accounted for, I get confused sometimes. 

This is because their mating and fighting behavior resembles one another. Both times, the snails climb on one another and complete their purpose of mating or fighting. 

But after noticing them for a long time, I found that if the mail snails climb on female snails and their whole body remains exactly on the top of the female, then I can identify it as mating.

Also, after the male snail gets down, if you get eggs floating on the upper layer of the water, they are undoubtedly mating, not fighting. Additionally, before mating, the snails circle each other and seem to be dancing.

On the other hand, if the same type of snails, meaning same-sex climb on each other and the position is not fixed at the top, then they might be fighting with each other. They also look aggressive toward their opponents. 

Well, sometimes you may miss these points as mystery snails cannot differentiate males from other female snails. As a result, they may climb one another for mating purposes though they are of the same sex.

But, in this case, you can understand the fact because when they won’t find the mating organ, the upper will get down in a short time. Besides, female mystery snails can store sperm inside them.

As a result, though completing mating, the female snail may not lay eggs for a long time. Even, they can lay eggs after one week of fertilization as I found in my aquarium. 

Fortunately, mystery snails are peaceful. They don’t fight with themselves or other species until they get stressed. That’s why, if you find them stuck, most probably they were mating, not fighting.

Mystery Snails Mating Behavior 

Mystery Snails Mating Behavior

Following the above point, I thought why not describe their mating behavior properly to you so that you can distinguish mating from fighting behavior?

Mystery snails have a proliferation in breeding rate. Since they are of two types, male and female snails, they complete their fertilization procedure through sexual mating.

As per the general rule, the male snails insert their reproductive organ into the female snail and release sperm into the female organ. Thus, they complete their fertilization process.

After the fertilization process is complete, sometimes they lay eggs immediately while sometimes they take 2-7 days for egg laying. The female searches for laying eggs and they are found floating on the water body.

Well, here I want to mention that a single female snail can release about 600 eggs on a go. That’s why I pointed out that they have a proliferation in breeding rate. 

The next procedure is simple. The eggs hatch and transform into baby small snails. Over time, they get older and become mature enough to be capable of mating again. Thus, the mating behavior or life cycle of mystery snails goes on.

Can Mystery Snails Harm Each Other During Fighting? 

Can Mystery Snails Harm Each Other During Fighting

I have already provided ideas to learn if the snails are mating or fighting. But it must happen that, now you are getting tension if their fighting behavior is harmful to them or not.

Let me tell you this fact. You just don’t need to be worried about their fighting as they have no tool or any sharp organ that can harm one another. 

From my point of view, as they don’t fight each other easily, you don’t need to think of the negative impacts of fighting. As long as they are in a sound environment, they won’t get engaged in fighting. 

And, if so, it won’t injure their body part or won’t kill them. They don’t fight for a long time. That’s why they will get separated within a short time and then start living peacefully again if it is not mating.

Why do Mystery Snails Fight?

Maybe you are feeling relieved that mystery snails won’t harm each other while fighting, right? But fighting is always a negative issue for any organism. 

That’s why if you find that they are fighting, you should identify the reason and take the initiative so that such a fighting environment cannot be created again.

From my aquarium experience, I found some reasons that can influence them to fight. Though being calm, you can’t resist fighting in such situations. 


The main cause of their fighting is the scarcity of food. When they can’t get enough food to maintain their life cycle, they fight with each other.


Mystery snails need enough space for inhabiting. If the snail population in the aquarium gets too dense, they don’t get enough space to reside and start fighting with each other.

Stressed environment

In the case of a stressed environment, like poor water quality, high levels of nitrogen, pH, or phosphate, or such type of negative issues, snails may sometimes fight with each other to get rid of the situation. 


If the male snail population gets too much more than the female in the aquarium, they fight with each other for mating purposes. But in this case, sometimes female snails may get injured.

5 Ways That Prohibit Mystery Snails From Fighting

From the above-mentioned part, you have gotten the idea of why mystery snails fight. But I think I should suggest some ways that may prohibit them from fighting so that you do not need to search for it again.

I want to mention here the 5 most important points that can prohibit mystery snails from fighting.

Maintain water quality 

First of all, you have to maintain the water quality. The pH range, nitrates and phosphates, TDS level, calcium adequacy, and algae level should be maintained properly so that the snails feel comfortable staying in the water.

Ensure enough space

Mystery snails need proper space for residing. At least 2.5 gallons of water should be maintained per snail to keep them far from fighting. As they are pacific they won’t harm each other.

Provide enough food

Offer a balanced diet to your mystery snails so that they need not snatch food from others. Enough zucchini or spinach leaves, algae wafers, and calcium-enriched commercial foods are best for them.

Assure enough hiding space

Sometimes, they need a proper hiding place from themselves or other species of the aquarium. Hence, maintain this to avoid fighting among them.

Remove stress

Any type of stressed condition can occur from pathogen attack, other species attack or diseases. Keep them always free from such environmental conditions to save them from fighting.

Mystery  Snails Neither Mating Nor Fighting 

As I mentioned, mystery snails mating or fighting can be identified by a common term when they are found to be climbing upon one another. But the same situation can occur for a different purpose.

These terms are different from mating or fighting but the common scenario of mating is seen. Let’s get an idea about them.


Though it sounds a little strange, sometimes small snails can climb upon large snails using them like a vehicle. They do so for moving purposes. 


Well, small snails may also take a rest on the larger snails climbing upon them. I saw this cute scenario in my aquarium many times.

Crawl over

This is a harmful term. In the upper portions, I found that small snails climb on the larger snails. But sometimes larger snails may also crawl over the small snails killing them. That’s why I suggest everyone keep larger snails and smaller snails in different places. 

How to Separate if Mystery Snails Stuck Together? 

Following the upper portions, most of the people ask me how to separate the mystery snails when they are stuck. In this case, you can separate them mechanically or by hand.

But, if you ask for my suggestion, I will prohibit you from doing so as these facts cause injuries to the mystery snails most of the time. After a certain time, they will be separated.

This can vary from 2 hours to 12 hours. But certainly, they will be separated. If you want to try separating them, mostly, the female snails may get injured slightly or at a high level.

That’s why if you want to get rid of their breeding process, you should keep the male and female snails apart from each other. Without male snails, female snails cannot go for breeding. 

As I mentioned before, female snails can store sperm inside them. Consequently, they can produce eggs even after keeping them divided from the male snails.

In that case, you can destroy the eggs after laying which remain in the water line. Even, this is the simplest way to stop the breeding of mystery snails. Thus, they won’t lay eggs again and the existing ones will be destroyed. 

Can Apple Snails and Mystery Snails Mate? 

Occasionally different snail species can mate with each other. But this cannot happen all the time even if you place both of these snails in the same aquarium or reef tank.

As you know, different species have different types of mating behavior. They have separate mating organs that are suitable for the male and females of that species. 

But whenever you want to interbreed within two species, their mating mechanism and reproductive organs may not be suitable. In that case, they won’t mate.

But, hardly they are seen to mate with one another. But, in most cases, this type is included in scientific research or processes.

From the general view, mystery snails and apple snails won’t mate. They may remain in the aquarium peacefully without doing any harm to one another, but mating is almost impossible. 


How often do mystery snails mate? 

Mystery snails may mate frequently or multiple times in their life cycle. This mating frequency depends on temperature, food, and the environment they are getting. It is beyond description that they produce clutches of eggs every few weeks.

Can mystery snails kill one another? 

No. Mystery snails may harm each other a little. But as I said before, they have no sharp or strong body parts which are harmful to the opponent or may kill them.

What to do if I find mystery snails fighting?

If you are damn sure that the mystery snails are fighting, you may separate them from one another gently using your hands. After that, you should keep them in different tanks. That’s why I suggest not making the tank overcrowded with snails.

Final Thoughts

Hence, this is the time to end. Mystery snail mating or fighting is a common question for most people who have introduced snails in their aquariums for the first time.

Also, experienced persons may sometimes get confused. That’s why you need to notice the behavior of your mystery snails closely. Their position and movement will clarify the fact.

However, as mystery snails are placid, you need not be bothered much about them. Always try to maintain a good ecological balance in the aquarium. This will save your snails from fighting. 

Howard Parker

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