7 Reasons Why Mystery Snail Shell Turning Clear [Solution]

Snails surely alleviate the beauty of fish tanks. Indeed, watching them slaying the tank water is peace to the eyes until you realize the mystery snail shell is turning clear!

Not desirable at all, right? But it happens frequently. The mystery snail shell is meant to turn white or clear over time. Hence, the question arises, why?

Well, there can be several reasons for this to happen. However, the main reason is the deterioration of health. It happens when your mystery snail is stressing over adverse situations. Thus, sudden changes in water parameters and temperatures, the deficit of calcium, insufficient light, and others can also be the reason.

All these reasons can make the shell of your mystery snail go thin and peel. So, how to fix this problem?

Let us serve you with everything regarding this topic. A detailed discussion might make the snails in your tank live longer.

Why is Mystery Snail Shell Turning Clear -Fixing Guide

mystery snail shell is turning clear

1. Excessive Acidic Tank Water

High acid content makes the water corrosive for mystery snails and induces the deterioration of their shell. Too much acidic water slowly affects the snail shell. Consequently, the snails lose their resistance power to any kind of infection.

Moreover, corrosive water stops the shell growth along with peeling and turning it clear. Again, low pH content makes the water soft and snails really do not like to live in soft water. Mystery snails are more likely to develop well in hard water.

Control Measure

  • Use a pH meter for the aquarium [our pick] and check the water pH frequently. Make sure your tank has a pH level between 7.5 to 8.5. It will not turn out well if the pH falls below 7.0. It is important for the proper development of the shell as well.
  • Moreover, you have to improve the water hardness. Basically, water hardness is a measurement of total dissolved minerals. Hence, you need to add some mineral substances to bring hardness to water like limestone or crushed coral.
  • Again, many people use chemical additives for balancing the water pH and improving its hardness.
  • However, for lower pH, you can amend it by adding baking soda to the tank water. It is more like a straight solution.

So, these are some probable solutions you can take to get rid of this problem. However, replacing water is another way to protect your snail and tank water from being corrosive.

2. Inadequate Light

Well, to speak the fact, snails are not that much of a fan of sunlight. There are several talks and questions among the aquarists on the internet regarding this matter. But it is another fact that insufficient sunlight is the reason for your mystery snail shell turning clear.

Snails tend to hide behind reef foliage when they face direct sunlight. But the study shows that the absence of light affects the health and shell of mystery snails. It is because sunlight can enhance the Vitamin D3 absorbing rate in snails.

It holds on to the true color of a snail shell. Thus, when they lack adequate sunlight, it causes discoloration of their shell. Consequently, their shell becomes white or clear.

Nonetheless, excessive sunlight can affect the opposite way. This goes for UV light as well. Excess UV light can fade away the shells. But this fact is unknown to many aquarists. However, this fact still requires scientific research.

Control Measure

  • You can run experiments over your mystery snails to understand if they actually like the light or tend to hide.
  • Do not make your snail suffer from too much or too less light.
  • Ensure the mystery snails are having necessary light for absorbing enough vitamin D3.

3. The Deficit in the Calcium Supply

check calcium level with API test kit in aquarium

It is another crucial reason why your mystery snails are turning clear. Their diet pack has to include calcium. Thus, tank water having lower calcium concentrations work as the main culprit for peeling snail shell. Snails are highly dependent on calcium.

The main element that helps in building the perfect shell of a snail is nothing but calcium. Calcium also maintains proper growth of the shell and helps in repairing it as well if any damages occur.

Without enough calcium, the mystery snails start to develop shells that are not strong enough and deteriorated. Also, their shell becomes thin eroding their color. Hence, over time the shells crack in.

Nonetheless, calcium deficiency occurs more damage to young or baby snails. They develop a vulnerable shell due to calcium deficit and later might even die.  

Moreover, studies and research have shown that calcium carbonate can build about 95 to 98% shell of a mystery snail. Hence, when the tank water lacks calcium supply, the shell turns clear and at a certain point cracks in.

Control Measure

  • First, you have to keep checking calcium levels frequently. Thus, get the best calcium test kit for your snails and determine the levels (our pick: API CALCIUM TEST KIT Saltwater Aquarium Water)
  • To get rid of this problem, you have to increase the level of calcium concentrations. Hence, provide sufficient calcium with the diet of your mystery snails.
  • Cuttlebone is a prominent and enormous source of calcium. They are powdery in texture and available in almost every fish store. So, add it to your aquarium.
  • There are also other several sources of calcium including limestone and crushed coral. These sources are great substitutes for calcium deficiencies. They can also heal the shell damages that occurred due to calcium deficit.
  • Eggshells are also beneficial in this case. They can meet the need for calcium in tank water. Just to remove the bacteria, bake the eggshells for about ten minutes and then apply.

So, these are some ways to defeat calcium deficiency in snails. However, you have to ensure other nutrients as well apart from calcium in their diet. Only a balanced diet can build a healthy shell.

4. Feeding and Temperature

mystery snail eating crushed eggshell

Your mystery snail is a living organism. So, it must require food for healthy survival. Therefore, you have to provide food with balanced nutrients. However, food and temperature are interlinked with each other.

At a certain age, it is to some extent obvious that the mystery snail will start to lose its shell color. So, they will use the food to produce eggs. But this process is hampered when the temperature levels in the tank water are low.

It damages their growth line. Hence, the shell borders get cracked eventually. Consequently, the snail grows a cracked shell and it becomes uneven. So, it is obvious that the shell will deteriorate and clear as well.

Control Measure

  • Ensure a diet that contains all essential nutrients required by the mystery snail to grow a perfect shell.
  • Also, keep checking the temperatures of the tank water. Make sure the levels are never too low.
  • To feed your snails properly you can select lettuce, algae wafers, zucchini, pellets, squash, flakes, and all. All these foods contain a higher amount of calcium.

So, you have to feed your snails with minerals at the proper temperatures. It will recover its shell.

5. Exposure to Copper

Copper exposure can also turn mystery snail shells clear. It is because this substance is toxic to mystery snails. There are many ways copper can take its entry straight into the tank water and damage the shells of snails.

Copper can intrude the tank water through several decorative elements or stones and tap water. Even bacterial treatments are also a way for copper to get into the tank.

Basically, copper is a metal and it is going to accumulate upon the shell of the snails. As a result, it will turn the shell white. So, undoubtedly copper is the devil for snails.

Control Measure

  • Inspect properly while changing water. Most tap water contains copper in it. If this is the case, use other water sources that are free from copper.
  • Use a copper test kit to frequently determine the copper content in water (our pick: API COPPER TEST KIT 90-Test Aquarium Water)
  • 0.1mg copper per liter of water will not do any harm to the snails. But if the level exceeds then your snail will suffer. Thus, in this case, you have to change the water from 20 to 30%.
  • Adding an activated carbon block to the filter of the tank also offers a good result. Absorbing cooper, the carbon block protects the mystery snail shell.
  • Using a water conditioner for the aquarium helps in removing copper. It also reduces chloramine, chlorine, and ammonia in water. Moreover, water conditioners allow stable pH in water (our pick: API TAP WATER CONDITIONER)

Nonetheless, to go for an easier and faster solution, you can take the help of some commercial products that are specifically manufactured to remove copper.

6. Higher Levels of CO2 and Potassium

These two elements are also responsible for turning the mystery snail shells clear. A higher concentration of carbon dioxide keeps affecting the snail shell. Hence, it helps in eroding the shell.

The same accusation goes for a higher level of potassium content in tank water. It also hurts the snail shell by turning it clear. Moreover, higher potassium concentration lowers the calcium absorption in snails. Thus, it interrupts the process of shell building.

Control Measure

  • Keep determining the carbon dioxide and potassium concentration in tank water and then act accordingly.
  • Let not potassium reduce the calcium absorbing rate of snails.

7. Wrong Tankmates and Illusion

When you are keeping mystery snails in your tank water make sure you choose the right tankmates for them. Otherwise, they will be the reason to turn your snail shell white. Mystery snails are docile in nature. Hence, it is obvious that they cannot fight larger fish in the same tank.

Moreover, some people love to keep coralline algae along with mystery snails in their aquariums. In most cases, the algae takes place over the shell. Since coralline algae also come with different hues, it is not easy to differentiate the shell and algae.

Surprisingly, coralline algae can also turn white or clear over time. So, it might be an illusion that you are thinking your snail shell is getting clear. Whereas the ultimate fact is the coralline algae over the shell has turned clear.

Again, an illusion can also occur if the tank water and its light trick you.

Control Measure

  • Avoid large fish to keep in the tank along with mystery snails. Rather keep Corydoras, guppies, or shrimp in the tank. These tankmates are suitable and compatible with living with snails.
  • Make sure coralline algae are taking over other surfaces for their growth. You can lead them to the surface of decorations or rocks.
  • Again, ensure water clarity to escape the illusion you are having that your mystery snail shell is turning white.
  • Before going for any steps, take your snail out and inspect if it is really losing its shell color.

So, these are some unexpected reasons for the mystery shell turning clear. However, the aged snail will lose its shell color eventually. It is a fact.


How Do I Fix A Mystery Snail Shell?

The mystery snail shell is capable of fixing its own shell only when you ensure the proper environment and provide cuttlebone. However, the damage or crack has to be small otherwise the snail cannot fix it.

Do Mystery Snail Shells Change Color?

Yes, but you won’t like their changing color since they change shell color when they are deteriorating. They turn clear and white which is surely not expected.

What Is The Consequence When A Snail Breaks Its Shell?

Once the shell of the mystery snail is damaged significantly, the snail will die eventually. Hence, you have to notice before the damage gets too serious and take action immediately.

Read More- 5 Reasons for White Spots On Snail Shell -Effective Solution]

Final Words

Now that you have already discovered what is the ultimate reason for your mystery snail shell turning clear, take action accordingly. If you are still not sure, start the process by inspecting the water pH.

If you ensure the proper environment, food, and tankmates, your mystery snail will slay the tank. So, if our article has helped you let us know with your feedback. Also, shoot any queries regarding the topic.

Howard Parker

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