If you’ve been keeping mystery snails for just about any period of time, you’ve probably spotted at least one clutch of eggs, if not multiple. Mystery snail females can hold sperm for at least 9 months, so a female that mates at the pet store or the breeder’s facility can decide to lay eggs one day. It’s not uncommon for people to wonder where a mysterious clutch of eggs came from because they have one mystery snail. If you’ve seen one of those pink egg clutches in your tank, keep reading for more info on hatching your mystery snail eggs.
Understanding the Process
Not only can female mystery snails hold onto biological material for months, but once they decide to start laying those eggs, they will likely lay multiple clutches. Females will hold off on laying eggs until they feel the environment is just right. This means, once you’ve got a female settled into a tank with healthy parameters, she may surprise you.
It’s a common misconception that mystery snails are hermaphroditic, meaning they can change their sex or that they can both fertilize eggs and lay eggs, and that they can reproduce asexually, or without a mate. However, mystery snails are dioecious, which means that males and females are distinct and cannot change. What this means for you is that if you’ve only got one mystery snail and she’s laid a few clutches of eggs, it’s unlikely she’ll lay more in the future without a mate.
What Am I Looking For?
Mystery snail egg clutches are a soft pink color and tend to be somewhat long and narrow. They lay their eggs above the waterline and it’s usually recommended that you leave 4 inches of space above the waterline at the top of the tank. If there is not enough space, it’s not uncommon for mystery snails to escape the tank to lay eggs in unusual places like the underside of the tank hood, inside filters, on walls, and even on electrical cords. Give your female mystery snail a safe, secure place she can go to lay her eggs, even if you don’t intend to hatch the clutch. This will create a low-stress environment for her.
Hatching your own mystery snail eggs is a multi-step process, but it isn’t difficult. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re going to do with all the hatchlings once they are large enough. Sometimes, aquarium stores will buy them, or you can sell them to friends or online, but you may end up with more snails than you can handle if you don’t have a plan ahead of time. Your hatchlings will grow noticeably every week and within 2-4 months, they should be large enough to go to new homes. Once they reach the size of a nickel to a quarter, they are old enough to begin breeding.
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