Pomacea bridgesii, commonly called mystery snails, are one of my favorites. This is not your average snail!
First lets examine why people generally find snails to be a pest. First problem is, they reproduce like rabbits! It seems like every day there are 10 more than yesterday. If that wasn't bad enough, some snails eat plants. To make things worse, those 100 snails in your aquarium are all using the bathroom creating even more nitrates!
With all these horrible things snails do, why is it that mystery snails can cost upwards of $3 in a store? I mean, after all, if they reproduce like rabbits, they should be cheap right? Read on to see the magic of the mystery snail unfold before your eyes.
I hope you're ready for it. The mystery in mystery snails is that they will not reproduce under water! That's right, you will not get more mystery snails in your tank under water. Their secret is that they actually lay eggs above water, and hope they stay moist enough to hatch. This allows them to avoid predators in the tank.
This means all you have to do is keep your water level in your tank within a inch and a half or so from the top. Also mystery snails are not asexual! They take a boy and a girl snail to make baby snails. Another tactic is to only keep one in your tank. Allowing it to not reproduce.
Ok so we've established that were not gonna get overrun by these snails. That’s fine and dandy, but why do I want to keep them anyways?
They're scavengers! They eat leftover food, rotting plants, fish bodies. Basically whatever is sitting around in your tank. They'll even eat algae off the glass and plants. Notice I said they will eat rotting plants. Mystery snails will not eat live plants!
For under $3 you get a personal maid for your aquarium! If you've got a big aquarium hire more maids! For every community tank where the tank mates will let a mystery snail live. You should have one. They help break down so much waste in an aquarium it will blow your mind.
Hikari Crab Cuisine is a favorite, comprehensive food for invertebrates such as crabs, shrimp, and snails.
To keep the snails happy, keep the pH in the aquarium above 7.2 and hardness above 150ppm with plenty of calcium available in the water for building shells. As well as offering them something like a banquet block or Crab Cuisine so they can eat calcium as well.
Nano Banquet Food Blocks provide supplemental calcium to help your mystery shells grow strong and healthy shells.
Next time you're out fish shopping, pick up a mystery snail, you will not be disappointed.
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