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LasColinasCichlids 05-02-2011 08:37 PM

Mystery Snail Egg Clutches...
So here is the story...

Since my 15 gal is rather new there isnt any algae and my mystery snail wasnt too interested in veggie rounds or sinking pellets. So, night before last I moved what I thought was a him to my 29 gallon tank, as the otos could use the extra help with clearing the algae off the tank walls. I have had this snail for something like 2 months or more maybe (was originally in my 5 gal before I broke it down and set up the 15 gal). Anyways, the night I switch tanks on the snail there was a big storm brewing (which has been going on since then on and off). I know atmospheric pressure changes can encourage spawning in fish, as well as temp changes and such. I dont know if that change is the cause or not, as this happened within minutes.

Okay... so the temp in the 15g is 80F...the temp in the 29g is 79F.

So, as soon as I put the snail, (named "Speedy", and he/she really is!) into the 29g it went directly up the side of the tank, and came above first I thought it was trying to kill itself or something, so I pushed the snail back into the water and placed him on the gravel. The snail went to the opposite side of the tank, creeped up the side and out of the water. By this time I realized that it was trying to lay eggs. (I had assumed it was male since I had had it for like 2 months and it hadnt laid any clutches in the 5g or mystery snails/apple snails arent asexual like many snails, or so I have read.)

So Speedy laid one small clutch, then went back to the other side of the tank within 10 mins and laid like 2-3 more clutches. After that I went to bed, so who knows how many more clutches were laid above waterline. They were just laid like 40 hours ago, so they are still kind of clear...I read that after like a week or so they turn pink, so I am going to wait until then to remove any clutches, as I dont wish to have 20-30 giant snails.

My biggest debate is whether or not to keep any of the clutches to let hatch. My snail, Speedy, is HUGE! I have 3 inch cories and a 3.5 inch black molly in my 29g and the first thing you notice is this giant snail! Granted Speedy's shell is about 2.5-3" in diameter and when going up the sides Speedy's body measures over 3" long. And when I got Speedy, he was only maybe 1.5" in diameter on his/her shell. So I dont know if I want any to hatch as I could end up housing 15-20+ giant snails if I cant find homes for the new snails. However, I do wish to have one more mystery snail to eventually put in my I am trying to balance between letting once clutch hatch or waiting until I need another snail and just paying $2. And it would be cool to watch a bunch of baby snails.

And for how I was going to get rid of the clutches I dont want (or all of them) I was either going to scrape them onto a paper towel and trash them, or let the embryos drown in the water and let the cories eat them. Any opinions on which sounds better?

And if I allow just one clutch to get to many or what % of that clutch is likely to make it to adulthood or survive? Dont have any traditional snail eaters in the tank, but I am sure someone would eat a baby if the shell is soft enough... stock list is in my signature, the tank stock in question is the 29g/tank 1.

Looking for opinions, personal experience, information...anything that relates to these details that could help me decide and/or help me with keeping one clutch.

I know a great website and have read over it, but that doesnt beat others' experiences. And yes, Speedy is my first snail ever...even though I have kept fish on and off over the past many years, I never had a snail until Speedy.

Thanks in advance, as its always appreciated.

bettababy 05-03-2011 01:44 AM

If you want to go ahead and hatch a clutch full of them, I would love to take an entire clutch full off of your hands... I have so much tank space for them and love watching them. Around here they are expensive and hard to find healthy ones. Let me know if you're interested and what you would charge me.

In regards to them turning pink... yes, they do.

TwinDad 05-03-2011 02:14 PM

Maybe I'm missing something here, but if speedy is a girl, and I thought you said for the mystery snails it takes two to tango, how would the eggs be fertilized and hatch?

LasColinasCichlids 05-03-2011 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by TwinDad (Post 664624)
Maybe I'm missing something here, but if speedy is a girl, and I thought you said for the mystery snails it takes two to tango, how would the eggs be fertilized and hatch?

Snails can hold sperm from a male for many months, much like livebearers can. And their eggs dont have to be fertilized after laying.

LasColinasCichlids 05-03-2011 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by bettababy (Post 664374)
If you want to go ahead and hatch a clutch full of them, I would love to take an entire clutch full off of your hands... I have so much tank space for them and love watching them. Around here they are expensive and hard to find healthy ones. Let me know if you're interested and what you would charge me.

In regards to them turning pink... yes, they do.

I am beginning to think she laid the first clutch I watched her lay is no longer there or at least no longer visable. And I am only seeing one other clutch, and it is still clear with what looks like bubbles. I am probably going to go ahead and let her have one clutch hatch...and what ever survives over 3 (one for myself, and one for two of my fish keeping friends locally), I would gladly send you the rest for nothing but the cost of shipping supplies and cost... never shipped live animals before so when it comes time you would need to walk me through it. Its the right time of year at least. And I hear shipping the mystery snails are easy as I think a soaked sponge is all thats needed...that they can survive outside of water for weeks if the humidity is right...I dont know, I will look more into their shipping needs when it comes closer to time, assuming the clutch hatches and there are survivors. I will keep you posted.

It is hard to find healthy ones here too. I actually went about 25 minutes away to find mine at a Petsmart. I wanted a black or blue mystery snail, but got the ivory/gold as it was the only healthy looking and active snail in the tank. My local Petsmart has empty shells in their tank, and there are massive amounts of them sitting on top of one another as well as the ADFs they keep in the tank with them. I am always very careful when choosing my animals. It took months for me to find a 2nd ADF I was comfortable with adding to my 2 year old ADF, Bella's tank.

bettababy 05-03-2011 06:04 PM

I will always be interested in taking mystery snails, I apologize for assuming that you had fertilized eggs. Whenever it happens, if it happens, just let me know and I can talk you through packing and shipping them safely. It is pretty easy if the weather conditions are appropriate, although I do prefer to have some water in the bag with them, especially if there are more than just a couple of snails in a bag. The water is minimal though, just enough to them to stay wet as needed. The lack of water weight which would be needed to ship fish helps to save a lot on shipping costs.
I have 6 gold mystery snails at present, but as mentioned, I have many large tanks that need plenty more of them. I am in the process of eliminating ram's horn snails from most of my tanks because of the excessive breeding that my fish are doing... too hard to save the eggs from being eaten by snails when there are hundreds of snails always laying their own eggs everywhere. Ram's horn snails love angelfish eggs and eat through an entire spawn in a matter of a few hrs.

I would love to get back to breeding mystery snails (I did it yrs ago) but at present I don't have enough of them here for that to happen. I have plenty of outlets for young mystery snails, so having too many of them is not something I worry about. My 215 gallon goldfish tank currently has 2 gold mystery snails, but they are young and have much more space than just the 2 of them can handle when it comes to helping with maintenance. I'd like to fill it up :-)

Keep me posted, and best of luck with your snail breeding!

LasColinasCichlids 05-03-2011 07:13 PM

I only dream of having the space for big tanks! I am hoping that if I buy a smaller dinning room set, my hubby might see the room for a 60 gallon I have had my eyes on...which would be reserved for two blood red parrot cichlids....or rainbows.

I will keep you posted for sure! I am kind of excited and hope to have one clutch survive as I think it would be so cool as I dont breed my fish. Mainly, I deal with livebearers (never on purpose, but I always seem to end up with them)...and I know how they overpopulate easy, so I have purposely kept only males. However, I did pick up 6 free fry from petsmart of guppies...lost 3 of them...and the remaining 3 seem to be they will either go into the 15g or I will have to set up the 5g again and seed it for the 3 lady guppies to hang I think they will be too active for my betta and rasboras liking.

bettababy 05-04-2011 04:36 PM

Most of my tanks are 65 gallons or more... up to the pair of 215 gallon tanks. Slowly I have eliminated all but 3 small tanks (under 30 gallons) and will have that down to 2 once I move the reef to the 75 gallon soon. I don't have an issue with hubby allowing it because he's an aquatic biologist and understands my need... fish is what we know, what we do, what we bonded over, and will always have a house full, yard/pond full, etc. We have already started designing our retirement home we hope to build some day, complete with indoor ponds, waterfalls, etc. The only thing we are still debating on is the moat I want around it... no idea yet what we would put in it. We talked about koi and turtles, etc, so we can swim in it if we so desire, but the thought of something a little more "intimidating" to keep other people out is still on the table, lol. He seems ok with the idea of the moat but a drawbridge driveway is still up for debate. ;-) We have 10 yrs or so to decide, so no rush.
Hubby knows I would be lost without my fish and I think he would be lost without them too.

He's taking me fish shopping for Mother's Day this weekend, hoping to get a few more African cichlids for the tank I just redecorated. I'll post some photos in my aquarium section here if you want to see it...

LasColinasCichlids 05-04-2011 08:20 PM

Sounds absolutely amazing! I would love to see photos!! I would love large tanks! We live in an apartment so it is hard to find the space as we have tons of stuff! Yeah, he isnt a huge animal person...he loves video games. He knows my love for animals, but we also are aware of our space limits, so the dog, cat, and fish are our max, for now at least.

LOVE the retirement house ideas!!!

LasColinasCichlids 05-05-2011 12:47 AM

Disappearing clutches?!
I went to look in depth in my 29 gal as its water change is due tomorrow...and I wanted to verify the location of the egg clutches so I could plan out the water change as to not drown the clutch I was planning on keeping through hatching. Well, none of them are there!!! :shock: I have no idea what happened to them! It's as if they just melted away. Then I wonder if one of my clever guppies managed to jump up a bit and get my guppies are special and pretend to "fly" on ocassion (my turq fancy "Terk" managed to clear a couple of inches a few weeks ago to jump into the fry net/nursery). Or maybe it was "Velvet", my huge black molly...he is a very determined fish?

I will look closely again tomorrow during the water change and see if I can spot they would be 5 days old tomorrow, so I would expect them to be heading to pink coloration soon, as hatching usually takes place between 2-4 weeks.

If I dont see any (and I will bust out an LED flashlight to make sure too), then if Speedy lays anymore we will have to see what happens...technically she could have a good 4 months left of sperm in her from when she was in the snail tank at Petsmart, assuming she mated with a male shortly before I purchased her.

Now I feel like buying more snails! LOL If I had the space I would...and I'd send you all the babies you want, Bettababy!!! lol

But I will keep you posted on any future clutches if there really isnt any in there now. If there isnt any, do you have any idea what happened? Is this common at all?? I mean, I know for a fact I watched Speedy lay her first clutch!!! But I cant figure out what happened to them... or maybe she laid empty clutches? I dont know, would love to know what went on.

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