Mystery snail is one of the most popular types of snails and is a common pet in many homes. They have many different care needs, but they are relatively easy to take care of when you know what you’re doing. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to Mystery Snail Care that will help answer any questions that you may have about these adorable creatures!

Specie overview

Mystery Snails (scientific name: Pomacea bridgesii) are a type of freshwater snail that is commonly found in the United States. Mystery snails were first discovered in 1964, and their introduction to the US was deliberate. Mystery Snail care has been popularized by a number of youtube channels and blogs, with some people citing Mystery Snails as pets for children or classrooms. They have also become popular among collectors because they are not common outside of the US.

Mystery snail

Mystery snails come from South America originally, where they live in slow-flowing water. Mystery snails will eat almost anything that is living and decomposing in the water, or algae and plants growing on rocks near the shore. Mystery Snail care includes providing them with a submerged environment to live in like other pets do.

Information sheet

Scientific NamePomacea bridgesii
OriginSouth America
Care levelEasy
Tank levelEasy
ApperanceBright Yellow
Lifespan12-16 months
Minimum tank size10 gallons (35 litres)
Water temperature60°F-80°F (15°C-28°C)
pH levelNeutral (6-7)
Water typeFresh water

Appearance & Gender Differences

Mystery Snail is a low-profile animal that grows to be about more than an inch, and usually max out at 2 inches long. The snail’s shell has a spiral shape and their body is usually light brown or black, with some variation in coloring patterns between varieties of Mystery snails. Mystery Snails do not have any gender differences other than the size difference at adulthood which also determines whether it will lay eggs or become male or female.

Mystery snails actually come from South America originally, where there were different variations found around waterfalls and streams living in rock crevices underwater. They feed on algae as well as decaying plant matter

Natural Habitat & Living Conditions

Mystery snails are orignally from South American countries, such as Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru. Mystery snails inhabit damp, dark areas and live on the forest floor. Mystery snails are found in freshwater body, such as lakes, rivers and streams. Mystery snails are thought to be able to survive on land because of their ability to breathe air and move about in search of food when water levels recede. Mystery snails are also found in rice paddies, where water is present but not deep enough for other aquatic animals to survive. Mystery snails can be found on trees and low-growing vegetation near the edge of a body of water.


Mystery snails are nocturnal, meaning they’re more active at night and less active during the day. Mystery Snails will hibernate when their environment’s temperature is below 50°F (10°C). Mystery Snails are also known to hibernate in the wild during winter, and there is evidence that Mystery snails can sometimes be found in homes even when they’re not living indoors. Mystery snail caretakers should monitor their Mystery Snail’s activity levels throughout the year for signs of cold weather or a low-temperature environment triggering hibernation mode.

Mystery snail

Mystery snail care


Mystery snails have a life span of 12-16 months in human-made habitats, but can live up to 2 years in the wild.

Mystery snail’s lifespan depends on two main factors: diet, environment.

With a subpar diet, mystery snails will have a shorter lifespan. They eat algae, plants and other small organisms so Mystery snail keepers should be mindful of their feeding habits to avoid shortened lifespans.

Environment also plays a factor in the Mystery snail’s lifespan. Mystery snails are like any other snails: they’re cold blooded. The warmer the water, the faster their metabolisms go, thus the faster they age.

Tank size & tank conditions

Mystery snails are one of the most adaptable snails. They can live in many different conditions. You also want to provide them with plenty of hiding places and food sources. They don’t require a specific water conditions to thrive, but the most important rule is to keep water temperature around 60°F-80°F, ideally at 70°F. Mystery snails don’t react well if temperature goes below 50°F as they will go to hibernation mode, so you should keep that in mind in.

Mystery snails are also able to withstand harsher water conditions than other freshwater species. This makes mystery snails ideal pet for children.

For tank size, a mystery snail can live in tanks as small as 5-gallon tank. The rule of thumb is an addition mystery snail should require 5 more gallon. You will also want to make sure that the water is well circulated and filtered with sponge filters or gravel filtration systems. The mystery snail habitat should also have hiding spots like rocks or plants. This will help mystery Snails feel secure in their surroundings.

Diet & feeding

Mystery snails are omnivores and will eat nearly anything that is edible, however they should be fed a variety of vegetables for the most nutritious diet. Mystery snails are also scavengers and as such will enjoy some fruit from time to-time. Mystery snails generally need small food particles in order to properly digest their food so you may need to provide an occasional treat with larger food particles. Mystery snails will also spend some time grazing on algae growing in the tank so you may not need to provide any additional food.

Mystery snails are not picky eaters and will generally scavenge for any food that is available. Mystery snails should be fed once per day, with the exception of every-other-day feeding which may help to keep a more stable population size.

Common diseases

Mystery snails suffer from common diseases for snails and aquarium/terrestrial animals. Mystery snails are relatively hardy, so it takes a while for them to show symptoms of illness and they have an amazing ability to heal themselves.

Most common diseases:

  • Shell rot
  • Mouth Rot
  • Respiratory Infection (bacterial or fungal)
  • Lymphatic infection

These are just a few of the Mystery Snail common diseases. If you notice any symptoms, it is best to first isolate your mystery Snails, put your snails into quarantine tank and then treat them with medications that have been prescribed for mystery snails by an aquatic animal veterinarian or health professional. The most important thing is to never stop providing proper Mystery Snail care.


Breeding mystery snails is an important part of a mystery snail care guide. Mystery snails will mate at any time during their life cycle as long as they are healthy and the water is warm enough (around 70°F).

In order to best care for your mystery snails during breeding season, it is important to keep them in their own tank away from other animals. Mystery snails that are bred in a tank with other animals may have difficulty eating and growing properly, which can lead to death.

Snail eggs

Mystery snails will breed agressively so it is important to control the population in your tank. Mystery snails can lay up to 500 eggs at a time and they can often do this several times during the breeding season.

In order to control population of mystery snails, you can remove the eggs as they are laid and place them in an isolated tank. Mystery snails will lay their eggs on the surface of rocks or on plant leaves, so it is important to inspect these surfaces regularly for new eggs.

You should not discard snail eggs into environment by normal means (flushing down your toilet, put into garbage, etc.). Snails are invasive species, and their eggs should be destroyed.


Mystery snails are compatible with almost any freshwater species. The only fish that may be a threat are large, aggressive cichlids. Mystery snails can also live in brackish water, but they will need to have access to freshwater every once in awhile so their bodies do not get too diluted by the saltwater.


Mystery snails are the perfect choice for anyone, from beginners to experienced fishkeepers. Mystery snails are peaceful, interesting to watch and easy to care for. Although they have a reputation of being slow on the move, Mystery snails can actually travel around their aquarium at quite a speed when excited or startled; so make sure there is no way out!

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