Mystery snails are freshwater snails that lay their eggs above the waterline, particularly on hard surfaces, such as the sides of an aquarium. However, the eggs might accidentally fall into the water, and drown.
If mystery snail eggs fell in water, use a plastic scraper or credit card to get them out carefully and place them in a small bowl or incubator to hatch. Mystery eggs need constant moisture and a warm temperature between 76 and 82°F to hatch.
Mystery snail eggs are usually small, round, and soft. They can range in color from white to pinkish or light brown. They are often laid in clusters and can easily be confused for mystery snail poop. When about to hatch, they will turn dark greyish or appear to have dark spots.
For mystery snails’ eggs to hatch, they require the following;
- High humidity level (moisture)
- Temperatures of between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- They should remain above the water’s surface.
However, you can increase the hatching rate by using an incubator. So what should you do if mystery snail eggs fall into the water?
If you quickly remove the eggs after they fall into the water, they can survive. Here is what you can do to salvage the eggs:
- Put a few layers of damp paper towel into a bowl and place the bowl on the water’s surface in the tank.
- Use a plastic scraper or credit card to gently lift the egg mass from the water and place them on the paper towel in the bowl.
- Put one damp paper towel over the eggs. They need to stay moist to hatch.
- In 2 – 3 weeks, the eggs will turn into a translucent, jelly-like appearance which is typically snail hatchlings.
Can mystery snail eggs survive in water?
Normally, mystery snails lay their eggs above the waterline, particularly on the sides of the tank or any decoration material. However, disturbances or movements in the tank might dislodge poorly attached egg masses, causing them to fall into the water.
Unfortunately, mystery snail eggs cannot survive when submerged in the water. You may save them if you quickly remove them from under the water.
In most cases, female mystery snails try to escape the tank when they don’t get enough space to lay their eggs. Survival of mystery snails out of water is undoubtedly not possible. The snail dies as soon as it dries out.
How to tell if mystery snail eggs are dead
Mystery snails do not reproduce asexually; they require a male and female to mate. That’s why you must sex your mystery snails (know their gender) before keeping them together.
After mating, a female mystery snail will hatch eggs in two to three weeks. A hatching fertilized egg will start to grow and darken in color. Towards their hatching day, you will notice dark spots on them.
The female will also lay eggs without a male mystery snail, but you cannot immediately tell if mystery snails are fertile. After two to three weeks, infertile eggs will still appear small (the same size as when laid). They will also have a uniform dark color but no dark spots.
Infertile eggs will eventaully die. Fertile eggs may die due to poor water conditions, inappropriate temperatures, or parasitic infections. It can be difficult to tell if mystery snail eggs are dead or alive without looking closely.
Dead mystery snails will have an awful smell and feel mushy if you touch them with your finger.
How to dispose of infertile or dead snail eggs
When you notice that the mystery snail eggs are infertile, the only option is to dispose of them. It’s not wise to throw them in the trash bin or garden. A few might be alive, meaning you have released snails into the wild.
In a few weeks, they will be able to reproduce and without being controlled, they will eat vegetation and crops. Releasing snails into the wild is prohibited in the United States and Canada.
If you are sure that snail eggs are infertile or dead, crush or freeze them for two days and put them in the trash or flush them in the toilet.
How to hatch mystery snail eggs in an incubator
As long as you provide a good environment for your mystery snails to thrive, mystery snails will lay fertile eggs. The snails should be well-fed, have good water parameters, and have a male to mate.
Here are simple steps to follow if you plan to hatch mystery snail eggs in an incubator.
- Provide an open space for the female mystery snail to lay eggs above the waterline.
- After she lays the eggs, allow them to stay intact for about two days. The eggs are soft and have a jelly-like consistency when laid. In an attempt to move them before they harden, you might damage them.
- As you wait for the clutch to harden, prepare your incubation box. A container with a secure lid would also be okay.
- Before moving the eggs, deep two or three paper towels in water and squeeze all the water out ( the paper towel should be damp, not wet). Place the paper towel at the bottom of the container.
- Move the eggs and place them on top of the paper towel.
- Seal the container and put it in a warm and humid place. You can also float it in the tank.
- You must open the container daily for a few minutes to allow airflow to prevent mold and mildew and oxygenate the eggs. Do not leave it open for long because it will alter the moisture content in the incubator.
- Wait for the eggs to hatch. It only takes two to three weeks.
Mystery snail eggs cannot hatch underwater. If you find them fallen in the water, remove them and put them in an incubator. Fertile, healthy eggs will hatch in two or three weeks, and if you do not see them hatching, destroy and dispose of them.
- “Snail Eggs & Embryology”, Hagerstown Community College
- “Aquatic Invasive Species”, Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council