Not every aquarist wants to have mystery snail eggs. That was at least how I felt a few years back, as I knew that these little creatures could overwhelm my tank. Luckily, as time passed, I learned a few tricks that helped me get rid of them.
You can choose one of these methods in order to get rid of mystery snail eggs:
- Scrape them off by using a credit card.
- Use the eggs as a food source for your fish.
- Cover the eggs with water.
- Remove the lid so the eggs dry out.
- Submerge new aquarium decorations with bleach as a preventive measure.
As we move forward, I will elaborate on the different techniques listed above. Then, I’ll discuss whether removing those eggs is actually necessary.
Still curious? Feel free to check my complete guide on mystery snail eggs. There, I discussed how to care for the eggs, what their stages are, how to tell if they are fertilized, and much more
How To Get Rid Of Mystery Snail Eggs
Freshwater snails seem benign, but they are dangerous. Some resources have accused them of afflicting hundreds of millions of people around the world with diseases like schistosomiasis.
You also have stories of species like the Chinese mystery snail that aquarists brought to the United States from Asia. The invasive species has since become a menace that some communities have tried and failed to eradicate efficiently.
Chinese mystery snails compete for vital resources with native snails. They also spread a trematode parasite that kills waterfowl.
The negative impact of a conventional mystery snail is typically restricted to an aquarium. However, mystery snails can also present a challenge for ordinary aquarists, especially when they saturate the water with ammonia.
Fortunately, these methods will eliminate the eggs before the babies can emerge:
1. Prevent The Eggs From Entering Your Tank
Why eliminate mystery eggs when you can prevent them from entering the aquarium in the first place?
Newcomers erroneously assume that mystery snails can only enter the tank when you introduce a breeding pair, but that is not true.
Like every other pest, mystery snail eggs can hitch a ride into your tank on new plants and decorations.
For that reason, you should take a moment to inspect new additions. Remove every egg you can see.
Better yet, submerge the plants and decorations in solutions like bleach that kill snails and their eggs. Approach this step cautiously. The bleach may harm your plants.
2. Feed Them To Your Fish
This sounds counterintuitive, but you should let the eggs hatch. Snails lay their eggs in clusters above the waterline.
If your mystery snails share a tank with fish, add the baby snails to the meals your fish eat. Younger fish require as much protein as you can give them.
To be fair, the fish will happily eat the eggs. The eggs are small enough for adult fish to swallow whole.
But adding snail eggs to your fish’s diet means making a deliberate effort to find and scrape the eggs off whatever surface they call home.
If you don’t have the time or patience to play an active role in removing mystery snail eggs, let the eggs hatch.
Maintaining the appropriate conditions in an aquarium is not enough to keep baby snails alive. You must surround them with friendly fish species that are less likely to eat them.
In other words, you don’t have to compel species like catfish, loaches, and cichlids to eat baby snails and eggs. They know what to do.
3. Scrape The Eggs With A Plastic Card
Use a thin card to scrape the eggs off the tank surface. Any thin, flat object will do. Many people use credit cards because they are less likely to damage mystery snail eggs.
But if the well-being of the eggs doesn’t concern you, any thin, flat object will do, including a knife.
Some people prefer the siphoning method. This is where you suck the eggs out of the tank via a tube. The goal is to remove the eggs humanely.
But siphoning won’t work here because mystery snails lay eggs in clusters. You can try it. But it won’t be humane.
Either way, the objective is to remove the eggs from the tank. The method used doesn’t matter.
Once you retrieve the eggs, place them in a bag and leave them in a freezer. Once they freeze, crush the cluster and throw the remains in a bin.
4. Raise The Waterline By A Few Inches
As I previously discussed, mystery snail eggs shouldn’t be underwater. Just like their parents, the embryos need air to survive.
Admittedly, mystery snails can live underwater for extended periods. But once in a while, they will rise to the surface to breathe.
If the mystery snail eggs are covered with water, the embryos will suffocate and die. That is what usually happens when a clatch is detached from the aquarium’s wall and sinks to the bottom.
In many cases, aquarium fish take advantage of it by eating the eggs. But even if they miss them, the eggs won’t hatch underwater.
5. Remove The Aquarium’s Lid
Mystery snail eggs must be in a humid environment to survive. That is why most aquarists keep them an inch from the waterline and use a lid to capture the evaporation.
If you wish to get rid of the eggs, you can easily kill them by removing the lid and lowering the water a bit.
That will ensure the eggs dry out and die. After a couple of days, as they turn white, it will be quite easy to remove them from your tank’s wall.
How To Get Rid Of Snail Eggs In Soil?
You can get rid of snail eggs that got stuck in your soil by vacuuming the substrate. Mystery snails lay their eggs above the waterline. But those eggs do not always stay above the waterline.
Once they lose their grip, the eggs will sink to the bottom of the tank. You can’t trust the fish to eat them before they rot, which is why newcomers are encouraged to remove the eggs as soon as possible.
If you vacuum the substrate weekly during your maintenance routine, you will probably get to the eggs before they decompose.
You can easily do that with products like the well-known Hygger Aquarium Gravel Cleaner (link to Amazon). That is what I use in my tank, and it works perfectly.
Using a gravel cleaner will also eliminate other stuff stuck in your soil, such as leftovers and fish waste. That is a huge advantage as these typically rot and produce extensive amounts of ammonia.
Should I Remove Mystery Snail Eggs?
Well, it depends on your objective. Do you want to rear mystery snails? If the answer is yes, you still have a decision to make. Mystery snail eggs will hatch if you leave them alone.
But can you trust the other inhabitants of the tank to behave? Do you trust the conditions?
If you want more control over the hatching process and you think the eggs would be safer away from the main tank, you should remove the eggs.
You can’t expect the babies to survive in an aquatic environment with species such as cichlids that have a reputation for attacking and eating smaller neighbors.
But if you’re torn between keeping the eggs and throwing them away, you should consider the resources at your disposal. How many mystery snails do you have?
Can your tank accommodate more snails? What about the other fish species? Can you trust them to live peacefully alongside the baby snails?
Mystery snails are easy to care for. However, their presence can upend the balance in your aquarium, especially when mystery snails can lay up to 500 eggs.
Once they are born, the creatures are surprisingly messy. Therefore, a new batch of snails can make the aquatic environment much harder to maintain.
Additionally, they require a temperature of 68 to 84 degrees F, pH of 7.6 to 8.4, and a hardness of 12 – 18kH.
You have to weigh the pros against the cons. If the snails are a new addition, do their requirements match the requirements of the other inhabitants of the tank?
Are you willing to alter the water chemistry to accommodate the mystery snails? What if the changes compel you to replace pre-existing fish with new species that appreciate the same parameters as the snails?
Ultimately, none of these questions matter if you have sufficient financial resources because you can place the baby snails in a separate tank. Therefore, you don’t have to remove the mystery snail eggs.
If you prefer to maintain a single community tank, you can also afford to replace the aggressive fish with peaceful species that can tolerate mystery snails.
Either way, you have to time decide. That is because, on average, mystery snail eggs take two to three weeks to hatch.
If you found this article helpful, these may also interest you:
- Mystery Snail Eggs Growth Stages: A Full Guide With Pictures
- How To Tell If Mystery Snail Eggs Are Fertilized?
- Can You Leave Mystery Snail Eggs In Your Tank?
- Do Mystery Snails Take Care Of Their Eggs?
- Will Fish Eat Mystery Snail Eggs?
As you can see, there are many ways to get rid of mystery snail eggs. My favorite way is to raise the waterline and allow the aquarium fish to nibble on the clutch.
This way, you will eliminate the eggs while taking advantage of their nutritional value. If the eggs are buried in your soil, use an aquarium vacuum. The device will also eliminate leftovers and debris.