What Snails Can Live With Mystery Snails? (With 5 Examples)

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One of the first questions I asked myself when I started my mystery snail collection was what other snails I could pair with them. After extensive research and numerous attempts, I finally came up with the ultimate list of snails that can successfully live with them in the same tank.

Mystery snails can live with most snails, including Nerite, Apple, Japanese Trapdoor, Rabbit, and Ivory snails. These are ideal tankmates for mystery snails since they are relatively peaceful, don’t compete over food, and thrive in the same water parameters as mystery snails.

As we move forward, I will show you what steps you should take to ensure all the snails you combine in a tank get along. Then, I will mention what snails you should avoid since these are likely to attack your mystery snails.

What Snails Can Live With Mystery Snails?

People keep mystery snails because they are great tank cleaners. But if you want your mystery snails to survive long enough to clean the tank, you have to pair them with suitable tankmates. In case you want to keep the mystery snails with other snails, the type of snail matters. 

Some suitable snail companions for your mystery snails include:

1. Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis)

If you want suitable companions for your mystery snails, you don’t have to look any further than nerite snails. They are beautiful, colorful, and easy to care for because they can survive in various conditions. You have a variety of nerite snails to choose from. One example is zebra nerite snails. 

They are great algae eaters, but they do not consume plants. You can also experiment with tiger nerites. Available in attractive orange colors, they are active creatures that are not particularly challenging to care for. Because they are peaceful, nerite snails can live with any peaceful creature in the aquarium. That includes mystery snails.

2. Apple Snails (Ampullariidae)

You can tell that Apple snails and mystery snails can live together because they are often mistaken for one another. Some people use their names interchangeably. You might be hesitant to buy Apple snails because some people have used words like ‘Aggressive’ to describe them.

However, such terms are specifically used to refer to the Apple snail’s relationship with plants. Mystery snails will eat the biofilm they can find on plants. But Apple snails may attack the plants themselves. 

If that doesn’t bother you, do not hesitate to place Apple snails in a mystery snail tank. The two can coexist peacefully. And if you don’t want the Apple snails to eat your plants, just make sure you give them plenty of plant-based food items.

3. Japanese Trapdoor Snails (Viviparus malleattus)

Even though Japanese trapdoor snails are common in ponds, you can also rear them in aquariums. Like other snails, they are tank cleaners that eat algae, leftovers, and whatever else they can find in the tank.

Because they are large, you have to pay close attention to their numbers, not to mention the size of the tank. But they are peaceful and easy to keep, which makes them suitable tankmates for mystery snails.[1]

4. Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania)

Rabbit snails can live with mystery snails because they are equally peaceful and easygoing. Because of their long head (which protrudes significantly from the shell), they are slow. This is why some aquarists love them. They enjoy observing the creatures as they slowly drag their shells across the tank.

This also tells you that they are unlikely to pose a threat to a healthy mystery snail. They have a healthy appetite for algae, so they will do their part to keep the aquarium clean. The fact that they are slow means that they are more thorough in the cleaning they do.

5. Ivory Snails (Pomacea bridgesii)

Ivory snails can live in any community tank that has peaceful creatures because they are non-aggressive. They have no interest in bullying their tankmates. People love them because they are beautiful. They also multiply steadily, so they are unlikely to overwhelm your aquarium with their numbers.

The creatures will survive on algae, leftovers, and any other detritus they can find. This makes them easy to maintain, especially if their tank has appropriate water conditions. Due to their peaceful temperament, they will be a great addition to a mystery snail tank.

What Snails Can’t Live With Mystery Snails?

Most freshwater snails can coexist with mystery snails, but there are very few exceptions. The most problematic is probably the assassin snail. Assassin snails are tricky because they are carnivorous.[2] 

They eat other snails, which makes them perfect for aquarists that want a predator that can reduce the snail population in their tank. They are bad news for aquarists that want to maintain a thriving population of freshwater snails. You should also avoid bladder snails because they breed too quickly, and eliminating them is difficult.

Malaysian trumpet snails are in the same boat, and so are pond snails.[3] They will make your mystery snail tank more difficult to clean and maintain. Otherwise, most of the popular snails are non-aggressive, which means that they can live peacefully with mystery snails.

How Do I Grow Mystery Snails With Other Snails?

Keeping mystery snails with other types of snails is not difficult. They may show signs of aggression when they are mating. Male snails may even fight one another over the few females in the tank. But that is only in extreme circumstances.

Even in those situations, they cannot do serious harm to one another. If your mystery snails are misbehaving, but you cannot see any signs of mating, you have to assume that the conditions in the tank have made them unhappy.

Most creatures in an aquarium will misbehave if you allow the conditions in their tank to deteriorate. The easiest way to maintain peace is to keep the snails happy. Consider the following:

1. Pick Healthy Snails

I highly suggest not adding sick snails to an aquarium. They will make their neighbors sick. Diseased snails are more likely to misbehave. This is why you are encouraged to pay close attention to the snail’s health before you buy it.

That means avoiding snails with thin, cracked, pitted snails.[4] The snails should be active. They don’t have to buzz around in the tank. But they shouldn’t lie listlessly at the bottom of the tank. You want snails that are sticking to something.

2. Keep The Right Water Parameters

Once your snails arrive, you must acclimate them before you add them to the tank. Otherwise, the shock caused by the transition could result in the sort of stress that will turn the snails into a nuisance. 

But the right acclimation process won’t help you if your parameters are bad. Mystery snails require a pH of 7.6 to 8.4, temperature ranging from 64 degrees F to 84 degrees F, and a KH of 12 to 18 (GH of 8 to 18).[5] 

The best tankmates for mystery snails (such as nerite snails and rabbit snails) can survive in the same conditions as mystery snails. Therefore, if you can give your mystery snails the right parameters, the other types of snails in the tank should be fine.

Here is the equipment that I use to achieve the perfect water parameters:

  • I got the API Master Test Kit (link to Amazon) to measure the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and pH in my tank. I highly recommend this one, since it lasts for hundreds of measures, making it extremely cost-effective. It is also the most accurate kit I have encountered.

3. Enrich Your Water With Calcium

Snails require calcium to thrive. Without calcium, the health of their shells will suffer. They will fall sick, and the stress will make them more challenging to control. You can prevent this from happening by giving the snails foods like kale and spinach that have calcium. 

You can also add cuttlebone and other calcium-rich commercial products to the water. I personally use the DreamDealsSG 100 Pieces Tourmaline Balls (link to Amazon), which I scatter across the tank. For a pretty low price, you’re getting 100 pieces, which will last forever.

4. Feed Your Snails Properly

Snails eat algae, leftovers, and the biofilm they can find in the tank. But you cannot rely on fish leftovers in a tank that has only snails. And if your snail population is large enough, they will consume all the algae in the tank. Unless you feed them, the creatures will start jostling for food, which you do not want.

This is why you have to observe their environment closely. If your snails do not have enough detritus in the tank to satisfy their appetites, you have to make up the difference by adding algae wafers, zucchini, cucumber, pellets, etc. You can give your snails the same food that fish eat.

5. Arrange The Snails’ Habitat

Snails use dense vegetation to hide in the wild.[6] You have to replicate these same conditions in their tank. It is rare for mystery snails to eat plants if they are not starving. You don’t have to worry about the creatures destroying the foliage in the aquarium.

The presence of plants will put the snails at ease because they know that they can hide from any enemies that have chosen to antagonize them. You can also use artificial vegetation. I personally found the CousDUoBe 9 Pack (link to Amazon) stunning.

Do Mystery Snails Eat Other Snails?

Mystery snails do not eat live snails. They are more interested in algae and decaying plants and animals. As a consequence, mystery snails might eat dead snails. By doing that, they prevent toxins spikes and water contamination.

A group of mystery snails can completely consume a dead snail before you realize that it even died. This can sometimes encourage amateur aquarists to assume that their mystery snails are eating the other snails.

Because the other snails keep disappearing, they do not realize that the mystery snails are only eating those other snails after they have died from other causes, including diseases, stress, and poor water quality.

Mystery snails are also more than capable of eating fish. But again, those fish have to be dead first. Mystery snails have no interest in attacking and killing healthy, living fish and snails. They also don’t have the tools to do that.

Do Mystery Snails Live In Groups?

Mystery snails can live in groups, although they are not bound to it. Due to its protective shell, a single mystery snail can survive on its own. But thanks to their peaceful temperament, a group of mystery snails can happily live together. They are not likely to harm one another.

Mystery snails are peaceful. This allows them to share a tank with any non-aggressive creature that doesn’t want to eat them. That list includes other mystery snails. Mystery snails tend to mind their own business.

Even when you have multiple snails in an aquarium, they won’t necessarily make it a habit to interact with one another unless they are trying to mate. For that reason, the chances of one mystery snail attacking another unprovoked are meager.

If your mystery snails are seemingly fighting, the conditions in their tank are probably poor. If they have a clean, well-maintained tank, you can keep the creatures in groups. They will coexist peacefully with one another.

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Conclusions

Mystery snails are fascinating creatures. Luckily, you can easily pair them with species like Ivory, Apple, and Nerite snails. You just have to ensure that the water parameters are suitable for them, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Additionally, the next time you have a mystery snail, make sure it has a place to hide. Snails like having places where they can come to rest. They also like having places where they can stay away from dangers. Mystery snails will also feel most comfortable if you give them some aquarium plants and calcium-rich fruits and vegetables.

References

  1. https://www.aquariumcarebasics.com/freshwater-snails/japanese-trapdoor-snails/
  2. https://www.aquariumsource.com/freshwater-aquarium-snails/
  3. https://modestfish.com/freshwater-aquarium-snails/
  4. https://www.aquariumcarebasics.com/freshwater-snails/mystery-snail/
  5. https://aquaticarts.com/pages/mystery-snail-care-guide
  6. https://www.aquariadise.com/mystery-snails/

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