Black mystery snails really only differ from other mystery snails in coloration. Many people like black snails because of their deep, rich coloration that stands out against clear glass and colorful decorations. Black mystery snails are fun to watch and they get along with many other species of invertebrates and fish. What most people love most about them, though, is that they help keep the tank clean. What Do Black Mystery Snails Eat?
Are you having trouble with too much algae or detritus in your tank? Pick up a black mystery snail and watch that unsightliness begin to disappear. Read on to learn how to care for your new pet.
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What Are Black Mystery Snails?
Black mystery snails are sometimes confused for apple snails because of their coloration and the shape of their shell. They closely resemble the apple snail, but apple snails can grow to much larger sizes. Mystery snails are part of the Ampullariidae family and are known for their siphon. The genus Pomacea is a unique genus of snail that has an organ called a siphon that allows them to breathe air for a short time.
Some black mystery snails have more of a dark brown coloration, while others are a deep, true black color. Some even have lightly colored stripes running across their shells that give them a unique look. Tan stripes are most common on black snails, but some will have purple stripes that are highly sought after.
Black mystery snails are very similar to other mystery snails. To learn about gold mystery snails, read our guide here.
What Tank Conditions Do Your Black Mystery Snails Need?
First off, it is vitally important to ensure that your aquarium is fully cycled before adding any organism to the tank. If you don’t, you run the very real risk of your new pets dying. If you don’t know where to start, read this wonderful guide to learn what to do.
Lids and Air Space
Black mystery snails like to climb out of the water to look for food and to mate. While you should keep a lid on your aquarium, there is a way to provide air space to keep your snails happy. Simply keep the water line two to four inches below the lid so that they can climb out.
Mystery snails only reach about two inches in diameter, so they are suitable for small, nano tanks. It is still possible to overcrowd these critters though, so you should provide five gallons of tank space for each snail you would like to keep.
To read more on how big mystery snails get, read our guide here.
What Do Black Mystery Snails Eat?
Mystery snails love to eat and will do so at all times of the day. However, if you watch them at night, you will find that they are gluttonous feeders. They prefer to eat under the cover of night because it is safer for them. Although snails don’t generally have predators to fear in an aquarium setting, they still maintain this natural instinct like their wild counterparts.
Black mystery snails are opportunistic scavengers that will feed on just about anything in the tank. Despite this, they will not prey on living creatures. They are docile and are safe tankmates for many species of fish.
Because they are scavengers, many aquarists add them to their tanks specifically to help with clean-up. Mystery snails will gladly eat any leftover fish food or algae that is littering the tank.
Snails love dead plant matter. It is one of their favorite foods, so it is a great idea to keep a host of live plants in your aquarium. Live plants are constantly shedding plant matter onto the substrate at the bottom of the tank, so they provide mystery snails with an unlimited source of food.
To learn what mystery snails like to eat as a species, read our comprehensive guide here.
What do Mystery Snails Eat? Watch this video:
What Do I Feed Mystery Snails?
Although mystery snails are scavengers and eat many things, you should still provide them with a supplemental diet. Failing to do so may lead to a nutrient deficiency or possible starvation.
Flake and pellet fish food is great for mystery snails because it gives them lots of nutrients. Fortunately for the snails, the fish usually can not eat all of their food before it sinks to the substrate, so the snails happily clean it up.
Besides that, algae wafers and bottom feeder pellets are wonderful additions. These foods are designed specifically for animals like snails and provide them with all the nutrients they need. To avoid excess food decaying in your tank, break the wafers up into small pieces and only feed your snails a bit at a time.
Mystery snails are prone to cracked and pocked shells resulting from calcium deficiencies. Fortunately, it is easy to prevent this because you can provide your snails with calcium supplements. Spinach is a wonderful source of calcium and the snails love it.
Besides spinach, mystery snails devour other kinds of green, leafy foods. Their favorites are any kinds of blanched greens, but they also love lettuce, carrots, green beans, peas, and zucchini.
Don’t know how to blanch vegetables? Don’t worry, it is a simple process. All blanching entails is boiling the vegetables for a few seconds and then removing them.
Before feeding your snails any kinds of vegetables, you will want to rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any pesticides. Chemicals are very harmful for mystery snails and can kill your pets if they get into the water.
How Much Food Do They Need?
Mystery snails love to eat and will do so continuously. When young snails are provided with plenty of food, they will grow very quickly and will become healthy adults.
Still, it is possible for them to eat so much that it can be detrimental for them. Also, if you feed them more than they are able to eat in a couple hours, it will dirty your tank and raise the ammonia levels. Whatever your snails have not eaten in a few hours should be removed to avoid degrading the water quality.
If you are looking for a colorful, active addition to your tank, black mystery snails are a great option. Not only are they fun to watch, but they help you keep your tank clean.
If you have a tropical tank full of friendly fish, a black mystery snail might be a great contribution to your tank. Now that you know all about black mystery snails, don’t hesitate! Stop into your local pet store to add one of these clean-up critters to your aquarium.
Interested in gold mystery snails? Know exactly what gold mystery snails eat here.