When it comes to choosing a snail for your freshwater aquarium, there are many factors to consider. You might notice other aquarium owners discussing getting Apple snails and the Mystery snails for their tank. It is a common misunderstanding that they are two different species of snails.
In fact, all Mystery snails are Apple snails. In other words, a mystery snail is a species belonging to the apple snail family. That explains their similarities in several features.
Still, there are differences we should note when checking out these snails for our fish tank. Read on below to find out interesting facts about them.
Apple snail vs Mystery snail: What’re The Differences
The apple snail family is a group of snails, while the mystery snail is a species within that family. While you can refer to a mystery snail as an apple snail, the reverse is not true. Although their anatomy and appearance are similar, apple snails can grow much larger than mystery snails. In fact, some apple snails can grow as big as an apple!
One of the most obvious differences between Mystery snails and other Apple snails is their sizes or diameter.
- Most Apple snails are typically larger than Mystery snails, with adults reaching sizes of up to 5 inches.
- On the other hand, Mystery snails only grow to be about 1 to 1.25 inches in size.
In terms of coloration, most Apple snails and Mystery snails can come in various colors. Most Apple snails tend to be more brightly colored than Mystery snails.
- Apple snail colors can include shades of blue, green, brown, and orange, or a mixture of these shades.
- While mystery snail colors are usually more muted, including blue, brown, and even black.
The feet’ color of Mystery snails is different from other Apple snails in the family.
- Mystery snails’ feet are often dark slate or white
- Apple snails’ feet are green, more in an olive shade
Another key difference between Mystery snails and other Apple snails is their preferred habitat.
- Apple snails can be found in both freshwater and brackish water habitats.
- Mystery snails typically only live in freshwater habitats.
Suppose you’re planning on keeping either of these snails in your aquarium. In that case, it’s important to provide them with a habitat that closely resembles their natural environment.
- For Apple snails, this means an aquarium with plenty of vegetation and hiding places and a water temperature between 72-86 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For Mystery snails, the ideal habitat includes plenty of rocks and hiding places and a water temperature between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to diet, Apple snails and Mystery snails eat various similar plants. However, most Apple snails typically eat algae, succulent leafy plants, and small invertebrates in the wild. It means they are opportunistic creatures, eating vegetation and dead insects, frogs, fish, etc.
While many Apple snails can tear their food with ease, Mystery snails only eat algae, pellets, zucchini, spinach, and detritus.
When feeding them, you should provide a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods and fresh vegetables.
They have many similarities in characteristics and behaviors, considering that Mystery snails belong to the apple snail family. However, there are some subtle differences that set the Mystery snails apart from other apple snail members.
- Mystery snails are less active and tend to stay in one area for long periods.
- Most Apple snails are more active and are often seen moving about their habitat in search of food.
- Mystery snails are generally peaceful and get along well with other tank mates.
- When interacting with other aquarium inhabitants, Apple snails are more likely to be aggressive than Mystery snails. Apple snails have been known to attack fish and other invertebrates.
Mystery snails vs Apple snails: Anatomy
Apple snails and mystery snails possess both gills and lungs, enabling branchial respiration. This amphibious nature allows them to briefly exit the water to forage. Additionally, they have siphons which facilitate breathing: they extend these siphons above water while submerged.
Both snails feature an operculum, a trap door-like mechanism. This structure lets the snails seal their shell entry, preventing dehydration when they hibernate in mud during droughts. For snail owners, the operculum is an indicator of the snail’s health. An improperly closing operculum signals distress, while its complete detachment indicates death.
A unique trait of the apple and mystery snails is their eyes’ regenerative ability; they can fully restore an amputated eye through the mid-eyestalk.
Why are Apple snails Called Mystery snails?
As mentioned above, Mystery snails are also Apple snails. However, they are named “Mystery” because when the mother snails give birth to them, they are already fully developed. Due to the sudden or mysterious appearance, without a trace of its smaller form, this species is called “Mystery.”
Fully grown up after birth, they only live for about 3-4 years. So, it might be just a natural process that your Mystery snails die after a short while of being in the fish tank.
Can Apple snails Live With Mystery snails?
Yes, they can live together just fine. They both enjoy eating algae and other plant matter. While most Apple snails and Mystery snails can technically live together, there are a few things to consider before putting them in the same tank.
One of the biggest issues is that Apple snails are much larger than Mystery snails. This means that they will out-compete Mystery snails for food.
Another thing to consider is that Apple snails are known to be more aggressive than Mystery snails.
Therefore, if you decide to keep Apple snails and Mystery snails together, it’s important to make sure that there is plenty of food and hiding places for the Mystery snails.
Both Apple snails vs Mystery snails make great additions to freshwater aquariums. If you’re looking for a more active snail, then most Apple snails are a good choice.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful snail, then the mystery snail species is a better option. Make sure to provide them with an adequate habitat and diet to ensure their health and happiness.
Do you have experience with either of these snails? Please Let NationalParkAquarium know in the comments below!