Question About Incubating Mystery Snails

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Terri Manning

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I have a 60 gallon tank with livebearers and 9 mystery snails in it. One of my mystery snails laid a clutch of eggs a couple of days ago. I waited until it was hardened and then removed it from the glass to incubate it. I had looked up DIY incubators and chose one that I thought might be best. I have my eggs in it but they seem to be drying out. This is my first clutch of eggs so I do not know how they are supposed to look at this point in time. Because I am thinking they are too dry, I went ahead and put a damp paper towel with dry paper towels on top in the incubator and placed the eggs on them. How dry/moist are they supposed to be? How do I tell if they are healthy eggs?

I will probably try the pinned incubator next time. I am sure it will take a few clutches before I know what to expect. I just really want these eggs to hatch! I am attaching 3 pics, 1 is an empty incubator so you can all see what it looks like, the next is the one with the eggs in it (now on paper towels), and then finally a picture of the eggs.

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FreshyFresh

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Terri, welcome to the site!

Just curious why you didn't leave the clutch of eggs where they were?

I know back when I first tried mystery snails, I bought 1-2 gold ones and a black/brown one. They would regularly lay eggs under the plastic hood in the 29g I had them in. I did have a clutch or two hatch on their own and had more gold mystery snails than I could handle. Over 100 of them I estimate.

Wish I could help better with your question.. I don't know why some clutches hatch and some don't.
 

Terri Manning

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I am having a pest snail problem and I am working on trying to fix that problem. I did not want to have these hatch out in the tank and make it harder to get rid of the pests.
 

FreshyFresh

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I suppose mystery snails could be considered a pest, but even as babies, they're easy enough to pluck/net out of the tank and he-home. This obviously isn't as easily done with Malaysian trumpets and pond snails to name a few.
 

Terri Manning

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I had some bladder snails come in on some live plants and have been struggling to get rid of them since. I made some traps that are really helping and I bought some clown loaches, as well (they are new so I forgot to mention them earlier). I don’t want the mystery snails to get caught in the traps or get eaten by the loaches.
 

FreshyFresh

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Oh I gotcha. Yes, pest snails are tough to completely get rid of. You can reduce the population of them by adding less food to your tank. I have MTS in 3 of 4 of my tanks. I know if I have an outburst of them I'm feeding too much.

Mystery snails are kind of different. They need to be specifically fed to thrive. They also contribute big time to your bio load being so large.
 

Terri Manning

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The traps are really helping. Here is how I did them.

I have also cut back on feeding and when I siphoned the gravel today, I got quite a few empty shells, too! I was excited to see that they are dying off. I hope to eventually get rid of all of them!

DF1DA7BF-275F-4ED3-BFF9-F9F70212B5C8.jpeg
 

FreshyFresh

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Great work! Looks like you're doing all the right things. I forgot to mention how well gravel vacuuming works in regards to thinning the snail herd as well.

To me, some snails are a good thing. They root through the substrate, eat anything edible and help break down waste.
 
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myswtsins

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Hi Terri, welcome to AC!

That is an interesting incubator, never seen one completely removed from the tank. Usually people just float them right in the tank in a tupperware (with water and a sponge/paper towel) to keep them moist and temp consistent but separate from the main tank. What temp is it in the incubator? When the babies hatch out is there water in it for them to go to? They need to get to water immediately after hatching or they will dry out and die.

They change color after a few days depending if they are fertile or not. They should get a cloudied/moldy looking appearance if they are good.

Where do you intend to put all the babies if you have loaches? And yes, if this clutch is viable and comes to fruition you are gonna have tons of babies to house, take care of and re-home. They need quite a bit of room cause even small they have big bio-loads, need lots of food and good clean water to thrive. Be prepared. :)

Cool trap. The metal lid is concerning though. If the trap is not in there long and you use a good heavy metal neutralizer you should be ok but I personally would never put metal into my tank, especially one with inverts. Getting rid of every pest snails is a lofty goal but sounds like you're doing a good job of it!
 

Terri Manning

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Hi Terri, welcome to AC!

That is an interesting incubator, never seen one completely removed from the tank. Usually people just float them right in the tank in a tupperware (with water and a sponge/paper towel) to keep them moist and temp consistent but separate from the main tank. What temp is it in the incubator? When the babies hatch out is there water in it for them to go to? They need to get to water immediately after hatching or they will dry out and die.

They change color after a few days depending if they are fertile or not. They should get a cloudied/moldy looking appearance if they are good.

Where do you intend to put all the babies if you have loaches? And yes, if this clutch is viable and comes to fruition you are gonna have tons of babies to house, take care of and re-home. They need quite a bit of room cause even small they have big bio-loads, need lots of food and good clean water to thrive. Be prepared. :)

Cool trap. The metal lid is concerning though. If the trap is not in there long and you use a good heavy metal neutralizer you should be ok but I personally would never put metal into my tank, especially one with inverts. Getting rid of every pest snails is a lofty goal but sounds like you're doing a good job of it!
I thought the incubator was pretty nifty looking and I may try it again at some point. Water is in the bottom and there are holes the snails can go through to get into the water after they hatch. The temperature is room temp so I guess it may work better when it is warmer outside.

As for what I am going to do with the babies...I have a 20 gallon tank that I use for growing up my baby fish. I am going to use it to grow up the baby snails until they are big enough to give away or take to my LFS. Since they grow quickly, they shouldn’t have to be in there too long. I know I may have to do more frequent water changes due to the bio-load.

I do not leave the traps in all the time, but I will definitely try to find some jars with plastic lids to use instead. Thank you for that advice. And I know I probably won’t be able to eradicate the snails out of my tank, but I am definitely going to try!
 
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