ivory mystery snail

My roommate got a snail and I didn’t know about it until last night when I walked into my room, saw it’s tank on the sink, and squealed “A friend!”

This was followed by laughter from my suitemates’ room.


Common names: Apple snail, mystery snail, golden inca snail, black or gold mystery snail, etc.

Housing and care:

  1. Minimum tank size for one snail is 2.5 gallons
  2. They require temperature between 65- 82 degrees F(18-28 degrees C)
  3. warmer temps mean they will move, eat, and grow faster and it also encourages breeding with a male and female snail are present.
  4. Temperature below 65 will ultimately cause death.
  5. Keep a lid on their tank they are escape artists
  6. keep the waterline at least 2" below the trim
  7. pH of 7.0- 8.0 and require hardwater to keep their shells healthy
  8. They need calcium rich waters or be fed foods with calcium in it.
  9. Can be kept alone or with others. They are a non schooling species.

Light: They can be active both day or night. keep in mind that if they get too much light algae can grow on their shell but it isn’t harmful.

Size and life span: Can live 3 or more years. And can reach up to 3" in size.


  • They are omnivores
  • will not eat healthy plants just dead or rotting plants
  • will eat any fish food, pellets and wafers
  • Can be fed once daily or twice every other day.

Tank mates: 

  1. Can be housed with most fish.
  2. Be wary of nippy fish that may peck at the snail or snails like angel fish, barbs and mollys
  3. can not be placed with snail eating fish like puffers, loaches and larger fish

*Toxins* VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!

  • Many fish medications are toxic to your snail friend!
  • Malachite used to treat ich, white spot, fungi and velvet will kill your snail
  • Medications used to treat flukes, worms, and lice are bad
  • Any medication that contains copper is a no no
  • And Salt in high doses.

Color: Come in a variety of colors but the most common in pet stores are the yellow variety.They are nicknamed by the color of their shell.

black shell snail; black mystery/ apple snail

White shell: ivory mystery/ apple snail

Random tid bits:

  • Mystery snails developed lungs to adapt to their natural habitat when water would dry up and oxygen levels got low.
  • they also have gills but mainly use their lungs
  • Are capable of surviving long periods out of water but this is damaging to their shells
  • Are sensitive to Nitrates higher than 20ppm ( i observed this myself)
  • When water conditions are poor they start to secrete excess slime and spend more time at the surface breathing air
  • when they poop after eating they release a micro organism known as amoebeytes which can serve as a food source for fry. This causes the water to cloud for a short period of time.