The mystery snail egg clutch fell into the water. What next? Does it remain fertile enough to hatch the baby snails? Read on to find out more!
Will Mystery Snail Eggs Hatch If They Fall In The Water?
If the mystery snail eggs fell and remained in water only for a couple of minutes, you can likely hatch the eggs. Although longer exposure to water may not keep the egg clutch alive, you can try to incubate them in a container with a damp towel.
Usually, mystery snail eggs don’t tend to remain alive in the water.
A study was done on golden apple snails about the factors that affect their egg hatching success in water.
Horn, K. C., Johnson, S. D., Boles, K. M., Moore, A., Siemann, E., & Gabler, C. A. (2008). Factors affecting hatching success of golden apple snail eggs: effects of water immersion and cannibalism. Wetlands, 28(2), 544-549.
Side note: Apple snail is a family of snail and Mystery Snail is a species in that family. So you can consider a mystery snail as an apple snail but not the vice versa.
So in the study, it was found that in predator-free conditions, hatching success was reduced by 75% when immersed in water. Moreover, it was negatively correlated with the time it was submerged.
The eggs were able to tolerate the short-term exposure to water. However, their tolerance to longer and repeated submersion was found to be less.
The egg clutches were not able to tolerate the exposure to water because, in most cases the egg clutches broke into individual eggs.
And the immersion of the eggs clutch in water can lead to hatching failure because it reduces the oxygen availability for the developing embryos. Thus, it prevents ideal embryonic development.
So the likely reason why the egg clutches have a lower hatching rate in water than in a dry environment is that egg clutches don’t maintain their structural integrity in the water.
The anecdotal experience of the mystery snail keepers suggests that the egg can be hatched even if it fell and remained in the water for about 5-6 minutes. And some even reported that their egg clutch survived even though it remained in the water for about 15 minutes.
“So if the egg clutch falls in the water, quickly pick it up. If the exposure was for a very short time, likely, the egg can still hatch new baby snails.”
And even if the egg clutch remained in the water for a long time, incubating and giving it a shot won’t hurt. Right?
What To Do When Mystery Snail Eggs Fall In Water?
When a mystery snail egg clutch falls in the water, take it out and place it inside an incubator which can be a sandwich container or a Tupperware. Mystery snail eggs mainly need warmth and moisture for hatching, and on average, hatching takes around 2-3 weeks.
Here’s the process of incubating mystery snail eggs:
- Allow the mystery snail to lay egg clutches.
- Wait for about 24-48 hours, and then remove the eggs.
- Take a container, anything like a sandwich container or Tupperware.
- Place a damp paper towel (avoid ‘wet’) inside the container that is made damp using the tank water you already have.
- Then, lay the eggs on top of that towel inside the container.
- Put a lid on the container (ensure the lid has some holes, and if not, you can poke a few before covering the container with it)
- Then let the container system with the egg clutch inside it float in your tank.
Why Do Mystery Snail Eggs Fall In Water?
Mystery snail eggs can fall in water because of an accidental push from either the mother mystery snail or the aquarist scrubbing the tank glass. However, sometimes, the egg can also fall by itself because, with moisture, they get heavy and fall due to gravity acting on them.
Maybe it’s the mother snail trying to make extra room for another egg clutch and accidentally pushing the already-laid clutch.
Or it can also be you, scraping the glass to take out dirt and, by chance, also scraping away the mystery snail eggs…Oops!
Generally, mystery snail eggs need moisture and warmth to hatch. However, sometimes with moisture, they may also get heavy and are likely to fall because of their own weight.
How To Prevent Mystery Snail Eggs From Falling Into Water?
The best way to prevent mystery snail eggs from falling into water is to move the egg clutches into an incubator. Usually, you can shift the mystery snail egg clutches from the tank glass surface to the incubator after 24-48 hours of the snail laying the eggs.
While hatching the mystery snail eggs, normally, two methods are followed:
Leaving the eggs at it are on the tank’s glass surface
- Incubating them in a container with a damp towel
With the first method of leaving everything to occur on its own, there remains the likelihood of mystery snail eggs falling into the water.
If the egg clutch falls into the water and remains there, the embryo will eventually drown.
So the second method of using a separate container and incubating the eggs (which we already discussed before) makes more sense.
How To Tell If Mystery Snail Eggs Are Dead?
Here are some of the signs to know if the mystery snail eggs are dead:
- The egg clutch has a distinctive smell.
- The egg clutch kept on a damp towel leaves a red or pink stain.
- If it’s roughly more than 3 weeks, but still, you don’t see any dark spots or signs of baby snails inside the eggs.
How To Dispose Of A Mystery Snail Egg Clutch?
Even after giving adequate time, you don’t see any positive results; unfortunately, it’s time to dispose of the egg clutch.
One method is to reintroduce the mystery snail eggs into your tank. You can crumble them with your hands and feed them to your fish.
Another way to dispose of the egg clutch is first to freeze it. You can take the egg clutch and keep it inside a zip lock bag. And then, keep it inside the freezer for some days. Finally, discard it in the trash later on.
In short, if the mystery snail egg clutch fell in water only for a few minutes, everything should be OK. You can quickly pick it up and incubate it in a separate container, offering the necessary warmth and moisture.
If the eggs are fertile enough, they will likely hatch in 2-3 weeks. But if not, then disposing of them is the only remaining choice.
By the way, a female mystery snail can lay eggs weekly for up to four and a half months. So it shouldn’t be long when you notice a new egg clutch stuck to your tank’s wall 😉 Good luck and happy snail keeping!
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Hi! I’m Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of eFishkeeping.com. Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.