Apple Snail Vs. Mystery Snail: an Outline of Their Differences

comparing apple snail mystery snail

Welcome to the world of aquatic snails, where the mesmerizing Apple Snail and the enigmatic Mystery Snail reside.

These two captivating creatures may seem similar at first glance, but as we explore their unique characteristics, you will soon realize that they are distinct in many ways.

From their size and lifespan to their breathing capabilities and tank requirements, Apple Snails and Mystery Snails hold fascinating differences that every aquarist should be aware of.

So, prepare to be amazed as we unravel the secrets behind these intriguing snails and discover the key disparities that make them truly remarkable.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple snails are larger than mystery snails.
  • Apple snails have more ways to breathe inside and outside water compared to mystery snails.
  • Apple snails can survive outside water for hours, while mystery snails cannot.
  • Mystery snails are smaller in size compared to apple snails.

Basic Information

summary of key details

The basic information regarding the apple snail and mystery snail encompasses their scientific names, care levels, average lifespans, maximum sizes, and dietary preferences.

The scientific name for the apple snail is Ampullaridae, while the mystery snail is known as Pomacea diffusa.

In terms of care levels, the apple snail is relatively easy to care for, while the mystery snail is considered easy.

The average lifespan of an apple snail ranges from one to four years, while the mystery snail has a lifespan of one to two years.

In terms of size, apple snails can reach up to six inches in length, while mystery snails typically reach around two inches, depending on the type.

When it comes to diet, both snails are herbivores, with a preference for algae.

Differences Between Apple Snails and Mystery Snails

Apple snails and mystery snails exhibit several distinct differences in their physical characteristics and physiological capabilities.

One of the main differences is the size comparison between the two snails. Apple snails are larger, reaching up to six inches in size, while mystery snails are smaller, typically around two inches.

Another notable difference lies in their respiratory systems. Apple snails have a more complex respiratory system, allowing them to breathe both inside and outside of water. They possess gills and lung combinations, enabling them to survive outside of water for extended periods.

On the other hand, mystery snails have limited breathing capabilities compared to apple snails.

These differences contribute to the unique characteristics and care requirements of each snail species.

Apple Snail Care

caring for apple snails

To properly care for apple snails, it is important to consider their specific requirements and provide suitable conditions in their tank. When it comes to their diet, apple snails are primarily herbivores with a preference for algae. However, not all apple snail species consume algae, so it is essential to research the specific dietary needs of your particular apple snail species.

In terms of tank size, apple snails require a minimum tank size of at least 10 gallons to accommodate their size and provide them with enough space to move around comfortably. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the tank is covered to prevent the apple snails from escaping.

Mystery Snail Care

When considering the care of mystery snails, it is important to understand their specific requirements and provide appropriate conditions in their tank. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Tank Setup:
  • Mystery snails thrive in a tank with lots of plants like java moss and hornwort, as these provide them with a natural habitat.
  • The tank should be at least 5 to 10 gallons in size and should be lidded to prevent escape.
  • It is crucial to maintain specific water parameters such as temperature, pH, and water hardness to ensure the well-being of mystery snails.
  • Diet and Feeding:
  • Mystery snails are herbivores and have a preference for algae.
  • Providing them with a variety of algae-based foods and supplements will help meet their nutritional needs.
  • Breeding and Shell Growth:
  • Mystery snails have the ability to reproduce, but breeding them requires specific conditions such as proper water parameters and a balanced diet.
  • Shell growth is an important aspect of mystery snail care. Ensuring they have enough calcium in their diet is essential for healthy shell development.

Tank Needs and Tank Mates

aquarium tank requirements

The tank needs and suitable tank mates for both apple snails and mystery snails should be carefully considered to ensure their optimal care and compatibility within a community tank. When it comes to tank setup, both apple snails and mystery snails require a natural habitat that includes lots of plants, such as java moss and hornwort. They can survive in tanks ranging from 5 gallons to 10 gallons, but it is important to provide a highly oxygenated and lidded tank to meet their specific needs. Additionally, maintaining proper water parameters, such as temperature, pH, and water hardness, is crucial for their well-being.

In terms of compatible tank mates, both apple snails and mystery snails are peaceful and suitable for community tanks. They can coexist with a variety of species, including shrimp (such as bamboo, vampire, amano, ghost, and red cherry), tetras, guppies, killifish, other snails (like nerite, ramshorn, ivory, golden Inca, and trumpet), betta fish (with caution), cory cats, and otocinclus catfish. It is important to note that while these snails are generally compatible with other tank mates, proper monitoring and consideration of the specific needs of each species is necessary to ensure a harmonious tank environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Apple Snails and Mystery Snails Live Together in the Same Tank?

Apple snails and mystery snails can live together in the same tank as they have similar care requirements and are generally peaceful. However, it is important to monitor their behavior and provide enough space to prevent overcrowding.

How Often Should I Feed My Apple Snail or Mystery Snail?

The feeding frequency for apple snails and mystery snails may vary. Both species are herbivores, but apple snails may require a more diverse diet. It is recommended to feed them once or twice a day, providing a balanced mix of vegetables and algae-based foods.

Can Apple Snails and Mystery Snails Breed With Each Other?

Breeding compatibility between apple snails and mystery snails is unlikely due to their genetic differences. While they may have similar care requirements and tank mates, their distinct species and breeding behaviors make successful crossbreeding improbable.

Are Apple Snails and Mystery Snails Prone to Any Specific Diseases?

Apple snails and mystery snails are both susceptible to diseases such as shell rot, bacterial infections, and parasites. Proper tank maintenance, regular water testing, and a balanced diet can help prevent these diseases and ensure the health of both snail species.

Can Apple Snails and Mystery Snails Survive in Cold Water Environments?

Apple snails and mystery snails are not well-suited for cold water environments, as they thrive in tropical temperatures. Their behavior and overall health can be negatively impacted by colder temperatures, making them better suited for beginner aquarists in warmer climates.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between Apple Snails and Mystery Snails is essential for successful aquarium care.

While both species share similarities in their care requirements, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

By considering factors such as size, lifespan, breathing capabilities, and tank needs, aquarists can create a suitable environment for these captivating snails.

By following proper care guidelines and providing appropriate tank setups and companions, hobbyists can ensure the well-being and longevity of their aquatic pets.