Infertile Mystery Snail Eggs: How Do They Look?

Jaime Douglas
Jaime Douglas

Writer at The Aquarium Keeper

Mystery snail or apple snail (Pomacea bridgesii) is one of the most common snail species in the aquarium hobby. They are relatively bigger compared to other snails, come in different colors, and are distinctive in their activeness and undying curiosity.

Mystery snails often lay eggs in aquariums, but that does not automatically mean that they will hatch. Sometimes eggs can be infertile, so it is important that you know the difference between good and bad eggs. This article will help you figure out, whether you have fertile mystery snail eggs in your tank.

Table of Contents

How Do Mystery Snail Eggs Look?

Identifying mystery snail eggs is really easy since not many aquatic snails lay eggs in big clutches like mystery snails. It is important to understand, that appearance of the eggs can be a good indicator, of whether the mystery snail eggs are fertile or not.

Fertile Mystery Snail Eggs Appearance

Mystery snails always lay their eggs just below the surface of the aquarium water. These species lay their eggs in a large clutch, not like other species of snails who lay one egg at a time. 

fertile mystery snail eggs

When mystery snail eggs are first laid, they will look like a big pink clump. After 48 hours they begin to darken. This is a good sign, it means that eggs are healthy and developing. After two weeks, some eggs may appear bigger and some smaller, this is also a good development sign. Also, if the eggs are healthy and fertile, they will not have a bad smell, unlike infertile eggs.

Infertile Mystery Snail Eggs Appearance

Infertile mystery snail eggs look completely the same at first compared to fertile ones, but you can start to tell the difference after a couple of days.

mystery snail eggs at the top of aquarium

As we mentioned above, mystery snails only start changing color after 48 hours, and some places in the clump become bigger by 2 weeks. If your mystery snail eggs did not change during the first 48 hours, there is a chance they are infertile. Here are some common ways to tell if your eggs are infertile:

  • Smell your mystery snail eggs. If your eggs are okay and alive, they will have no bad smell, but if they are infertile, a distinctive rot smell will be present. Do this method after 2 weeks.
  • Appearance. If your eggs have not changed from the beginning and are the same by the 2-week point, they are probably infertile.
  • Place the eggs on a towel. Infertile mystery snail eggs when placed on a towel will leave a stain, while good eggs do not leave any marks. This method is also the most accurate after 2 weeks.

What to Do With Infertile Mystery Snail Eggs?

The best solution in this situation is disposal. If your mystery snail eggs are infertile, there is a good chance they already started to rot and there are a lot of harmful bacteria in them. Do not use them as food for other fish. 

What to Do With Fertile Mystery Snail Eggs?

Some people do not want to have a lot of snails in their aquarium, while others breed and sell them. There are a few things you can do with your fertile mystery snail eggs based on your decision:

  • Let them hatch. More snails equal more fun. Just be sure not to have too many snails if you have a smaller aquarium.
  • Dispose of the eggs. Even though your mystery snail eggs are fertile, it is okay to dispose of them if you do not want more snails. Snail population explosion can sometimes be a hassle to deal with.

We would not recommend using mystery snail eggs as food, since they can quickly start decomposing and change your aquarium water parameters.

Why is my Mystery Snail Eggs Infertile?

The main reason is that there is no male mystery snail present in your aquarium. Female mystery snails lay eggs anyway, whether those eggs are fertilized by a male, or not. In order to successfully have fertile mystery snail eggs or to breed mystery snails, you need to have both males and females in the same aquarium.

It can be challenging to have both sexes since it is not easy to identify the sex of a mystery snail. That is why many breeders choose to have a bunch of mystery snails in the same tank, and hope that there are both males and females in that tank.

Can You Drop Mystery Snail Eggs in the Water?

Mystery snail eggs need the right amount of humidity and moisture to hatch. There is a good reason why adult mystery snails climb out of the water to lay their eggs. Putting mystery snail eggs in the water will definitely kill them. If you want more mystery snails, let them hatch just below the surface. If the eggs fall down accidentally, remove them immediately.

Personal Experience And Final Thoughts

Personally, I believe that it is very important to tell the difference between fertile and infertile mystery snail eggs if you are keeping them. Infertile snail eggs can accidentally fall into the tank and rot, which can be bad for your aquarium. Hopefully, this guide will help you deal with mystery snail eggs with more ease.

Jaime Douglas
Jaime Douglas

Thank you for reading my blog post. This website was created with the sole intention of providing quality information regarding fishkeeping. I have been in the fishkeeping hobby for 8 years, and through many trials and errors as well as online research I gathered a lot of information, which I want to give back to the community.