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Beginners Guide

Apple Snail vs Mystery Snail: Know the Differences

by Catherine Tran 05 Jul 2023 0 Comments

This article gives you the information you can tell them apart because not many people can accurately distinguish between different types of snails.

Snails are like other aquatic animals, there are many different species. The number can go up to one hundred and fifty thousand! But above all, today we will talk more deeply about two of them.

Are Apple Snail and Mystery Snail the same thing?

The answer to this question is not so simple, because yes, apple snails and mystery snails are similar in many respects, but no, they are not quite the same species.

In fact, "apple snail" is a much broader term that includes several other species of which the mystery snail is a part. It is the common name given to the family of various aquatic gastropods and freshwater snails, Ampullariidae.

Meanwhile, the mysterious snail, known to science as Pomacea Diffusa, is just one species in the apple snail family, among many others. So you could say that all mystery snails are apple snails, but the converse is not true.

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Similar characteristics and behaviours.

Since mystery snails belong to the apple snail family, they have quite a few characteristics that make them eligible for classification into themselves. As a rule of thumb, all organisms in the family Ampullariidae have gills and gills.

Second, all apple snails, including the mystery snail, have a straw that they use to breathe. This feature makes them amphibians, as they can stretch themselves above water to breathe in atmospheric air.

Furthermore, they are all unisexual, which means that both male and female individuals are needed for reproduction. That seems pretty basic since you're so used to seeing the advanced species of the animal kingdom.

But a lot of organisms (primitive ones, including some molluscs) reproduce through vegetative means or parthenogenesis (which does not require male and female partners). Therefore, it is important to note which species are absent.

Apple Snail Vs. Mysterious snail, what's the difference?

Having discussed the similarities between organisms, we can now move on to studying their differences. Let's discuss each of their special features.

Mysterious apples and snails can be a great addition to your home aquarium, but there is a catch. Some fish can bite your small snails and you don't want that to happen. That's why you have to choose the right tank mates for them.

There are many potential mate options for mystery snails and apples. Most non-aggressive freshwater fish can be peaceful friends and they will live happily together. Just make sure they don't make snails part of their diet.

Some suggested tank mates for apple and mystery snails are:

  • Catfish
  • Tetras
  • Shrimp Amano
  • Red cherry shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp

What about betta fish? Since bettas are one of the favourites in aquariums, this question makes perfect sense. Good news for all aquarists, you can mix snails and bettas in the same tank.

Another factor that distinguishes any other apple snail from the mystery snail is its size. The former grew considerably large, the size of a golf ball, but the latter did not.

The mystery snail is also one of the largest snails that have ever existed, but they are not as large as some apple snails like the adult Canna. Most of them are about one to a quarter of an inch in diameter.

You may want to know: How big is the mystery snail?

Some species of apple snails such as Pomacea canalicuta grow to enormous size and eat unlimitedly. They are so well adapted to the environment that they learn to survive on their own for a long time without much outside care.

For this reason, there have been cases where they have become invasive in certain states and act as pests of crops, such as rice. They cause a lot of agricultural and ecological damage and pose a danger to human health. Diseases such as intestinal flukes and rat ringworm are known to be spread by these little troublemakers.

On the other hand, the mystery snail is relatively safe and does not carry any threat of disease or damage. Therefore, you can keep them in your aquarium without any risk; Just remember that they excrete a lot.

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Apple snails are usually golden yellow, with variations of brown and green. A combination of all three colours is also a common sight. In contrast, mysterious snails are usually dark in colour, ranging from black, brown to blue.

How do I know if I have an apple snail?

The main difference lies in the colour of their feet, as mysterious snails often have pure white or black feet. At the same time, apple snails have olive green feet, which can be a combination of light and dark colours.

The eating habits of the creatures mentioned also vary to a certain extent. While the mysterious snails are voracious plant-eaters and chew on like there's no tomorrow, not all apple species have such plant cravings.

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Tank Size.

Mysterious snails need enough space to move and feed. Experts recommend keeping up to four mystery snails in a 10-gallon tank. However, other apple snails will need more space because they eat more and are larger than the mystery snails.

A golden apple snail can be three times as large as a mysterious snail. Therefore, you may need a tank that is twice as large. The number of apple snails per 10-gallon tank is 2 or 3, respectively.


Unlike most other snails that are hermaphrodites (which also have sex organs), apple snails, including the enigmatic snail, are hermaphrodites. The gonochoristic snail breed usually requires a male and female to reproduce. However, it may not be easy to tell the sex of a snail.

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Final thoughts.

And with that, we've come to the end of our brief guide to apple snails and mysteries. If you're going to introduce a few new members to your aquarium, snails are a good choice, but you need to be mindful of the species you're choosing.

Apple snails are beautiful, but before deciding to keep them, you need to analyze the reasons for doing so. As stated above, some species are very invasive and will eat and destroy your aquatic plants. They also grow very large and may not be convenient for a small tank.

On the other hand, the mysterious snail is very peaceful and does not destroy the vegetation in the aquarium. They also come in a variety of colors and it would be hard to miss one that excites you. In my experience, mystery snails are more suitable for home aquariums.

Time to choose the Perfect Snail for Your Aquarium at Micro Aquatic Shop!

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between Apple Snails and Mystery Snails, it's time to decide which one is the right fit for your aquarium. At Micro Aquatic Shop, we offer a wide selection of snails that will bring beauty and tranquility to your aquatic ecosystem.

If you're looking for a snail that is relatively safe, peaceful, and won't damage your plants, the Mystery Snail is an excellent choice. With its stunning range of colors and its voracious appetite for algae, the Mystery Snail will make a captivating addition to your tank. Explore our collection of Purple, Gold, Ivory, and Blue Mystery Snails and find the perfect match for your aquarium.

On the other hand, if you're seeking a larger and more unique snail, the Apple Snail might be the one for you. While some species can be invasive and require careful consideration, our expert team at Micro Aquatic Shop can guide you to choose the right apple snail species that suits your setup. Experience the beauty of Golden Apple Snails or Black Foot Mystery Snails in your tank and marvel at their captivating presence.

At Micro Aquatic Shop, we are passionate about providing high-quality aquatic animals and ensuring their well-being. Our snails are carefully selected and bred to guarantee their health and longevity. We offer a variety of tank mates, such as catfish, tetras, and different types of shrimp, to create a harmonious aquatic community.

Don't miss the opportunity to enhance your aquarium with these mesmerizing snails. Visit Micro Aquatic Shop today and browse our wide range of snails to find the perfect addition to your underwater world. Transform your aquarium into a captivating oasis with our premium snails, and let the beauty of nature thrive in your own home. Place your order now and bring home these delightful snails that will truly enrich your aquatic experience!

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