Discover the Captivating World of Gold Mystery Snails
Gold Mystery Snails, also known as Golden Mystery Snails, Golden Inca Snails, or Yellow Snails, are fascinating creatures that can add a vibrant touch to your aquarium. With their striking golden-yellow shells and playful behaviour, these snails offer both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits.
In this article, we will delve into the world of Gold Mystery Snails, exploring their characteristics, care requirements, feeding habits, breeding, common diseases, and more. Get ready to embark on an exciting journey into the captivating realm of these delightful snails.
Gold Mystery Snails belong to the Ampullariidae family, which is sometimes referred to as Pilidae. These snails possess a unique siphon that allows them to breathe while submerged. Their siphons are typically longer than their bodies, and they also possess an operculum, enabling them to close their shells when out of water.
The deep yellow and gold shells of Gold Mystery Snails beautifully complement their creamy white bodies, heads, and feet. Orange dots adorn their heads, while orange dashes and rings decorate their siphons and eyes, respectively, creating a visually stunning display, particularly in tanks with lush green plants, a black substrate, and a black background.
Lifespan and Habitat.
Gold Mystery Snails typically have a lifespan of about one year, although, under favourable conditions, they may live longer. However, it is not uncommon for them to perish shortly after being introduced to a new tank, often due to the stress of transportation or adjusting to different water parameters. To maintain a healthy environment, it is crucial to promptly remove any deceased snails to prevent water problems.
In their natural habitat, Gold Mystery Snails remain concealed within submerged vegetation during the day and become more active at night. They may even venture out of the water in search of fresh vegetation. Therefore, providing two to four inches of open-air space above the waterline in the aquarium is essential to meet their need for oxygen.
Compatibility and Behavior.
Gold Mystery Snails are peaceful creatures that thrive in calm environments alongside non-aggressive tank mates. They rely on their shells and operculum for defence and cannot harm other aquarium inhabitants. However, it is crucial to avoid housing them with animals that may view them as a potential meal.
These snails exhibit considerable activity during both daylight and nighttime. When the tank lights are on, they explore the aquarium in search of food and interesting locations, while at night, they actively feed, even in complete darkness.
Water Parameters and Care.
Gold Mystery Snails can adapt to a wide range of aquarium water conditions but fare best within the tropical community fish tank range. Keeping the water temperature between 68F - 82F and maintaining a pH level of 7.2 - 7.5 provides an ideal habitat for these snails. Whether in small 5 or 10-gallon tanks or larger setups, it is crucial to ensure proper tank size and adhere to stocking guidelines.
Additionally, providing a slightly hard water environment with adequate calcium levels is essential for healthy shell growth. Regular monitoring and supplementation may be necessary to prevent issues associated with calcium deficiency.
Feeding and Nutrition.
Gold Mystery Snails are voracious eaters, and their diet primarily consists of algae and biofilm. They excel at cleaning glass, plants, decorations, and even slow-growing plant leaves. In addition to natural food sources, it is important to supplement their diet with fish food, bottom feeder pellets, and algae wafers to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Offering blanched vegetables such as leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, carrots, canned green beans, or green zucchini squash can provide valuable variety. Spinach, in particular, offers a calcium-rich option. Experimenting with different vegetables and promptly removing any uneaten food maintains water quality and prevents overfeeding.
Sex Determination and Breeding.
Differentiating between male and female Gold Mystery Snails requires comparing snails of the same age, kept in the same environment and fed the same foods. In such cases, females tend to be larger than males. Breeding these snails can be a rewarding experience.
They lay their eggs above the waterline, usually at night, requiring open humid space for egg attachment. A female can lay between 10 to 600 eggs on the water's surface. Given the right conditions, tiny snails may hatch within a couple of weeks. Providing crushed flake foods or allowing them to graze on existing algae can aid in their initial growth.
Common Diseases and Precautions.
Gold Mystery Snails are prone to irregular shell growth resulting from poor water quality. Fish may occasionally sample their tentacles, causing them to regrow or not depending on the circumstances. Maintaining ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm, along with regular partial water changes to control nitrate levels, helps ensure their well-being.
Caution should be exercised when using tank medications, treatments, and plant fertilizers, as they can be harmful or fatal to these snails. Additionally, copper-containing additives, medications, or insecticides should be avoided as they can be toxic. Removing snails from tanks before administering any such substances is crucial.
Acclimation and Care Tips.
Properly acclimating Gold Mystery Snails is often overlooked but essential for their well-being. When adding them to a tank, ensuring they are not upside down is crucial, as they may struggle to right themselves. Allowing them to extend their foot to reach a hard surface upon emerging from their shells aids in their adjustment. Failure to do so can result in their inability to turn over, potentially leading to their demise. It is vital to keep the tank securely covered, as these snails may attempt to escape, putting them at risk of drying out.