Black Mystery Snail 101: Breeding, Diet, Lifespan & Care!

The Black Mystery Snail, also known as the Black Devil Snail, is a popular freshwater aquarium snail that is prized for its intriguing appearance and beneficial habits.

These snails are a great addition to any tank, as they help keep the aquarium clean by feeding on algae and decaying plant matter.

In addition to their cleaning capabilities, Black Mystery Snails are known for their striking appearance, glossy black shells, and unique spiral shape.

Snail Mystery

This mystery snail black comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about Black Mystery Snails, including their breeding habits, dietary needs, average lifespan, and proper care requirements. 

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced aquarium owner, understanding the ins and outs of caring for these fascinating snails is essential for maintaining a healthy and harmonious aquatic environment.

Read on to discover the secrets of the Mystery Snail Black and how you can ensure their well-being in your aquarium. 

Black Mystery Snail Species Profile Summary

The Black Mystery Snail, also known as the invasive Chinese Mystery Snail, is a species of freshwater snail with a distinct dark shell and a unique ability to breathe underwater and at the water’s surface.

This mystery snail black species is native to Southeast Asia but has been introduced to various parts of the world, including North America, where it is considered invasive. The Black Snail is popular with aquarium enthusiasts due to its attractive appearance and peaceful nature.

Black Mystery Snails

However, it can disrupt local ecosystems and outcompete native snail species for resources. This snail is a detritivore, meaning it primarily feeds on decaying plant matter and algae, making it a valuable member of freshwater ecosystems.

Although it can thrive in various water conditions, it is best suited for well-filtered aquariums or ponds with plenty of vegetation. Its unique characteristics and potential environmental impact make the Black Snail a species of interest for researchers and conservationists. 

Key Information:

  • Species: Black Mystery Snail (Pomacea atra)
  • Family: Ampullariidae
  • Origin: South America, West Indies, Southern United States, Central America
  • Lifespan: 2-5 years
  • Size: Up to 2 inches shell diameter
  • Temperament: Peaceful


  • Shell:Color: Jet black, gold, or white
  • Shape: Smooth, rounded with a conical spire
  • Body:Color: Black or gray
  • Foot: Large, white, with visible tentacles
  • Siphon: Long, tubular structure used for breathing and feeding


  • Peaceful: Compatible with most fish and shrimp
  • Scavenger: Eats algae, residue, and leftover food
  • Active: Crawls around the aquarium, climbs on plants and decorations
  • Nocturnal: More energetic at night

Interesting Facts:

  • Can escape the water briefly to breathe air
  • It has a “trapdoor” operculum that seals the shell when threatened
  • Can regenerate lost body parts

This is just a summary; there’s much more to learn about Black Apple Snails. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!

Black Mystery Snails Behavior & Temperament

Black mystery snails are known for their calm and peaceful demeanor. They are often found slowly gliding along the bottom of aquariums or bodies of water, feeding on algae and leftover fish food. These snails are nocturnal and will typically be most active during the night.

During the day, they find hiding spots or attach themselves to hard surfaces, such as rocks or decorations. Despite their solitary nature, black snails are generally peaceful creatures and not aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. They are also known for their ability to coexist with various fish and other aquatic species. 

Regarding mating, these snails are hermaphroditic, possessing both male and female reproductive organs. They are known to lay clusters of eggs above the water line, which can be easily removed if breeding is not desired. Black snails are low-maintenance and easy-going additions to a freshwater aquarium. 

Black Mystery Snail Lifespan

Like all mystery snails, the lifespan of a Black Mystery Snail typically falls within the range of 1 to 2 years. However, several factors can influence how long yours might live:

Favorable conditions:

  • Stable water parameters: Consistent pH, temperature, and hardness within their preferred range (7.0-8.0 pH, 72-82°F, moderate hardness) contribute to good health and longevity.
  • Nutritious diet: A varied diet of vegetables, frozen foods, algae wafers, and sinking fish food ensures proper nutrition and avoids malnutrition.
  • Stress-free environment: Avoiding overcrowding, aggressive tankmates, and frequent water changes minimizes stress, allowing your snail to thrive.

Factors reducing lifespan:

  • Poor water quality: Fluctuations or deviations from ideal water parameters can stress and weaken your snail, shortening its life.
  • Diet deficiencies: Lack of proper nutrition can lead to health problems and shorten lifespan.
  • Predation: Some fish, like cichlids and loaches, might consider mystery snails as prey.
  • Disease: Bacterial infections or parasites can negatively impact your snail’s health and potentially cause premature death.

Additional considerations:

  • Determining a Black Mystery Snail’s age at purchase is difficult, so estimating the remaining lifespan can be tricky.
  • Snails purchased very young will have a longer potential lifespan than mature ones.
  • Cooler water temperatures (around 75°F) might slow down metabolism and contribute to a slightly longer lifespan.

While losing a beloved Black Snail is inevitable, providing optimal care and a healthy environment can maximize their lifespan and allow you to enjoy their company for as long as possible.

Mystery Snail Black Aquarium Setup

Setting up an aquarium for Black Apple Snails requires a few key elements to ensure the health and well-being of these aquatic creatures. First, you will need a spacious tank with a secure lid to prevent the snails from escaping.

The tank should also have a filtration system to maintain water quality and a heater to keep the water temperature 68 to 82°F. Substrate like sand or smooth gravel is essential for the snails to burrow and lay their eggs.

Additionally, live plants and driftwood can provide snail hiding spots and natural food sources. Regularly monitoring and maintaining proper water parameters, including pH levels between 7.0 and 8.0 and ammonia and nitrate levels, is essential. 

Lastly, providing a well-balanced diet of algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and calcium supplements will ensure the health and vitality of your Black Snails. By carefully setting up and maintaining their tank, you can create a thriving habitat for these fascinating creatures. 

Black Mystery Snail Care & Diet

Black mystery snails (Pomacea bridgesii) are popular freshwater aquarium snails known for their dark, almost black shells and hardy nature. They’re excellent algae eaters and scavengers, making them a valuable addition to any planted tank. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for and feeding your black apple snail:

Black Mystery Snail Tank Setup:

  • Tank size: 10 gallons minimum for one snail, with an additional 5 gallons for each other snail.
  • Water parameters: pH 7.0-8.0, temperature 70-82°F.
  • Filtration: A gentle filter is necessary, as mystery snails are sensitive to strong currents.
  • Substrate: Sand or gravel is preferred, allowing the snails to burrow. Avoid sharp rocks that could damage their shells.
  • Décor: Rocks, driftwood, and plants provide hiding places and grazing surfaces for the snails. Choose sturdy plants, as mystery snails may nibble on delicate ones if hungry.

Black Mystery Snails Diet:

mystery snail black
  • Omnivorous: Black mystery snails eat various foods, including:
  • Algae: Their primary food source in the wild, algae helps keep your tank clean and provides essential nutrients.
  • Biofilm: The slimy film that grows on rocks, decorations, and plants is another tasty treat for mystery snails.
  • Fish food: Sinking pellets and algae wafers are a good supplement, especially if your tank doesn’t have enough natural algae growth.
  • Blanched vegetables: Zucchini, spinach, and kale are all favorites, but remove any uneaten portions after a few hours to prevent tap water quality issues.
  • Calcium sources: Cuttlebone or crushed coral can help ensure strong shell growth.

Black Mystery Snail Feeding Tips:

  • Feed your snail once or twice a day, offering only what it can eat in a few hours.
  • Avoid overfeeding, as this can pollute the water.
  • Variety is vital to a healthy diet, so offer different foods.
  • Don’t use copper-based medications or algaecides in your tank, as copper is toxic to snails.

Black Mystery Snail Care:

  • Black mystery snails are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Maintain good water quality by performing regular water changes.
  • Test your water parameters regularly and adjust as needed.
  • Provide hiding places for your snail to feel secure.
  • Be careful when handling your snail, as its shell can be fragile.
  • Black snails can live for 3-5 years with proper care.

Additional Tips:

  • If you want to breed your mystery snails, ensure you have a male and female (females have a rounded operculum, while males have a pointed one).
  • Mystery snails can lay clutches of hundreds of eggs, so be prepared to remove them if you don’t want them to hatch.
  • Black mystery snails are peaceful creatures and can be kept with other fish and invertebrates.

With proper care and a healthy diet, your black apple snail will thrive in your aquarium, keeping it clean and adding a touch of personality.

Alert: Mystery Snails can be sensitive to various water chemistry changes, but one culprit stands out: copper. Even tiny amounts of this metallic element can be lethal to these beloved aquarium inhabitants. So, why is copper such a threat?

Here’s the thing: Mystery Snails have delicate gills and a porous outer shell, making them highly susceptible to absorbing toxins from the water. Copper disrupts their vital physiological processes, ultimately leading to organ failure and death.

How to Breed Black Mystery Snails?

Breeding black mystery snails is a relatively simple process. To start, you will need a male and female snail for reproduction. Place them in a well-maintained aquarium with plenty of plants and hiding spots. The snails require a stable water temperature and clean water to breed successfully.

The female snail will lay her eggs above the waterline, so it’s crucial to provide a platform for her to do so. Once the black mystery snail eggs are laid, they will hatch in about two to four weeks.

After hatching, the baby snails should be moved to a separate tank to prevent them from being eaten by adult snails or fish. Feed the baby snails a diet of fresh vegetables and algae wafers to support their growth.

With proper care and adequate conditions, black mystery snails should breed and multiply easily in your aquarium. It’s essential to monitor the water parameters and provide a suitable environment to ensure your snails’ health and successful breeding. 

Do black mystery snails clean tanks?

Absolutely! Black mystery snails are notorious cleaning crews, munching on algae, leftover food, and even detritus in your tank, keeping it sparkling clean. Snails will eat up these unwanted elements, helping maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

What is a black mystery snail?

A black mystery snail is a giant, striking freshwater snail popular among hobbyists for its jet-black shell and algae-munching abilities. Reaching up to 2 inches in diameter, these peaceful scavengers gladly clean leftover food, detritus, and even some types of algae.

Do black mystery snails eat fish?

Nope! Black mystery snails are herbivores and detritivores, munching on algae, biofilm, and leftover food. They pose no threat to healthy fish and are actually beneficial to a shrimp’s diet, snails to an aquarium ecosystem, helping keep it clean and balanced. So rest assured, your fish can swim safely alongside these gentle algae-eating giants!

Can black mystery snails reproduce?

Yes, black mystery snails can reproduce in tanks! These gonochoristic apple snails (meaning separate sexes) lay clutches of pink eggs above water. Mystery snails in tanks are pretty prolific, so be prepared for baby snails if you keep multiple individuals!

What are the black snails in my fish tank?

The black snails in your fish tank are Black Mystery Snails. These snails are common in aquariums and are known for their dark coloration and peaceful nature.

What is the rarest mystery snail color?

The crown for the rarest mystery snail goes to the vibrant magenta, boasting a stunning purple shell and beige foot. These beauties are often captive-bred due to their rarity in the wild.

How many eggs do black mystery snails lay?

A single black mystery snail clutch can hold 50-200+ eggs, but larger females can lay even more! These pink egg sacks, laid above water, are quite prolific.

What can black mystery snails eat?

Black Apple snails enjoy a varied diet of algae, biofilm, fish food, sinking pellets, blanched veggies like zucchini, and even the occasional leftover! They’re not picky but watch for potential plant nibbling.

Do black mystery snails eat algae?

Absolutely! Black mystery snails are algae champions, feasting on various kinds (mainly hair algae) and helping keep your aquarium clean.

Do mystery snails eat black beard algae?

Unfortunately, while mystery snails are algae-eating champs, black-beard algae is a formidable opponent they typically avoid. Its rough texture and strong defenses deter even the hungriest snail.

What do black mystery snails eat?

Black mystery snails are algae munchers! They thrive on aquarium algae, leftover fish food, and blanched veggies like zucchini. They’re nature’s tiny janitors for a clean tank.

Are black mystery snails asexual?

Nope, black mystery snails are not asexual! They have two distinct sexes and require mating for fertile offspring. However, females can lay unfertile eggs even without a partner.

Are black mystery snails nocturnal?

While not strictly nocturnal, black mystery snails are more active at night, seeking food and exploring when lights are low. They may still graze or climb during the day but at a slower pace.


Breeding black mystery snails can be a rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts. To produce these snails, you will need a clean and spacious aquarium with plenty of plants and hiding spots for the snails to lay their eggs. Ensure the water parameters are ideal for breeding, with a temperature between 72-78°F and a pH level of around 7.0. Introduce a male and female snail to the aquarium, and they should start mating within a few days.

The mystery snail black female will lay her eggs above the waterline, so ensure the aquarium has a space for this purpose. The eggs will hatch after 2-3 weeks, and the baby snails will drop into the water. Providing them with plenty of food and a clean environment ensures their survival. Your black mystery snail will thrive and multiply with the right conditions, adding a unique and fascinating element to your aquarium.

You might also like

About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

Recent Posts

Stay Updated

Get outdoor trends, data, new products, and tips delivered to your inbox.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top