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How Fast Do Mystery Snails Grow?

As the number of fish keepers adding snails to their tanks or ponds continues to increase, we have noticed more and more questions being asked from the community about mystery snails.

We have already published a number of article going over how you can care for your mystery snails to keep them healthy but we have recently noticed a spike in the number of people reaching out to ask how fast mystery snails grow.

With there seemingly being more and more people asking about the growth rate of mystery snails with each month that passes as well as asking questions about the growth pace of their shell, we have decided to publish our own article on the topic.

Our hope is that we are going to be able to help as many of our readers as possible better understand what to expect for the growth rate of their mystery snails, how they are able to encourage growth as well as how they can help to ensure their mystery snails shell grows at a healthy pace with the rest of the snail.

We have broken the article into three sections to try and make it as easy as possible to follow. You can use the table of contents below to quickly and easily navigate to specific sections of the article without having to skim over everything.

If you are new to keeping mystery snails and are looking to keep your snail in your tank for a long period of time as a way to deal with algae and detritus then at least skimming over the full article is probably a good idea though.

How Fast Do Mystery Snails Grow?

Baby mystery snails grow at a pace relative to their food supply with baby mystery snails sometimes being able to get to 1.5 inches in size in a matter of months with plenty of food and optimal water parameters.

The growth rate from that size to the 2 inch size does tend to slow down considerably though and can take months for the final half inch of growth but this is totally normal.

Keep in mind that mystery snails are not all the same species of snail and although the majority are just apple snails, it is very common for other snail species to be bundled into “mystery snail” packages in pet stores.

This is actually where the name originally came from where pet stores were unable to identify the species of snail so they labeled them as mystery snails and sold them.

Although most of the snail species commonly sold as mystery snails will usually grow to between 1.5 inches and 2 inches, some species will stay smaller or take much longer to grow.

Apple snails are usually very easy to identify though and these are the most common species of mystery snail that will usually grow at a much faster pace than the others.

“Mystery Snail” by 3rr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

What Can I Do To Help My Mystery Snail Grow?

The two main things you can do to ensure that your mystery snails will grow at a healthy pace is to ensure they have plenty of food and optimal water parameters.

If you maintain these two variables then your baby mystery snail can grow to around 1.5 inches in as little as three months in some situations.

Most aquariums will usually have enough food for mystery snails due to them eating algae, detritus, and discarded fish food but our article on what mystery snails eat may be helpful if you are looking for additional food sources.

Water parameters are usually easy to maintain for mystery snails but oxygen levels in the water can be problematic depending on stocking levels and the number of live plants in the tank but the mystery snail siphon should prevent any serious problems.

One of the most common reasons that a mystery snail may not maintain its expected growth rates is due to harassment from its tank mates.

The more attention the mystery snail is getting from its tank mates increase the amount of time where it is hiding in its shell and not eating to grow.

Our article on suitable mystery snail tank mates should be able to help you avoid any possible issues with this though.

How Can I Encourage Healthy Mystery Snail Shell Growth?

You have to ensure that your mystery snail has plenty of calcium in its diet to have healthy shell growth but unfortunately, it is very common that a mystery snails diet will be lacking in calcium.

You are able to use cuttlebone or API Reef Calcium to top up the calcium intake of your mystery snail to help promote healthy shell growth.

Lack of calcium in a snails diet is such a common problem that we actually have a dedicated article on using cuttlebone for a healthy snail shell that goes into more detail on how you would add cuttlebone to their diet.

API Reef Calcium simply needs to be added to the tank and the snails will take it directly out of the water making it an easier but more expensive option.

You can usually see if your mystery snails shell growth is suffering due to a lack of calcium as it will be visibly thinner and often have a totally different texture where new growth takes place.

You can sometimes see the actual flesh of the mystery snail through the shell too in some situations too and if the lack of calcium is this bad then you really do need to start to supplement calcium as quickly as possible.


That brings our article going over how fast mystery snails grow to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various ins and outs of what you should expect from your mystery snail when it comes to growth. Unfortunately though, it is not as simple as saying a mystery snail should be a certain size by a certain age as there are just too many variables involved.