How Do Aquarium Snails Reproduce: Two Different Ways

How do aquarium snails reproduce? These aquatic creatures are some of the most popular pets in the world. They’re small, colorful, and extremely easy to care for. That makes them perfect for a variety of people, but also makes them a challenge to breed in captivity. In this article, we are going to discuss the different ways snails can reproduce so you have an idea of how to breed them if you plan to.

How Do Snails Reproduce?

There are a few ways that snails can reproduce in captivity – there are some species that lay eggs while there are some that give birth to live ones. However, the most common way is to release eggs and sperm into the water where they will fertilize and create new snails. Snail mating habits can be quite random so it’s hard to guarantee success, but this is usually the method used when breeding snails for sale. Another way that some snail species reproduce is by laying their eggs on land and then caring for them until they hatch. This method is much more difficult but can be successful if there’s a good amount of humidity and warmth in the space to encourage snail growth before hatching.

horns of a small snail. a snail is crawling along the stem of a flower. snail looks out from ambush. the snail goes out to explore. the snail meets the first rays of the sun. curious little snail crawling towards the sun

Egg-Laying Snails

The most common type of snail that reproduces by laying eggs is the Common Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum). This species is native to the Mediterranean and can reproduce in a couple of different ways. The first way is to lay their eggs in water where they will sink and fertilize with sperm from another snail. The second way is for the Common Garden Snail to lay their eggs on land, which will hatch into snails after a few weeks. When you’re working on breeding snails just like this, you can use both methods of reproduction to make sure that your babies will have the proper characteristics.

Livebearer Snails

Another way of reproduction is for the snails to give birth to live ones, which takes place inside of a protective capsule. The process is quite similar to those egg-laying snails. The only difference is that the eggs hatch inside the snail’s body and will give birth to live baby snails. This is a pretty rare method of reproduction among snails and it’s mostly used in species that want to avoid being eaten by predators. This type of snail mating can be a little bit more unpredictable but it’s usually able to produce healthy offspring if you provide enough care. One of the most common examples of live-bearing snails is the Malaysian burrowing snail (Melanoides tuberculata).

Can Aquarium Snails Reproduce Asexually?

Yes, snails can reproduce asexually as there are hermaphrodite snails that carry both male and female organs. Many hobbyists will purchase snails specifically to be kept in an aquarium environment because of their ability to reproduce asexually. The process for reproducing sexually in aquatic snails is not as easy as it may seem though; many species and things to consider must occur for reproduction to happen in the aquarium. Some hermaphrodite snails reproduce asexually using parthenogenesis. This occurs when the snail divides its cells without fertilization and creates eggs. In some cases, this type of reproduction can be helpful for species that are in short supply or want to increase their populations quickly. However, it’s not always successful, so you shouldn’t get your hopes up if you see any offspring. One of the most common hermaphrodite snails is the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).

Home Aquarium with guppies and golden mystery snail

How Quickly Do Aquarium Snails Reproduce?

The answer to how quickly aquarium snails reproduce can vary depending on the snail species and whether they are self-fertilized or not. Generally speaking, most aquarium snails will breed within a few weeks if they are kept in captivity with good food and water conditions.

How Often Do Aquarium Snails Lay Eggs?

Depending on the species, aquarium snails may lay eggs anywhere from once a month to every couple of months. In general (and as is often reported with freshwater snails in particular), species also lay eggs at a certain time of year. Some species lay eggs during the same time frame if not separate periods. However, special conditions can still occur over a long period.

How Many Eggs Do Freshwater Snails Lay?

Generally speaking, freshwater snail eggs vary just like the diversity of snails. Sizes can range from microscopic to medium and large sizes with a slight size difference in each group. The average number of eggs that many species lay is around 5–300 per full-grown adult female depending on the species and how often they reproduce (sexually or asexually), how densely packed their nest is, and other factors.

Once the new set of eggs has been laid, leave them be for a few days; you might want to check over your snail at least every day as well or even multiple times each day. Freshwater snails tend to flourish in conditions that are somewhat close to their natural environments and will typically speed up rather soon when out of danger. After all, this is merely a survival method for themselves. When the eggs hatch you’ll notice them grow quite quickly and might want to watch over your snail at least several times each day. Never interrupt their activities in this manner; it’s best if left until they have already completed construction on a new shell.

How Long Do Snail Eggs Take To Hatch?

Snail eggs will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks to hatch. Some species will take up to a year or longer after hatching, but fortunately, many freshwater snail eggs hatch in 7-21 days. You might want to keep close watch over your snail when this happens; the embryos may still be small enough that you’ll only notice it if you look very closely with activated microscopes for instance. There are also often other signs on their bodies indicating they’re preparing such as darker coloration and especially variations in posture.

How Long Are Snails Pregnant For?

Snails can be pregnant for about 2 to 4 weeks and can appear as females with eggs or as males without. As males, they will keep growing for several weeks following which their growth seems to slow down and is normal. Again however their status as a male or female won’t be active until after the eggs have been laid. When they are observed, usually by a tank mate, a few days earlier rather than later. After the parental response is no longer observed after around 20-23 hours, you should be certain that egg-laying has ended.

What Do Baby Aquarium Snails Look Like?

Baby snails look very similar to their adult counterparts. They may have a small, pinkish hue to them and will be sporting a large number of antennae. They will also have some prominent shell teeth that are just emerging and maybe darker in coloration. Snails as a whole can lack pigment but the ones found in aquaria typically maintain lighter hues than their outdoor counterparts. About half of the snails from aquariums should remain this light while they mature over time. Also, with proper lighting conditions, one could observe or expect shells to change colors though there is not much information available on the subject.

How to Take Care of Baby Aquarium Snails?

After the baby snail is born, you must take care of it to raise its health and prevent fatalities from living under stressful conditions. You’ll need a deep water pot with plenty of moisture such as cuttings or aged tea. The best temperature for the water is 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, which should have about two inches of water with no smaller bubbles than can enlarge at some point. Once you get this done correctly, begin nurturing your baby by adding a sponge to its home from inside of the soil and placing it on top so that air can circulate through there.

You’ll also want to clean out any leftover eggs that were not fertilized, which can cause some of the eggs underneath to hatch and eat away at their surrounding area. Be sure to check the water regularly, something that’s a must in this type of breeding if you want everything to go smoothly.

Which Snails Don’t Reproduce in an Aquarium?

Several snails will not breed as effectively in captivity and raising these within a standard tank is done for the sake of keeping fish friends rather than actual fertilization. In addition, it’s obvious when nature calls because diverse snail colonies need variation which doesn’t occur with aquarium life. Aquarium snail parents will only produce viable eggs if they are in unusually large numbers. These include the Lymnaea, Hemistena, and Hydrobia species which often aren’t normally kept under aquarium conditions. However, these three snails are known to be offenders so no doubt it’s better than a larger quantity is utilized rather than none at all but still not enough for a breeding colony of 50+.

Another popular snail species that do not reproduce in an aquarium setting is the Nerite snail (Neritina natalensis). This particular snail is a very difficult type to locate as it does not thrive in certain regions or collections. Nerite Shells also lack pigment, which makes them very highly camouflaged. This is one reason why they are found in brackish and marine environments because if you keep them in clear freshwater ones, they will die due to lack of oxygen. Other mated snails such as the Common Nerite and Zebra Nerite should also be left uncontacted by an interested aquarist if at all possible.