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josu2

[FS] Purple and blue mystery snails [4/23 update: pinks]

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EDIT 4/23: Making some pinks available, with special conditions

 

After two successful shipments, I'm happy to start expanding a bit. I have blue and purple mystery snails available for sale, all at a young age of 2 months or less. Sizes that I would ship range from ~pea and on up, now getting larger than a marble in some cases. At adulthood, these fellows get to be the size of a golf ball or so.

 

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Buying from a "breeder" like me (I put it in quotes because this is far from a commercial operation) is nice because you actually know something about the life history of the animal and you don't have to worry about broken shells and the like from shoddy shipping methods. Mystery snails live from 12-24 months in most cases so it is very useful information to know when they were born like you do in my case; the big beautiful one you see at a LFS may in fact be very elderly.

 

Some things to know about mystery snails:

  • They reproduce sexually, needing both male and female. Females can store sperm for several months before laying eggs, kind of like some livebearing fish.
  • Unlike livebearing fish, mystery snails lay large sacks of eggs. These are laid above the waterline, usually on some dry but humid surface like inside a hood. Many will simply refuse to lay eggs if kept in a tank that is completely full and lacks such a surface. Below is a picture of an egg sack I removed from my hood (by accident...) but wanted to hatch. I let it float on a piece of styrofoam and you can see here the moment of truth as the babies made their trek to their new aquatic habitat.

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  • Eggs take 2-4 weeks to hatch, depending on ambient temperature and other factors. They are very easy to remove and you should have complete control over whether you end up with any more mysteries than you started with.
  • Mystery snails can tolerate cooler water conditions, into the low 60s Fahrenheit. Mortality will be high if kept much above 80 and in general their life expectancy is linked to temperature.
  • They prefer calcium hardness in the water, I'd recommend at least 6 degrees GH. Older specimens will sometimes start to have shell wear with pitting, etc. This isn't a problem if it doesn't go too deep. Neutral water and alkaline pHs are okay, they are adaptable to moderately acidic pH as well but you may see quicker shell deterioration over the long run.
  • They do not eat live plants. If you see one munching on a plant, chances are it found a dying portion or is scraping algae off of it. In lab studies, they have starved to death when given nothing but live plants to eat. Blanched veggies are relished as are basically any food fed to fish and other inverts.
  • They are pet snails, not pest snails. I mean this in various ways. Yes, they won't reproduce like pests. They also need attention in terms of feeding in a way that pests don't. They can scavenge very well, but won't be able to live off of algae and dead plant material. Their bioload is also meaningful in a way that pest snails' aren't. I have a mason jar jarrarium with some bladder snails in it with no water changes, filtration, etc. for months. Mysteries poop too much for those kinds of arrangements so they need to be in tanks with some real filtration and you can't stock them too heavily. I'd suggest something like 5 gallons for the first one, then 2-3 for each after that. They can be kept singly without a problem, but they do not mind each others' company either, as you might notice from the photos.

Available are purples and blues. The light colored ones that look kind of pink/purple in the photos are not yet available since they are sufficiently rare that I want to make sure I keep a good breeding set of them around. They will probably become available in the future though. The purples are fairly rare as well, but I have them in good numbers. You will see blues at chain pet stores sometimes, but you will probably find that mine are higher quality and you won't have to worry whether they have been painted (yes, some stores do that!).

 

These can coexist with shrimps but do make sure to think about water parameters. As far as temperament, these snails won't hurt any of your shrimps or even notice them. Shrimps will enjoy taking a ride on a snail now and then.

 

Price and stuff

 

Purples – $4.50/each

Blues – $2.50/each

Pinks – $5.50/each Note: Pinks may only be purchased on large orders than include 10 total snails, amount available per order will vary depending on stock.

 

I will consider lowering the prices on larger orders. There are limited quantities available, but I'll update the post if I run too low.

 

Shipping is paid by the buyer, I'll charge just what it costs. Default option is USPS Priority Mail. I can fit small orders in a small flat rate box. I will ship primarily on Mondays. I can do quicker shipping methods if you prefer and are willing to pay whatever the added cost is. Please think about the weather where you are and let me know if you are worried about temperatures. I have up to 72 hour heat packs for $2 if needed. For the most part, my shipping methods keep things around $10 and often well below that. I would imagine west coast buyers would have a higher shipping cost in general as I'm in the eastern time zone.

 

If any are DOA, please contact me with photos immediately. I may ask you to crush the deceased and send me photos of the result as snails can look pretty dead when they aren't mobile. A dead snail smells very bad. If there isn't an "oh my god" smell, leave it in its tank for a while and see if it perks up. Sometimes the stress of shipping may cause the snail to become extremely inactive for the first few days. I will refund any DOA and if you are willing to pay shipping I will ship replacements without extra cost.

 

 

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What happens when the blue and purple mate? Is that where the pink ones come from? Kinda interested in some just don't wanna lose their coloration if they end up mixing.

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What happens when the blue and purple mate? Is that where the pink ones come from? Kinda interested in some just don't wanna lose their coloration if they end up mixing.

I was going to ask the same thing. You have really nice snails btw.

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The genetics are not at all very well understood. The parents of all the ones I have were two darker purples and the offspring have been maybe 50% dark purple, 25% blue, 12.5% light purple/pink (I actually think there may be two color variants within this group), and 12.5% ivory. The wild forms of the snail are dark in the body and have very dark shells with brown/dark red stripes.

 

One thing that is for certain is that cross-breeding is not a risky proposition in the way it is for shrimps; you aren't doomed to get less desirable wild types if you crossbreed. You're more likely to get interesting and perhaps surprising results. I've read reports of two golden mysteries breeding and having some purple babies and a golden and blue having purple babies.

 

There are a couple major distinctions colorwise. First is body color which is basically either light or dark. Light-bodied snails have very white feet. Dark-bodied snails are not quite black, almost bluish. Then you have whether the shell is transparent or opaque. Both ivories and blues have transparent shells; the only different is the body color (blues have a dark body, making the translucent shell look blue). Ivories and goldens differ only in the shell opacity. While the ivory shell is basically colorless and translucent, the golden shell is opaque and has a yellow cast.

 

But what is not so obvious is the dominance of the traits and the way the purple comes into play genetically. There are also very occasionally some green-ish colored mysteries and nobody seems to know at all what the genetic factors are with that.

 

TL;DR–you will inevitably get a mix of colors if they mate, but it's very difficult to say what will happen. I do believe the purple gene is recessive in some way, but it's not 100% clear if the clear, white shell of the blue would be dominant over the purple characteristics.

 

Edit: Something I'll add but don't have enough experience to verify with certainty is that many report that the same two parents will quite reliably produce the same colors/ratios of colors with repeated matings. So if you had two blues mate and produce all blues, then you would expect that to be true if they did it again. This can be good to know if you find a batch of babies you really want to replicate.

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I love your snails! Thank you for full explanation and answers!

 

I love mystery snails! I have one big boy (I know it's a boy!) that I bought almost a year ago (in the end of March it'll be 1 year as we bought him at Walmart). Originally we bought 2 and both of them were boys. They lived together without any problem. Then I bought a blue snail... she was a girl... Since then they started mating almost nonstop. The boys didn't let the girl even eat... She died I belive from starving (but it was summer, maybe too hot?). She never put any eggs. Soon after her one of the boys died too... another one was left lonely and was sad for a long time for a snail... Now he lives with a couple of nerites...

 

I always catch myself thinking about another mystery snail (or 2) but I don't want them to mate... on the front side of the tank all the time... But I really like your purples! Need to think about it...

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Josu, do you find that PH or any other tank parameter has an effect on how well they color up

 

I can't say for sure what the specific effect of changes in water parameters are on coloration, but I can say that changes in water parameters do produce changes! You will often see people take them home from the store and all the new growth in the new tank looks quite different. At minimum, you will often see small ridges on the shell associated with temporarily slowed or otherwise changed growth, usually as a response to water parameters but diet and such play a role. It's hard to say though, especially since new growth almost always looks less colored before blending in more nicely as time goes on...I believe there are two independent layers of the shell that each have their own contribution to overall appearance.

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Hello all, I've been quiet since I took off on vacation...but now I'm back and have upgraded my breeding setup!

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On 3/24/2016 at 2:46 AM, ShrimpP said:

Welcome back! Any new livestock for sale yet besides the purple and blue mystery snails?

Thanks for all the good info on the snails as well.

Nothing else just yet, but I will share a photo of another snail I'm working on breeding. It's known commonly as the pagoda snail, for reasons that will become obvious when you see it. Scientific name is Brotia pagodula, it is the type species for the genus (which has undergone a ton of reclassification, so B. pagodula is basically the only snail you reliably place in it).

There's not much biological information available about it in the scientific literature, at least of the kind that helps aquarists know the best way to care for them. It is endemic to the Moei River that forms part of the border between Thailand and Burma and is a tributary to the far larger Salween River. The consistent biological note that appears in scientific articles is that it is found in fast moving areas clinging to rocks. Owner reports on the net, of which there aren't too terribly many, indicate that it seems to be hit or miss in aquaria, usually not living long even in the best cases. I have set up a tank with high flow in part to try to give them more hospitable conditions–it's a 20 long with an Aquaclear 50 on the side of the tank with a Hydor Koralia Nano 240 circulation pump next to it, all pushing the water towards the other end. If oxygen levels are typically a limiting factor for pagodas, I want to eliminate that possibility in my care.

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Pagoda snails are effectively livebearers. Their eggs hatch in a brood pouch and emerge later as miniature adults. While not a great deal is known about some of the specifics of their reproduction, they and others like them tend to yield few offspring at a time and are thought to be slow reproducers in general. They have separate male and female sexes and are not easily sexed, though I believe you could see a penis or brood pouch above the "shoulder" if you knew what you were looking at. I have spotted 2 babies so far in the month I've had them.

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Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. They are rather unmoving animals so far in my experience, though you never can know for certain whether that's actually indicative of some problem. One of the five I purchased died; I found it while cleaning the tank already mostly rotted, just an operculum and a bit of body tissue left over inside the shell. Another I absolutely could not find when I decided to move them to the high flow tank...I assumed it was dead. I saw it climbing the glass just yesterday. I have much to learn about these guys, I'm sure.

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Thank you for the information on these guys. :)  Perhaps you should copy that and paste in a journal in the invert section so we can follow your progress?

 

I personally would love to get into tree snails, but so often these are not available due to laws.

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On 3/29/2016 at 6:05 PM, Jabby said:

Will you sell any of your clutches? Would love to purchase some of your clutches. I found this post when searching google for "mystery snail egg clutches for sale". So that's why I only have one post here.

Hi Jabby—I can probably do that. Right now I don't have any, but they have a way of just showing up :D

On 3/25/2016 at 7:06 PM, Soothing Shrimp said:

Thank you for the information on these guys. :)  Perhaps you should copy that and paste in a journal in the invert section so we can follow your progress?

 

I personally would love to get into tree snails, but so often these are not available due to laws.

I probably should do that.

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On 4/15/2016 at 9:24 AM, Alex Athletic said:

Hi Josu2


do you're still raising the purple and blue snails  ? 

 

Yes indeed!

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An odd observation–I have yet to positively identify a single male purple/pink/ivory in my batch. That doesn't mean there aren't any, since there are many I haven't worked to sex and just too many to do. With that said, they have started to mate and the only males I have observed mating are blues. There are, without a doubt, males of these colors outside of my care, but the colors and gender seemed to be linked in mine thus far.

 

I'll be updating the OP shortly for some new info about buying snails/clutches.

 

Also, if anyone would specifically want snails with cosmetic imperfections at a discount, let me know. These would be snails with one or more dents or cracks in their shell or growth patterns too uneven for me to include in a typical order.

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8 minutes ago, ShrimpP said:

Any clutches josu?

I'd be interested in blues, any shades/solid/striped purples, and ivories. Maybe even golden and magenta.

 

I do have clutches show up from time to time, though now in most cases I won't be able to say exactly which snail they came from.

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21 minutes ago, boothie said:

That is a very interesting observation (blue males mating).  By exclusion, purple females for sure then...  How old are they now?

 

 

The very oldest are 4.5 months, but I have some as young as 1 month.

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Interesting.  Trying to gauge when my snails should be mating.  I have pairs of blue and magentas, only the gold incas are getting frisky.  They're all over an inch, so I'm guessing they're older than 4.5 months.  Keep me posted on the possibility of male/female pair.  My blue's are very introverted (ha ha), so may be interested in a couple of active ones.

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5 hours ago, josu2 said:

An odd observation–I have yet to positively identify a single male purple/pink/ivory in my batch. That doesn't mean there aren't any, since there are many I haven't worked to sex and just too many to do. With that said, they have started to mate and the only males I have observed mating are blues. There are, without a doubt, males of these colors outside of my care, but the colors and gender seemed to be linked in mine thus far.

 

I'll be updating the OP shortly for some new info about buying snails/clutches.

 

Also, if anyone would specifically want snails with cosmetic imperfections at a discount, let me know. These would be snails with one or more dents or cracks in their shell or growth patterns too uneven for me to include in a typical order.

It stinks that we can't spend more time on the things that we enjoy. :notfair: That said it is interesting about the blue males breeding.  Perhaps they mature sooner or I know in chickens that sex link colors are common.   Brown Cherry m x Rhode Island White f produces a white male chick and a brown female chick every time.

 

I understand about the growth pattern rings but curious about the dents/cracks ?   Thanks

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