Mystery Snail (Pomacea bridgesii)

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Mystery Snail
Pomacea bridgesii
Mystery Snail (Pomacea bridgesii)
Name Mystery Snail
Name Lat. Pomacea bridgesii
Family Apple Snails
Family lat. Ampullariidae
Order Snails & Slugs
Order lat. Architaenioglossa
Origin South America
Habitat Streams, ponds, swamps
Diet Algae, detritus, snail food
pH 7.0-8.0
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Individual, group
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Oviparous
Breeding Simple
Life Span 2-4 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6.5 cm
Temperature 20-28 °C
Hardness 10-20 °dH
Aquarium ~ 20 l
US Units
Size 2.6"
Temperature 68-82 °F
Hardness 178-356 ppm
Aquarium ~ 5 gal

Distribution and habitat

The apple snail originates from the Amazon basin in South America and was introduced to Hawaii, Florida, Southeast Asia and Europe. They live in swampy, stagnant and slow-flowing waters, which can also dry out temporarily.


They need a well-structured aquarium, with plenty of aquatic plants, roots and stones. The substrate of sand or gravel should be partially covered with foliage (e.g. sea almond leaves, oak leaves), rotting plant material and mulm

The water quality must correspond to that for the average keeping of freshwater fish. No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable in the water and the nitrate value should be below 100 mg/l. When using a filter, make sure that only a weak current is created and that no animals can be sucked in. The lighting must correspond to the natural day-night rhythm of the animals.


They rasp off growth organisms from plants, stones, roots and furnishings, but also eat detritus, plant remains and carrion. They can be fed well with autumn leaves from native trees (e.g. oak, beech, maple, birch), sea almond tree leaves, and fresh, over-scalded leaves (lettuce, dandelion, etc.). In addition, dry fish or crayfish food should be offered occasionally, as well as frozen or freeze-dried food, such as cyclops, daphnia, Artemia nauplii and microworms. It is sufficient to feed them about 3 times a week. Unaccepted food should be siphoned off after about 12 hours

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

They can be well socialized with dwarf shrimp and fish, except for puffer fish and other species that tug at the snails' antennae or eat snails.

In principle, only mutually compatible species with similar requirements for water conditions and water temperature should be socialized.

Reproduction and breeding

They are separately sexed. The sexes can hardly be distinguished from each other. The males have a rounder shell opening than the females. If the shell is not too dark, the ovary of the females can be seen shining through

After mating, the female lays the clutch on smooth surfaces (e.g. leaves, aquarium cover) above the water. The whitish clutches can be several centimeters long and contain up to 600 eggs. Depending on the temperature, the young snails hatch after 10-40 days.


ATTENTION: Since November 2012 Pomacea may not be imported into the EU and distributed in the EU (2012/697/EU). This applies to the entire genus of Pomacea!

Since they leave the water again and again, a distance of 5-10 cm should be kept from the water surface to the upper edge of the aquarium and a cover should not be omitted. They are excellent at removing algae deposits and only occasionally feed on delicate aquatic plants.

A particularly noticeable feature is their breathing tube. This tube-like outgrowth can be extended far if necessary and is used for breathing at the water surface. With its lid, it can close the shell in such a way that it survives for some time out of the water. To build their shell, they need an adequate supply of lime. Especially in soft, acidic water, shell damage (holes) can occur due to a lack of lime, which can lead to the death of the snail. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the calcium concentration in the water and, if necessary, calcium should be added in the form of limestone, cuttlebone or special preparations from the specialized trade.

The well-being of the animals should be checked regularly. The temperature should be checked daily, the pH value, hardness and nitrate value at least every 14 days. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even if the pollutant load has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced animals must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Barbara Pachner; Image: petdata

Source: BITTER (2008): Schnecken-Fibel, Dähne Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch