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Mystery Snail (Apple snail) Guide

The channeled mystery snail is a cute freshwater aquarium species that can be kept in a variety of aquariums and is easy to care for. The best part is that you don’t need any experience to take care of them.

Through this guide, you’ll learn not only about channeled apple snail care but also all the other details related to them.


Channeled apple snails are a tropical invertebrate species. This creature, which falls under the Mollusca class, has the scientific name Pomacea Canaliculata. All apple snails are divided into 10 groups, and there are a total of 120 different species in these groups.

Although their original homeland is the Amazon River in South America, over time they have spread to many parts of the world, especially in Asia and Southeast Asia. Due to their easy reproduction and resilience, they were able to invade the areas they were found in rapidly.

In aquarium shops, they are mostly sold when young, at small sizes (2-3 cm in diameter). However, don’t assume they will always stay that size.

channeled Mystery snail Species Summary

Scientific Name: Pomacea canaliculata
Origin: South America
Behavior towards its own kindPeaceful
Swimming Area:All areas
Water Temperature:18 – 30 °C
Water Hardness: 4 – 20 GH
pH Level: 6.5 – 7.5
Minimum Aquarium Volume: 15 Liters
Adult Size: 15 cm
Reproduction:They lay eggs
Lifespan:2 – 3 years


Channeled mystery snails are a tropical invertebrate species. This creature, which falls under the Mollusca class, has the scientific name Pomacea Canaliculata. All apple snails are divided into 10 groups, and there are a total of 120 different species in these groups.

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Appearance and Behavior

They can get along with almost every fish. Other creatures in the aquarium don’t bother them. Throughout the day, all they do is roam the entire aquarium looking for food.

Channeled mystery snails are extremely gentle and peaceful creatures. They are quite active and lively. Even when you observe the aquarium, they can roam freely without retreating into their shell.

While they are generally light yellow in color, they can also be seen in brown, albino, red, gold, pink, blue, dark green, and, on rare occasions, in maroon and purple shades. In addition to their colors, they have many different patterns.

One of their most surprising aspects is their size. A channeled apple snail that you buy from aquarium shops with a diameter of 1-2 cm can grow up to 15 cm in diameter when it reaches adulthood. This size is equivalent to a large apple.

Natural Habitat

Starting from the Amazon River in South America, their journey continued primarily in Asia as food and then in the worldwide aquarium trade.

In their habitats, they live in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and small puddles. You can recognize their presence in the area by their small, pink-colored eggs.

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing the gender in channeled mystery snails is not challenging. The adult stage is the best for accurate gender identification.

There are a few points you can observe to determine the gender:

  • The spiral part of the female channeled apple snail is darker in color compared to the male’s.
  • Yellow spots can be seen on the antennas (extensions) of the females, closer to their mouth parts.
  • Females are larger in size than males.
  • A protrusion in alignment with the direction of the antenna can be seen on the shell of the male (see the image below).
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Which Fish Can They Live With?

There are no strict rules regarding which fish can be kept with channeled mystery snails. They get along well with almost all creatures. If there’s an issue, it’s likely not caused by your channeled apple snail.

You need to be cautious with incompatible fish, such as large, aggressive predators like frontosa and certain cichlid species. If fed in the same aquarium, these fish will attack and want to eat the snail. They might also eat shrimps, so they aren’t suitable either.

Fish compatible with channeled mystery snails:

  • Guppy
  • Common Molly (can occasionally be aggressive)
  • Tetras
  • Southern Platyfish (care should be taken)
  • Goldfish (Do not add juvenile snails with a large goldfish)
  • Rajiformes
  • Cory catfish
  • Discus
  • Freshwater angelfish (the fish should be an adult, and the snail should not be juvenile)
  • Small Tropheus Species


If you want to add one or two of these creatures to your aquarium, don’t hesitate to do so. Because the care of these creatures is very easy and will definitely not tire you out.

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While many snail species can be kept in smaller aquariums, the channeled apple snail requires a tank of 15 liters or more. This volume is for a single snail. If you’re keeping 2 or more, the volume should be increased proportionally.

Given that they can grow to a diameter of 15 cm, tanks of 3-5 liters are not suitable. If you’re already planning to add them to your existing fish aquarium, adding two won’t be a problem.

One thing to keep in mind is that they reproduce quickly and easily. The fewer you have, the easier it will be to control their population.

Water Values

The water values of their natural habitat aren’t demanding for aquarium care. They live in the slightly acidic waters of the Amazon, so they don’t require challenging conditions in the aquarium.

They can adapt to various conditions, from soft to hard waters. They need calcium to maintain strong and healthy shells. Treated tap water is sufficient to meet their needs.

Keeping the aquarium clean, performing weekly water changes, and vacuuming the substrate will ensure your channeled mystery snails stay healthy.

Channeled apple snails can live in temperatures between 18 and 30 degrees Celsius. The ideal water temperature is 24 degrees Celsius.

Feeding and Foods

Given their size, it won’t surprise you how much they eat. These snails have insatiable appetites. Since they are omnivores, they will eat almost anything they come across.

They contribute to a clean tank by happily eating the algae that form on your aquarium and glass surfaces. They not only consume algae but also decaying plants, leftover food, and even dead fish.

You can feed them the same food you provide for your fish. There’s no need for extra food. They will heartily consume flake, tablet, and granular foods.

For better health, occasionally provide them with foods like pumpkin, shrimp, cucumber, peas, and spinach.

How should channeled apple snail be fed?

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If you neglect to feed them and you have a planted aquarium, then there’s a problem. When a channeled apple snail is hungry, it will eat the first thing it finds, and this includes other smaller species of snails.

Because of this, ensure you feed them at least once a day without fail.

How much do they eat?

If you’re keeping them in a community aquarium, you can continue feeding them by adding a tiny amount to the food you give your fish. If you’re setting up an aquarium with only channeled mystery snails, giving about half a teaspoon of food per snail is sufficient.


Now, we’ve reached the most crucial point. Channeled mystery snails can reproduce so quickly and abundantly that you might need to collect their eggs to avoid being overwhelmed.

In their natural habitat, the breeding season spans from spring to autumn. However, in the aquarium environment, due to the constant conditions, you can witness breeding throughout the year.

They can lay anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs in a single session. These eggs are laid on the surface portion of the aquarium. It will take about 2 weeks for the young to hatch from these eggs.

If you don’t intend to breed them, we recommend collecting the eggs. Otherwise, they can rapidly overrun your aquarium.

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channeled apple snail Breeding

Breeding is quite straightforward. In an aquarium solely made up of channeled mystery snails, with just 4-5 snails, you can produce hundreds within a few months.

By keeping the aquarium clean and using the right, high-quality foods, you can acquire healthy offspring.

The ideal aquarium environment would consist of thick-leaved plants, natural branches, and rocks. Breeding can also be done in entirely empty aquariums, but if you’re aiming for maximum yield, it’s good to meet these minor requirements.

In the video below, you can watch live as the channeled apple snail lays its eggs.

YouTube video


The channeled apple snail is an extremely hardy freshwater snail. However, they are not immune to certain diseases. The primary cause of these diseases is very poor water quality in the aquarium, resulting in dirty water. They are sensitive to ammonia and nitrate levels. An increase in these levels can result in stress, which might make the snail susceptible to diseases.

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The first sign you’ll notice if these levels are high is cracks or breaks in the snail’s shell. This condition is not only due to high ammonia and nitrate levels but can also be caused by a very low pH level. The same can be seen when there’s a significant deficiency in calcium levels. Therefore, it’s vital to conduct weekly water changes, replacing around 20-30% of the water.

Why does the channeled apple snail die?

Channeled apple snails are resilient creatures. However, there are a few reasons that could lead to their demise:

  1. Left behind in a food fight: If you don’t drop enough food into a community tank with numerous fish, channeled mystery snails, which usually hover near the bottom, may not get enough food. Over time, this can cause them to fall ill and die. Using sinking food can address this issue.
  2. Poor water values: In tanks where the water isn’t changed regularly and has high nitrate and ammonia values, snails may get stressed, become susceptible to diseases, and this can lead to death.
  3. Calcium deficiency: If the aquarium water lacks adequate calcium, over time, thinning, cracking, and breaking can be observed in the channeled mystery snail’s shell, which often results in death.
  4. Rise/fall in pH value: The ideal pH level for channeled apple snails is between 6.5 and 7.5. A significant deviation from this range can stress the snail, leading to various illnesses and eventually death.

You might mistake a dead snail for a live one. Sometimes channeled apple snails can remain motionless at the bottom or inside their shells. In such cases, it’s crucial to check them. If the snail floats freely on the surface, it might indicate that it has died.

Caring for a channeled mystery snail is, metaphorically speaking, as easy as child’s play. We’ve covered all the critical aspects of their care. As long as you pay attention to water changes and feeding, they will continue to wander in the aquarium for as long as they live.

Please don’t hesitate to use the comment section for any questions or opinions you’d like to share.


What is the Purpose of the channeled Mystery snail?

Channeled apple snails, living up to their size, offer several benefits: they consume algae, dead fish, and waste; they accelerate bacterial formation in new aquariums; their reproduction is easy and can be controlled; they indicate adverse changes in the water, allowing for preventive measures to be taken.

Do channeled apple snails Eat Plants?

While many people claim they won’t harm plants, if they get too hungry, they might eat them. As a preventive measure, you can use plants with thicker leaves or ensure they don’t go hungry.

Does the channeled Mystery snail Bury Itself in the Sand?

If the light in the aquarium is too intense, it can disturb the snail, leading it to bury itself in the sand.

Does the channeled apple snail Come Out?

Yes, they do come out at times. This behavior is especially observed when they are about to lay eggs.

Does the channeled apple snail Eat Fry (Baby Fish)?

The channeled mystery snail does not show aggression towards or eat fry. However, if a fish dies, the snail will consume it.

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