If you’ve been considering a new addition to your aquarium, you might take a look at the humble mystery snail. These snails are an absolute treat to own and tend to be more active than many other types of snails. Most mystery snails have a favorite pastime of climbing to the top of the tank and then letting go and floating back to the bottom.
They have big personalities with distinctive behaviors and preferences. If you’ve been curious about owning one (or multiple!) of these fantastic snails, these reviews can help you identify reliable sellers and, if you have specific colors in mind, can help guide you toward a seller who can suit your need.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
Online Shopping Guide for Mystery Snails – Reviews & Top Picks 2021
1. Aquatic Discounts 1 Gold Mystery Snail – Best Overall
|Number of snails per order:||1|
The best overall pick for a mystery snail purchase is the Aquatic Discounts 1 Gold Mystery Snail. Aquatic Discounts will send you a single gold mystery snail, and they frequently offer a “buy 2, get 1 free” discount. Gold mystery snails are also sometimes considered to be yellow in color and may also be called Gold Inca Snails. The snail they ship you will be ½-1 inch in size at the time of shipping and will be shipped in water and double bagged to prevent leaks. Make sure to float the internal bag and consider drip acclimation before adding your snail to your tank to allow for safe acclimation.
2. Aquatic Arts Deluxe Mystery Snail Pack – Best Value
|Number of snails per order:||5, 8, 15, 24, 25|
|Available colors:||Gold, blue, black, ivory, albino, magenta, jade, purple|
The best online mystery snail purchase for the money is the Aquatic Arts Deluxe Mystery Snail Pack. This pack of snails is available in five sizes, allowing for the sale of 5-25 snails. You do not have the option to choose the colors you receive. If you order the 5-pack, you will receive gold, blue, black, ivory, and albino. The 8-pack includes magenta, jade, and purple, and the larger packs contain multiples of colors. At the time of shipping, your snails will be ½-2 inches, so they may be old enough to begin breeding upon arrival. Aquatic Arts will ship your snails “dry”, which means they will be wrapped in a damp paper towel in a bag. They may take a little more time to become active after shipping than “wet” shipped snails.
3. TruBlu Supply 10 Large Assorted Mystery Snails – Premium Choice
|Number of snails per order:||10|
|Available colors:||Gold, blue, black, ivory, albino|
If you’re interested in a premium pack of mystery snails, then TruBlu Supply 10 Large Assorted Mystery Snails pack is a great way to go. This pack of snails includes 10 live snails that can be any combination of gold, blue, black, ivory, and albino. While they are a premium price, they ship for free, which will help offset some of the cost. TruBlu Supply ships these snails dry and only ships them USPS Priority Expedited to ensure they get to you quickly and safely. These snails are typically smaller than an inch at the time of shipping.
4. AquaticMotiv Purple Mystery Snails x3 Rare
|Number of snails per order:||3|
The AquaticMotiv Purple Mystery Snails x3 Rare is a 3-pack of purple mystery snails. Purple is a color that is difficult to find and is often considered rare. Purple mystery snails have unique combinations of dark purple, light purple, black, and ivory stripes. These snails can be just about any size when shipped, although they’re likely to be less than 2 inches. AquaticMotiv ships these snails wet, so they will need to be floated and carefully acclimated upon arrival. They only ship Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to ensure your snails don’t spend the weekend stuck at a USPS distribution center or shipping facility.
5. Imperial Tropicals 6 Assorted Mystery Snails
|Number of snails per order:||6|
|Available colors:||Gold, ivory, black|
The Imperial Tropicals 6 Assorted Mystery Snails pack features two gold, two ivory, and two black mystery snails. If you contact Imperial Tropicals directly, they will often allow you to customize the colors you receive in your order. It’s not uncommon for them to allow you to customize your order with snails that are not of the three listed colors. These snails are shipped dry but tend to be happy and healthy on arrival, so they may quickly become active. They are shipped under 2 inches in size and may be old enough to begin breeding when you receive the order.
6. Shango & Ochun Botanica Mystery Snail Package with Food Sample
|Number of snails per order:||2|
|Available colors:||Gold, ivory|
The Shango & Ochun Botanica Mystery Snail Package with Food Sample includes two mystery snails. In each order, you will receive an ivory snail, a gold snail, and a sample of snail food. The food will only last two snails for a week or two, so you will still need to purchase snail food. These snails are shipped dry and may be slower to wake up than some others. Each snail is shipped in its own container within the shipping package to allow for the safest transport and prevent them from bumping each other and potentially hurting their shells. They are usually between ½-1 inch at the time of shipping.
7. Polar Bear’s Pet Shop 5 Blue Mystery Snails
|Number of snails per order:||5|
Polar Bear’s Pet Shop 5 Blue Mystery Snails is a pack of beautiful blue mystery snails that are usually shipped at an inch or smaller. If you are unfamiliar with blue mystery snails, don’t be surprised if they are lighter than you expect them to be. Some blue mystery snails are dark blue, but technically blue mystery snails are ivory snails with a dark foot that creates the illusion of a blue shell, so you may receive light colored blue snails. This seller frequently ships extra snails in every order, so you may receive more than five in an order. These snails are shipped dry and may be slow to wake up but are often active quickly after arrival.
8. SevenSeaSupply 1 Live Blue Mystery Snail
|Number of snails per order:||1|
SevenSeaSupply 1 Live Blue Mystery Snail includes a single blue snail that is usually around ½ inch in size at the time of shipping. This seller has limited options for purchasing mystery snails at this time, so purchasing different colors or pack sizes may be difficult. SevenSeaSupply usually only ships these snails via USPS Priority, but they will provide expedited shipping if requested. These snails are shipped dry, and some customers have reported their snail being out of its paper towel on arrival.
Choosing the Right Online Seller When Buying Mystery Snails
Choosing an online seller when you’re buying mystery snails doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some things you should look for. Look for sellers with lots of good reviews, especially reviews that refer to the quality of packing or health of the snails. Reliable sellers offer a live arrival guarantee, which usually requires you to report deaths within a few hours of receiving your order. This provides you some protection as a buyer, and sellers with live arrival guarantees will either replace the deceased animals or reimburse your purchase.
What You Should Know Before Buying Mystery Snails
Mystery snails’ shells are made up of calcium, so they require high amounts of bioavailable calcium in their diet. Snails that have not been provided enough calcium will often have cracked, jagged, or thin shells, which can lead to injury, illness, or death. Ensure your snail has access to a calcium source in its diet and its tank. Many people provide cuttlebone or ground eggshells in the tank and offer a snail or invertebrate-specific diet.
Mystery snails will eat algae in your tank, but it’s a common misconception that they will eat all the algae and that they don’t require additional feeding. One thing to consider is that mystery snails are not the best option for algae consumption and if this is your goal, you may consider Nerite or ramshorn snails.
Even if your mystery snail is consuming a lot of algae, you still have to provide a balanced diet with snail food, fresh veggies, and proteins like bloodworms. Leaving your snail to rely on algae for food will lead to malnutrition and potentially, starvation. Mystery snails are particularly fond of zucchini, cucumber slices, and leafy green veggies.
If you’re a goldfish keeper, you know all about bioload. If you’re not familiar with this term, it refers to how much the waste output of an animal contributes to the waste load of a tank. For example, dwarf shrimp have a light bioload, while goldfish have a heavy bioload. In the world of snails, mystery snails have a heavy bioload. They can contribute a heavier bioload to the tank than small fish and invertebrates.
To manage a heavy bioload, adequate filtration is a must. You also should ensure your tank is cycled so that it has healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria present to help reduce the waste load. At minimum, your mystery snail tank should have a sponge filter, but it’s recommended to have a more powerful filtration system, like a HOB or canister filter, if your mystery snail shares a tank with fish or contains multiple snails.
When it comes to buying mystery snails online, your best overall option is Aquatic Discounts 1 Gold Mystery Snail because this seller is reliable and frequently offers discounts. The best value option is the Aquatic Arts Deluxe Mystery Snail pack, which includes multiple pack sizes for fair prices. Your best premium pick is the TruBlu Supply 10 Large Assorted Mystery Snails, which is a premium price but includes multiple snails in different color options. These reviews have covered the best options for purchasing mystery snails online, but it’s not an all-inclusive list and there are multiple reliable avenues of finding healthy, happy mystery snails.
Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping has become a hobby of Brooke’s and she is continually learning how to give her aquarium pets the best life possible. Brooke enjoys plants and gardening and keeps a vegetable garden during the summer months. She stays active with yoga and obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2020. She hosts a podcast focusing on folklore and myth and loves spending her free time researching and writing. Brooke believes that every day is an opportunity for learning and growth and she spends time daily working toward new skills and knowledge.