Freshwater Snail Eggs: What to Do If Your Snail Lays Eggs

Freshwater Snails are some of the most prolific aquatic animals you can own. While some species only lay 1-4 eggs at a time many Snails lay dozens or hundreds in a single round!

These eggs can be a complete surprise to beginners and advanced hobbyists alike! Fortunately, caring for Freshwater Snail eggs is a simple task and we’ll be discussing how to care for some of the most common species below!

Where Can I Find Freshwater Snail Eggs?

Here is the most likely placement of freshwater snail eggs in your aquarium

Apply and Mystery Snails

Mystery Snails are a species of Apple Snail and all Apple Snails lay large bundles of a few dozen eggs at a time. These bundles are laid above water in a damp place; usually along the exposed glass, tank lip, or hood where the humidity remains high.

Apple Snail eggs develop over the course of 3 to 4 weeks, with small dark spots being a sign of fertile, developing embryos. Eventually the young Freshwater Snails break free and drop down into the aquarium

Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn Snails are the species most people think of when they imagine a tank overrun by Freshwater Snails. They lay eggs in gelatinous masses that hold 1-2 dozen embryos at a time.

Ramshorn snail eggs
Ramshorn snail eggs

The development time is temperature dependent and can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, with heat speeding up the process.

The trick with Ramshorn Snails is that they reproduce both sexually and asexually. If there’s only a single Snail they can still create clones of themselves that will eventually overrun your aquarium! This is why Ramshorn Snails are often seen as troublesome pests in the hobby.

If Ramshorn Snails are your favorite Freshwater Snail or you’re looking for means to control their numbers, have a look at my Ramshorn Snail Guide!

Malaysian Trumpet Snails

These Freshwater Snails are unusual because they are livebearing Snails! Rather than laying eggs they have a single baby roughly once per month and can reproduce both asexually and sexually.

Assassin Snails

Assassin Snails are carnivorous Freshwater Snails that aren’t as prolific as some of their cousins. They generally lay a single egg per mating (but do mate frequently). Each egg takes 1 to 2 months to develop, temperature depending. These eggs are scattered about the aquarium in protected places like plant thickets and driftwood nooks.

Nerite Snails

If you find Nerite Snail eggs you have nothing to fear if you’re worried about overpopulation. They will prolifically scatter the small white eggs across any hard surface they can find.

However Nerite Snails eggs and young need brackish or full saltwater to develop successfully. You won’t be seeing baby Nerite Snails in your aquarium anytime soon.

What Should I Do When I Find Eggs?

Freshwater snail eggs

Freshwater Snail Eggs are generally self-sufficient. They are usually either encased in a gelatinous mass that’s bitter and unappealing or a hard material that’s tough to break into.

While Freshwater Snails aren’t devoted parents they do have good instincts and many species lay their eggs above the water line or hide them among decorations. There’s little for you to do unless you’re worried fish or other inhabitants may eat the young Snails.

How Long Until The Eggs Hatch?

The time period for snail eggs to hatch is dependent both on the species in question as well as factors like pH and temperature.

Ramshorn Snail eggs have one of the quickest development times, with young Snails hatching as fast as a week from being laid.

Assassin Snails are some of the slowest, with 1 to 2 months being typical gestation periods.

Caring For the Young Freshwater Snails

If you’ve left your young Snails in with their parents they can be treated like miniature adults in terms of care and feeding. Vegetarian and detritivorous Snails can be offered blanched vegetables like spinach and cauliflower.

Carnivores will eat meaty prey and both usually take prepared foods. Night feedings are the best way to ensure your young Freshwater Snails get enough to eat and aren’t bullied by tank mates.

What If I Don’t Want More Snails?

Removing any eggs you find is the safest bet. Apple and Mystery Snails are the easiest to control because they lay their eggs above water.

Simply scan for egg clusters once per day and scrape away any that you find.

Ramshorn Snails are a bit harder to control; when they lay eggs on glass these can be scraped away as well. However the egg masses are transparent when newly laid and easy to miss anywhere else in the aquarium.

Assassin Snails breed slowly and the eggs take even more time to develop. Baby Snails do tend to burrow even more than adults and can be hard to hand remove.

Baiting your Assassin Snails with fish or other meat will also attract young Snails that can then be removed.

As livebearers Malaysian Trumpet Snails don’t have eggs to remove or control – baiting and hand removing the young is the best option. And since they require brackish or saltwater to develop Nerite Snail eggs are self-controlling!

If you have another egg-laying Snail species it will tend to follow one of these breeding methods. You can simply adapt your strategies to fit their needs!

15 thoughts on “Freshwater Snail Eggs: What to Do If Your Snail Lays Eggs”

    • I’m a novice snail mom. Enjoyed watching them have fun. Found the eggs on top of my lid. Really don’t want to kill them!!! Want to watch them grow. Can I get a new tank later so they can live?

  1. Two of my nerite snails laid eggs in my freshwater tank, many of which hatched and have been steadily growing for the last 3 months. I transferred about 80 into a brackish tank once they were large enough to be removed from the water without harming them.
    I’ve got about 250 snails now. Most of them spent several weeks after hatching in freshwater.

    • That’s extremely uncommon. I’ve had nerites since forever, and that’s never once happened to their eggs. You must be very lucky!

  2. I went to the pet store to buy lucky bamboo for my fish tank, and a very small snail attached itself to one of the roots. I thought it was a pebble at first! It’s been about a 3-4 weeks since it came home, and it grew pretty quickly. Today, I found about a dozen baby snails in my tank!

    I located the momma snail, but it looks like the shell is empty. I can’t seem to locate her and I’m not sure if it died or if it’s looking for another shell. Do I have to add shells in the tank or would there be another issue?

    • Those snails are nuisance snails. They will keep appearing till they take over your tank. Look them up & try to catch them all. I flush mine, they are awful.I felt bad at first until they kept on taking over my tank.

  3. The group of eggs that we recently found attached to the roof of the tank fell off and dropped into the water- will they now not develep? I took them out carefully and put them back above the waterline… any help would be great!

  4. Can I take the group of eggs above the water line out of my tank because I need to clean my tank . We’re can I put the babies eggs ?


Leave a Comment