Mystery snails mating or fighting

Mystery snails mating or fighting?

Snail lovers have always been concerned about the different behaviors of the snails in their aquariums. Aquarists who handle assassin snails often wonder that mystery snails are also fighters and can harm and kill other snails just like assassins. As a result, they try to put mystery snails in separate jails. Have you ever been confused about mystery snails fighting or mating?

If you see your mystery snails together, the 90% chances are they are mating, not fighting. Mystery snails appear to be “fighting” when they are actually breeding. They engage in jousting-like behavior, circling each other and pushing with their shells during the mating process. However, aquarists mistakenly take this behavior as “aggression.”

However, what if mystery snails are indeed fighting with their friends and not mating? Let’s uncover other secrets about why mystery snails are stuck together and why they are always on top of each other!

Are My Mystery Snails Fighting or Mating?

This is a sensible concern because snails are mysterious and confusing creatures. Their fighting and mating behavior looks the same. As such, it is best to learn the difference between their behaviors to find whether they are fighting or mating. Let’s learn!

Your mystery snails are more likely mating, not fighting when climbing on each other. Mostly, aquarists are unsure about the natural part of the reproductive process of mystery snails. They think that their mystery snails are fighting.

As a result, they try to separate them repeatedly whenever they see them together. But if you research about it and observe them carefully, you’ll come to know it’s a mistake. They are actually mating. That’s why they are always busy spending more time on top of each other. So, your tank population goes amok.

However, many snail keepers ask, “What if they are actually fighting.” The answer is super straightforward – mystery snails cannot fight. They do not have any tools to fight with other snails. These snail species are peaceful creatures. They cannot harm one another and their neighbors. So, there is not much to worry about mystery snails when they are together.

How often do mystery snails fight?

Mystery snails do not fight. But what if they intend to fight or they are aggressive towards others? Still, they can’t fight due to the lack of harmful tools. The only option mystery snails have to respond to a threat is their shells.

Thus, these cute snails depend heavily on their covers. They cannot survive without their shells. Mystery snails hide themselves in their home-like shells to protect themselves from external threats.

How often do mystery snails mate?

Mystery snails are indeed a mystery when it comes to their mating process. This is because mystery snails mate multiple times throughout their lifespan. However, their frequency of mating varies depending on factors such as:

  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Temperature of Land and Water
  • Tank Space 
  • Food Availability

What if you give them a suitable habitat, balanced diet, proper water quality, and temperature to breed? Mystery snails will mate every few weeks or even more frequently. According to Reddit fellows, mystery snails sometimes mate for 24 hours and then mate again after a few hours.

That’s why a few snail keepers get worried about their mystery snails when they see them on top of each other for hours and hours. More interestingly, mystery snails usually lay eggs in clusters above the waterline, like just right above it. Also, the frequency of their egg-laying is a good indicator of their healthy mating activity.

Read also: Mystery Snail Not Moving – Why?

Why are my mystery snails on top of each other? Why did they stick together?

snails mating or fighting

Here are a few valid reasons why your mystery snails are on top of each other or stick together for long hours:

1.They are Mating:

As mentioned, mystery snails mate for long hours (usually 2 to 12 hours, sometimes 24 hours). Moreover, the male mystery snails are always busy eating and trying to mate with other mystery snails. Once they are done with mating, the snail who’s at the top of another snail will go back down.

Thus, mating is always the first and foremost reason why mystery snails stick together. However, I would like to elaborate on a few other common causes of why mystery snails are on top of each other. Let’s go!

2.They are Looking for Food:

Mystery snails love to eat food like dead plant matter, vegetables, algae, etc. They can even eat plants and decorations available in their tanks. Sometimes, they try to eat whatever is stuck to the shells of other snails. It doesn’t mean they are trying to hurt each other.

So, they try to climb on the shells of other snails to grab the opportunity and eat whatever is stuck on their shells. That’s why many aquarists claim it isn’t a dangerous stunt for mystery snails to climb at the top of each other in search of food.

3.They are Taking Rest:

Larger mystery snails work as a means of transportation for smaller mystery snails. The smaller mystery snails take a vehicle trip from larger ones. As a result, the smaller species rest at the top of larger mystery snails.

So, the larger mystery snails pull the smaller ones and take them from one place to another. The tiny snails climb at the top of larger snails before they start moving towards their next stop. It happens most often because mystery snails are pretty obvious kinds of snails to one another.

They do not feel that another snail is sitting on their shell. Sometimes, the more giant snails harm the smaller ones without intention because they don’t even realize that a smaller species is stuck on them. That’s why it is recommended not to put smaller and larger mystery snails in the same tank.

Can mystery snails harm each other while mating?

Yes, mystery snails can harm each other while mating in the following scenarios:

1.In Case of Many Males in the Same Tank:

If you add more male mystery snails in the same tank with a few or only one female mystery snail, it will create chaos between them. Successful breeding in mystery snails is only possible when a couple of male and female snails copulate.

But what if one male is mating with a female and another is trying to mate with the same female? In this case, conflict increases. So, put an equal number of male and female mystery snails in the same tank.

Watch this YouTube video to find out whether a mystery snail is a male or a female.

2.Hostility During Mating:

Mystery snails do not know the gender of one another. As a result, male mystery snails try to mate with another male mystery snail to find its gender for the mating process. So, the male one tries to mount on the other male snail.

After a few attempts, the male who mounted another male snail will try to mate even though the other snail is a male. As a result, the second male snail will try to retaliate against this offense.

  1. Harassment Towards Female Mystery Snails:

Again, if you put more male mystery snails in a tank where females are less in number, the males will harass the female mystery snails. Unfortunately, this act often results in the death of a female mystery snail. Furthermore, the end of a female snail is also possible when many males mate excessively or too usually with the female mystery snail.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What to do with mystery snails that are stuck together?

Do not do anything with mystery snails that are stuck together. It’s just their ritual of mating. If you try to separate them or pull them apart, you could harm them. For example, their shells could break, or their genital organs and muscles could be damaged.

2.Do mystery snails fight or mate with other snail species?

According to Reddit fellow’s answers, mystery snails do not fight with other snail species. If we talk about mating, mystery snails do mate with other snail species. However, their eggs are not fertilized if the other male is not a mystery snail.

3. Are mystery snails aggressive?

No, mystery snails are not aggressive. They are friendly aquatic creatures that won’t mind whoever lives with them.

4. Why does my mystery snail act weird?

Mystery snails act weird when they are:

  • Simply Happy
  • Suffering from swollen foot or operculum receding
  • Sick
  • Having a broken shell
  • Facing inappropriate water conditions
  • Most active

It’s best to check them personally to see why they are behaving weirdly.

5.Do mystery snails eat each other?

No, mystery snails do not eat each other, nor do they eat any other snail species. Although many other snail species are involved in cannibalistic behavior, mystery snails do not kill and eat other snails.


So, are mystery snails fighting or mating? If you see that the male mystery snail is on top of the female snail, and the female is busy in her daily routine work, they are more likely mating. You’ll see that the behavior of females during the mating process is not different; they’ll continue exploring their surroundings and finding food to eat. Only the male snail recedes into her female shell.

Thus, mystery snails are full of mysteries. If you want to know more mysteries about mystery snails, stay tuned here. Also, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments section. I would be happy to answer that!