Snails are highly underrated creatures. Despite what you might think, they can be great pets and even serve as a lucrative business opportunity. But how should one deal with snail breeding and snail reproduction? Today, we will help you with that by providing information on how to rear snail at home and how to take care of snail eggs before they have hatched.
Reproduction in snail is actually a very fascinating and slightly weird process. Snails are usually hermaphrodites (they can be both male and female), so to get the snail eggs, all you need is a couple of adult snails. Their mating process is rather aggressive, but you should not intervene, if you want it to be successful.
Depending on the species, the amount of eggs might be different. Usually, it is about 50-100 eggs, so be prepared for lots of tiny baby snails! Below, you can find out how to take care of the eggs and how to hatch them.
How to take care of snail eggs
Before we get to the egg hatching part, you need to know how to rear snail eggs first. Overall, snail eggs do not require much upkeep, but you might still want to check on them every once in a while to see if they are OK.
Snail rearing methods are slightly different when it comes to land and aquatic snails. The former puts the eggs on the soil or sometimes inside it, while the latter - above the waterline in the aquarium. This leads to different approaches to taking care of the eggs. Let’s take a look at how to take care of each type.
How to take care of land snail eggs
Most of the time, land snails lay their eggs in strategic places. They know what their eggs need; therefore, it is not recommended to move the eggs to a different location. However, sometimes land snails lay eggs all over the place, which makes it much harder to take care of them.
You have two options:
First, you can move them to one location carefully and cover them with a glass or a tub. Do not forget about air holes! Second, you can scoop them with the soil they lie in and transfer them to a different tank.
The bigger the eggs, the less interference they need. If your snail eggs reach 10 mm or more in size, it is best to leave them be. If you bother them too much, they might not hatch. However, regardless of their size, all land snail eggs need to be warm and moist. You can cover them with a bit of damp soil to keep the moisture in.
How to take care of aquatic snail eggs
As we have said before, aquatic snails lay their eggs near the edges of the tank above water. So if you see a strange white or pink substance on your aquarium wall, do not be alarmed. Those are just snail eggs. Aquatic snail eggs do not require much taking care of at all. All you need to ensure is that they are moist and safe from the fish or floating debris, and your egg will be fine.
There are definitely way more eggs in one clutch then you think. If you see about 50 eggs, you can be certain that there are at least twice as many there! Some species can lay up to 120 eggs. Now when you know how to take care of your snail eggs, it is time to learn how to hatch them!
How to hatch snail eggs
‘How long do snail eggs take to hatch?’ Well, it depends on the species and the conditions the snails live in. It might take from a few weeks up to a month. Some kinds of land snails can hatch the day after the egg was laid. Therefore, if you want to know the precise amount of days, read up on the species that you have.
To be fair, snail eggs do not need much outside help to hatch. However, there are some tips that will ensure that the eggs hatch properly and that the baby snails are safe.
Tip #1. If you want to protect your snail eggs, move them to a separate tank/container. If they stay in the regular container, they might fall prey to the other inhabitants, including the parents. This is especially applicable to the aquatic snails, as some fishes like to ‘snack’ on the low-hanging eggs. By moving them to a separate place, you will definitely improve their chances of survival.
Tip #2. If you decided to leave them in their original place, protect them at all cost. You already know what to do with land snail eggs. However, you will need a net breeder for your aquarium for aquatic snails. It will protect the newborn snails from dropping into the tank right away, as well as keep them away from harm. Put some plants in the breeder for your baby snails to crawl and snack on when they hatch.
Tip #3. Both land and aquatic snail eggs need to stay moist, so make sure you spray them regularly, so that they do not become dry and crusty. If your eggs have dried out completely, it means that you are too late, sorry.
Tip #4. It is best if you do not help land snail eggs to hatch. Baby land snails can do that on their own. Nevertheless, you can help aquatic snails to hatch by gently scraping the eggs into the breeder and swishing them around in the water until the egg dissolves and the baby snail comes out.
Tip #5. Let your newly-hatched snails eat their shells. The shells contain important nutrients that cannot be found anywhere else. However, try to remove the already hatched snails, as they might move on from eating their own shells to eating their unborn brethren. When the snails are about 1 cm in size, you can move them back to the general tank.
We hope that this article was helpful and that you have a whole bunch of tiny snails crawling around. Now all you have to do is to find a place for all of them, but that is a whole other story. Take good care of your baby snails!