4 Reasons Why Do Mystery Snails Shed Their Shell (Ways To Fix)

Mystery snails are freshwater dwellers and very peaceful snails. It can be found in many different sizes and colors with different habits. 

Mystery snails have a hard and protective shell.  The shell is attached to their body.

Their shell structure is very interesting to hobbyists. Mystery snail shells play a vital role to protect them from predators and provide a place to live and hide as well as a colorful unique pattern.

Aquarists keep mystery snails in their tank to increase their tank beauty. Though many people believe that mystery snail shed their shells.

Actually, there are two theories that stay. One is that if the predators attack them they shed their shells and the other is they shed to access new food sources.

Also, snails shed their shell for mating. However, no one knows the actual reason why the shell is shedding. But the shell can peel, although it can not disconnect fully from its body.  

Mystery Snails Shed Their Shell

Why Mystery Snails Need a Shell?

A shell is an important part of a snail’s body. Also, it is a part of the skeleton, which is known as the ‘exoskeleton’. 

Besides protection, the shell keep mystery snails hydrated. Though aquatic mystery snails do not have any risk of dehydration, non-aquatic snails are at a high risk of dehydration.

Their shell helps them to keep their bodies hydrated by griping and making mucus. 

The snails grow with their shell and they grow like other body parts. If the shell detached fully the snail will die.

Why do mystery snails shell shedding?

Mystery snails shed their shell for feeding, mating, and to protect themselves.

And this is very normal for a mystery to leave its shell a little bit. Besides this snails shell can be broken or peeled of acidic water, lack calcium, and aggressive mates attack. 

Let’s define the reasons for snail shell shedding;


The mystery snail is a very mild and peaceful snail. They come out from their shell to feed.

They spend their time searching the source of algae and vegetation. You can keep kale, spinach, zucchini, and cucumber in your tank for feeding your snails.

Perhaps, if there are food shortages in the tank they come out from their shell.

Also, if they feel safe they will come out more often. The mystery is known as ‘escape artists’. They can try to leave the tank if they realize there is not enough food. 


When mystery snails are matured they come out from their shell for mating.

However, mystery snails do not have both female and male reproductive organs. This is a good preventative way from becoming pests. 

Acidic Water

Acidic water erodes the shell, making the snail weak and vulnerable to predators. For mystery snails, the ideal pH level is 6.5 to 7.5 and water hardness is between 150 and 300 ppm.

When the pH measured 0-6.99 is considered acidic and above seven is considered alkaline.

Always test your tank water to get a clear guideline of your water quality. If the pH level is low add some baking soda or crushed coral.

Change the water regularly to maintain the pH level.

Lack of Calcium

Mystery snails need calcium to maintain a healthy and strong shell. They need calcium to grow the shell. Their shell is made of 95% calcium carbonate and 5% protein.

Deficiency of calcium mystery snail shell become weak, peeling off and in time break. Cuttlebone is a great source of calcium.

Be aware that alkaline can be imbalanced by too much calcium concentration. 

Injury: If the mystery snail is injured badly its shell can be detached fully. Also, a mystery snail shell can be detached for stress or illness, which is very uncommon.

How to fix a mystery snail shell?

Mystery snails need help to repair big damage on their shell whilst minor damage can be repaired by itself. Here is some helping method:

Maintain Calcium Level

Observe your water regularly and keep the calcium level high. Because calcium helps to keep the shell strong and helps to heal the damage.

Feed high calcium food such as kales, lettuce, spinach, basil, cabbage, etc. to your affected snails. Also, you can use calcium supplements to heal the damage. 

Improve Water Condition

To keep your mystery snails healthy and strong test your water condition to maintain ammonia, nitrate, and copper levels to zero as they are toxic to them.

Also, maintain a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5, the water hardness of 150 to 300 ppm, and the temperature at 20 to 28 degrees centigrade.