How Long for Freshwater Snails to Hatch?

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Snails make a decorative addition to your freshwater aquarium and help keep algae in check. If you have a male and female snail in the tank, you're sure to have babies within a matter of weeks if your tank temperature is between 68 and 82 degrees. In some instances a lone female snail will lay fertile eggs months after she comes home from the aquarium store, as she can effectively store the male's sperm for long periods.

Helping Eggs Survive

Snail eggs hatch between two and four weeks after being laid, depending upon the species of snail in your tank -- of course, assuming they've been fertilized. If fish are not eating the eggs, it is best to leave them where Mom lays them for best hatchability. Moving eggs will likely damage them, but may be necessary if tank occupants are eating them. Eggs are milky and soft when first laid, hardening and changing color in the first few hours. If your snail lays eggs above the waterline, do not put them underwater, as the embryos will drown. Other species of snails lay eggs underwater and a few incubate them in a special compartment inside their shell.

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A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.