Assassin Snails Breeding Behavior and Care

assassin snail Photo by: DeeJay86 via Wikimedia Commons

The innocent-looking but deadly Assassin snail also known as “Clea Helena” is a freshwater creature. The shape of assassin snail shell looks like a cone similar to rabbit snails and malaysian trumpet snails.

The gold colored shell is wrapped around by a dark brown stripe from aperture to apex. The light cream color of assassin snail’s body has dark specks. Generally, the assassin snail size is 0.75 inch (1.9 cm). The largest can reach up to 3 inches in length.

Taking care of them is very easy. Avoid putting too much fish medications and plant fertilizers as these can be fatal to them, especially copper.

Aquarium parameters:

  • Temperature: 23.8 – 26.7 degrees Celsius (75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Water pH: 7.0 – 8.0

You might ask, “How many assassin snail should i get from the pet store?”. It is recommended to house five to six assassin snail in a 30-gallon tank. Normal lifespan of assassin snail is two years but they can live up to five years provided there are abundance of food and good water conditions.

Known as carnivore, their main diet is other species of snails like apple snail, mystery snail, ivory snail, rabbit snail, nerite snail, trumpet snail, ramshorn snail, malaysian trumpet snail, japanese trapdoor snail, and pond snail.

They also love to feast on soft snail eggs. Assassin snails do not practice cannibalism (eating own kind). During daytime you seldom see them and they are active mostly at night. They can eat bigger snail than them because they gather and eat in group.

In most cases, you may also see assassin snail eating dead aquarium inhabitants, especially deceased fish and shrimp. Assassin snails also accept fish flakes and pellets.

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What are the reasons why most aquarium hobbyists like assassin snails?

Assassin snails helps to control down the population of unwanted snails, especially pond snails in the aquarium. They are not interested on eating plants in the aquarium. This means your aquascape will be in good shape.

Clea Helena can get along with smaller fishes like guppies, mollies, platy fishes, tetras, angelfish, etc. If you want to be on the safe side, do not introduce them to big fishes such as cichlid, goldfish, koi, carp, crayfish, and crab to prevent them from being injured or eaten.

Breeding behavior

Most of the time, assassin snails like to bury themselves in the substrate or sand. They reproduce slowly because they lay one egg at a time. Reproduction boosts when there is plenty of live food but not that drastic like pond snail population rate.

Usually, the assassin snail eggs can be spotted attached on hard surfaces like rocks, drift wood, and aquarium glass. When the egg hatches, the baby assassin snail will burrow itself and stay in the substrate for the meantime until it matures.

Final Thoughts Before You Go

If you’re having a hard time dealing with tons of small snails in your aquarium, especially pond snails, keeping assassin snails would be your solution to pest snails. You won’t have a challenge in maintaining them as they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They don’t reproduce rapidly, plus if you have too many of them already, you can sell them to pet stores or aquarium enthusiast as many of them are willing to purchase.



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