20 responses

  1. Karuna
    December 10, 2010

    Thank you very much, Tankgeek. You answered all my questions in “cogent sentences”. Much appreciated.

  2. Ben
    January 31, 2011

    what happens after all the snails are eaten up? can the assassin snails still thrive and maybe even reproduce simply off “regular” foods?

    thanks for the article!

    • Cory
      January 31, 2011

      The feed on other foods such as sinking pellets, algae wafers etc. Yes they will breed off “regular” foods.

  3. Simon Moon
    February 1, 2011

    They will not survive off algae though. They eat the animal protein that usually is in the algae wafer. They love the bloodworms and other animal based pellets you give the other inhabitants.

  4. Terry Talon
    February 10, 2011

    Thank you for this much pertinent info. Am attempting to raise an existing multitude of assassin snail young (in an established 5gal of their own, complete w/detrius. Have instituted feeding of occassional algae wafer/bloodworms. I’d had 3 adults in the tank, w/a betta & 2 catfish. Found that at least 2 adults bred very well, but proceeded to eat the young (they are now in another 5gal w/a few fish, doing well). I’m attempting this “growing” tank, & was concerned how to feed the young. I have likely 20 @ this point (that are visible). My only concern now is cleaning the tank; my thought is to leave it pretty much alone; adding water, & cleaning basic water w/out disturbing substrate. Thanks again for your help.

    December 8, 2011


  6. mel
    April 21, 2012

    Its nice to find a decent article on them on the net , thanks

  7. Andrea
    May 21, 2012

    Hey! Nice article. I bought 2 assassins for my daughter’s tank as she had a snail problem after putting live plants in. So far, I have pulled out 11 baby assassins. I believe I habe found where they have laid their eggs…on the stalk of the live plant, just before the leaf starts. There are anywhere up to 3 or 4 eggs on any one stalk. I find most of the babies afternoon-evening, and if possible I take them from the main tank and pop them into a greetings net with plenty of pest snails.

  8. jennie
    August 17, 2012

    I completely admired your article. Simple & to the point. I have had no luck with the eggs hatching. I found one sm completely white shell at one point, they are constantly breeding yet I have yet to see any new live Vanuatu in my 15 gal & my 40 gal tanks. I have very few rams horns left in either tank yet supplement there diet w/algee wafers and dried tubiflex & bloodworm along w/frozen brine shrimp. I guess I rely on new plants for more rams horn snails…it never fails to bring more food (rams horn worms) into my tank to feed these lil guys. 4 cleared out my 40 gal. & 4 took care of an extremely over run 15 gal tank! Wish they wouldn’t eat there young thou I will try as you suggested! Thanks again!

  9. Guppy81
    October 8, 2012

    It actually takes 3 – 4 weeks to assassin snail eggs to hatch and after that they hide into the substrate for 3 – 8 months (usually it’s said to take about 6 months) before they reveal themselves from substrate at very first time. After that they are not even full size or mature yet, but instead something between 0.20 – 0.28 inch (=5 – 7 mm) (how fast they grow depends on water temperature mostly). Mature ones are 0.75 inches (=19mm) long, before that you won’t see any mating. In my aquarium 2 couples of assassin snails have laid over 100 eggs in month (you can see eggs in every labyrinth kind of complex surfaces, but only very few of them will ever survive to adulthood). Many others have reported same kind of results, you get tons of eggs but very few babies survive to adulthood after waiting so many months. Best results reported have been something like 2 – 15 eggs / day with 5 or 6 assassin snails.

    Female is bigger and they have bigger stripes too, but difference is so tiny that it’s hard to say which one is which. When they are mating the male is riding on female for hours so you know that female is that moving one and male is that “stowaway”. Mating can even take an half of day.

    They do not mate at all if there are no food including a lots of proteins. Assassin snails eat mostly smaller snails than themselves (sometimes a little bit bigger ones too), but will never attack any huge adult snails like applessnail (not even try), but will likely eat their babies. They are also not cannibals at all because they don’t eat even dead mate from same species but will eat likely any other dead snail species, after all they are carrion and carnivore.

    Most snail species from this Family lives in saltwater seas, but assassin snails are completely freshwater snails, but will still survive also in brackish water conditions.

  10. darlene
    November 12, 2012

    I am new to the tank group, I went big 210 gl, what I saw was something I dont understand, when the assassin leaves off a black pod type item off its back end. Is it nothing or an egg pod?

  11. BonsaiDi
    November 13, 2012

    Just wanted to thank you, sooo much! I was having nightmares about the darn, ramshead snails, and have a 21″ Pleco, who is tired of the snails where he sleeps! Hoover will be soo happy! I also thank you, for giving soo much information! I had just called the local aquarium to ask about a snail infestation in my new tank, some strange looking, conch shell type snail came with some plants I got! He reccommended the Assassin Snail, so I binged & found your information! I love it! You were direct, to the point, no side chatter! You were soo much help, we are printing your info for a reference! Thank you soo much for your, VERY helpful info, just called them back & ordered 6! Your a rare spot of truth in this thing called the internet! BonsaiDi

  12. Kat
    January 2, 2013

    Thank you for writing about the assasin snail. I had been fighting an infestation of snails for about a year, when I introduced 3 assasins into my 55 gallon tank. Within a month, they has taken care of the problem. they are an amazing help! I do not know how it happened, but approx, 3 monthes later we noticed our first baby assasin snail. We now have 5 more babies. I would highly recommend them to anyone that is having problems with snails.

  13. Kim
    February 17, 2013

    Hey guys. We have 5 tanks ranging from 29 – 100 gal. We finally got smart and purchased about 20 assassins and divided them according to which thank had the worst snail population.
    We lost several Assassins :( only after about 9 months we started noticing ‘teenager assassins’.
    Then, we found a couple months later ‘toddlers’ and THEN! Just today… drum roll.. I found an ‘infant’!! yahhhy!
    So, I am the happy mother of probably 14 to (insert number here) snail babies.
    But, I don’t have a CLUE what their ‘eggs’ or ‘sack’ looks like? Does anyone have a picture?
    FYI they are in a tank with Angels, Flying Foxes, Neons, Guppies, Mollies, Ottos, Corries (the smallish black dotted ones). Does anyone know if any of these fish like to nom-nom on the eggs or babies?
    Today was a jackpot, I found 2 babies and one that was a teeny bit larger. I counted in the 100 gal. tank, there are 36 visible. (We started with 9 about 7 months ago) I am SURE there is at least 20 I can’t see. (obviously no way of knowing!)
    Thanks ya’ll!

    Happy snail slashin’ and future snail assassin parents.


  14. Melynda
    March 11, 2013

    I just ordered my first 5 assassin snails. I ended up with pesty snails after purchasing fish “on sale” at Pet Smart. Like they say you get what you pay for!! Don’t buy fish from a pet shop that shares filtration system on all of their tanks.

  15. canadianguy
    July 15, 2013

    I have a snail problem in my 10 gallon planted tank. I have introduced 3 assassin snails hoping they would help but the problem has gotten wrost, even seen the pond snails riding on the assassins shell. Can anyone suggest what I could be doing wrong. I do regular water changes and try too clean up excess food.

    • Harvey
      September 25, 2013

      If i had to guess, You might be over feeding, Sounds like they are full. I just saw this, let me know what happenned…

  16. Harvey
    September 25, 2013

    I bought 4 assissin snails for my 35g, and they are taking care of my pest snail problem very well, so much so that i am starting to miss the pond snails eating the algea off my amazon sword…LOL

  17. Keith Wildman
    November 16, 2013

    You said you can’t get them breeding I put six in my tank to clear out some small snails that come into my tank when I didn’t clean some plants properly. My tank is now over run by assassin snails. Some morning I come down to see 50+ baby assassin snail climbing up the glass.

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