Because of their name, assassin snails are typically thought to be violent and hostile to other species in aquariums. Still, you may wonder: will assassin snails eat shrimp? If this question is stuck in your head, continue reading this post. It will give you the answer you are looking for.
- 1 What Are Assassin Snails’ Characteristics?
- 2 What Do Assassin Snails Eat?
- 3 Will Assassin Snails Eat Shrimp?
- 4 How To Keep Assassin Snails And Shrimp In The Same Tank
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 The Bottom Line
What Are Assassin Snails’ Characteristics?
The assassin snail (or anentome helena), which is native to Southeast Asia, can be found in streams and lakes throughout Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Fish keepers who seek to control the population of pests tend to choose this species because of their predatory tendencies.
These small invertebrates can reach lengths of up to three inches, but most only grow to 0.8 – 1.25 inches. Assassin snails from the wild are usually larger than those bred in captivity.
The bumblebee moniker for assassin snails comes from their eye-catching brown-and-yellow shell stripes. Even though these invertebrates are predators of other freshwater snails, they are peaceful with fish and are a great addition to communal aquariums. They are sluggish animals that live at the substrate’s base of the aquarium and feed on other little snails.
Despite being a predator, the snail gets along nicely with other members of its species and doesn’t hurt large invertebrates or fish. This species is perfect for aquariums with plants because it won’t consume or uproot them.
What Do Assassin Snails Eat?
The only aspect of caring for assassin snails that can be challenging is feeding them. They are carnivores; therefore, bits of algae and debris don’t satisfy them. They can eat fish pellets and flakes from the grocery store, which are typically loaded with fish meals and other sources of protein.
However, they shouldn’t be compelled to rely just on removing extra, uneaten food. It is preferable to feed the snails at night or in a tank of invertebrates with slow eaters. Also, assassin snails favor meaty foods like fresh fish pieces, beef hearts, cubes of bloodworms, and frozen brine shrimp.
The aroma of freshly cooked meat will quickly reach their two tentacles inside the small tank. This stimulates them to emerge from their burrows and move directly in the direction of the fragrance. Assassin snails will soon be busy devouring till the meal is completely covered. Suppose a shrimp or fish dies in the middle of the night; you might find it covered in snails the next morning.
Will Assassin Snails Eat Shrimp?
Yes. While assassin snails do occasionally consume shrimp, this is a very unusual occurrence. The snails will consume shrimps if they are sick, genetically weak or if there is not enough food for them to eat; however, it is extremely uncommon that a snail will capture a strong and healthy shrimp.
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t worry too much about your healthy shrimp. Shrimps react quickly and cautiously to any threat they perceive close by. They can quickly jump to safety so they won’t waste much time. Still, assassin snails are comparatively quite sluggish to capture or attack moving shrimp.
Another explanation for why the snails might consume the shrimp is that assassin snails don’t have enough access to their preferred food supply. Once their chosen food source is not accessible in sufficient amounts, they will likely migrate to the next ideal available food source.
How To Keep Assassin Snails And Shrimp In The Same Tank
Although the assassin snails can hunt the shrimp, these two species can still live together in the same aquarium. Still, there are some requirements you need to fulfill before pairing them in your tank.
Give Assassin Snails Enough Food
As mentioned above, one of the reasons why your assassin snails eat shrimp is because there’s not enough food to satisfy them. Thus, the easiest way to prevent this from happening is to provide them with a full and balanced diet.
It is a good idea to fill it off frequently to ensure there is always enough food in the tank. As a rough estimate, these snails should be normally fed 1-2 times every day. Due to their high levels of activity at night, this is the ideal time to feed them.
Control Assassin Snail Population
Suppose the assassin snail population in your tank is high; the snail may hunt and eat the shrimp due to the low food supplements. In general, aim for 2 snails per 5 gallons.
Since assassin snails travel slowly, this should be sufficient to increase their killing efficiency. To complete the task, they need time. Their productivity will increase as their number increases.
If there are already too many snails in the tank, you can try reducing the food source and keeping the population under control. Snail trapping is a quick solution that can assist reduce the snail population’s overall density. You can use a simple water bottle or snail traps to get the invertebrates. Simply remember to include some bait, such as blanched zucchini, to draw the snails.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Assassin Snails Eat Eggs?
Yes. The mild form of snail eggs may also be attractive to assassin snails. But they don’t appear to be interested in devouring their eggs.
When it comes to shrimp eggs, the snails rarely get the opportunity to consume them. Since the mother shrimp often carries the eggs with them until they hatch, assassin snails are unlikely to succeed in praying on a protecting mother shrimp.
Do Assassin Snails Eat Baby Shrimp?
Yes. Baby shrimp are regularly consumed by assassin snails. The reason for this is that these baby shrimp are typically smaller than or of the same size as the assassin snails, making them become easy targets for hungry invertebrates.
The Bottom Line
Will assassin snails eat shrimp? The short answer is yes. There are some occasions when they try to attack young or sick shrimp in your aquarium.
Assassin snails are unlikely to consume shrimp eggs, but they may attack your shrimp if they don’t have enough food. Thus, if you want to avoid this issue, ensure to provide the snails with a full and balanced diet so that you can protect your shrimp.