Assassin Snails Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating addition to your aquarium, you might want to consider Assassin Snails. These little creatures are known for their striking appearance and their ability to help control pest snail populations in your tank. But before you bring home your own Assassin Snails, it’s important to understand their care requirements to ensure they thrive in their new environment.

Assassin Snails require a well-filtered aquarium with neutral to slightly alkaline water. They are peaceful and should be kept alone or in small groups. They feed on other snails and should be supplemented with high-quality pellets and vegetables. Regular water changes and maintenance are essential for their health.

As an experienced aquarium owner, I can tell you that Assassin Snails are not difficult to care for, but they do have specific needs. For example, they prefer a slightly alkaline water pH and require a substrate that won’t harm their delicate shells. They also need a varied diet that includes both live and frozen foods. By taking the time to learn about their care requirements, you can provide your Assassin Snails with the best possible environment and enjoy watching them thrive in your tank.

Assassin Snails

Species Summary

Assassin snails are a popular freshwater aquarium species due to their unique appearance and beneficial behavior.

In this section, I will provide an overview of the key characteristics of assassin snails, including their origin, lifespan, appearance, size, growth rate, behavior and temperament, and male vs female differences.


Assassin snails are native to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

They were first introduced to the aquarium hobby in the early 2000s and have since become a popular species due to their ability to control pest snail populations.


Assassin snails have a relatively long lifespan for a freshwater snail, typically living for 2-3 years in optimal conditions.

However, their lifespan can be shortened if they are kept in poor water quality or overcrowded conditions.


Assassin snails have a distinctive conical shell that is yellowish-brown with black stripes.

Their body is elongated and tapered, with a small head and two sensory tentacles. They have a muscular foot that they use to move around the aquarium.


Assassin snails are relatively small, growing to a maximum size of around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length.

However, their size can vary depending on their age, sex, and environmental conditions.

Growth Rate

Assassin snails grow relatively slowly, taking several months to reach their full size.

However, their growth rate can be accelerated by providing them with optimal water quality and a varied diet.

Behavior & Temperament

Assassin snails are carnivorous and feed primarily on other snails, including pest species like ramshorn and pond snails.

They are generally peaceful towards other aquarium inhabitants, but may become aggressive towards other assassin snails if kept in small groups.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to distinguish male and female assassin snails, as they have similar external characteristics.

However, females are generally larger and have a wider shell opening than males. Additionally, females may lay small, white eggs on hard surfaces in the aquarium.

Personally, I have found assassin snails to be fascinating and beneficial additions to my aquarium. They have helped to control pest snail populations and are relatively low-maintenance.

However, it is important to provide them with optimal water quality and a varied diet to ensure their long-term health and well-being.

Tank Setup

When it comes to setting up a tank for your Assassin Snails, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some important factors to consider:

Tank Size

I recommend a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for Assassin Snails.

While they are small, they do require space to move around and explore. A larger tank will also make it easier to maintain water quality and stability.


Assassin Snails do not require any special lighting, but it’s important to provide enough light for any live plants in the tank. A standard aquarium light should be sufficient.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for keeping the water clean and healthy for your Assassin Snails.

A hang-on-back filter or canister filter is recommended. Aeration is not necessary, but it can help improve water circulation and oxygenation.


Assassin Snails are tropical creatures and require a water temperature between 75-82°F.

A submersible aquarium heater is necessary to maintain a consistent temperature in the tank.


A fine-grained substrate such as sand or gravel is best for Assassin Snails.

Avoid sharp or rough substrates that could damage their delicate bodies. A depth of 1-2 inches is sufficient.


Assassin Snails enjoy hiding places and will appreciate some decorations in the tank.

Avoid sharp or rough decorations that could harm them. Driftwood, rocks, and caves are good options.


Live plants not only provide hiding places for Assassin Snails, but they also help maintain water quality.

Java fern, Java moss, and Anubias are good options that don’t require high lighting or CO2 injection.

When I first set up my tank for my Assassin Snails, I made the mistake of using a rough substrate. I noticed that they were moving slower than usual and some even had tiny scratches on their shells.

I quickly switched to a fine-grained sand substrate and they were much happier and more active.

It’s important to pay attention to the details and make adjustments as needed to ensure your Assassin Snails are thriving in their new home.

Water Quality

When it comes to keeping Assassin Snails, maintaining good water quality is essential. Poor water conditions can lead to stress, disease, and even death.

Here are some important factors to consider when it comes to water quality for your Assassin Snails.

Water Temperature

I keep my Assassin Snails in a heated aquarium with a temperature range of 72-78°F.

This range is suitable for most tropical fish and invertebrates. It’s important to avoid drastic temperature changes, as they can cause stress and harm to your snails.

If you live in a colder climate, a heater may be necessary to maintain a stable temperature.

Water pH

Assassin Snails prefer a slightly alkaline pH, between 7.0 and 8.0.

However, they can tolerate a wider range of pH levels.

It’s important to avoid extreme pH changes, as they can be harmful to your snails. If you need to adjust the pH level of your water, do so gradually over time.

Water Hardness

Assassin Snails can thrive in a range of water hardness levels. However, they prefer slightly hard to moderately hard water, with a range of 8-12 dGH.

If your water is too soft or too hard, it can cause stress and harm to your snails. If you’re unsure about the hardness of your water, you can test it with a water hardness test kit.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality for your Assassin Snails. I recommend changing 10-20% of the water in your aquarium every week.

This will help remove harmful toxins and maintain a stable environment for your snails. When doing water changes, be sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

Overall, maintaining good water quality is essential for keeping your Assassin Snails healthy and happy.

By monitoring and maintaining water temperature, pH, hardness, and performing regular water changes, you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your snails to thrive in.

Personally, I’ve found that my Assassin Snails are much more active and playful when the water quality is good.

They’re more likely to explore their environment and interact with other snails and fish in the tank. It’s rewarding to see them thrive and grow in a healthy environment.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your tank clean is essential for the health of your Assassin Snails. I recommend doing a partial water change of 25% every two weeks.

This helps to remove any excess waste and debris that may have accumulated in the tank. I personally use a gravel vacuum to siphon out any debris from the bottom of the tank.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the water parameters. I use a water testing kit to check the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the tank.

If any of these levels are too high, it can be harmful to your snails. In this case, I do a partial water change and add a water conditioner to neutralize the harmful chemicals.

In addition to water changes, I also clean the filter every month. This helps to remove any buildup of debris that may have accumulated in the filter.

I simply rinse the filter media in a bucket of tank water to remove any debris.

Another important aspect of tank maintenance is checking the temperature of the water. Assassin Snails prefer a temperature between 72-78°F.

I use a thermometer to monitor the water temperature and adjust the heater as necessary.

Finally, it’s important to keep the tank decorations clean.

I use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub any algae buildup off of the decorations. This helps to keep the tank looking clean and healthy.

Overall, keeping your tank clean and well-maintained is crucial for the health of your Assassin Snails.

By doing regular water changes, monitoring water parameters, cleaning the filter, checking the temperature, and keeping the decorations clean, you can ensure that your snails are happy and healthy.

Personal anecdote: When I first started keeping Assassin Snails, I didn’t realize how important tank maintenance was. I neglected to do regular water changes and clean the filter, and as a result, my snails became lethargic and started to die off.

Once I started doing regular tank maintenance, their health improved dramatically. Now, I make sure to keep up with tank maintenance to ensure that my snails are happy and healthy.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

When it comes to choosing tank mates for your assassin snails, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll want to choose fish that won’t harm or be harmed by the snails. Some good options include:

  • Corydoras catfish
  • Otocinclus catfish
  • Neon tetras
  • Cherry shrimp

Incompatible Fish Species

On the other hand, there are some fish that you should avoid keeping with your assassin snails. These fish may be too aggressive or may see the snails as food. Some examples include:

  • Cichlids
  • Goldfish
  • Angelfish
  • Betta fish

How Many Assassin Snails Should I Get?

The number of assassin snails you should get depends on the size of your tank and the number of other fish and invertebrates you have.

As a general rule, you’ll want to have one assassin snail per five gallons of water. So, if you have a 20-gallon tank, you could have up to four assassin snails.

Personally, I started with two assassin snails in my 10-gallon tank and they did a great job keeping the pest snail population under control. I’ve since added a few more snails and some cherry shrimp, and they all get along great.


Assassin snails are carnivores, which means they require a diet that is high in protein. In the wild, they feed on other snails, worms, and small crustaceans.

When keeping assassin snails in an aquarium, it is important to replicate their natural diet as closely as possible.

What To Feed

I feed my assassin snails a variety of foods, including bloodworms, brine shrimp, and sinking pellets. I also occasionally offer them small pieces of raw shrimp or fish.

It is important to make sure that the food you offer is appropriate for the size of your snails. Too much food can lead to overfeeding and water quality issues.


I feed my assassin snails every other day, but the frequency of feeding will depend on the size and number of snails in your aquarium.

It is important to observe your snails and adjust their feeding schedule as needed. Overfeeding can lead to excess waste and poor water quality, so it is better to err on the side of caution and feed less rather than more.


When feeding your assassin snails, it is important to remember that they are slow eaters. Make sure to give them enough time to finish their meal before adding more food to the aquarium.

You may also want to consider feeding your snails at night, when they are most active and likely to be hungry.

Assassin Snails 2

Another tip is to offer your snails a variety of foods. This will help ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

You can also try using a feeding dish to help prevent food from getting lost in the substrate or sucked up by your filter.

Finally, make sure to remove any uneaten food from the aquarium after feeding. This will help prevent excess waste from building up in the tank and keep your water quality at optimal levels.

Common Diseases


I have been keeping Assassin Snails for a while now, and I can honestly say that they are hardy creatures. However, like any other living being, they can get sick. Here are some of the most common diseases that can affect Assassin Snails:

  • Parasites
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections


It is essential to keep an eye on your Assassin Snails’ behavior and appearance to detect any signs of illness early. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal swimming behavior
  • Visible signs of infection or parasites, such as white spots or thread-like structures


If you suspect that your Assassin Snail is sick, it is crucial to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading to other tank inhabitants. Here are some of the treatments that can be used:

ParasitesMedicated food or water treatments
Fungal infectionsAntifungal medications or salt baths
Bacterial infectionsAntibiotics or medicated food


Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures you can take to prevent diseases in your Assassin Snails:

  • Quarantine any new snails or plants before adding them to your tank
  • Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and proper filtration
  • Do not overfeed your snails, as excess food can lead to poor water quality and bacterial growth
  • Keep your tank clean and free of debris

Overall, taking good care of your Assassin Snails can help prevent diseases and keep them healthy and happy.

Signs of a Healthy Assassin Snail

When it comes to caring for assassin snails, it’s essential to keep a close eye on their health. Here are some signs that your assassin snail is healthy and happy:

  1. Active and Responsive: I have noticed that my assassin snail is incredibly active and responsive when it’s healthy. It moves around the tank frequently and responds to stimuli, such as food or other snails in the aquarium. If your assassin snail is sluggish or unresponsive, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
  2. Clear Eyes: Another sign of a healthy assassin snail is clear eyes. The eyes should be bright and transparent, without any cloudiness or discoloration. If you notice any changes in your snail’s eyes, it could be a sign of an infection or disease.
  3. Healthy Shell: The shell of an assassin snail can tell you a lot about its health. A healthy snail shell should be smooth, without any cracks or chips. It should also have a good sheen and color. If you notice any damage or discoloration on the shell, it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or other health issue.
  4. Good Appetite: A healthy assassin snail should have a good appetite and be eager to eat. I have noticed that my snail is always on the lookout for food, and it eats with gusto. If your snail seems disinterested in food or doesn’t eat as much as usual, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
  5. Normal Breathing: Finally, a healthy assassin snail should breathe normally. You should be able to see the snail’s operculum (a small plate that covers the opening of the shell) moving up and down as it breathes. If the operculum isn’t moving or the snail seems to be struggling to breathe, it could be a sign of a respiratory issue.

In conclusion, keeping an eye on your assassin snail’s health is essential for ensuring its long-term well-being. By looking for these signs of a healthy snail, you can catch any potential health issues early and take steps to address them.

Signs Your Assassin Snail is Sick

As a proud owner of assassin snails, I know how important it is to keep them healthy and happy. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, our little friends can fall ill. Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect your assassin snail is sick:

  1. Unusual Behavior: If your assassin snail is not moving around as much as usual or is hiding away in its shell for extended periods, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
  2. Loss of Appetite: If your snail is not interested in food or has stopped eating altogether, it could be a sign of illness.
  3. Discoloration: If your snail’s shell or body is changing color or becoming discolored, it could be a sign of a health issue.
  4. Shell Damage: If you notice any cracks or holes in your snail’s shell, it may be a sign of a bacterial infection or other health issue.

If you notice any of these signs in your assassin snail, it’s important to take action quickly. The first step is to make sure your aquarium water is clean and well-maintained. Poor water quality can lead to a variety of health issues for your snail.

You may also want to consider taking your snail to a veterinarian who specializes in aquatic animals. They can help diagnose and treat any health issues your snail may be experiencing.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

By keeping your aquarium clean and well-maintained, providing your snail with a healthy diet, and keeping a close eye on their behavior and appearance, you can help ensure that your assassin snail stays happy and healthy for years to come.

As an assassin snail owner myself, I have experienced the heartbreak of losing a snail due to illness. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant and take action at the first sign of trouble. By doing so, you can give your snail the best chance of recovering and living a long, healthy life.


Breeding Setup

If you’re interested in breeding Assassin Snails, you need to create the right environment for them. Start by setting up a separate tank for breeding, as it requires specific conditions.

The breeding tank should be at least 10 gallons and have a pH level of 7.0-8.0. You should also add a substrate such as sand or gravel to the bottom of the tank, and provide plenty of hiding places for the snails.

How To Breed

Assassin Snails are relatively easy to breed. To start, introduce a male and a female into the breeding tank. After a few days, you should notice the snails start to mate.

The female will lay eggs on the substrate, which will hatch in about two weeks. Once the eggs hatch, the baby snails will need to be fed small amounts of food, such as algae wafers or crushed fish flakes.


When breeding Assassin Snails, it’s important to keep the water clean and well-maintained. Make sure to change the water regularly and keep the tank at a consistent temperature of around 75-82°F.

You should also provide plenty of food for the snails, as they can be quite voracious eaters. Finally, be sure to monitor the baby snails closely to ensure they are growing and developing properly.

Personally, I found breeding Assassin Snails to be a fascinating experience. It was incredible to watch the snails mate and lay their eggs, and even more exciting to see the baby snails hatch and grow.

With the right setup and care, breeding Assassin Snails is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any aquarium enthusiast.

Product recommendations for Assassin Snails:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – This is a high-quality snail food that is perfect for Assassin Snails. It contains all the essential nutrients that your snails need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Water Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Assassin Snails and other fish.
  4. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Assassin Snails healthy.
  7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Assassin Snails. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  8. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light  – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Assassin Snails. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.


Throughout my experience of keeping Assassin Snails, I have learned that they are fascinating creatures that require a bit of extra care, but are ultimately rewarding to keep. If you’re considering getting an Assassin Snail, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, make sure to provide them with a suitable environment. This means having a tank with plenty of hiding places, substrate, and plants. Additionally, keep the water parameters in check and make sure to perform regular water changes.

Secondly, remember that Assassin Snails are carnivorous and require a protein-rich diet. While they will eat other snails, it’s important to supplement their diet with other foods such as bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Finally, be aware that Assassin Snails can breed rapidly if conditions are right. If you don’t want to end up with a snail infestation, make sure to keep their numbers in check and remove any egg clutches you come across.

Overall, Assassin Snails can be a great addition to your aquarium, but they do require some extra care. By providing them with a suitable environment and diet, you can enjoy watching these fascinating creatures thrive in your tank.


Assassin snails are fascinating creatures that can be a great addition to your aquarium. However, it’s important to understand their care requirements before bringing them home. Here are some common questions about assassin snail care:

How many assassin snails should I keep in my tank?

It’s recommended to keep one assassin snail per every 5-10 gallons of water. This will ensure that they have enough space to move around and hunt for food. I personally keep two assassin snails in my 20-gallon tank and they seem to be doing well.

What should I feed my assassin snails?

Assassin snails are carnivores and will eat other snails, shrimp, and even fish food. I feed mine sinking pellets that are specifically made for carnivorous snails. However, it’s important to not overfeed them as this can lead to water quality issues.

Do assassin snails reproduce quickly?

No, assassin snails reproduce slowly compared to other snail species. They lay eggs in batches of 5-10 and it can take up to a month for the eggs to hatch. Additionally, the survival rate of the eggs is relatively low.

Will assassin snails harm my other aquarium inhabitants?

Assassin snails are generally peaceful and won’t harm other aquarium inhabitants. However, they will eat other snails and shrimp, so it’s important to keep this in mind when deciding if they are a good fit for your tank.

Overall, assassin snails can be a great addition to your aquarium as long as you understand their care requirements. With the right setup and food, they can live a long and healthy life. I personally love watching my assassin snails hunt down other snails and clean up my tank. They are definitely a unique and interesting species to keep!

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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