FAQs on Snails in Freshwater
Snails (Clea, formerly Anentome, helena)
Related Articles: Snails
and Freshwater Aquariums by Bob Fenner, In vertebrates for
Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Assassin Snails and
Sulawesi Elephant Snails. Keeping Clea and Tylomelania in the
Aquarium by Neale Monks, Fresh
and Brackish Water Nerites by Neale Monks,
Related FAQs: Freshwater Snails 1, Freshwater Snails 2, & FAQs on:
Freshwater Snail Identification,
Freshwater Snail Behavior,
Freshwater Snail Compatibility,
Freshwater Snail Selection,
Freshwater Snail Systems,
Freshwater Snail Feeding,
Freshwater Snail Disease,
Freshwater Snail Reproduction,
Snails by Species: Mystery Snails, Malaysian/Trumpet
Oops, assassin snails 11/12/12
I just bought two assassin snails and now I'm scared. Will they
attack and kill or injure my small mollies?
I have two fry that are probably 1/8".
<Assuming the fry are healthy, the snails can't get them.>
I bought the assassins to help with pest snails but they look kind of
scary and big when they're on the prowl and it they attached to a small
fish I'm concerned!
<They are quite effective predators, but not that fast. Snails are food,
and possibly very small shrimps. Fish eggs will surely be taken, and
probably "wriggler" fry before the free-swimming stage. But livebearer
fry should be safe.>
I figure if anyone will know the answer to this it would be you.
<Hope this helps.>
Also, I've been feeding once a day, is that good, or twice better?
They're little fish.
<More, small meals best; serious fish breeders will be feeding 6, 8
times a day! They can't actually digest much in one go, so several very
small meals is good. In any event, Molly fry should be able to graze
some algae as well.>
I'm not sure when to increase food amount for a small female Betta
either..... I've always fed Bettas 2 times daily in small amounts.
She hasn't grown much, but the mollies are slowly growing.
Re: Oops, assassin snails 11/13/12
There's plenty of algae and this morning the mollies went to town on the
squash I'd placed at night for the pest snails that the pest snails
totally ignored! I clipped it to the glass as someone suggested to do
with zucchini (squash similar and a little less expensive)..... It
sounded like such a brilliant plan. Maybe pest snails prefer lettuce?
I'll try that and wake earlier to remove the lettuce.
<By all means. For what it's worth, "bait and remove" systems don't work
particularly well unless you're prepared to do this every day for weeks
at a time, and even then, a few will remain, so you'll have to do the
whole thing again a few months later.>
I suppose glass fish would nibble at baby pest snails.
<Parambassis ranga? Never seen them eat a snail, and would find it hard
to imagine they would want to.>
Would the little ones eat a larger assassin snail?
I've procrastinated getting some glass fish because the fry are still
small...but really they're probably more like 1/4- 1/2".
<Parambassis spp are accomplished predators, and I've made the mistake
of adding small fish to tanks of adults, and then seen the Parambassis
swallow them up! To put this in context, I'm talking about an adult
Parambassis around 5-6 cm long swallowing down a juvenile cyprinid
around 2-3 cm in length.>
Hard to tell when they're swimming around!
Re: Oops, assassin snails a 11/13/12
Clea helena New
I know I don't have a perfect track record of identifying new born
snail species (I brought home pests on plants and had no idea back
then) but I'm sure I'm right on this one. I have a new baby
<Cool! They breed rather slowly, but yes, they do breed.>
Thing is, I only had one since November 1st. I haven't seen
"mom" for a bit but that isn't unusual.
There's plenty of empty Ramshorn shells that shows the job is being
taken care of. This new snail though is extremely tiny.
<Yes; a couple of mm long, with a small brown shell, sometimes with
the yellow stripes visible.>
So even though I haven't seen both together, there's no way
it's the same snail. I'm talking about the size of a baby
Ramshorn. I would never have seen it if it wasn't on the glass and
it is so small I'm surprised it wasn't eaten.
<Somehow they survive!>
I'll get a picture later after the camera charges. I just
didn't know how unusual this is to start with "one" and
four months later have two. I know this is a rather new to the trade
creature so I wanted to share my discovery.
<Thanks for sharing. Mine do breed, and to a degree, you should end
up with a stable population. Better still, they help to keep pest
snails in check.
Clea helena New Baby
<PS. I have a photo of a young Clea helena about halfway down this
Hello I could really use some help. Have a 90 gallon with Cyprichromis
(15). I have an infestation of snails that just keeps getting worse. No
live plants and unsure where the snails came from. Any help would be
greatly appreciated. You have helpful to me in the past. Thank you.
<Snails aren't that big of a deal in terms of fish health, and
population explosions tend to reflect overfeeding and/or
under-cleaning, so do review overall conditions. But more specifically,
avoid snail poisons, and instead either use snail traps (e.g., the JBL
LimCollect) or add some type of snail-eating fish or invertebrate. My
snail-eater of choice is the Assassin Snail, Clea helena (sometimes
called Anentome helena). It's a small, pretty snail that eats
snails such as Malayan livebearing snails alongside bloodworms, fish
food, etc. I can't recommend it highly enough. There are some
snail-eating Malawian fish, but a lot of them tend to be highly
aggressive (Melanochromis, Pseudotropheus, etc.). Labidochromis
caeruleus is perhaps one exception, but being fairly small, it'll
only take small snails, and then only when hungry. The same goes for
Synodontis catfish. Cheers, Neale.>