Murderer Snail Care Information & Tank Set Up for Inexperienced persons


Murderer Snails (Anentome helena) are engaging, fascinating, and really helpful when in the precise aquarium.

On this information, I’ll aid you weigh up if an murderer snails are best for you, what sort of aquarium they require and how one can present them with an setting they’ll thrive in.

Fast Stats

  • Care Stage: simple
  • Min. Tank Dimension: 30 gallons (113 liters)
  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 68°-80°F (20°-27°C)
  • Weight-reduction plan: carnivore
  • Temperament: peaceable with fish, however will predate invertebrates like snails and shrimp
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Dimension: 0.75-1.25inches (2-3 centimeters)
  • Household: Nassariidae
  • What number of may be stored collectively: may be stored as a single or in a bunch
  • Scientific Identify: Anentome helena
  • Frequent Identify: murderer snail, bumblebee snail

Murderer Snail Species Profile

Assassin Aquarium-snail-on-plant

Murderer snails have a extremely distinctive look. 

They’ve a protracted spiral shell that’s ringed by yellow and darkish brown stripes, therefore their different widespread identify: bumblebee snail. 

They’ve two brief antennae that sprout from both aspect of their heads, much like what you see on thriller and nerite snails.

Most likely the murderer snail’s most uncommon characteristic is their siphon, a fleshy tube that sticks up at an angle from the highest of their head.

Murderer snails spend lots of their time buried within the substrate. The siphon sticks up out of the substrate and is used to cross water over the snail’s gills inside its shell. The siphon can be used to detect motion on the floor. 

This alerts the murderer snails to prey that could be passing by or to any predators which might be coming shut.

If one other snail comes close to the siphon, the murderer snails will come out of the substrate and seize it. 

If one thing giant or menacing is detected, the snails can tuck themselves into their shell to remain protected.

When an murderer snail retracts into its shell, you’ll be able to see that it has an operculum. It’s a tough, calcareous flap that acts like a trapdoor, sealing off the snail’s weak delicate elements from hazard.

Within the Wild

Murderer snails are native to Southeast Asia. They are often present in Maylasia, Thailand, Cambodia, Sumatra and Indonesia.

They’re often present in rivers, streams and canals which have sandy bottoms.

Murderer snails are ambush predators. They usually partially bury themselves within the sand, leaving their siphons close to the floor, ready for one thing tasty to come back alongside. 

They’ll eat worms, shrimp, different snails, just about any little critter they’ll handle to take down.

All snails have an organ referred to as a radula. It’s type of like a tongue that’s lined with little toothlike constructions that they use to scrape meals into their mouths.

Murderer snails use their radulas to scrape at their prey, drawing blood and  weakening the animal. The scent of blood will then appeal to different murderer snails and they’re going to all gang up collectively to take down bigger prey animals. 

They will prolong their radulas fairly far out from their our bodies, it appears nearly like a bit elephant trunk. They dig via the substrate with the radula on the lookout for snails and detritus worms buried beneath the floor.

Murderer snails can insert their radula into the shell of different snails so as to chunk and even suck them out of their shells. 

It’s…uh, properly, kinda brutal really. 

However, anybody with a extremely dangerous pond snail infestation would most likely assume it was candy, candy revenge for all of the crops the pest snails destroyed. 

When the radula is unfolded, it extends longer than the snail’s whole physique size. It’s fairly loopy.

They may even scavenge from lifeless fish they discover, however they’re too gradual to truly hunt fish and kill fish.

Within the Aquarium

Within the aquarium, murderer snails are a good way to take care of pest snail and detritus worm infestations.

Inside just a few months, a pair of grownup murderer snails can wipe out a fairly dangerous bladder snail infestation in a 40 gallon (151 liter) tank. I’ve seen this firsthand, it’s fairly superb.

They may work at a snail’s tempo, however gradual and regular wins the race…finally. 

Murderer snails are additionally nice at cleansing up leftover fish meals that falls down into the substrate.  

One of many greatest issues with preserving this species is that they’re fairly good at their jobs. Murderer snails usually find yourself ravenous to loss of life as a result of they mow via all of the pest snails in a tank after which don’t have something to eat.

Long run, you have to to offer them with some meaty meals, like bloodworms, California blackworms or shrimp pellets.

How you can Set Up a Murderer Snail Tank

Assassin snail in freshwater aquarium

Tank Dimension

Murderer snails want a minimum of a 30 gallon (113 liter) tank and they’re going to do higher in a tank with a big footprint as a substitute of a taller tank.


This species would require a filter. Aquarium filters don’t simply transfer water across the tank. They’re an important a part of any wholesome aquarium.

As urine and feces from fish and invertebrates break down within the tank, they delay lethal byproducts, like ammonia and nitrite.

If these chemical compounds are allowed to construct up within the aquarium, the water will rapidly develop into poisonous to any aquatic creatures residing in it.

Filters are important as a result of they detoxify these substances. Specialised useful micro organism develop within filter media, and remodel ammonia and nitrite into nitrate, a substance that may be allowed to construct up in between water modifications.

This course of is named the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle and is without doubt one of the most important issues to know in regards to the aquarium pastime.

Professional Tip: For extra details about the Nitrogen Cycle, please see our in-depth article, here.

Murderer snails wouldn’t be capable to survive in a tank with out a filter. Don’t fear, they don’t want something large, fancy or costly. A easy sponge filter will do exactly high-quality, in truth. 

For extra details about sponge filters, please, see our comparability article, here.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 68°-80°F (20°-27°C)
  • Ammonia/Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: <30 ppm
  • pH: 7.0-6.5
  • GH: 6-18 dGH
  • KH:  4-10 dKH


Murderer snails originate from heat, tropical waters and like temperatures within the mid to excessive 70s.

They will survive dips into the higher 60s, however that is lower than best and so they could cease breeding if the temperature stays that low.

You’ll must add a heater to the tank for these snails to breed and thrive. 


This species actually must be stored in a tank with a delicate substrate. 

Murderer snails spend lots of time digging round within the substrate, on the lookout for prey.

In addition they burrow down and partially bury themselves.

They are often stored in tanks with easy gravel, however it’s higher for them to be in a tank with a sandy backside or aqua soil. 


This species doesn’t have particular lighting necessities. 

Simply use no matter type of lights you need based mostly in your crops and/or viewing preferences.

Crops and Decor

You may maintain murderer snails in a planted tank. Since they’re carnivores, they’ve little interest in tearing up your reside crops.

This species will divide their time between climbing on decor and searching alongside the substrate.

Sturdy, broadleaved crops, like Amazon swords or anubias, are simpler for them to climb on than skinny wispy crops like water wisteria. 

They’ll gladly scoot alongside rocks, driftwood or any type of decor, actually. 

Murderer Snail Weight-reduction plan

Protecting an murderer snail fed can typically be a little bit of a problem.

These guys are sometimes put within the aquarium to maintain down populations of pest snails, like bladder or pond snails.

The issue is, they’re excellent at their job and sometimes fully wipe out all of the obtainable snails.

As soon as they’ve eaten all of the pest snails, they could starve to loss of life.

Should you cease seeing pest snails within the tank, do your murderer snails a favor and throw in some meals as a reward for a job properly executed. 

You may complement their eating regimen with meaty meals like:

  • Bloodworms
  • California blackworms
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Top quality algae wafers (like Omega One Veggie Rounds)
  • Flake meals
  • Brine shrimp

Murderer snails will go after tank mates like decorative shrimp in the event that they get hungry sufficient. This isn’t a delusion. There are various movies of murderer snails killing shrimp after they don’t have any different possibility. Be warned!

Murderer Snail Breeding

Close up of assassin snail

Breeding this species is sort of easy. 

This species is NOT hermaphroditic, that means they’ve separate women and men and can’t self-fertilize like different species of snails.

You’ll must get a bunch of about six snails to make sure that you get a minimum of one male and one feminine, and also you’ll must just remember to present them with numerous meals.

This species breeds extra slowly than pest snails, however they do breed readily. 

The male will experience on the feminine’s again for a number of hours throughout mating.

After fertilization, the feminine will lay particular person eggs as she glides alongside a floor. They often favor to put their eggs in small crevices to higher cover them.

One cool factor, their eggs have an nearly sq. form to them. As they get nearer to hatching, utilizing a magnifying lens, you can begin to see the child snail throughout the egg.

It could take 3-8 weeks for the infants to hatch out of the eggs. They often head all the way down to the substrate, on the lookout for simple prey.

It can take one other 2-3 months earlier than the tiny murderer snails develop large enough for an individual to simply see them. 

It is extremely simple for murderer snail eggs to hitch a experience into one other tank on decor or crops! They will also be  extremely detrimental to native gastropod species if they’re unintentionally launched to native waterways. Please, be cautious!

Murderer Snail Tank Mates

You may combine murderer snails with any kind of peaceable group fish. 

Murderer snails will munch on a fish that’s already lifeless, however they’re far too gradual to truly hunt something that may simply swim away.

In addition they do exactly high-quality with most fish which might be listed as “semi-aggressive,” like tiger barbs, angelfish and gouramis.

In the case of decorative shrimp, I’m a bit on the fence. 

So long as they’re properly fed, they gained’t go after grownup shrimp, but when they get actually hungry, they completely will. And so they’ll gladly eat shrimplets. 

So, you are able to do it, however it could lower down in your shrimp breeding, and make completely positive your murderer snails have one thing to snack on. 

Listed here are some tank mates that you just mustn’t combine with murderer snails:

  • Decorative snails – even when they’re larger, the murderer snails will take them down. Some individuals report that thriller snails and nerites ought to be protected, and others say their assassins killed these snails of their tanks. I personally wouldn’t threat it.
  • Massive aggressive fish – giant fish will usually harass snails, even when they’ll’t really eat them. They’ll seize them of their mouths and spit them again out. It appears fairly tense for the snails. Over time, this abuse can crack a snail’s shell.
  • Loaches – most loach species will go after any type of snail. They’ll pull the snail out of its shell and tear it to bits.
  • Pufferfish – puffers like to eat snails, it’s certainly one of their predominant meals sources within the wild. They could not be capable to crunch up an grownup murderer snail, however they’ll take chunks out of the snail any time they emerge from their shells, biting off chunks of the siphon, antennae and foot. It’s fairly ugly. 

Is an Murderer Snail Proper for You?

This species of snail is engaging, helpful and fascinating, however they’re not essentially for everybody.

Take into account, a bunch of murderer snails will breed in your tank, greater than doubtless. So, you’ll be buying and selling a pest snail inhabitants for an murderer snail inhabitants.

Hold it to just one snail if you wish to keep away from breeding.

And also you would possibly destroy the pest snail inhabitants, solely to find that they have been consuming up an algae bloom, one thing the murderer snails gained’t aid you with.

You’ve additionally bought to ensure that they’re getting sufficient to eat. And you may run the danger that they’ll start to munch on hapless tank mates in the event that they begin to really feel peckish.

Plus, it’s simple to unintentionally introduce them to different tanks if you switch decor or plant clippings.

However, as an entire, I feel they’re a extremely cool snail that may assist clear up pest outbreaks. They’re usually a more sensible choice to maintain pest snails in examine than lots of the snail consuming fish species within the pastime.

I like having snails as detritivores in my aquariums. They assist break down fish waste and clear up meals the highest dwelling species miss.

I hope you discover this text useful.

I want you and your fish the perfect!

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