Do Assassin Snails Eat Shrimp: The Ultimate Coexisting Guide

Do assassin snails eat shrimp? Assassin snails have become increasingly popular in the aquarium hobby due to their ability to control pest snail populations. However, many shrimp enthusiasts are hesitant to add these predatory invertebrate snails to their tank for fear of them preying on their beloved shrimp. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the relationship between assassin snails and shrimp to determine if coexisting is possible.

Does assassin snail eat shrimp? The answer is not a simple yes or no. While assassin snails are primarily scavengers and will feast on pest snails, there have been reports of them preying on shrimp in certain circumstances. 

We will delve into the factors that influence these predatory behaviors and provide tips on successfully keeping shrimp and snails in the same tank.

Assassin snails

Whether you are a seasoned aquarium hobbyist or just starting, this ultimate coexisting guide will help you navigate the delicate balance between assassin snails and shrimp in your tank. 

Do Assassin Snails Eat Shrimp in Aquarium?

Will assassin snails eat shrimp? While it is scarce for assassin snails to go after healthy shrimp, they may crawl and catch dead or sickly shrimp.

Keeping assassin snails well-fed with small snails as their preferred food source is essential to ensure your shrimp tank remains harmonious.

On the other hand, cherry shrimp and assassin snails can coexist peacefully in a correctly planted tank. The key is to make sure that the snails are too small to be a threat to the shrimp species.

Assassin snail

Additionally, providing enough meaty food sources for the assassin snails is vital to prevent them from turning to the shrimp as potential prey. 

Some shrimp breeders even keep assassin snails in their shrimp aquariums to help control the population of small fish, worms, and other invertebrates. If you choose to keep assassin snails in your shrimp tank, it’s crucial to monitor your assassin snails hunting behavior and ensure they are not targeting your beloved shrimp.

Can Assassin Snails and Shrimp Ever Be Tank Mates?

Can snails and shrimp live together? While some aquarists have successfully kept these two species together in a community tank, there are potential risks. 

Assassin snails are carnivorous and prey on others in the tank, such as pond snails and ramshorn snails. They have a proboscis that assassin snails use to catch and kill and eat their prey.

Unfortunately, they may also target small shrimp if they are hungry. Although assassin snails are generally well-fed in a tank with plenty of freshwater snails to prey on, there is always a chance that they may go after shrimp when given the opportunity.

If you decide to keep assassin snails and shrimp together, it is vital to ensure your assassin snails are well-fed to reduce the likelihood of them preying on your shrimp.

Feeding your assassin snails a diet of blood worms or other protein-rich foods can help curb their appetite for live prey. Additionally, providing hiding places, such as substrate or plants, for your shrimp can help them avoid becoming easy targets for the assassin snails.

Common Assassin Snail Tank Mates

Assassin snails are a great addition to a freshwater tank if you want to control a pest snail population. But since they are carnivores, you must be careful when choosing tank mates. Here are some compatible tank mates for assassin snails:

Peaceful Community Fish:

These fish are too fast or large for the assassin snails to prey on. Assassin snails will help clean up leftover fish food and may even scavenge on a deceased fish.

Other Scavengers: 

Corydoras catfish and Otocinclus catfish are peaceful bottom feeders that complement assassin snails nicely. They all help keep the tank clean.


Assassin snails seem to do well with clams, both small and large varieties.

Certain Shrimp (with Caution): 

Adult Amano shrimp and Ghost shrimp are generally considered safe with assassin snails, especially if there are plenty of pest snails for the assassins to eat. However, assassin snails will eat shrimplets, so keep that in mind if you’re hoping to breed shrimp.

Tank Mates to Avoid:

  • Aggressive Fish:

Large or aggressive fish like cichlids, goldfish, or crayfish may injure or eat the assassin snails.

  • Shrimp (in general):

While some larger shrimp may be okay, assassin snails are opportunistic feeders and will go after dwarf shrimp or baby shrimp if they get hungry enough.

Why My Assassin Snail Does Not Eat Pest Snails!

There could be several reasons why assassin snails do not eat pest snails. One possibility is that they are well-fed and do not see the need to prey on other snail species.

Another reason could be that the pest snails can outmaneuver or defend themselves against the assassin snails. It is also possible that the assassin snails may prefer other food sources, such as dead shrimp or carrion.

Additionally, the pest snails may not be a suitable size or texture for the assassin snails to consume. The reasons why assassin snails do not eat pest snails can vary depending on the individual snails and their specific behaviors.

 Molting Shrimp and the Risk from Assassin Snails

Molting is a crucial process for shrimp. It’s how they grow and shed their old exoskeleton to make way for a new, larger one. Shrimp are more vulnerable to predators during this time because their new shell has yet to be hardened.

Assassin snails are known snail predators, and while they typically target other snail species, they may also pose a threat to molting shrimp.

Here’s a breakdown of the risk:

  • Vulnerability: Molting shrimp are defenseless and slow-moving. Their soft bodies make them easy targets for predators like assassin snails.
  • Assassin Snail Predation: Assassin snails are vulnerable to predation and may attack molting shrimp if possible.
  • Tank Size & Population: The risk is higher in smaller tanks with a high population of assassin snails. Shrimp have fewer hiding places, and assassin snails are more likely to encounter molting shrimp.

Minimizing the Risk:

  • Tank Size: Provide ample hiding spaces for shrimp, especially during molting periods. Plants, caves, and driftwood are all good options.
  • Feeding Assassin Snails: Ensure assassin snails have a steady supply of other snails or alternative food sources like blanched vegetables. This will reduce their dependence on shrimp as prey.
  • Shrimp Species: Some shrimp species, like the Bamboo Shrimp or the Ghost Shrimp, are better at hiding and may be less susceptible to predation.

Alternatives to Assassin Snails:

If you’re concerned about the risk to your shrimp, consider alternative methods for snail control:

  • Manual Removal: Regularly remove unwanted snails by hand.
  • Trap Snails: Use a snail trap to capture unwanted snails.
  • Predator Fish: Certain fish species, like pea puffers, will eat snails. However, be cautious, as these fish may also harm your shrimp.

Understanding the risks and taking preventive measures can keep your shrimp safe during molting and maintain a healthy balance in your aquarium.

Will assassin snails hurt my shrimp?

Will assassin snail eat shrimp? Assassin snails might eat weak or baby shrimp. Healthy adult shrimp are usually fast enough to escape. For shrimp breeding, consider other tankmates.

Will snails eat shrimp?

Most snails are scavengers and won’t attack healthy shrimp. But some, like assassin snails, might eat weak or juvenile shrimp.

What do assassin snails eat?

Assassin snails are carnivores that mainly eat other snails and worms. They may also scavenge for dead fish or shrimp.

Do assassin snails eat anything besides snails?

Assassin snails will also eat worms and bloodworms and even scavenge for leftover fish food or dead organisms.

Will snail killer kill shrimp? 

Do assassin snails kill shrimp? Yes, snail killers can harm shrimp and may result in their death. It is essential to exercise caution when using such products in aquariums with shrimp.

Do assassin snails have poison?

No, assassin snails don’t use toxins. They overpower and devour their prey, typically other snails, with their muscular foot and radula. 

Where are assassin snails found?

Assassin snails are found throughout Southeast Asia, in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

What size tank does an Assassin Snail need?

Assassin snails can thrive in tanks as small as 5 gallons, but a 10 gallon tank is ideal for maintaining stable water parameters.

Will assassin snails kill Malaysian trumpet snails?

Assassin snails are predators that specifically target and eat Malaysian trumpet snails, making them a natural control method.


So, does assassin snail eat shrimp? Assassin snails’ are known for their ability to ambush and consume other snails in the aquatic environment, making them a popular choice for shrimp keeping in an assassin snail’s tank. However, there is a common concern among aquarium enthusiasts about whether assassin snails also eat shrimp. While it is true that assassin snails primarily feed on snails, they may also target vulnerable shrimp if insufficient food is available.

In a tank with shrimp and assassin snails, the shrimp are far more likely to go after leftover food and algae, making them potential targets for the assassin snails. Monitoring the tank population to prevent overpopulation and potential predation is crucial.

Assassin snails are nocturnal creatures that can burrow into the tank substrate, making them hard to spot during the day. They use their radula to suck out the dead shell of their prey before moving on to the next target. In extremely rare cases of baby shrimp in the tank, they may be at risk of being eaten by the assassin snails. Do assassin snails eat shrimp? To prevent this, some shrimp keepers keep the shrimp and assassin snails separate in 2 tanks to ensure the safety of both populations.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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