What Eats Assassin Snails: 5 Surprising Predators Revealed!

 Assassin snails are known for their predatory nature, often preying on smaller snails and pest snails in aquariums. However, these stealthy creatures are not invincible and have their own predators in the wild. But what eats Assassin snails in home aquariums?

In this article, we will explore five surprising predators that feed on assassin snails, shedding light on the often overlooked aspect of their ecological interactions.

From larger aquatic predators to unexpected threats, assassin snails face various challenges in their natural habitat.

Assassin Snails Size

Understanding these predators can provide insights into the dynamic relationships within aquatic ecosystems and the delicate balance of predator-prey interactions.

Whether you are a seasoned aquarium enthusiast or simply intrigued by the world of aquatic life, learning about the predators of assassin snails can offer a fascinating glimpse into the intricate web of life in underwater environments.

Join us as we uncover the surprising predators that keep assassin snails on alert in the wild. 

Can Assassin Snails Live with Other Fish?

Assassin Snails can generally live with other fish in a community tank. They are not aggressive towards fish and are too slow to catch them as prey. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid keeping Assassin Snails with fish known to eat snails, such as puffers, loaches, and some cichlids. These fish will see the Assassin Snails as a tasty snack.
  • Be cautious when keeping Assassin Snails with tiny fish or shrimp. While Assassin Snails primarily target other snails, they may occasionally go after small fish or shrimp, especially if they are hungry or the fish/shrimp are weak or stressed.
  • If you have a heavily planted tank, you may want to avoid adding too many Assassin Snails. They can be beneficial for controlling snail populations, but they can also eat some beneficial algae and other microorganisms that help keep the tank healthy.

Here are some good tank mates for Assassin Snails:

  • Community fish: Most community fish, such as tetras, rasboras, and guppies, are safe to keep with Assassin Snails.
  • Bottom feeders: Corydoras catfish, plecos, and other bottom feeders are also good choices, as they are too large for the Assassin Snails to prey on.
  • Shrimp: While there is a small risk of Assassin Snails eating shrimp, especially dwarf shrimp, it is generally safe to keep them together as long as the shrimp are large enough and the Assassin Snails are well-fed.

If you are considering adding Assassin Snails to your tank, it is always best to research to ensure they will be compatible with your existing fish and invertebrates.

What Eats Assassin Snails in Aquarium?

Assassin snails are known for being efficient aquarium predators, preying on other snails to control their population. However, these assassin snails are not invincible themselves. In a tank environment, several creatures can pose a threat to them.

How Many Assassin Snails Per Gallon

For instance, larger snails like mystery snails or apple snails can easily overpower and consume these assassin snails. Some fish, such as pufferfish, are known to eat assassin snails. As opportunistic feeders, pufferfish will not hesitate to consume an assassin snail if given the chance.

Additionally, if an assassin snail dies, other tank mates may cannibalize the deceased snail. Therefore, while assassin snails may be fierce predators, they are not immune to becoming prey themselves in an aquarium setting.

Assassin snails are often viewed as beneficial additions to aquariums, as they help control pest snail populations. However, assassin snails are not invincible and have several predators in the wild. Here are five surprising assassin snail predators:

1. Clown Loach

Loaches are a group of bottom-dwelling fish in various shapes and sizes. Some species of loaches, such as the yo-yo loach and the clown loach, are known to eat assassin snails.

2. Other Assassin Snails

While assassin snails are beneficial for controlling pest populations, they will also readily consume other assassin snails, including their own young. This is especially common when food is scarce.

3. Pea Puffers

Pea puffers are small, freshwater fish known for their voracious appetites. They will readily consume assassin snails, often used in aquariums to help control populations of these snails.

4. Cichlids

Cichlids are a large family of freshwater fish in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Some species of cichlids, such as the Oscar and the flowerhorn, are large enough to eat assassin snails whole.

5. Crabs

Crabs are not typically found in freshwater environments, but they can be a problem for assassin snails kept in outdoor ponds or aquariums that are not adequately sealed. Crabs will readily consume assassin snails, and they can be challenging to control once they have established themselves in an aquarium.

Do Assassin Snails Get Lonely?

Assassin snails are solitary creatures and don’t experience loneliness like humans or other social animals do. They don’t form social bonds with other snails and are perfectly content living alone.

However, if you’re dealing with a large population of pest snails in your aquarium, adding more assassin snails can be beneficial. This is because:

  • One assassin snail might not be enough: They are slow eaters, and a single snail might struggle to control a large population of pest snails.
  • Strength in numbers: Multiple assassin snails increase the chances of taking down larger snails.

Therefore, while adding more assassin snails can be helpful for practical reasons, it’s unnecessary for their well-being or to prevent them from feeling lonely.

Will Assassin Snails Eat Snails?

Assassin snails are known to be carnivorous invertebrates that will eat other snails in an aquarium. These gastropod predators are capable of reproducing quickly, with one assassin snail being able to take out a large number of snails in my tank.

They particularly enjoy preying on mystery snails, pond snails, ramshorn snails, and nerite snails. When introducing these fish into your tank, it’s essential to consider the potential consequences of assassin snail breeding, as they can become invasive.

These opportunistic predators will latch onto their prey and consume them whole, although they typically don’t eat Malaysian trumpet snails. Keeping them in check is advisable to ensure a healthy snail breeding population.

Assassin Snails Natural Predators: (Some Fish Species)

While Assassin Snails are effective predators themselves, they are not invincible. They have natural predators in their native Southeast Asian habitats, including:

  • Larger Cichlids: These aggressive fish are known for their diverse diet, including snails. Their large size and powerful jaws make them a threat to Assassin Snails.
  • Loaches: These bottom-dwelling fish have a taste for snails, and their specialized mouthparts help them extract the snail from its shell. Some popular loach species that prey on Assassin Snails include the Yo-Yo Loach and the Clown Loach.

It’s important to note that while these are some of the common predators of Assassin Snails in the wild, keeping them together in an aquarium environment is not recommended. The constant threat of predation can stress the Assassin Snails and shorten their lifespan.

Will Assassin Snails Eat Themselves?

No, assassin snails do not eat themselves or other assassin snails. They are opportunistic carnivores, meaning these snails feed on whatever they can find, but they prefer to eat different types of snails and worms.

Assassin snails are not aggressive towards each other and get along quite well. They are often used in aquariums to help control the population of other unwanted snails.

Here are some of the things that assassin snails will eat:

  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • Ramshorn Snails
  • Pond snails
  • Snail eggs (soft varieties)
  • Shrimp fry (sometimes)

What Can Live with Assassin Snails?

Assassin snails are carnivorous scavengers that can live with various tank mates. Typically, they are compatible with most types of local fish and other peaceful snails. When choosing tank mates for assassin snails, it is essential to consider their predatory nature.

For example, they will likely eat cherry shrimp and fish eggs. However, they are generally safe to keep with other species. 

Assassin snails are known for their ability to control pest snail populations in aquariums. They use their proboscis to latch onto other snails and siphon out their insides.

As a result, they are often referred to as “assassins.” Regarding reproduction, breeding assassin snails can be slow in a community tank. Their reproductive rate is slowed or halted unless their fare is protein-rich. With the right conditions, assassin snails can thrive and help maintain a healthy tank ecosystem.

Tips for Keeping Assassin Snails with Larger Snails & Managing Pest Snails

Here are some tips for keeping Assassin Snails with larger snails and managing pest snails:

Keeping Assassin Snails with Larger Snails:

  • Size compatibility: While Assassin Snails are known for preying on other snails, they typically target smaller species. Their beak, which is the feeding tube, might not be able to fit into the aperture (opening) of more giant snail shells. So, Assassin Snails are generally safe to keep with larger snail species like Mystery Snails or Apple Snails. However, it’s still important to monitor the interactions between your snails, especially if you have a smaller breed of larger snail.
  • Diet: Assassin Snails are opportunistic feeders, and while they primarily eat other snails, they can also scavenge for leftover fish food, fish flakes, algae wafers, and other detritus. This means that even if they eliminate your pest snail population, they should be able to find other food sources in your tank.
  • Competition: If your tank doesn’t have a large population of pest snails, Adult Assassin Snails might compete with other bottom feeders like shrimp or scavenger fish for food.

Managing Pest Snails:

  • Identification: The first step is to identify your pest snail type. Common pest snails include Bladder Snails, Ramshorn Snails, and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Knowing the species will help you determine the best action for controlling their population.
  • Prevention: The best way to manage pest snails is to prevent them from entering your tank in the first place. Quarantine any new plants or fish before adding them to your tank, and avoid overfeeding your fish, as excess food can lead to increased snail reproduction.
  • Manual removal: If you only have a small number of pest snails, you can manually remove them from your tank. You can do this by hand, using a trap, or by using a snail-specific fish.
  • Chemical control: Chemical treatments are available to control snail populations. However, these chemicals can also harm other invertebrates in your tank, so use them cautiously and as a last resort.

Additional tips:

  • Assassin Snails are not a guaranteed solution to pest snail problems. They are most effective in controlling small populations of pest snails.
  • Assassin Snails can reproduce, so monitoring their population and removing them if they become too numerous is essential.
  • Assassin Snails are incompatible with pea puffers or other fish known to eat snails.

By following these tips, you can keep Assassin Snails safely with larger snails and effectively manage pest snail populations in your aquarium.

How do I get rid of assassin snails?

To get rid of assassin snails, remove them manually from the tank, reduce their food source, and consider introducing natural predators like loaches or pufferfish.

What tropical fish eat assassin snails?

While not ideal due to potential aggression, pea, and dwarf puffers may eat assassin snails. Extensive research is crucial to ensure tank compatibility before introducing any new fish.

What do assassin snails eat if there are no other snails?

Assassin snails can scavenge on algae, biofilm, and uneaten food in the absence of other snails, but their growth and reproduction might be slower.

What are assassin snails good for?

Assassin snails benefit aquariums as they prey on and control populations of unwanted pests like snails, helping maintain a balanced ecosystem and prevent overpopulation issues.

Why is my assassin snail burrowing?

Assassin snails burrow to hunt for prey, lay eggs, or escape unfavorable conditions like poor water quality or lack of food.

Can a single assassin snail reproduce?

No, a single assassin snail cannot reproduce. They are typically male and female, requiring a mate to lay fertile eggs.


In conclusion, maintaining a healthy and balanced ecosystem within your aquarium is crucial for the well-being of all its inhabitants. Southeast Asia snails, known for their practical pest control abilities, can be valuable to your aquatic environment. However, it’s essential to remember that even these skilled predators have natural enemies. Several species, such as certain types of fish and crayfish, are known to prey on assassin snails in aquariums. Therefore, if you’re considering introducing these snails to your tank, carefully research and select compatible tank mates. By doing so, you can ensure a harmonious and thriving aquarium environment. So, when it comes to “what eats assassin snails in the aquarium,” remember that a balanced ecosystem is the key to success.

You might also like

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.

Recent Posts

Stay Updated

Get outdoor trends, data, new products, and tips delivered to your inbox.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top