Will Assassin Snails Eat Nerite Snails? [Yes & No]

Assassin snails will eat nerite snails if they are small enough or already dead.

However, it is important to note that assassin snails primarily prey on other small snails and are not specifically targeting nerite snails. Introducing assassin snails to a tank with existing nerite snails may result in some predation, but it is not guaranteed.

Additionally, providing ample food and hiding places for the nerite snails can help reduce the risk of predation.

Ultimately, the compatibility between assassin snails and nerite snails in a tank depends on various factors such as tank size, food availability, and the overall population of snails.

Assassin snail attacking other snails
Assassin snail attacking other snails

Will Assassin Snails Eat Nerite Snails? [Factors That Plays Key Role]

Assassin snails can eat nerite snails, as they are natural predators. However, it is not guaranteed, as some assassin snails may not bother with nerite snails.

If you’re considering adding nerite snails to your tank, it’s natural to wonder if assassin snails will see them as a potential meal.

Nerite snail in the tank
Nerite snail in the tank

Let’s explore whether assassin snails will eat nerite snails or if they can peacefully coexist.

  • Dietary preferences: Assassin snails primarily feed on other snails, especially those with soft shells. Nerite snails, on the other hand, have hard shells made of calcium carbonate. This means that assassin snails may not prefer nerite snails as a food source because of their hard shells.
  • Size difference: Assassin snails are generally smaller in size compared to nerite snails. Due to this size difference, assassin snails may not be able to overpower and consume nerite snails. But if the nerite snails are small enough, they can be devoured.
  • Feeding behavior: Assassin snails mostly hunt and devour sluggish or unhealthy snails. Nerite snails are known for their active movements and strong attachment to surfaces, which may make them less susceptible to being targeted by assassin snails.
  • Compatibility: Both assassin snails and nerite snails are non-aggressive species that tend to live peacefully alongside other tank inhabitants. As long as sufficient food and hiding places are available, the chances of aggression or predation from assassin snails towards nerite snails are minimal.
Assassin snail with other snails
Assassin snail with other snails

Although assassin snails could potentially eat nerite snails under certain circumstances, it is less likely to happen in a well-maintained aquarium. The chances of successful coexistence between both snail species are generally favorable.

What Do Assassin Snails Eat?

Assassin snails are known to eat other snails. They are efficient predators that can help control snail populations in aquariums.

Assassin snails, as their name suggests, are notorious for their carnivorous appetite. These predatory snails are known to feed on a variety of small organisms, particularly other snails.

So, what exactly do assassin snails eat?

Assasin snails in the aquarium
Assassin snails in the aquarium
  • Snails: Assassin snails primarily feast on other snails, making them an effective natural solution for controlling snail populations in aquariums. They target and consume snails of their size or smaller.
  • Carcasses: In addition to actively hunting snails, assassin snails also scavenge on the remains of dead organisms, including snail carcasses. This helps to keep the aquarium clean and free from decaying matter.
  • Invertebrates: While snails form the main part of their diet, assassin snails may also consume other small invertebrates, such as worms and shrimp. They possess a keen sense of smell, enabling them to locate potential prey in their environment.
  • Algae: Although not their preferred food source, assassin snails have been observed grazing on algae at times. However, it’s important to note that they primarily rely on snails for sustenance.
  • Commercial foods: If you’re thinking of keeping assassin snails in an aquarium, it’s worth knowing that they can also be fed with specialized commercial snail pellets or sinking foods formulated for carnivorous snails. These foods can supplement their diet and ensure they receive adequate nutrition.

Assassin snails are carnivorous creatures that primarily prey on snails, but they may also consume carcasses, small invertebrates, and occasionally, algae.

What Types Of Snails Assassin Snails Enjoy Eating?

Assassin snails are renowned for their effectiveness in bringing snail numbers down. The below listed three snails are their favorite.

A little difference is observed in whether these snails are larger or smaller than assassin snails.

Assasin snail eating ramshorn snail
Assassin snail is eating ramshorn snail
  • Pond Snails: Assassin snails have a particular fondness for pond snails. These small, round-shelled snails can become targets for assassins due to their manageable size.
  • Ramshorn snails: With their distinctive spiraling shells, ramshorn snails are also on the menu for assassin snails. They don’t have an operculum, making them vulnerable to attack.
  • Malaysian trumpet snails: Another species of snails that assassin snails will happily devour are Malaysian trumpet snails. These snails are known for their conical shells and are often considered pests due to their high reproductive rates.

Remember assassin snails are not picky eaters when it comes to smaller snail species. Whether it’s nerite snails, pond snails, ramshorn snails, Malaysian trumpet snails, or bladder snails, assassin snails will seize the opportunity for a tasty meal.

Nerite snail roaming in the aquarium
Nerite snail roaming in the aquarium

Can Assassin Snails Be Kept With Nerite Snails In The Same Tank?

Assassin snails can be kept with nerite snails in the same tank as long as nerite snails are larger than assassin snails. In addition, a larger tank with ample hiding spots, such as caves, plants, or driftwood, can help create a more balanced ecosystem for both snail species.

The extra space will reduce the chances of predation. Remember, every aquarium setup is unique, and individual snail behavior may vary.

Observing the tank’s dynamics, providing appropriate hiding spots, and ensuring a well-balanced diet for all snails will help promote harmony between assassin snails and nerite snails in the same tank.

User's experience with assassin snails and nerite snails in the same tank
User’s experience with assassin snails and nerite snails in the same tank

Testimonials And Experiences From Aquarium Owners:

  • “In my experience, assassin snails have left my nerite snails untouched. They seem more focused on other pest snails in the tank.” – aquarium enthusiast.
  • “I was initially worried about adding assassin snails with my delicate nerite snails, but they coexist peacefully. The assassin snails even help control the population of unwanted snails.” – experienced aquarium owner.
  • “I did witness my assassin snail attempting to attack a nerite snail once, but the nerite’s shell proved too tough for the assassin snail to penetrate. Since then, I haven’t seen any further attempts.” – longtime aquarium hobbyist.
Testimonials by other aquarists on whether assassin snails eat nerite snails or not
Testimonials by other aquarists on whether assassin snails eat nerite snails or not

While there may be some instances of assassin snails attempting to attack nerite snails, cases of successful predation seem to be relatively rare. The compatibility between these snail species largely depends on the size of the nerite snail and the overall balance in the aquarium.

Methods For Controlling Snail Populations Without Deploying Assassin Snails?

The intricacies of snail dynamics within a tank can be perplexing, especially when it comes to finding effective ways to control snail populations.

Controlling snail populations in a tank can be done without using assassin snails. There are alternative methods available that do not involve their introduction.

Nerite snail eating algae
Nerite snails eating algae

Mechanical Removal

  • Manual removal with a net or tweezers can be an effective short-term solution.
  • Pay extra attention during water changes to remove any visible snails or eggs.

Reducing Food Supply:

  • Limit food portions and feeding frequency to discourage snail populations.
  • Ensure all uneaten food is promptly removed from the tank to prevent snails from feasting.

Predatory Fish

  • Introducing fish species known to consume small snails, such as dwarf puffers or loaches, can help control snail populations.
  • Research the compatibility of these fish with your existing aquatic inhabitants before adding them to your tank.

Snail Traps

  • Deploying traps baited with snail-attracting substances, such as vegetable matter or sinking pellet food, can effectively capture and remove snails from the tank.
  • Regularly monitor and empty the traps to prevent a buildup of trapped snails.

Chemical Treatments

  • In situations where other methods may not yield desired results, chemical treatments designed to eradicate snails can be considered.
  • However, exercise caution and carefully follow the instructions provided, as some chemicals may be harmful to other organisms in the tank.

Routinely Maintaining Tank Cleanliness

  • Conducting regular tank maintenance, such as cleaning filters, removing decaying plants, and vacuuming the substrate, can help prevent snail populations from spiraling out of control.
  • Consistency is key in minimizing the chances of snail infestations.

Limiting Snail

  • Be cautious when introducing new plants, decorations, or aquatic animals into your tank, as snail eggs or hitchhiking snails may be inadvertently introduced.
  • Examine and quarantine new additions as a prevention measure.
Nerite snail in an aquarium
Nerite snail in an aquarium

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Nerite Snails Safe With Other Snail Species?

Yes, nerite snails are generally safe to keep with other snail species. They are peaceful creatures and do not pose a threat to most other snails. However, it is important to consider the specific needs and compatibility of the different snail species before housing them together.

How Can I Protect My Nerite Snails From Assassin Snails?

Ensure that the tank housing the nerite snails is well-maintained with adequate hiding spots and a healthy environment to promote their well-being.

Can Nerite Snails Defend Themselves Against Assassin Snails?

Nerite snails have shell armor that provides them with some level of protection against predators like assassin snails. However, they are not equipped to actively defend themselves. If an assassin snail manages to attack a nerite snail successfully, it can cause harm or devour the nerite snail if the nerite snail’s size is smaller than the assassin snail.


So, keeping the assassin snail in the same tank might not kill the nerite snails (if it is larger), but you can able to control the snail population in the tank.

Assassin snails also reproduce very slowly, so it rarely becomes pest of their own.

However, as with any addition to your aquarium, it is always recommended to research before making any decisions.

Sujit Modak

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