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Clean Up Your Tank With The Assassin Snail

When you have a freshwater aquarium in your house, the considered elevating invertebrates might have crossed your thoughts every so often. These pleasant creature may help hold your tank clear, take away toxins from the water, and likewise present vital leisure to anybody who occurs to go by your tank.

Sadly, it’s all too simple for some species of snails to overrun your tank. For instance, some small snail species make their manner into your tank by catching a trip (unnoticed, we’d add!) on dwell plant species. These creatures are borderline invasive and may be very troublesome to eliminate.

The simplest method to take away undesirable snails out of your tank? Add extra snails! This sounds counterintuitive, however the murderer snail does an important job of cleansing your tank of undesirable pests.

Because the title implies, murderer snails are voracious killers. As carnivores, they may snack in your different snail species till they’re utterly eradicated. They don’t eat vegetation, so that you received’t have to fret about them going after different organisms in your tank.

Nonetheless not satisfied? They’re additionally fairly pretty to have a look at, with enticing stripes that run down the size of their shells. Listed here are just a few extra explanation why you have to be elevating the Murderer Snail.

Murderer Snail Background

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Photo by Daniel

The murderer snail, additionally identified scientifically as Clea helena, is a freshwater snail that could be a member of the Buccinidae household. This household comprises a gaggle of species often known as true whelks, that are carnivorous snails. They take pleasure in consuming different small snails in addition to different meat-based meals.

Native to southeast Asia, these snails are normally discovered within the rivers and lakes of warm-temperatured nations like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They’re extremely standard in house aquariums, however sadly are sometimes launched into the wild. This has led to the unfold of murderer snails as invasive in lots of locations.

Fortunately, murderer snails present a substantial amount of profit to a freshwater tank, cleansing up the tank and eradicating undesirable species of snails. They’re additionally reasonably priced, costing fewer than $3 apiece, and you may usually obtain bulk reductions for buying multiple murderer snail at a time.

Murderer Snail Look And Habits

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Photo by Benny

Murderer snails are small, normally solely about an inch or so in size. Whereas these snails which might be discovered within the wild are bigger than these bred for captivity, those that are fed correct diets can usually be inspired to develop fairly massive.

These snails range considerably of their look, with the shells of those creatures offering the best differentiation among the many differing types. Murderer snails have conical shells with yellow and brown stripes, giving them the looks of bumblebees.

Some murderer snails would not have any stripes in any respect and should as a substitute be utterly brown. That is uncommon, nevertheless, with most murderer snails having stripes on their shells. These snails have an attention-grabbing function of their shells often known as operculums. These are considerably like trapdoors, closing off the shell totally when the snail chooses to cover inside.

The snail additionally has a muscular foot contained in the shell. This foot could be very robust and helps transfer the snail ahead at a gradual tempo. These snails even have quick tentacles on their heads. These tentacles are extremely delicate and assist the snail search for meals and transfer across the tank. Additionally they have eyes on the finish of the tentacle that may detect each movement and light-weight.

Murderer snails, like different snails, are very slow-moving creatures. Whereas they received’t present al to of motion or motion to the tank, they may work shortly at eliminating any undesirable snail species.

These creatures are principally nocturnal, popping out at evening to feed. Nonetheless, when you start to feed them in the course of the day, they may get into the behavior of popping out throughout daytime hours, too, and can head instantly to the meals provide. These snails spend most of their day digging down into the substrate, mendacity in watch for any motion above them. After they sense motion, they may strike, consuming different small snail species.

Murderer snails, regardless of their monikers, are usually not identified for being aggressive – they received’t hassle your different fish. Nonetheless, take into account that any others low-moving species (notably these which might be smaller than the murderer snail) can be considered as a possible supply of meals.

Murderer Snail Tank And Water Necessities

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Photo by Diana MacPherson

Murderer snails are native to the freshwaters of southeast Asia. These our bodies of water are typically tropical and have gradual currents. They’re alkaline and extremely well-lit. The snails desire to dwell on smooth, sandy substrate, which makes it simpler for them to bury themselves for security and to hunt for meals. Additionally they type miniature cave dwellings within the rocks and particles on high of the water.

Murderer snails aren’t choosy about what sort of decorations and plans there are within the tank. Typically, the snails will depart vegetation alone, as they like to eat meat-based meals. They may not often use them as shelter. Aside from offering a smooth, sandy substrate and a gradual shifting present in your tank, there’s not a lot that it is advisable to do to make them comfy.

Mimicking the best circumstances of an murderer snail’s wild atmosphere is important, as you have to to make your snail really feel at house. Specifically, the substrate needs to be smooth and sufficiently small in order that it doesn’t injury the fragile tentacles and physique of the snail.

Murderer snails may even be kept in paludariums. Whereas some snails will eat the vegetation and different organisms in a paludarium, murderer snails will principally depart them alone. You possibly can add decorations when you’d like, however this isn’t vital. Remember the fact that when you plan to breed murderer snails, vegetation may be useful, as they offer your snails a spot to connect their eggs.

The water in your tank needs to be heated and filtered. Situations should be saved comparatively steady as a result of your snail’s well being can turn into compromised if something fluctuates an excessive amount of. Temperatures needs to be regular between 70 and 80 levels Fahrenheit, whereas pH needs to be maintained within the vary of seven to eight. Water needs to be barely laborious, as it will assist improve the manufacturing of your snail’s shell.

Quick flowing water will not be really useful, as murderer snails are inclined to dwell in slower-moving our bodies of water. Lighting additionally will not be obligatory, as they’ll thrive in any stage of lighting. What’s extra vital is that you just hold your murderer snails in a big tank. Ten gallons is the minimal really useful measurement, with bigger tanks really useful over smaller ones. Typically talking, you’ll be able to hold two murderer snails for each 5 gallons of water.

Try to be cautious about housing your murderer snail in a tank that’s too small. Though these creatures are tiny, you’ll be able to simply encounter issues with water high quality in case you are attempting to help massive populations of murderer snails. They develop and reproduce quickly, and as they develop bigger and hungrier, you have to extra space.

As well as, you tank needs to be lidded. Murderer snails will crawl up the partitions of your tank and might simply escape and by chance kill themselves in the event that they accomplish that. Cowl any energy filter intakes with a sponge pre-filter. Murderer snails can generally get their our bodies and heads trapped within the openings. This may trigger damage and even loss of life.

What Do Murderer Snails Eat?

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Photo by Fanney Baldursdottir

Murderer snails are carnivores, in order that they received’t eat any greens or vegetation in your tank. Not like different snails, additionally they keep away from algae. Ensure you don’t spend money on a gaggle of murderer snails with the intention of eradicating all the built-up algae in your tank – this simply received’t work! As a substitute, think about buying considered one of these excellent algae eaters to do the job for you.

Murderer snails will eat different snails, so it’s not unparalleled for fishkeepers to make use of murderer snails for pest management. You may wish to think about elevating murderer snails if in case you have an issue with trumpet or ramshorn snails in your tank. Apparently, murderer snails received’t go after one another, even the younger or eggs of their species.

They like a lot of dwell, meaty meals similar to bloodworms and brine shrimp. These meals are very near what this species eats within the wild to allow them to assist hold them wholesome. They may sometimes eat pellet or flake meals. Algae wafers are one other standard meals sources as they comprise excessive quantities of protein. You can even feed smooth snail eggs and shrimp fry to your murderer snails.

Keep in mind that you’re what you eat, and that’s not often more true than with the murderer snail. The meals that you just feed your murderer snail will affect how properly they develop. Snails eat at their very own tempo, with the precise quantity of meals wanted per particular person various drastically between species. These creatures will eat completely different quantities daily and also will eat any leftover fish meals – a bonus when you’re attempting to maintain your tank clear!

Murderer snails bury themselves within the substrate, ready for a snack. They may usually eat small snails as they transfer above them, and murderer snails will regularly assault snails which might be each bigger and smaller than them. Snails that would not have operculums, like ramshorn snails, are the almost definitely to be eaten, though murderer snails will not often discriminate. They may eat smooth snail eggs however will keep away from laborious nerite snail eggs. They sometimes additionally eat shrimp fry.

Murderer Snail Tank Mates

Murderer snails are amicable creatures that get alongside properly with most different fish. It is strongly recommended that you just attempt to hold them with peaceable fish. Whereas your snails received’t pay numerous consideration to your fish, they’re usually considered as prey by bigger, extra territorial fish species.

That being stated, most small group fish make wonderful tank mates for murderer snails. You possibly can add species like celestial danios, neon tetras, guppies, and cherry barbs to maintain your nails firm. If a bigger fish is what you take into account, think about including gouramis, angelfish, or rainbowfish. No matter you do, simply ensure that the fish species you choose are peaceable by nature.

Many individuals wrongfully assume that bottom-dwelling fish will make good tank mates. Nonetheless, it is a harmful false impression. Bottom-dwelling fish usually view murderer snails as prey, and since they occupy the identical space of the tank, this may be harmful. You possibly can go for peaceable scavengers like Otocinclus or Corydoras catfish, nevertheless.

You possibly can even home murderer snails with different species of snails. Whereas they may select to eat small pest species of snails, they normally received’t hurt bigger species like nerite snails or mystery snails.

When all else fails, you’ll be able to positively hold murderer snails with different murderer snails, too. They don’t want firm as a way to keep completely happy and wholesome, however you’ll be able to hold murderer snails with others as they normally will ignore one another.

Frequent Murderer Snail Ailments

Murderer snails aren’t susceptible to any explicit ailments apart from those that are inclined to befall different freshwater snails. Nonetheless, it’s vital that you just bear in mind to offer your snail with correct diet so that you just don’t have to fret about their shells changing into malformed. Murderer snails want a lot of calcium, and whereas they’ll get most of this from their weight loss plan, you might want to offer a complement from time to time.

A weak shell can encourage a lot of well being issues in your murderer snails. A weak shell can crack and break, killing your snail. As well as, a shell’s development may be stunted if temperatures are low or the correct weight loss plan isn’t being supplied. You may even discover white growths forming in your murderer snail’s shell – these are sometimes an indication of parasites within the tank.

It’s best to hold copper away out of your murderer snail’s tank. Copper is poisonous to most invertebrates. In case you are utilizing a copper-based treatment for considered one of your fish, be aware of the presence of your murderer snails, as this may be catastrophic.

Murderer snails, like different freshwater invertebrates and fish, are extraordinarily prone to poor water high quality. It’s best to make some extent of cleansing your tank each week or each different week (on the very least) to ensure your animals keep wholesome. Common water adjustments will assist hold nitrate ranges low.

In some instances, you may discover your snail floating. Whereas this isn’t terribly frequent, it normally isn’t a trigger for alarm. Nonetheless, in case your snail has performed this for a number of days, it could possibly be lifeless, so be sure to examine it to ensure it’s okay.

Typically murderer snails can have quick or virtually invisible tentacles. Typically fish will go after the tentacles of murderer snails and can nip till they’re gone. Fortunately, murderer snails don’t undergo a lot from this conduct, so long as some tentacles stay. They normally regrow the misplaced tentacle, though it’s going to generally be skinny and quick in comparison with the opposite ones.

There are different chemical substances that may additionally work together poorly along with your murderer snails. Specifically, it’s best to keep away from utilizing malachite inexperienced (which is usually used to deal with ich or white spot), trichlorfon, metriphonate, and formaldehyde. You must also keep away from Parricide D, which is used to deal with helminths and worms in your tank.

Typically, ailments may be prevented within the tank by offering your murderer snail with the correct weight loss plan and ensuring the tank is clear always. Home your murderer snail solely with applicable tank mates, and be vigilant and cautious about any chemical substances or medicines you add to the tank. Stopping most of those ailments is simple so long as you keep up to the mark.

Breeding And Life Spans Of Murderer Snails

Apparently, murderer snails are one of many few species of snails that aren’t hermaphrodites. There are two completely different genders however it may be troublesome to distinguish the males from the females. In case you are eager about breeding murderer snails, you received’t have numerous success in shopping for particular breeding pairs. As a substitute, it’s best to simply spend money on quite a few murderer snails to be sure to have a strong likelihood of getting members of each sexes in your tank.

Murderer snails breed solely in freshwater, laying eggs one after the other. You’ll usually have the ability to see a big group of single eggs clustered shut to one another. Eggs are yellow and are enclosed in a translucent rectangular enclosure. These enclosures may be affixed to driftwood, the glass of the tank, and even lava rocks. Eggs flip from yellow to gentle brown after just a few days of being within the tank.

Murderer snails will couple up after breeding and comply with one another round for hours at a time. They could even stick to one another! After mating, females will lay small eggs on laborious surfaces. These hatch inside 30 days, releasing juveniles into the tank. The juveniles will spend the following six months burrowed into the substrate.

There’s little it is advisable to do to provoke the breeding course of in murderer snails. In some instances, temperatures which might be too low can discourage this from beginning, as can males which might be overly zealous. These snails have a tendency to breed prolifically, but they may accomplish that with out overrunning your tank.

Is An Murderer Snail For You?

In the event you’ve moved past starting fishkeeping and are able to take your group tank to the following stage, it’s best to think about elevating murderer snails. These beautiful creatures are enjoyable to look at and require little past a correct weight loss plan and a pleasant, sandy substrate.

So long as you’ll be able to decide to holding your tank clear and you’ve got peaceable group fish in your tank, there’s not a lot it is advisable to do to maintain your murderer snails wholesome. In return, they may take away any pest species of snails in your tank, serving to to maintain it clear and balanced. ‘’

Whereas the murderer snail is probably not the perfect at consuming algae, this species serves a definite (and vital!) objective in any freshwater group tank.

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