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Author Topic: Assassin Snail -- Gandhian pacifist or welfare bum?  (Read 14665 times)
GB
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« on: December 04, 2010, 02:48:54 PM »

I got an assassin snail, to help cope with my pond snail infestation. I was much encourage by descriptions on the internet about assassins starting their dealdy work literally minutes after bing put into a tank...

I put mine into a large jar, in the company of several pond snails from my tank, as I wanted to see what it would do. I watched -- amazed -- as a little pond snail actually crawled onto the assassin's shell...! I figured it would tale a while for him to get comfortable, so I left them all to sleep. Next day, he was cruising around the jar, but ignoring -- and being ignored by -- the pond snails...

I transferred him to my tank, where he's peacefully asleep, with a pond snail an inch away from him. He shows no interest in doing anything about it.

So, is it the Hindu vibe fromm my household that's turned this savage carnivore into a pacifist vegetarian? Or is he just a lazy bum, looking for a hand-out? Or does he just need to get hungrier?

Seriously, I'd love to hear of others' experiences...

GB
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Blue-ram
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2010, 02:06:40 AM »

I put 8 snails in my tank a week ago.  They slept for a few days and then seem to hide during the day.  There are so many pond snails in my tank I had to have more then one.  They say they get to be an inch or a little more, but grow very slowly.  So I guess it will take a while to see any improvement with one snail.  When you clean your tank from the decaying snail shells you should see a change over time.  I looked up what there eggs look like so they won't breed in my tank. As I said they are slow to grow (months).  Mine have way to many snails to eat so it will take a while as they hatch so fast.  Did you reduce your food to slow the pond snail production?
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
Karen
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2010, 06:30:03 AM »

The assasin snails lay eggs in the gravel.  The baby snails are also in the gravel and tend to get slurped up by gravel vacs if the tank is maintained properly.
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Put me back out to sea to play with the fishies...I don't belong on land!  [img width= height= alt=SmileyCentral.com" border="0]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/25/25_7_20.gif[/img]
Spuds
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 08:08:02 AM »

I found they also lay their eggs on plant stems and on bogwood, they look like miniature shark eggs.... Karen is right about little babies being sucked up when cleaning... I used to breed them in a separate tank due to this. From 3 i got around 30 in 8 months.

My guys ate pond snails.... I actually added MTS and pond snails to the tank for the assassins.... If you keep the substrate clean you wont be overrun with snails.
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lokii_37
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 09:12:56 AM »

Feed less and you will have less snails. the snail population is directly related to the amount of food in the tank. that being said. i started with 5 assassins aout a year and a half ago. i have no other snails in my tank now. i keep another tank with MTS and ramshorns in it to feed to the assassins.

1 assassin is never going to help with the pond snail population. the reason being is that they need a male and a female to breed and they only lay one egg at a time so they breed slowly. i have seen the eggs in the gaps on my madagascar lace plant.
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Happy Trails,
Nick
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 02:34:43 PM »

I have found that they do make a dent, but a very slow one. If you have a big snail problem, get several assassins. It's one of those things where the "watched pot never boils..." Smiley Also, to me one of their most interesting behaviors is that they tend to attach to each other and you will see 2 or 3 "piggy backing" on each other for weeks or months even. Thing is, I can't tell if they are the same snails. I put a single snail in my 55 gallon tank and let him hang out for awhile to make sure my loaches didn't make a meal of him. After a few weeks I added another, within minutes they found each other and attached. They stayed in this embrace for weeks. Eventually I added 6 more for a total of 8. It's been awhile since I've read up on them, but in early reports it was thought that this was a mating behavior of some sort.

I know what you mean about your pet though... I am an ethical vegetarian and it seems that many of my companion animals seem to be passivists themselves when it comes to what they are "supposed" to eat. Smiley
Take care,
Mary.
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GB
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 12:11:08 PM »

Thanks, all! Yes, I've reduced the feeding amount and that seems to help a bit. I'll add more assassins, as well. True,I didn't really expect one assassin to make a huge difference, but would have liked to see him attacking at least one pond snail  lame

Incidentally, mary -- did you ever find out why your snails piled up on eact other? I've observed this with my nerites; I have three and sometimes find them stacked up literally 3-high....


GB
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seesaw
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2010, 12:11:45 PM »

Hi all.  I bought 2 assassin snails a couple of months ago as my tank had an infestation of nerites, and they are really laid back about doing their job!  They (the assassin's) tend to hang out together, mostly sleeping, in a small teracotta plant pot I have in the tank.  I'm pleased to say they have already bred.  I have around 10 different sized baby assassin's that I've spotted so far, from tiny to around half a cm, but suspect I have more than this as they tend to hide under the gravel.  I still have lots of nerites, so it's clear to me that the assassin's aren't greedy, but I have seen the smaller offspring eating the nerites, and there are empty shells when i hoover the tank, so the work is being done slowly but surely!  I now seem to have nerites in all of my tanks (3 of), thanks to me spreading out my plants as they grow, so will be sharing out the assassin's when they've grown a bit!  I'm also trying to assist their work by not overfeeding, and have added a baby bristlenose to the tank, so should hopefully see a difference... eventually!  happy
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seesaw
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2010, 12:17:57 PM »

And my pest snails are pond snails, not nerites, don't know why I put nerites, I like the look of nerites, hate the look of pond snails... not that there's much difference, there's just too many of them!
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Blue-ram
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 12:38:56 PM »

Good to know Thanks
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
GB
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 08:27:46 PM »

Seesaw,

I'm wondering why you have so many nerites. Do you have a brackish tank? because they supposedly don't breed in fresh water....?

GB
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seesaw
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2010, 08:42:47 PM »

Hi GB,

I mistakenly put nerites instead of pond snail, not sure why, possibly stage fright at my first post on here! lol!  I did correct myself in the very next post. 

I was also looking at types of snails before I posted too, no excuse I know, but... d'oh!

I currently have 3 freshwater tanks, mostly containing a mixture of betta splendens, livebearers and bristlenoses.

Seesaw
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Spuds
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2010, 08:11:37 AM »

Get some pics up seesaw Smiley!
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seesaw
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 09:57:19 PM »

I will when I've reached the 10 post minimum!  proud

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Blue-ram
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2010, 12:32:33 AM »

At least the assasian's are less ugly then the pond snails.  I have eight assassin snails that went on vacation.  I never see more then two at a time.  At this rate I will never run out of pond snails.  Hope the assassins did not take a party brake to multiply, with my luck............................................
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
seesaw
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2010, 10:30:21 AM »

It's quite possible, my two love their teracotta plant pot, they often return there and often are found curled up in there sleeping!  I do find empty pond snail shells in there too, which is a good/easy way to monitor whether they're doing their job!  I spotted 8 baby assassins at one time in there the other evening, which I am pleased about, as the other 2 tanks are bigger and will need more snails in there to manage I think!  They can get the smaller pond snails, I'll pull out some of the reachable ones near the top, and I'm thinking of letting a few pond snails get bigger, as I read on here that the bigger they are the less offspring they produce, but they eat more.
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Blue-ram
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2010, 10:48:40 AM »

A couple of months and your assassins have already reproduced?  I read that they control a large tanks pond snail population but may not eradicate it altogether.  What do you mean by your letting your ponds snails get a little bigger.  They are tiny and plentiful, if they get big you may have something else.  I use to have mystery snail males that would glide from the highest plants to the gravel it was so cool.  But I had to choose assassins or Mystery and not pond.  My assassins don't hang out in any one place or with each other that I know of.  I am wanted to add new fish to the tank soon and wanted the pond snail population to go down first.  I am getting impatient will probably get the fish any way after the holiday.
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
seesaw
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010, 01:19:02 PM »

Yes, I was surprised that they had too, after reading up on them before buying them.  I'm pretty sure I got them early to mid-October time. 

The idea of letting some of the pond snails grow larger to limit how many snails can survive came from here: http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=1283.0   if you're interested, I read it where David says in the bottom two paragraphs about his experiences.

I also get 'space snails' floating about in my tanks!  They remind me of slow moving spacemen!

As I've said previously, I'm not too keen on the pond snails, so wouldn't mind if they disappeared altogether.  What fish are you adding to the tank?  As some fish do eat the smaller pond snails.  My betta's appear to, and quite possibly the Mollies and Swordtails I have do too.  I know this is true, as I have no predatory snails or loaches in my community tank but tend to find empty shells in there fairly regularly.  (Unless this is down to them dying naturally...  confused)
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2010, 05:33:08 PM »

Now you got me on the floating snails,  What color are they and do they have a shell?  Could they be a leech instead? Blast I can't remember the name of the other small worm thing.  Maybe somebody else knows.  I got them once when they came in the California black worms that I feed my fish daily.  I only have one tank and want to go up one more size but you know how funds for everyone now. 
I have someone I know who has a really bad tank.  She has at least 30 baby parrot fish in this small tank but thinks this is great.  Which is crazy since the parents are in a 150g.  My tank has a strange set up I love to watch and listen to the African dwarf frogs play and croak.  I have a female discus that is about six or eight inches (sorry I can't covert to liters or meters only because I am lazy).  The girl lost her mate and she survived from the parasite with a scar on her side.  I tried to get her another mate but she rammed him.  I thought the parrot fish would avoid her for they can get big also.  The only other fish I want (since I can't have everything) is a pair of German blue rams.  I have not been able to get a female but just found a golden female and I can get lots of blue males  Thought I could put them together.  I love to watch their mating antics and their color up times and that might be cool.  The babies would not survive due to the discus but I can still watch their games. 
How long have you been into fish keeping?  Do you have live plants? See my sig for what else I have.  One of these times I should update the plant list.
Sorry I got so wordy.  I have been ill and just took a pain medication so Off I typed.
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
seesaw
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2010, 05:54:46 PM »

The floating snails are the pond snails, they float in either direction, sometimes up, sometimes down! 

I've had my tanks for around a year now, but my parents had tanks when I was little, with Oscars and everything in between in the span of 10~15 years.  My OH had a 3 foot tank at his with a 12" Gibbo plec in, nothing else.  I took the opportunity to clean it up, and add other new fish, while finding a suitable home for the plec!  He now has 3 tanks and is into breeding.  He's attempting to breed Cory's, has regular molly and swordtail fry and is now hoping to breed bristlenoses! 

I have some of the molly and swordtail offspring now in my 3 foot tank, with a bn's, in my 2 foot I have a veil tail Betta, some molly fry and partitioned off at the mo is a female crowntail Betta which I'm fattening up a bit, she's a bit behind her sibling's growth.  My 1 1/2 foot is where I have my assassins, and 2 male crowntail Betta's, also partitioned off.  All of my tanks have plants, green cabomba, moss balls, saggitalis I think, a bit of water wisteria, some twisted vallis, a bit of wood with windelov java fern that's growing like mad, some java moss, an amazon sword and something which looks like cabomba that isn't, and it grows like mad also!  These are all spread throughout my tanks, and the pesky pond snails have also managed to spread to all 3 set ups, so I see myself spreading the assassins around very soon!  That's why I don't mind them breeding so soon!

Oh and maybe you were thinking of planaria worms?  I haven't got them, but it's possibly what you were trying to think of?!

My 3 footer is a little overstocked right now, but we have a shop that takes our babies when they're 3~4 cm or over, and it's time for a visit!
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Blue-ram
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2010, 03:07:16 AM »

I did not know what OH stood for so I asked around.  Came up with some ones but the dictionary says's OH= Off the hook is this what you meant?
Are you able to post pics of your snails yet?
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2prs GBR, pair P. taeniatus 'Moliwe in holding tank adding soon, 6 sids, oto, 12 ADF 95w 6700k 2.13wpg 8hrs, planted 65g, No C02, Excel, EI for Micro and Macro fertz, 18w UV, Eheim 2126
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2010, 12:07:09 PM »

I did not know what OH stood for so I asked around.  Came up with some ones but the dictionary says's OH= Off the hook is this what you meant?
Are you able to post pics of your snails yet?

I was reading OH as Other Half in that sentence. AKA: spouse, significant other, better half, etc.  11574
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20 gal high with 8 Glofish, 3 Pristella Tetras, 3 Lemon Tetras and 2 Aspidoras.
seesaw
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2011, 12:52:40 PM »

Hi, sorry for the delay, been without internet for a while.
I meant OH to mean Other Half, sorry for the confusion!  I have taken some pics of my assassins, not the best pics but you'll see that anyway!

This one shows the adult snail bottom left, with 2 smaller offspring for size comparison:



The love nest:



So far I have moved 7 of the offspring into another tank that still has pond snails in, and there are at least 7 still in the original tank too, so all is well with them at the moment!  I really cut feeding down in the original tank, and there are no pond snails in there at all now.   Smiley  I do have bristlenoses in there, so the algae wafers and cucumber I add for them are also feeding the assassins.  I am re homing the assassin babies into my bigger tanks as their size allows, and my OH wants some assassin snails in his tanks too, so he's on a waiting list, lol!  I don't want to move the 2 adults that are breeding though, they obviously like their home and conditions in there!  I wish I could accurately count how many I have in total now, but with them being small and hiding I'm still not sure how many I do really have! I know I have spotted 14 in total so far, including the 2 original ones.
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Lilybean
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2011, 06:06:53 AM »

That baby snail is the cutest thing I've ever seen!

My three assassins seem to have eaten all the snails in my 55g, though I've only ever seen one corpse. I'm still trying to figure out what those three appendages are coming out of the front of the snail...
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Tonight the waves march
In long ranks
Cutting the darkness
With their silver shanks,
Cutting the darkness
And kissing the moon
And beating the land\'s
Edge into a swoon
seesaw
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2011, 10:46:29 AM »

The 2 smaller thinner ones are antennae (possibly with eye spots on), and the thicker tube is their siphon, like a feeding tube they use that to eat other snails/prey with.  These snails are freshwater whelks.  I found some interesting info in this forum about them http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192938 if you want to read more?
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