The Assassin Snail – scientifically known as the Anentome helena – is one of the most beautiful, and unique looking creatures that you can get for your aquariums. Its shape is so unique that it is even different from most of the other species of snails. The Assassin Snail has a unique body shape and a mixture of different colors. The depth of colors on the Assassin Snail body can be different depending on the age. Also, they have a longer lifespan as compared to most other species of snails. This means you can keep the Assassin Snail in your aquarium for a long time. Its common names include Assassin Snail or Bumblebee Snail. The first name was given to them because of their carnivorous diet, and the second name because of their bee-like colors.

Also, these snails are easy to breed, you will not have to worry about replacing them, old ones will die, meanwhile, the young ones will keep replenishing the population. It is also easy to care for, which means the new fish keepers can keep them in their aquariums and learn from them. It will add beauty to your tank and will make it look more interesting. The colorful appearance of these snails will add colors to your aquarium. Also, it is one of those species of snails that can do very well with a large number of fish species. You can put them in the same tank as most of the aquarium fish species. But before putting them in your aquariums, it is important to learn about their care. The article below will guide you about these snails and how to take care of them.

Basic Facts Table

LifespanUp to 3 years.
SizeAverage 1 inch.
ColorsBrownish-Red and Yellow Stripes
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelMinimum
CompatibilityPeaceful fish aquariums

Tank Companions

Here is a list of the possible tank mates or tank companions of the Assassin Snail.

  • Neon Tetras
  • Celestial Danios
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Guppies
  • Pearl Gourami
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Rainbowfish
  • Angelfish
  • Betta Fish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Mystery Snails
  • Nerite Snails
  • Some Shrimp Species

How To Select Tank Companions?

As mentioned above, these snails are compatible with a large number of fish species. This means you can keep them in the tank with a lot of other fish species that are not on the compatible tank mates or companions list. But you will have to make sure that the new species that you are adding to their tank is compatible with the living conditions and other important criteria. If your tank companion follows the criteria, it can be kept in the same tank as the Assassin Snail.

But if it does not, you should not keep them in the same tank as it will not be good for your tank. For example, if you introduced the wrong species of fish, snail, or shrimp in the tank of these snails, they might end up fighting, hurting, or eating one another. That will not only destroy the peace in your tank but you will also lose some of your favorite fish, snails, or shrimps. So, you need to be careful while pairing these snails with anything. Here is a list of a few things that you need to check before adding any fish, snail, or shrimp in the tank of the Assassin Snail.

Size of the tank companion: if you are introducing these snails in a fish tank where there are a lot of fish of large size, it can create problems because most of the large fish species try to attack smaller members like these snails. Often, if they cannot kill these snails, they try to hurt them or harm their shell, which makes them weaker. Large fish species are also known for their aggressive nature, which means it is not a great idea to put them in a tank with large fish species. So, when you are selecting potential tank mates, make sure that you do not put any large fish species that have big enough mouths to kill these snails or eat them.

Also, you need to make sure that you do not put them in a tank with Small Fry. Because these snails are carnivores and they eat anything smaller than them including shrimps, fry, and larvae. That means you need to make sure that the tank mate you are introducing is big enough to defend itself against these snails. So, when it comes to the size of possible tank mates, you need to make sure that you select fish species that are larger than one inch but are smaller than 5 to 7 inches. There are a lot of aquarium fish species that fit this description of size. Apart from fish, you also need to make sure that you only introduce large snails and fast-moving shrimps in their tank.

Nature of the tank companion: You also need to make sure that the tank mate you are selecting for the aquarium of Assassin Snails has a peaceful and non-aggressive nature. Aggressive fish, snail, crab species would not make a good tank mate for the Assassin Snails, because they will be under the threat from these aggressive tank mates all the time. This can result in stress and health concerns, and it can also result in physical health issues if aggressive tank mates attack them. For that reason, you need to be very careful when selecting a tank mate for these snails, and make sure that your tank companion for Assassin Snail is peaceful. There are a lot of fish, snails, and shrimps of peaceful nature that you can keep in the tank of Assassin Snails.

Living Conditions: You also need to make sure that the tank mate is compatible with the living conditions. It means that there is a chance that the tank mate you have selected, may not be able to live in the same temperature, pH levels, or water conditions. For example, you may select a fish species for the tank of Assassin Snails that lives in different types of water (brackish, marine), it won’t survive in the same tank with freshwater conditions. Also, you cannot put hard water-compatible fish in software conditions, as they will hurt the skin, and cause breathing problems. The same rule applies to all other tank mates such as shrimps, and other snail species. It is better to check these conditions before putting them in the same tank as it can cause serious health issues and the tank mates you put in the aquarium would die.

Keep Assassin Snails Together: A lot of fish keepers agree that it is better to keep the Assassin Snails together in the same tank. Keeping them alone can lead to stress, and serious health issues because of loneliness. To prevent this, you need to put more than 1 Assassin Snails in the same tank. Also, keeping them together will increase the chances of successfully breeding them in the aquarium.

Species Overview

The Assassin Snail is a species of freshwater snail, known for its unique shape, colorful body. It has multiple trade names and common names, including Assassin Snail, and Bumblebee Snail. It is called Assassin Snail because it is one of the few species of snails that are carnivores. Its other name bumblebee snail represents the brown and yellow colored stripes. These stripes not only cover the outside body of the snail but also inside the shell as well. Also, their shell is transparent to some degree, which means it reflects the outside colors on the inside when kept under bright lights.

It has an operculum, which is a structure that has a trapdoor-like appearance and mechanism. So, their shells are not just for show-off but protection. These shells are made up of calcium, which makes them strong like bones. But this shell requires these snails to consume a lot of calcium-rich food to support the growth of their shell. So, if you want to keep them in your tank, you will have to make sure that they get calcium-rich food for making the shell. They belong to the Nassariidae family. Most snails from this family live in brackish, and marine water ecosystems, but this one lives in the freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes. They are found worldwide, but they are originally from South Asia. They are one of the smallest species of snails and only grow for up to an inch.

They are easy to care for because they do not require special attention like most of the fish species in aquariums. You can put them in your tank, feed them, and keep their tank clean. These are the only basic requirements for their care. Their proper care however requires maintaining the tank conditions, providing natural habitat, cleaning the tank regularly, maintaining proper filtration, and providing the right type of diet to them.


This species of snail is called Bumblebee Snails because they have bumblebee-like stripes of yellow and brown color that cover their entire shells. Assassin Snails that live in wild habitats are known for being larger as compared to the ones that are bred in captivity, the main reasons behind this include unhealthy conditions and shortage of nutrients required for their growth and the growth of their shells. Assassin Snails have large feet outside the shell, this helps them move around in the water. This foot is slimy and remains wet, this wetness allows them to move when they are not in the water habitats.

Some Assassin Snail varieties have differences in shell colors. For example, some Assassin Snails do not have any brown stripes, which makes them look completely yellow, while some lack coloration at all. These are albinos or colorless varieties and they are very rare. It is extremely hard to find one in any aquarium. But if you are breeding them in your tank, there is a chance that you may get an albino breed or single color breed of Assassin Snails. Their feet and body are very muscular, which allows them to move using contraction, and expansion methods.

Their bodies contract at first and drag the shell towards the contraction, and after that, they expand their bodies. Which allows them to slowly move from one place to another. It is one of the slowest motion mechanisms in aquarium species, but it is effective as these snails need to carry their shell, which is heavy and attached to their bodies permanently. Another important appearance feature includes the sensory tentacles that are present on the head of this snail. At the end of these tentacles, there are two eyes, one tentacle contains one eye. They help the Assassin Snail in moving, finding food, and sensing predators in the habitat.


This species of snail is native to South Asia. They are mostly found in the rivers, lakes, freshwater streams, and moist areas of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Assassin Snail not only live in the water habitats, but they can survive in the land habitat conditions as well. In their natural habitats, these soils often get out of the water habitat and move on to the land. Their moist feet allow them to move on the wet soil. Mostly, they are found in those places where there is an abundance of small species of shrimps, snails, and fish babies as these snails often eat them.

Natural Habitat

The Assassin Snail lives in freshwater habitats of clean water, normal pH levels, and minimal hardness. They can also get out of their water habitats to walk on wet ground. Assassin Snails need a lot of calcium, so they are often found in those places that are rich in minerals including calcium, which helps them make their shell stronger and larger. In natural habitats, these snails can be longer than one inch because they have access to more calcium and food, which allows them to grow a bigger shell. It also boosts their growth and keeps them healthy. But conditions in their natural habitat can change quickly, and that is why these soils tend to leave their original habitat in search of a new one.

Assassin Snail Lifespan

Assassin Snails are known for living longer than most of the other species of snails. For example, other snail species only live for up to a year or two, meanwhile, the Assassin Snails can live for up to 3 years with proper care. But if you are not offering them excellent care, your snails will die sooner and have a shorter lifespan. For that reason, make sure to provide them excellent care and keep them healthy.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

If you are creating a tank for the Assassin Snail, you need to consider a few things. First of all, these snails need both land conditions and water habitat conditions. This means you will have to create a tank that has ground, and water habitats inside it. You can create such a tank by putting more substrate on one side of the tank and creating a curved space. So that Assassin Snails can come out of the water any time they want through that curved space. But make sure that your snails do not get out of the tank. Below are complete guidelines about creating a perfect tank for the Assassin Snail.

Tank Size

Selecting an appropriately sized tank for Assassin Snails is very important. Because if you selected a smaller tank, your snails would not get enough oxygen, and smaller tanks also lead to territorial disputes and fights among tank mates. To prevent this you need to select a medium-sized tank that can house your snails and any other tank companions that you are planning on keeping in that tank. If you want to add fish to that tank, you should consider the number of fish, and fish per gallon ratio, and select a tank according to that.

Here are a few recommendations for the tank size of the Assassin Snail aquarium. If you are only keeping the Assassin Snails or some other species of snails in your aquarium, you only need a 5 to 10 gallons tank. But if you want to add small fish in your tank along with the Assassin Snails, then you will have to select a large tank of up to 25 gallons capacity. But if you want to add multiple fish of medium to large size, you will need a much bigger tank. A 50-gallon tank will be enough for goldfish, and Assassin Snails.

Tank Setup

After selecting an appropriately sized tank, you will have to start working on creating a tank habitat. As mentioned above, this part is tricky because you will not just have to create a water habitat, but also a habitat outside the water as well. You should divide your tank into two different parts. The first part of your tank should contain the water habitat for your fish, and snails, meanwhile a small part of your aquarium should be kept outside of the water habitat. This small land habitat will allow the snails to come out any time they want.

You need to start from the bottom layer while creating a tank setup. Start by putting a two to three inches deep layer of the substrate of soft nature in the bottom of the tank. Along with this substrate, you can also add sand, and stones with no edges. After that, you can start adding ornaments, such as driftwood, caves, and other decorations. You will also have to put some plants in the aquarium. Plants are very important for the aquatic habitat of these snails as they need a place for shelter and hiding.

Also, they lay their eggs under the leaves of the plants. Make sure to add real plants, and not the fake ones as they will offer almost no benefit. After that, you will have to add a filtration system in your tank to keep the water clean, and a temperature control system or water heater to maintain the normal temperature in the tank. You should also add some lights in the tank to keep it lit during the night. You can use a lid to cover the tank and prevent the snails from climbing the walls of your tank to get out of the tank.

Water Conditions/Parameters

After creating a setup, you will have to check the parameters inside your tank and adjust them for the Assassin Snails. These taken conditions or parameters include temperature, pH levels, and hardness of the water. Here are some recommendations related to these parameters.

  • Water Temperature should be kept between 70 to 80 °F.
  • The pH levels should be maintained neutral to slightly alkaline.
  • Water hardness should be kept under 15 dKH.

It is important to maintain these parameters because they impact directly on the health of your fish and snail species in the tank. If you fail to maintain these parameters, your tank mates will die.

Water Source

You can use water from any source of your choice, including tap water, water from a river, lake, pond, or freshwater streams. But you will need to test that water before using it as water may contain contaminants that can kill your Assassin Snail population. This water should also be filtered before adding to the tank. Using water without checking can lead to health issues in the tank, and can cause the spread of diseases, which would kill the fish, snails, and anything else in your tank. For that reason, you should test the water before using it.

Behavior and Temperament

It is peaceful but a predator species of snails. Assassin Snails are known for killing shrimps, small fish, and even other snail species for food. But they only attack other species in the tank if you are not providing them enough food. So, make sure that you provide them with enough food and they will not fight. Also, to prevent fighting, you should use a larger tank. A larger tank would have more space for every member of the tank, hence reducing the chances of fights. Assassin Snails are also known for being active during the nights and sleeping during the days.

Breeding Assassin Snail

Breeding the Assassin Snails is very easy. They often do it by themselves and require almost no intervention. But if you want to increase the chances of successfully breeding them, you should keep them in a separate breeding tank and allow them to mate, spawn, and produce offspring. The only issue in their breeding cycle is that you will have to select females and males carefully because they look the same. You should add multiple snails in the same tank to increase the chances of success. These snails breed using the eggs, which means you will have to look after their eggs for about 21 days until they hatch. You should keep the young ones away from the grown-ups to avoid being eaten.

Diet of Assassin Snail

Assassin Snails have a carnivorous diet, which is unlike most of the other gastropods as they only eat algae, and plant leaves. So, if you want to provide these snails with a balanced diet in your tank, you should select live insect larvae, shrimps, fish babies, and other types of live foods. You can also feed them frozen meat in the form of pellets.

Diseases of Assassin Snail

Here is a list of the possible diseases of Assassin Snails.

  • Parasitic Diseases: Parasitic diseases are deadly for the Assassin Snails as they can kill the whole population. The most common cause behind these parasitic diseases is unclean water use, or not cleaning the tank for a long time. There are no specific treatments for these issues, the only thing that you can do is to clean the tank and keep the sick ones quarantined.
  • Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections often attack the foot and internal body of the snails. These are also deadly as they can quickly spread and kill the infected snail. But the chances of these infections spreading are low as they only spread if snails engulf something that contains bacteria or when the snails are hurt. These can be treated using medications.

What is the Ideal Size For The Tank?

The ideal size for the tank of Assassin Snails is 15 gallons, which is enough to accommodate a few small fish, some shrimps, and a healthy colony of Assassin Snails.

Is Assassin Snail Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

Assassin Snails are a freshwater species of snails found in South Asia.

Conclusion – Is Assassin Snail Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Assassin Snails are one of the most beautiful, and unique-looking species of snails. Also, these snails are easy to breed and easy to care for. Which makes them a perfect choice for almost any aquarium. Also, you can keep them with a lot of species of fish, snails, and shrimps. So, if you are wondering if they are suitable for your aquariums or not, you should consider their beauty, uniqueness, and ease of care. These arguments are enough to say that “yes” these snails are a perfect choice for your aquarium.


Question: How many Assassin Snails should I get?

Answer: You should get at least 5 to 10 Assassin Snails for your tank. You can get more for your tank if you are planning on building a larger tank, but for a small and medium-sized aquarium, 10 will be enough. Also, these snails can breed quickly, which means they will increase in number even if you add only five or ten initially.

Question: How Does an Assassin Snail kill other snails?

Answer: Assassin Snails have specialized structures in their mouth, they use these tentacles like structures to invade the shells of other snails. After invading the inner part of the other snails’ shells, they kill them and eat them.

Question: What are the common names of Anentome Helena?

Answer: The common names of Anentome Helena include, Bumblebee Snail, and Assassin Snail. The name Bumblebee refers to the brown and yellow stripes that cover its shell, and the name Assassin Snail was given to them as they are predators and killers of other snails.

Leave a Reply