Clea Helena – Everything You Need to Know About the Great Assassin Snail

Assassin Snail – If you like the inhabitants of your aquarium to keep the tank clean for you, you need to consider having Clea Helena with you.

The Assassin Snail or known as the Snail Eating Snail is a small and easy-to-keep freshwater invert that is totally harmless towards shrimps and fish. It’s an extraordinary attractive in planted aquariums, which features a bright yellow along with the chocolate brown striped shell.

If you observed in the wild, you will find this creature living in a fast flowing and clean streams with muddy or sandy substrates, though they’re also tolerant to a wide selection of water conditions, including ditches and ponds, which makes them a good addition to any home aquarium.

Did you know Assassin Snail?

assassin snail

Did you know that the Clea Helena is very different? The Assassin Snail nourishes on both scavenged detritus and live prey.

They are able to stay partially in the hidden underneath the sediment and when a snail its size slides past, they will give a chase and devour it. Otherwise, it is a peaceful community tank resident. Further, first are at no harm at all once mobile.

There’s a very good reason why these species is sought after as the assassin snail. When it does not have decaying protein to eat, these species get predatory, meaning it attacks worms and other kinds of snails.

When hunting, it traps its unsuspecting prey, covers itself around the aperture of the shell of its victim, and continues to eat the creature alive. Nevertheless, it is this very trait, which makes the assassin favored among few aquarium keepers.

If you are wondering why a person would like to have a homicidal creature like Clea Helena in their fish tank, the answer here is that apart from the sadistic pleasure of seeing it eat hapless preys alive is it’s good for pest control.

Aquarium keepers and fish lovers might find their tanks overrun along with unwanted ramshorn, pond snails and tadpole, and Malaysian trumpet, and the assassin snail could help with this case.

In an aquarium environment, a lot of tropical fish keeping fanatics find Clea Helena totally effective in lessening nuisance snail populations, and as long as the condition of the water is right and there’s enough supply of food, they’re relatively easy to keep.


assassin snail care

The Assassin Snail is often called as Clea Helena. This is a member of the whelk group Buccinidae and one of the few whelks, which resides its whole life in freshwater habitats. Some of the typical names on this species are “Snail-Eating Snail” and “Assassin Snail”.

On the other hand, Tylomelania are members of the Pachychilidae family, a freshwater-dwelling group in the predominantly marine Cerithioidea family of gastropods.

You will find several Tylomelania species and all of them are telling apart is complicated. A lot of retailers trade them as Tylomelania, or some under trade names like Helmet Snails, , Rabbit Snails and other many names.


assassin snail breeding

Assassin Snail is typically has a conical, dark and yellow-brown striped shell that makes assassin snail a good addition to a lot of aquarium, not only the ones with a pest snail infestation. They normally breed to a maximum size of around 1.3 cm, even though those slightly bigger snails have been published.

The same with other snail species we have today, they use a siphon that can normally be seen sticking out of the shell. Identifying females and males apart is not really feasible.

Its shell, which is conical in shape includes of yellowish and dark brown tan bands, resulting to some people to mention to this snail as the bumblebee snail.

Typically, the snail will spend most of its time buried in its substrate. They’re less active during the middle of the day but they sense food and will become active when fed.


assassin snail eggs

Assassin Snail is comprised of defined male and female species which, aren’t hermaphroditic. At present, it does not determine how to assess which one is male or female. Both male and female Clea Helena appear to be the same shape and size.

When we talk about mating, the male and female Clea Helena locks together for several hours. You will notice that the female Clea Helena lays clear egg capsules that are square in shape and size. The egg capsules are normally laid on solid surfaces and the eggs hatch in a few weeks.


snail assassin

Little is informed about the ecology of Clea Helena in the wild; however, it’s known to happen in a range of freshwater habitats including rivers, streams, reservoirs and lakes, normally in areas with a soft substance like mud. In some areas, it might be among the dominant gastropod species.

However, under the aquarium conditions, it doesn’t seem to be fussy regarding the water chemistry or the food but it will be exterminated if not kept sufficiently warm, meaning that as a tropical species, it will not adjust to non-tropical conditions.


freshwater assassin snail

The same with other snails out there, Clea Helena will not perform well in the water that’s too acidic or soft. While the exact water chemistry standards don’t seem to be important, it is important that you aim for a moderately hard to hard water along with a PH above neutral (10 to 20 degrees, dH, pH 7 to 8).

Take note that there are freshwater snails and salt is not needed in the water. The quality of the water is very critical. Compare to other freshwater snails, these species are kept by many hobbyists. They are not breathing snails like Apple Snails and they will not do good in tanks that have inadequate oxygen or poor water circulation.


assassin snail disappeared

Did you know that assassin snail is a digging species and does not appropriate in tanks that have sandy substrate? When nothing else, this offers the aquarists a chance to observe the natural behavior of the species.

Further, it’s more likely to breed successfully in a tank that has sandy substrate given that the juvenile snails somewhat spend most time hidden underground.


assassin snail petsmart

This type of snails not very hard to feed because they would eat any meat left out for them. You could not mistake them to be scavengers. These snails also eat leftover fish food. The eating habits they have are stable and easy to determine. The catfish pellets are a good example of the foods suited the snails to eat.

If you are seeking more alternatives, it would also be best to try the brine shrimp, Mysis, and the krill. These seem very popular to a large number of fish owners. The small portions of lance fish are not easy to ignore but you have to feed it in the right amount to any sort of problems to come along your way.


assassin snail size

If you are determined to breed it, you would not have a problem at all. Compared to other snails, it would be not considered a pet.

Being a carnivorous snail, the breeding process would not take that long as you long you feed it with the right amount of meat. Putting it in the right aquarium would make it easy for you to support a large population of it.

Since it is difficult to determine the female from the male assassin snail, you just have to observe the clustering of the snails. The clustering process usually takes several hours. Both the male and female snails separate ways after the mating process to lay their eggs.

The eggs are usually transported in the forms of blobs. The breeding process would take about eight weeks to a duration of six months. The lifespan of the amazing assassin snail is about two years.

On the other hand, Tylomelania spp. is almost but not quite livebearers. They are difficult to mate but once the mating begins, the females quickly separate living the male snails. At this point, the female is ready to hatch the eggs in only a few minutes.

The eggs are now released an hour. Then, the juvenile snail creeps out from the shell. Now, you would witness the juvenile has a shell, which is 5 mm in length and can be reared alongside the adults without problems


assassin snail lifespan

Since the Clea Helena is a predator, it has the capacity to eat the other snails that are smaller compared to it. It might even have a great interest in the fish food you are feeding your fish.

Despite all these, the Assassin Snail would not bother to eat the other snails bigger than it did. The Nerite Snails, ANDTylomelania on the other hand, seem to have coexistence with the snail.

On a different note, both the Clea Helena and Tylomelania spp. are vulnerable to predation when kept with large fish.  Bigger fishes have a large capacity it due to the large sizes of the fishes.

Pufferfish,Cichlids, loaches and catfish are likely to have the assassin snail and the smaller Tylomelania as possible food due to the smaller sizes it has.

If you like to keep your Snail assassin safe most of the time, you could choose amongtetras, non-nippy barbs, rainbowfish, livebearers, Corydoras catfish, bristle nose catfish and much more as good companions for the snail.


assassin snail anatomy

The Clea Helena is termed as the assassin snail due to the great killing ability they have on the smaller snails. However, the question is, are this kind of snails worth keeping o breeding.

If you would observe on the breeding part, it is easy to breed but you have to follow other considerations. In doing so, you are preparing to have a healthy breeding and keeping of the snail.

For example, in monitoring a runaway Malayan Livebearing Snail is to use four to six Clea Helena per 60 liters of water.

Given that this would not kill the Malayan Livebearing Snails, the Assassin Snail, on the other hand, would maintain the population of them minor that they are no longer troublesome. In addition, they would have the chance to eat the other species of fishes they could find in their resting habitat.

This would be a great ease to a large number of fish keepers because the lessening of a great number of pests would not bother them all the time.


assassin snail where to buy

Aside from the keeping of snails, the Tylomelania is a good kind of scavenger due to the ability of it to any leftover fish food and bones. Any other means of scavenger work could be mad by Tylomelania. A fish keeper would be typically happy about the reliability of it as a form of scavenger.

However, there is still no assurance that a snail would be entirely be cleaned by snails. However, you have to keep in mind that with the help of Tylomelania, the job would be closer to what you are expecting. In this way, you have a big chance making sure there are no other forms of scavengers inside your aquarium.

Clea Helena and Tylomelania spp. has more to attract the aquarium fanatics keeping gentle, small  freshwater fish. This is due to the ability they have as scavengers together with the right and effective way of keeping the aquarium clean most of the time.

Compared to the current species on sell, these snails are more less likely to become a pest, and once stable, easy to maintain.

Yes, with these type of snails, it would be easy for you to have a right time in breeding and maintaining them. Aquarists deserve the right to have the fishes in their aquarium safe and the emergence of these snails make it easier.

While you are not quite at the phase of having a freshwater reef tank, those snails are a good several steps in that direction! Rest assured, in keeping them, you have a better chance of having the best habitat for your fish. Hence, it would be a good way to have and breed these snails.

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