Jump to content

New Library Article - Clea helena - Assassin Snail


NoGi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Clea helena is one of the most sought-after species in the aquarium business as it has the capability to hunt down pest snails; thus, helping solve the snail infestation concerns in fish tanks. Except for this, they are a peaceful community tank resident. Keep reading to know more about the assassin snail.       

Appearance

5928777626_a82d82f690_b.jpgTheir shells are conical and are prominent because of their yellow and dark brown stripes – adding a splash of color inside the fish tank.

Unlike other species, it is not possible to tell which a female assassin snail is and which a male is. They breathe by sticking out their siphon – like other snails. Clea helena grows as large as 0.5 inch or 1.3 cm. However, there were reports of finding bigger snails. As the large snails age, they begin to lose the tip of their shell.    

Natural Habitat

Assassin snails are found in Southeast Asia and are native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. As freshwater aquatics, they occupy small bodies of water like streams and ponds. They prefer to live in areas where there are sandy or muddy substrates. Thus, if you are thinking about placing them in an aquarium, you should be able to reproduce a habitat like these conditions.

Care

It is so easy to look after an assassin snail. Water parameters are not essential, but to best care for them, keep them in water with medium hardness (pH 6.5-7.5). Their appearance may seem to point out that they move slowly but the truth is that they move quickly on any surface. Anyone can notice this particularly when they are hungry – and after they are fed as they disappear immediately.

Feeding

They eat other species of snails and worms, but they also devour anything they can find – including decaying fish and other small or soft-bodied invertebrates. Because of this, they do not give aquarists like you a hard time feeding them. If in case the tank has a significant population of snail, then you have nothing to worry about feeding them. Other aquarists feed them with brine shrimp, frozen blood worms and others.

Breeding

Some snails contain both the female and male reproductive organs. When they mate, they can produce eggs or young. However, these assassin snails are born a female or a male. Because you can’t tell their sex, buy 5 or 6 of them so you can at least be sure that you will have a male and a female. They mate for about 3 to 5 hours before they separate. Shortly thereafter, the female assassin snail will lay eggs (up to 4). These eggs, in a gelatinous square with a yellow centre appearance, emerge in a straight line.

Feed them meaty food as it helps in good reproduction.

Lifespan

Clea helena can live around two years, but make sure that the aquarium is well-maintained and they can easily exceed this lifespan.

 

Sources

Clea helena (assassin snail)

Clea helena 

Wikipedia

Image Sources

5928777626_a82d82f690_b.jpg PKMousie Flickr cc


View full article

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • kerkc
      By kerkc
      I've had these snails in my tank for over a year and I don't know what kind they are. They're incredibly hardy and unknowingly got them attached to some plants I got at petsmart. If anyone can ID them please help me! I live these guys and they're the only snails that have survived living with my goldfish.

    • Heidi
      By Heidi
      Hello! I'm new here and not sure if this is the way to ask questions or not so please let me know if I'm meant to do it some other way.
      I recently received 3 nerite snails last Wednesday and two were DOA (dead on arrival). Actually, there wasnt even anything inside the two shells!! One however, was alive but in bad shape as its shell was not in good condition so I am going to provide it with calcium powder soon. I've read that they take a little time to adjust to new environments but the little guy hasnt moved since he arrived. I gently tugged on his trapdoor and he resisted so I assume he is alive as he also doesn't smell rotten. I've tried putting kale or algae wafers under him but nothing ): Does fluval stratum substrate have copper in it because I've heard that they are sensitive to copper and that is the substrate I am using which I didnt even think about! 
      I was also wondering if there were any Aussie sellers here that have any of the black nerite snail variety? I heard that they are legal here but please correct me if I am wrong.
      So sorry for the long post.. any response would be greatly appreciated! ?
    • NoGi
      By NoGi
      Clea helena is one of the most sought-after species in the aquarium business as it has the capability to hunt down pest snails; thus, helping solve the snail infestation concerns in fish tanks. Except for this, they are a peaceful community tank resident. Keep reading to know more about the assassin snail.       
      Appearance
      Their shells are conical and are prominent because of their yellow and dark brown stripes – adding a splash of color inside the fish tank.
      Unlike other species, it is not possible to tell which a female assassin snail is and which a male is. They breathe by sticking out their siphon – like other snails. Clea helena grows as large as 0.5 inch or 1.3 cm. However, there were reports of finding bigger snails. As the large snails age, they begin to lose the tip of their shell.    
      Natural Habitat
      Assassin snails are found in Southeast Asia and are native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. As freshwater aquatics, they occupy small bodies of water like streams and ponds. They prefer to live in areas where there are sandy or muddy substrates. Thus, if you are thinking about placing them in an aquarium, you should be able to reproduce a habitat like these conditions.
      Care
      It is so easy to look after an assassin snail. Water parameters are not essential, but to best care for them, keep them in water with medium hardness (pH 6.5-7.5). Their appearance may seem to point out that they move slowly but the truth is that they move quickly on any surface. Anyone can notice this particularly when they are hungry – and after they are fed as they disappear immediately.
      Feeding
      They eat other species of snails and worms, but they also devour anything they can find – including decaying fish and other small or soft-bodied invertebrates. Because of this, they do not give aquarists like you a hard time feeding them. If in case the tank has a significant population of snail, then you have nothing to worry about feeding them. Other aquarists feed them with brine shrimp, frozen blood worms and others.
      Breeding
      Some snails contain both the female and male reproductive organs. When they mate, they can produce eggs or young. However, these assassin snails are born a female or a male. Because you can’t tell their sex, buy 5 or 6 of them so you can at least be sure that you will have a male and a female. They mate for about 3 to 5 hours before they separate. Shortly thereafter, the female assassin snail will lay eggs (up to 4). These eggs, in a gelatinous square with a yellow centre appearance, emerge in a straight line.
      Feed them meaty food as it helps in good reproduction.
      Lifespan
      Clea helena can live around two years, but make sure that the aquarium is well-maintained and they can easily exceed this lifespan.
       
      Sources
      Clea helena (assassin snail)
      Clea helena 
      Wikipedia
      Image Sources
      PKMousie Flickr cc
    • fishmosy
      By fishmosy
      Spiny Marsh Snail
       

       

      The Spiny Marsh Snail is an Australian native that is rarely found in the trade. This is a shame as it has an interesting shell shape and is well suited to aquarium life, providing a few simple conditions are met.
      The Spiny Marsh Snail was first described by Linneaus in 1758 as Helix amarula, with a subsequent remaining of the genus to Melania in 1822, and finally to Thiara in around 1943. It is found from the east coast of Africa, through Madagascar, north to the Philippines, through the Solomon and other Pacific Islands, and along the north-eastern coast of Australia (See Schutt & Glaubrecht, 1999 for a global distribution map). Given this widespread distribution, it is surprising that its distribution in Australia is limited. It is found from the Bloomfield River (south of Cooktown) to approximately 100km south of Cairns. Thus it is limited to around 6 major tributaries.
      The Spiny Marsh Snail is found in the lower freshwater sections of rivers, generally just above the tidal range. It is probably tolerant to low levels of salt as it would be exposed to brackish conditions in drought years, and therefore may be suitable for brackish aquaria. This requires further investigation.
      In its natural habitat, the Spiny Marsh Snail is found amongst rocks and pebbles, but also sandy areas, which is where I found them in the Johnstone River. In aquaria, they regularly bury themselves, especially when exposed to bright light. However in low light, or if the tank is densely planted or shaded, they are happy to move on top of the substrate and even climb the walls. This makes them useful for removing dead spots in substrates, but may mean they could dislodge plants in heavily planted aquaria, but I have not kept them under these conditions – something to watch for.
      I have noticed they are particularly active at night and may graze algae from the glass during this time. I've seen no indication that it eats plants, and indeed plants are generally absent from its natural habitat, other than Vallisneria or Aponogetons. They happily eat prepared foods (shrimp/fish food) as well as some greens (cucumber/zucchini). However, they seem to spend most of their time grazing.
      The Spiny Marsh Snail grows to a maximum size of approximately 50mm, perhaps slightly larger. From what I've seen, they are fairly slow growing and long lived. This makes them excellent candidates for aquaria, because unlike other pest snails, it makes it easier to control their numbers. Indeed breeding in aquaria is unlikely because it is thought the Spiny Marsh Snail releases planktonic larvae that move into the brackish/salty areas of rivers before migrating back up the river to settle. However, the true breeding habits of this snail are still unknown and present a challenge for aquarists. Nevertheless, these characteristics make it unlikely that the Spiny Marsh Snail would ever be a pest in aquaria.
      One condition that seems to be an absolute must for this snail is that pH needs to be 6.5 or above. In acidic conditions (pH < 6.0), the shell dissolves and the snails refuse to come out of their shells. If your snails are not active, check your pH. That said, this doesn't mean that they require lots of dissolved minerals (e.g. calcium carbonate). The TDS of the Johnson River where I found these was only 28 ppm at the time, so Spiny Marsh Snails may be the perfect tankmates for Neocaridina shrimp (cherries) and Australian native shrimp, but less so for Caridina (crystals, bees, etc.).
      So if you are after a snail that is good looking, hardy, a good algae eater, turns over the substrate, easy to feed, won't bloom into a pest population, is native and presents a breeding challenge, I highly encourage you to track down some Spiny Marsh Snails. Why not try a biotope tank with Vallisneria or Aponogetons and Caridina gracilirostris?
      Some additional material worth reading.
      Field trip to Johnson River, Queensland Australia with habitat description and pictures.
      http://www.naturkund...brecht_1999.pdf
      Atlas of Living Australia – shows the collection points of Thiara amarula in Australia.
      http://bie.ala.org.a...e-f394430ec676#
  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • beanbag
      yes, it's the shed shells. now that I think about it, I also remember in the video the bugs were clear, and I have seen clear ones before too, a long time ago.  But these recent ones were dark colored. So I have two tanks.  In one of them, where I normally have this problem, I have been dosing antibiotics.  The short version is that most of the shadow panda and RWP shrimp have got this disease, but they haven't died either.  But they don't recover either.  They just simply stop growing and stay at a small size with stumpy short antenna.  The first shadow panda that got this problem is still alive maybe 2-3 months later. In my other tank which often doesn't have this problem also got it, but it seems to have hit harder, where both "almost adult" shadow panda suddenly got it and died within a few days.  Antibiotics didn't save them.  It's too weird - it seems like this problem comes on suddenly, with no trigger that I can think of.  (besides "the weather was warm and I ran the air conditioned".  This doesn't actually affect the water temperatures since I have a chiller, but maybe something blew into the tank?)
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Sorry for the delay, I have been searching on here and the wider web but cannot find what you are referring too! I do know which video you are talking about and remember seeing it. The video was of a shed shell rather than a live shrimp! Are you seeing them on live shrimp? From memory I don't think it was anything to worry about and I very much doubt it would discriminate between different colours of shrimp, but was probably nothing to worry about and just part of the life in aquariums, like detritus worms and other life forms. I think they were colourless in the video, if my memory is any good? Are you still getting shadow panda deaths?
    • beanbag
      Hello folks, I remember reading about this a few years ago but for the life of me cannot find this info / thread again. Can somebody point me to a link for this info? I forgot the forum I saw it on. There was a discussion about how if you look at a shrimp molt shell under a microscope or loupe, sometimes you can see tiny "bugs" or whatever moving around inside. At that time, I think the conclusion was that maybe it was a symbiotic relationship because it even happened with healthy shrimp. But I can't remember if this occurred only in neocaridina or caridina also? I just happened to look at a shadow panda's (caridina) shell who is sick with the "shortened antenna disease" that I always complained about. There were tiny blue/black spots moving around inside.  I also looked at the molt shells of some blue bolts that don't have this problem, and there were very few, or none, spots moving around inside the molt shell. I wonder if this could be some symbiotic relationship gone wrong and is the actual (proximate) cause of the problem.  (Since antibiotics didn't really seem to work) In that case, I would need some kind of anti-parasite medication to cure the shrimps.  What are the typical internal anti-parasite medications for shrimps?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      You may end up losing this batch entirely but then you can start completely fresh and get the aquarium set up right for the next batch of shrimp! If you do any large water changes then try and add the new water slowly, either dripper or some other way. You should get yourself a TDS meter (as JayC above), they are cheap and readily available. You should always use a GH tester kit as well with shrimps, if you do the 50% water change that should halve the GH so you should get a reading after that, or if you can get a local fish store to test it for you that will give you an idea of the GH. If your water supply is as hard as it appears it may be you will need to mull over how (or even IF) you want to keep shrimps as that may mean using RO or distilled/bottled water and buying a proper shrimp specific remineraliser? That will be quite expensive but you won't then have to mess about adding crushed coral/eggshells etc, but only you can decide whether you want to do/spend that much etc? If you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain, then you can use rain water? Also, as JayC states, you need to know what you are using/adding to the water and aquarium, ie fertilizers, rocks. Unless you have very exotic plants you shouldn't need any fertilizers. Just as a note, we have come across quite a few experienced fish keeprs that have this sort of start off issues with shrimp. Shrimp are more difficult than fish, and the aquarium and water etc need to be ready and within the required parameters before getting the shrimps. Usually people jump in, get the shrimps before everything is ready/sorted. Hopefully though you will keep at it, or if this lot die you will have another go and we can help you get it sorted?
    • jayc
      These are all classic symptoms of shrimp moulting problems.   Again, another high GH symptom. High GH not only causes harder carapace (shell), but it also makes eggs harder. When the egg is harder the male finds it more difficult to fertilise the eggs.   That's a worry if you can't get a good GH reading because that is going to be most likely issue right now for you.   Because snails don't moult.    If you dont already have a TDS meter, I suggest getting one asap. It's another test to narrow down your water parameters, and not have to trust one test by it's own - in this case the GH test kit. I would wager your water parameter is too high in dissolved minerals - likely from the tap water source, fertiliser dosing and/or any rocks/crushed corals you might have in the tank. To remedy this, you need to start doing water changes with RO, distilled or rain water immediately. I would do a 50% water change with RO water asap. Then look for sources that increase GH in the tank and eliminate it - fertilisers, rocks, crush corals, shells.    It's difficult to save a shrimp who's carapace is already too hard, but hopefully any younger shrimps will benefit from the water change and the reduced GH.   Good luck and keep us updated.
×
×
  • Create New...