Question What to feed assassin snails when the pest snails are gone

SpeedyFish

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I bought three assassin snail last year to get rid of my MTS that infested my tank before I changed to a Cichlid tank. Since then i've seen more dead MTS shells than live ones and the assassin snails had babies. Now I'm in a situation that I may run out of MTS for them to feed on. What should I feed my assassin snails if my pest (MTS) snails are gone? I'm afraid to reintroduce anymore pest snails in my tank. Is there any other food substance I can feed them without the fish eating them also?

Info on tank. Saulosi tank with no plants, but plenty of red algae on rocks
 

Heron

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My assassin snails ran out of pest snails years ago. I haven't fed them since and they still survive. I assume they are just eating the food the fish leave behind on the substrate.
I am feeding that tank with flake, algae wafers and plec pellets so the snails must be eating one of those.
 

AngryRainbow

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My assassin snails cleared my pest snail problem. I had a really bad problem, so the assassins bred quite a lot while taking care of it. Since the tank has been clear for a while, the number of assasins I've seen has gone down, so they've either died back or are just waiting in the sand. But the ones I do see occasionally are happily eating left over fish food.

If you wanted to get a treat just for them, I once put a clam on half a shell in the tank and it was quickly swarmed by assasins.
 

mattgirl

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Once my assassins cleaned out what I considered pest snails at the time I wondered what I would feed them. I found some ramshorn snails in one of my filters. I put them in their own 2.5 gallon jar and allowed them to breed in there.

I just pull some out from time to time and put them in the tanks for the assassins. The ramshorns have time to do a bit of house keeping in the tank before the assassins find and devour all of them. I no longer consider the ramshorns or pond snails a problem. They do have their place in our tanks but their numbers do need to be kept under control.

BTW: Assassins will eat and thrive on any of the regular fish foods we feed our fish. I prefer feeding them some of their favorite food when ever I can though.
 

mattgirl

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So, the Assassin Snails do not become a pest in themselves?
They do breed in my tanks but not nearly as fast as ramshorn, bladder or pond snails. I have kept mine low in numbers by selling some along the way. Another of the good things about them, they spend the majority of their time moving through the sand so keep it stirred.
 

angelcraze

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I've had assassins in my 90g for years and no pest snails. They definitely eat shrimp pellets and algae wafers that the plecos eat. There are pieces left over for them even though the fish pick at them and move them around. I feed the plecos when the light is out and place them in caves or tight areas the fish can't access as well. That's when the assassins are out and more active as well.

If I feed more algae wafers and shrimp pellets, I see babies. If I don't feed as much, they can go years without actually reproducing. So if I wanted to breed them, I would feed them blood worms and lots of shrimp pellets, basically feed them more. If I don't want to, they just survive off of fish food. I really have no idea how many I have in there, I rarely even see an empty shell. With that said, I bet they are keeping the pleco population down by eating the eggs too. They are certainly healthy, but I don't find they can be included in the pest snail category.

I really love my assassin snails. They are so pretty, they are not all around during the day, mostly spend their time half buried in the substrate and in caves, easy to control and keep my pleco population in check.
 

Foxxway

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I've been thinking of getting some assassins as my snails (all types) are getting crazy populations. Do they eat mystery snails, though? Even though the mystery snails are legion, I'm planning on selling them and don't want them neutralized. I also plan to get trapdoor, rabbit and some other species.
 

angelcraze

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I've been thinking of getting some assassins as my snails (all types) are getting crazy populations. Do they eat mystery snails, though? Even though the mystery snails are legion, I'm planning on selling them and don't want them neutralized. I also plan to get trapdoor, rabbit and some other species.
I wouldn't risk it. I have 2 nerites (a trap door snail) with assassins for 3 years in a 33g, no problems, but they decimated the MTS snails. You could always let them get rid of the pest snails, then remove them before you get the snails you want.
 

AngryRainbow

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I've been thinking of getting some assassins as my snails (all types) are getting crazy populations. Do they eat mystery snails, though? Even though the mystery snails are legion, I'm planning on selling them and don't want them neutralized. I also plan to get trapdoor, rabbit and some other species.

when I added a couple rabbit snails to my tank they were instantly swarmed by the assasins. I also tried adding nerites at one point and those lasted a few months but eventually they disappeared as well and I found empty shells so I think it was they were assasinated. I wouldn't risk it if you want to sell the mystery snails
 

mattgirl

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I've been thinking of getting some assassins as my snails (all types) are getting crazy populations. Do they eat mystery snails, though? Even though the mystery snails are legion, I'm planning on selling them and don't want them neutralized. I also plan to get trapdoor, rabbit and some other species.
I wouldn't chance it myself. The only tank I have without assassins is the one where my nerite lives.
 

angelcraze

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I was planning on feeding my assassin snails either frozen bloodworms or frozen mussels, but how do I keep my Saulosi Cichlids from eating the food designed for the snails?
I don't think you could unless you place it somewhere the cichlids can't fit. I usually feed the assassins/plecos at night and hide the food in plants or caves. I also feed the fish at the same time because they will smell the pleco food and go looking for it. My fish still find the food for snails and plecos, but it helps. Hopefully the snails are getting meaty pieces that the fish leave behind.
 
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SpeedyFish

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I don't think you could unless you place it somewhere the cichlids can't fit. I usually feed the assassins/plecos at night and hide the food in plants or caves. I also feed the fish at the same time because they will smell the pleco food and go looking for it. My fish still find the food for snails and plecos, but it helps. Hopefully the snails are getting meaty pieces that the fish leave behind.
I may have to get a small bottle large enough just for the snails to enter and eat in peace. Hopefully that would work and they would find the food. Worst case I would try to scatter or bury the bloodworms in areas only the worms can get to.
 

AngryRainbow

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The bottle should work. I used a water bottle to try to trap some kuhli loaches when I wanted to move them and I always caught my assasian snails also.

And with the frozen clam, honestly no other fish went for it for me. It smelled pretty bad. And I have blood parrots that think everything that enters the tank is meant for them. So you may find your inhabitants ignoring it as well.
 
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SpeedyFish

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The bottle should work. I used a water bottle to try to trap some kuhli loaches when I wanted to move them and I always caught my assasian snails also.

And with the frozen clam, honestly no other fish went for it for me. It smelled pretty bad. And I have blood parrots that think everything that enters the tank is meant for them. So you may find your inhabitants ignoring it as well.
I think bloodworms would be a better choice.
 
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