Assassin snails can be a very popular option in many fish tanks due to their ability to manage the population of the other freshwater snails in the aquarium due to their primary food source actually being other snails.
Although assassin snails tend to reproduce slowly, other freshwater snails can reproduce considerably quicker and swarm a fish tank in a surprisingly short period of time, this is why many people opt to keep a single assassin snail in their tank to manage the rest of the snail population.
Some store-bought assassins snails may already be pregnant though and start to lay their eggs in your tank with adult male and female assassin snails in the same tank mating if they get the chance and water conditions are correct.
Although this is rare compared to other freshwater snail species, we have seen a steady increase in the number of questions being asked about baby assassin snails recently so we have decided to publish this dedicated article on the topic.
We have compiled all of the common questions that we see members of the community asking each month and decided to answer them all in this article.
What Do Baby Assassin Snails Eat?
Although adult assassin snails tend to prefer to eat other snails as their primary food source, this can be a difficult task for assassin snail babies due to their small size.
This is why a baby assassin snail tends to prefer to eat discarded food on the bottom of the tank, algae, and any other type of food that it is able to easily scavenge.
Due to adult assassin snails eating their babies, the natural instinct of a baby assassin snail is usually to burrow into the substrate of the tank as soon as they emerge from their egg.
Any worms or other common live food hiding in the substrate will also make a quick and easy meal for them helping them get some much-needed nutrients to grow as fast as possible.
Unless you have your baby assassin snails in a segregated tank to protect them from the other inhabitants of your main aquarium, it can be difficult to feed them directly as your fish and other snails will usually take the food before your assassin snails get the choice.
That said though, there is usually plenty of food available for a baby assassin snail in the average aquarium so they will usually not need to be fed directly.
Will Adult Assassin Snails Eat Baby Assassin Snails?
An adult assassin snail will eat a baby assassin snail if it gets the chance, even if it is its own baby.
This is why the first instinct of a baby assassin snail that has just hatched is to dig into the substrate of the aquarium as quickly as possible to hide from other assassin snails who may be wanting to make a meal of it.
Due to assassin snails reproducing at a considerably slower pace than other types of commonly kept snails in aquariums, some people will move a baby assassin snail into its own aquarium if possible.
You usually only need a very small body of water for a baby assassin snail but they will often grow at a rapid pace and get to a size where they are able to be placed back into your main tank in around four to six weeks.
Keep in mind though, if you put multiple baby assassin snails in the same body of water to try and protect them from adult assassin snails, they may try to eat each other.
This is why assassin snails are such a pain to breed due to the slow reproduction rate and the adults as well as other babies trying to eat the smaller baby assassin snails drastically reducing their survival rates.
How To Take Care Of Assassin Snail Babies?
If you do find assassin snail babies in your tank and you want to keep them it is a good idea to move them into their own tank for protection until they are larger.
Feeding a baby assassin snail is usually much easier than people initially think too as they are scavengers and will eat almost anything that other fish or snails would normally eat.
As we touched on earlier in the article though, other baby assassin snails will also try to eat baby assassin snails so if you do want to move them into their own tank or body of water, you usually have to put a single baby assassin snail into each tank.
This can end up taking a large amount of resources but we have seen some people get very creative with small mason jars and basically build out a dedicated nursery for baby assassin snails to try and give them the best possible chance of survival with a single baby in each jar.
The majority of deep dweller food products will usually be a food primary food source for a baby assassin snail to help them grow as quickly as possible.
Some people do offer them very small amounts of cuttlebone too as the additional calcium can help their shell grow in much better than a normal food product.
How To Get Rid Of Baby Assassin Snails?
The vast majority of people who have baby assassin snails in their aquarium will not have to take action to get rid of them as the adult assassin snails in the tank will usually eat them.
There are also a number of fish and shrimp that will also eat them while they are still small babies drastically reducing the odds of them being able to get to adulthood.
Some people will take additional steps to getting risk of baby assassin snails in their tanks though and adding a Clown Loach or Cory Catfish will usually be enough to get the job done as they will eat a large number of baby assassin snails that they find.
Both options also offer other potential benefits depending on your setup and situation so they may be worth looking into anyway. We have seen a number of people attempt to manually remove all of the baby assassin snails in their aquarium to try and rehome them or sell them online.
Although this can work, it does usually tend to take a large amount of time with it often being difficult to rehome baby assassin snails as the majority of people who want one in their tank will have already purchased one from their local pet store anyway.
What Do Baby Assassin Snails Look Like?
Baby assassin snails are usually all cream and much smaller than an adult assassin snail.
Depending on their age, their shell may not have taken its final shape yet so they may not have a traditional swirled assassin snail shell shape yet but this will usually form within the first few weeks after emerging from their egg.
Although the majority of newly hatched assassin snails will bury into the substrate in the tank as quickly as possible, after a few days, as their shell hardens they will start to climb the sides of your aquarium. This makes them easy to see allowing you to take a good luck at them.
What Colour Are Baby Assassin Snails?
Baby assassin snails are usually a light cream color when they hatch from their eggs but the gold and brown color of adult assassin snails will quickly start to develop.
Although the conditions of your tank will come into play, a baby assassin snail can start to have its shell turn from its cream color to its gold and brown color within days of hatching from its egg.
How Often Do Assassin Snails Lay Eggs?
Assassin snails will usually lay a single egg at a time with each pairing usually resulting in the assassin snail laying between twenty and fifty fertilized eggs depending on the conditions in the tank.
This can result in assassin snail eggs being spread over a wide are of the tank but fish, shrimp, and other snails will often eat a large number of them.
Assassin snails can be very picky with when they will breed with the water conditions in the aquarium and food supply being the two main factors that come into play.
If conditions are ideal then the assassin snail may mate and lay eggs as frequently as every six weeks but this does tend to be very rare.
The assassin snail eggs then usually take around two months to hatch and produce an actual baby assassin snail.
This is why it can be difficult to actively breed assassin snails in your main aquarium as the eggs are vulnerable to being eaten by the occupants of your tank for too long meaning that the assassin snail population in your tank is usually taken care of.
That brings our article going over taking care of baby assassin snails in your aquarium to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many people as possible and it is important to realise that the odds really are stacked against them due to so many other animals in your tank usually seeing them as a source of food. This is why people trying to actively breed assassin snails will put the babies into their own containers as quickly as possible to try and protect them from predators.