Assassin snails eat live shrimp!
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
bigshrimpin
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Assassin snails eat live shrimp!


I know that there has been controversy on whether assassin snails eat shrimp or not. Well, I am here to tell you that they DO! I received 8 assassin snails yesterday and I put them in my red cherry shrimp tank. This is a breeder tank and it has over 150 shrimp. I have just as much pond snails in there as well. I decided to try and reduce the pond snail population by adding some assassin snails. I put the assassin snails in the tank at 10pm and this morning there were 3 adult red cherry shrimp that were dead and one still being eaten. The night before all the shrimp were alive and healthy. I havenít lost a shrimp in over 2 months so I know that they were all healthy. One assassin snail was still sucking out the meat of a red cherry shrimp . I just wanted everyone to know that if you have a high population of shrimp and you want to add assassin snails to your tank be prepared to loose some shrimp.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:06 PM   #2
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These are usually freak accidents. Your assassins must've been very hungry when you added them into the tank.
I'm a believer that assassins do/can/will eat shrimp when the opportunity is there. I was one of the first few people who experienced assassins eating their shrimp! I lost a blue pearl :-(
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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Were these wild caught or tank raised....?

I investigating these these further I am finding most case happen right after introduction and are wild caught snails. It means that they have gone for a long long period of time without being fed. Shrimp are native to their range so it makes sense that they would be on the menu, but tank raised are usually fed on a regular basis and are used to snails being easier prey, and more common than shrimp. I doubt that this will be an ongoing thing once they settle in. I have several tanks with 200+ shrimp and large amounts of assassins all tank raised with no shrimp kills.

Also pond/bladder snails are not high on the menu choices for assassins they prefer Ramshorns and MTS style snails. They will take the ponds/bladders down but usually when all other snails of eating size are gone or when they happen to just stumble on one and it is an easy catch. Bladders/ponds can both outrun an assassin.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:27 AM   #4
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The tank is a ten gallon and the shrimp are very dense in there. I can see why the assassins decided to go for the easiest meal (shrimp) since they were probably starving. The pond snails I am trying to reduce are the size of a BB, would the assassin snails be able to get at them? I have put some pond snails and blood worms in the new assassin snail tank just to get them by while I attain some MTS and Ramshorns.

The assassins were tank raised and they were only in the mail for 2 days.

Should I try and reintroduce them once they have been well fed?

Last edited by bigshrimpin; 04-11-2009 at 08:30 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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IMO, you shouldn't risk it if there's another tank they can go in.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshrimpin View Post
The tank is a ten gallon and the shrimp are very dense in there. I can see why the assassins decided to go for the easiest meal (shrimp) since they were probably starving. The pond snails I am trying to reduce are the size of a BB, would the assassin snails be able to get at them? I have put some pond snails and blood worms in the new assassin snail tank just to get them by while I attain some MTS and Ramshorns.

The assassins were tank raised and they were only in the mail for 2 days.

Should I try and reintroduce them once they have been well fed?
Thanks for the info I will add it to my growing database of stats. I would say this is probably a case of easiest meal. I know my assassins feed daily and just because they were tank raised doesn't mean they got the right foods. I know a lot of people that feed their assassins blood worms and such but no live foods so first shot they get at live they jump on it.

If you can find out what the snails were eating at the sellers end that info would also be a big help.

I would say reintroduce, but if all you have are bladder/ponds that are that small then the assassins may not be looking at them as a food source. They usually like snails half as big to half again bigger than they are and leave the smaller snails alone either for the younger assassins or until they grow to eating size.

Again thanks for the detailed feedback.

Have you read this yet? Assassin Snails It explains all the details of Assassins that I have been able to gather and verify.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounguru View Post
I would say reintroduce, but if all you have are bladder/ponds that are that small then the assassins may not be looking at them as a food source. They usually like snails half as big to half again bigger than they are and leave the smaller snails alone either for the younger assassins or until they grow to eating size.
This is always my experience with assassins. They seem to prefer snails half their size and larger while ignoring smaller ones until they are at a size just right for the assassins. I had upgraded their meal to juvenile canas and they like taking those down in groups.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:45 AM   #8
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Maybe the shrimp were weak and died of old age.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebichua View Post
These are usually freak accidents. Your assassins must've been very hungry when you added them into the tank.
I'm a believer that assassins do/can/will eat shrimp when the opportunity is there. I was one of the first few people who experienced assassins eating their shrimp! I lost a blue pearl :-(
were there a lot of blue shrimp in the tank?
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrylR View Post
Maybe the shrimp were weak and died of old age.
again, the shrimp were all fine and I haven't lost a shrimp in several months. can't see several dying over night all at the same time.
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
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I have had that happen in a tank with no assassins. I lost like 5 in one night due to unknown factors and then the tanks were fine for 4 months then bam another small loss.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:12 PM   #12
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Somebody needs to tell my Cherry shrimp tank (20 gallon long) that they could be in trouble. I have at least two dozen Assassins in there.

http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/100_2898.jpg
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:13 PM   #13
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A while back I saw your post and will totally agree that they do infact eat live shrimp..... I lost a nice growing colony of Orange Eye blue tiger shrimp.... grrr..... tough lesson to learn.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebichua View Post
These are usually freak accidents. Your assassins must've been very hungry when you added them into the tank.
I'm a believer that assassins do/can/will eat shrimp when the opportunity is there. I was one of the first few people who experienced assassins eating their shrimp! I lost a blue pearl :-(
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:17 AM   #14
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hey northsider, welcome to the forum. Its nice to have a north Chicago suburb represented. I am in Skokie and get to buffalo grove every now and then. If you are looking to trade anything let me know. I have a butt load of mini pellia with a slight staghorn problem I want to get rid of.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purgatori27 View Post
Somebody needs to tell my Cherry shrimp tank (20 gallon long) that they could be in trouble. I have at least two dozen Assassins in there.

http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...s/100_2898.jpg
2 dozen that is all. I have 80 in one tank alone ... you'se got some catchin' up to do... The cherrys in there think the assassins make a nice feeding ground...

Yes Assassins will eat shrimp, but it is not a common or even an uncommon thing it is really rare. So I have a hard time swallowing that a whole colony was wiped out unless the snails were desperate for food since they had no snails to eat or you were not feeding them a high protien replacement food like bloodworms.

Most cases are wrong time wrong place, really dumb shrimp (which need to be taken out of the gene pool for stupidity anyway) or starved assassins. If you loss an entire colony it was because you starved the assassins or they were feeding on dying shrimp which is my first guess. I have kept assassin in large #'s with equally large #'s of shrimp and never had a recorded loss. I have also tried to recreate instances where an assassin would go after a shrimp and have not to this day been able to recreate it.

The main point with any predatory critter is to make sure that they have access to a healthy amount of their preferd food source. If that food source is not present then they will go after the next thing on the menu. I think this case is another case of hungry assassins eating on either already dead or dying shrimp or a case of first live prey they encountered and were starving.

Either way it has been added to my database and thanks again for the info bigshrimpin.
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