Assassin Snails Out Of Water? Top 5 Reasons And Solutions!

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Have you ever noticed your assassin snails hanging out near the waterline of your aquarium? You might be wondering if these snails can live outside of water or if there’s something wrong with your tank. Keep reading to learn more!

Can Assassin Snails Live Out Of Water?

First things first: Assassin snails are freshwater creatures, so they can’t survive for long periods of time outside of water. These snails need to stay hydrated in order to breathe and move around, so they need access to water in order to survive.

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How Long Can Assassin Snails Live Out Of The Aquarium Water?

While assassin snails can’t live outside of water indefinitely, they can survive out of water for short periods of time.

However, the longer they stay out of the water, the more stressed they’ll become and the more likely they are to die.

Assassin snails can live out of the water for a few hours at most before they start to suffer.

What Causes Assassin Snails To Remain Out Of Water?

#1. Searching For Pest Snails Above The Waterline

One possible reason is that they’re looking for food. Assassin snails are known for eating pest snails, so if there are any unwanted snails in your tank, your assassin snails might be on the hunt for a snack.

In this case, you’ll likely notice your snails moving around and exploring the tank more than usual.

SOLUTION: Just put them back in if you are worried about them. Also, ensure the tank is covered with a sturdy lid and there are no easy gaps from where the assassin snails can escape.

#2. Due To Inappropriate Tank Water Conditions

Poor water conditions can also be the reason why assassin snails come out of water. If the water in your tank is dirty or has high levels of ammonia, your snails might try to escape to a cleaner environment. 

SOLUTION: Test the water and ensure the water parameters and ensure the nitrites and ammonia are at their safe levels (0 ppm). If in doubt, perform a water change to ensure the right water parameters for your assassin snails.

#3. Presence Of Incompatible Tank Mate

Another possible reason for your snails moving out of the water is that they’re trying to escape from something in the tank. This could be a predator, such as a larger fish that is harassing your snails.

SOLUTION:  Separate any fish that harasses the assassin snail in the tank.

Assassin snails can be kept with a variety of other freshwater fish and invertebrates. Some compatible tank mates include:

  1. Common Freshwater Fish: Assassin snails can be kept with peaceful fish such as Neon Tetras, Rasboras, and Danios.
  2. Shrimps: Assassin snails can be kept with a variety of shrimp species, such as Cherry Shrimp or Ghost Shrimp.
  3. Livebearers: Assassin snails can be kept with livebearer fish such as Guppies, Mollies, or Platies.

Recommended Read: What Do Assassin Snails Kill And How?

#4. Inadequate Tank Temperature

Improper water temperature can stress your assassin snails and thus they try to escape the tank.

SOLUTION: Monitor the heater and ensure it is performing correctly and maintaining the right temperature needed for assassin snails. The recommended tank water temperature for assassin snails is 70°F – 80°F.

#5. Inappropriate Water Hardness

Maintaining proper water hardness in an assassin snail tank is important for the health and well-being of your snails.

Water hardness is a measure of the dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, in your tank water.

Calcium is an important mineral required for the shell development in Assassin snails. In appropriate water hardness can also make them move out of the tank water.

SOLUTION: Maintain adequate water hardness in the tank. Use a substrate that promotes healthy water conditions. Certain types of substrate, such as crushed coral, can help maintain proper water hardness in your tank. 

Also, use cuttlebones in the tank for your Assassin snail. Cuttlebone is a natural, calcium-rich substance that can be used to help maintain proper calcium levels in an assassin snail tank. Here’s how to use cuttlebone in the tank for your snails:

  • Place the cuttlebone in a spot where your snails can easily access it, such as near the bottom of the tank or attached to the side of the tank with a suction cup.
  • Watch to see if your snails are interested in the cuttlebone and if they start to nibble on it. If they don’t seem interested, you may need to move the cuttlebone to a more visible spot or try a different brand.
  • Cuttlebone will eventually become worn down and will need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to check the cuttlebone regularly and replace it when it becomes too small or thin.

>> Check Out The Cuttlebones Here (Available On Amazon)

What To Do If Assassin Snails Move Out Of The Water?

If you notice your assassin snails hanging out near the waterline of the tank, you should first check the water quality to make sure it’s within healthy limits.

If the water quality is fine, try to figure out what might be stressing your snails. Maybe they’re being bullied by another fish or they’re not getting enough to eat.

If you’re unable to figure out the cause of your snails’ behavior, you can try gently placing them back in the water. Be careful not to damage their shells or hurt them in any way.

Suggested Read: How Many Assassin Snails Should You Get?

How To Prevent Assassin Snails From Escaping From The Tank?

To prevent your assassin snails from escaping from the tank, make sure you have a secure lid in place.

These snails are known for being escape artists, so it’s important to make sure there are no gaps or openings where they could crawl out.

You should also make sure that your tank is large enough for your snails to move around and explore. A crowded tank can stress out your snails and make them more likely to try and escape.

Similarly, remove any other causes of stress for the Assassin snail and offer them the right conditions to thrive.

Related Read: Do Assassin Snails Eat Algae?

Wrapping Up

Assassin snails can’t survive outside of water for long periods of time. If you notice your snails hanging out near the waterline of the tank, try to figure out what might be causing their behavior based on the information shared in this post.

Ensure they have a secure lid on their tank to prevent their assassin snails from escaping. Also, perform regular tests and maintain the water quality in their tank to ensure that it’s suitable for them.

So, by following these steps, you can help ensure that their assassin snails are happy and healthy in their aquarium.


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By Praveen Ghoshal

Hi! I'm Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of eFishkeeping.com. Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.