Do Assassin Snails Eat Algae? (+Top 3 Must-Know Things!)

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Assassin snails are well-known for getting rid of aquarium pest snails. But are they suitable for cleaning algae? Let’s find out!

Do Assassin Snails Eat Algae? As a general rule, Assassin Snails don’t eat algae because they are primarily carnivorous in nature. Although they prefer live pest snails as their main food source, once that is over, you should feed them with high-protein food.

1. What To Feed Assassin Snails Once All The Pest Snails Are Eaten?

Assassin snails are usually fond of eating snails like Ramshorn Snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and Pond Snails.

So once you put them in your fish tank, soon you will start seeing the empty shells of the pest snails. And it won’t be long when your tank runs out of all the snails.

Curious how they kill other snails and aquatic species? Then check out this article about what and how the assassin snails kill, where I explained all of that in more detail. The way they kill their prey is pretty interesting, so I highly recommend you to read that article.

Assassin snails are carnivores, and they mainly hunt for protein. And although nothing is better than offering them a constant supply of live snails. But what if all the pest snails in the tank are finished?

Well, in such a case, they will turn to the next best available protein-rich foods like:

  • Fish food flakes
  • Blood worms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Algae wafers (since that is also high in protein)

Other than this, your assassin snails may also be interested in anything like meaty debris or dead fish.

Remember that being carnivores, your assassin snails won’t be just satisfied with detritus or algae. They will consume the commercial fish pellets and flakes. But then again, you should not forcibly let them rely just on the leftover scraps.

They prefer meaty items like blood worm cubes and frozen brine shrimp. However, you can also feed them sinking food.

If the assassin snails have less access to their natural prey, you can also buy and provide them with live feeder snails and blood worms. 

You can simply place them at the bottom of the tank, and your assassin snails will most likely hunt them on their own.

From your local aquarium supplier, you can also buy snail flakes or snail pellets to supplement their diet of live prey. However, ensure that all the flakes and pellets have a high protein content. 

After protein, calcium is the most essential nutrient in the diet of your snail. It is essential in keeping your snail’s shell strong and healthy. So for that, you can also include calcium supplements in your snail’s diet.

2. Algae Eater That Is Compatible With Your Assassin Snails

Now, if you have an algae problem to deal with in your tank, then probably assassin snails are not the ideal option (because, as mentioned, they are carnivores)

So what’s the next best option to choose as an algae eater for your fish tank that can also live along with your assassin snails? Well, you can keep algae eater like Otocinclus Catfish.

Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus Catfish, which is more commonly called “Oto” Catfish, is a popular easy to keep algae eater. If you have a small tank, these catfish are a great choice because of their tiny size. In addition, due to their small size, they can reach spots even where the Plecos simply can’t fit.

The lifespan of this fish is around 3-5 years, and its size is about 1-2 inches. The temperament of this fish is peaceful, and you can put it in different freshwater community aquariums. 

Otocinclus Catfish are perfect for almost any planted tank. However, considering their size, you shouldn’t keep them with big, aggressive species. As they are quite sociable, they would prefer to be in the small schools of 3-5 fish.

If algae is a major problem in your tank, add this fish, and they will quickly graze the algae down. These fish are suitable for beginners and won’t take much of your time.

And the most important thing, your Assassin snails seem to get along with the Otocinclus Catfish, which is why it is a suitable tank mate.

Read: How Many Assassin Snails Should I Get? (Complete Guide!)

3. Assassin Snail Tank Mates

The below table lists some of the tank mates that you can keep with assassin snails and also some that you should avoid:

The Assassin Snails Tank Mates You Can Keep:The Assassin Snail Tank Mates To Avoid:
CorydorasMedium to Large Catfish
Dwarf OtocinclusMedium to Large Cichlids
Dwarf CichlidsPufferfish
Freshwater ShrimpOther Snails

Also Read: Will Yoyo Loaches Eat Snails?


In short, assassin snails don’t tend to eat algae as they are carnivores. Once all the live pest snails are eaten, they will turn to the next food source available to them. 

If you are looking for algae-eating species, choose any other option like Otocinclus Catfish. That’s it! Thanks!

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