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Clea helena (Assasin Snail, Anentome helena)

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A rare example of a freshwater whelk. Shell is nicely marked with a brown and yellow spiral pattern; body is peppered light and dark grey. Maximum size of the shell is about 2 cm.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Native to Southeast Asia. Lives in streams with sandy or muddy bottoms. Usually burrows into the substrate when resting, with only the top of the shell and its sensitive proboscis being visible. Quite active, and will spend some time moving about hunting for prey.

Feeds primarily on small snails. Does a good job of catching and killing juvenile Malayan livebearing snails and Physa pond snails. Does not appear to molest larger snails such as nerites. Nor will it harm shrimps or fish, though fish eggs may be eaten. Essentially carnivorous, and will also eat carrion and frozen foods such as bloodworms.

Fairly easy to keep. Does well in a clean aquarium with a good water current and excellent water quality. Prefers neutral to basic, hard water. Does not need salt. Requires a sandy substrate that allows it to bury itself.

Will reproduce in the aquarium, albeit slowly. Mating takes place on the surface of the sediment. Eggs are laid singly, in semi-transparent structures that will be seen deposited around the tank, usually on solid surfaces. Once the eggs hatch, the juvenile snails disappear into the sediment, and won't be seen again for some months. Juvenile snails will only be seen at the surface once they reach a shell length of about 5 mm or so.

Family Group: Snails and Crustaceans
Distribution Southeast Asia
Temperature 24-26 C
Size Shell length about 2 cm
Water Parameters Hard, alkaline water preferred
Water PH 7.0-8.0
Care Level Easy
Water Chemistry More than pH 7 - Alkaline
Schooling Fish No
Sociability Peaceful
Diet Special Needs