Ramshorn Snail: Care Guide, Breeding, Eggs, Colors & More


Common NameRamshorn Snail
Scientific NameRamshorn Snail can refer to multiple species of snails which includes Planorbarius corneus, Planorbella duryi, and Marisa cornuarietis.
OriginNorth America
Temperature60°F – 80°F
Sizeup to 1 inch
DietOmnivorous

Ramshorn Snails are easily identified by the distinct shape of their shells that has a similar appearance to a ram’s horn. Ramshorn Snails are freshwater snails that can be found in many aquariums. This is not always done intentionally as they are known for hitch hiking into aquariums on plants and decor. Ramshorn Snails are hardy and are easy to care for no matter if you have planned for them or not. Ramshorn Snail Skin and shells can be different colors, and this makes for a much larger variety when it comes to choosing them for your aquarium.

Ramshorn Snail
Ramshorn Snail

Are Ramshorn Snails Good for Aquariums?

Ramshorn Snails can be beneficial to your aquarium and can be a great addition to your aquarium. They are excellent at helping you keep your tank clean. They spend most of their time scavenging for algae in your tank. They are efficient cleaners of algae that accumulate everywhere in your tank. They will clean it off glass, plants, and decor. In fact, they are so efficient at this task that they are often bought for home aquariums specifically for this reason. In addition to cleaning up algae in your tank from every surface, Ramshorn Snails can also be found snacking on decaying plant leaves and leftover food from other tank mates.

Will Ramshorn Snails Take Over an Aquarium?

Ramshorn Snails breed often, and they lay large clutches of eggs at a time. They can quickly take over an aquarium if you are not careful with them. One method of trying to control the population is by limiting the amount of food that you are feeding them.

Ramshorn Snails Care

Ramshorn Snails are fairly hardy and easy to care for. They can survive in a wide range of temperatures, and will reproduce often in your home aquarium. Ramshorn snails are not picky about their environment. You don’t need a lot of decor or hiding places for your snails, but they do appreciate live plants. They have been known to eat plants in an aquarium, but they typically will not bother them if they are well fed.  

Temperature & Water pH

Ramshorn Snails can survive in a wide range of water temperatures and can survive in 60F to 80F. They require their water parameters to be around 7.0 to 7.5 pH.

Ramshorn Snail Size

Ramshorn Snails do not grow to be large, but don’t let their size fool you. These snails do not grow to an impressive size, but they are a very beneficial addition to the home aquarium. They typically only grow to be around 1 inch long at full maturity though some owners of Ramshorn Snails have reported them growing slightly larger.

Food & Diet

Ramshorn Snails are amazing little creatures that remain active in their efforts to scour your aquarium for algae and food. They are quite interesting to watch as they amble along the top, bottom, and sides of the tank. If you have a planted aquarium, Ramshorn Snails are particularly helpful as they will eat any dead leaves that fall off your plants. They will also eat any dead fish, but it is not recommended that they are fed dead fish on purpose as it will greatly affect your water quality making it dangerous for the inhabitants.

Ramshorn Snail in Aquarium
Ramshorn Snail in Aquarium

Ramshorn Snail Size & Lifespan

Ramshorn Snails typically live to be around 1 year old, but owners of Ramshorn Snails have reported them living as long as 3 years with proper care.

Tank Requirements

One of the many great things about Ramshorn Snails is that they don’t require much room to thrive. A single Ramshorn Snail can do well in a tank as small as 5 gallons. However, if you are planning on keeping more than one Ramshorn Snail, you will need a tank that is at least 10 gallons. This will give them plenty of room to scavenge about without getting into each other’s way.

Tank Setup

Setting up an aquarium for Ramshorn Snails is very easy as they are not picky with what you put in their aquarium. Ramshorn Snails do not mind decor, but they do not require it to hide, destress, or breed. However, they do enjoy a heavily planted tank. Ramshorn Snails seem to enjoy their time among the plants, but if they are not being fed properly, they will eat them.

Ramshorn Snail Breeding

Ramshorn Snails are hermaphroditic. This means that they have both male and female reproductive organs. This can cause quite a problem if they are left to breed unchecked. Ramshorn Snails, like other species of snails, reproduce often. They will lay several clutches of around a dozen eggs around your aquarium, but you may not even notice as they are usually well hidden.

Do Ramshorn Snails Reproduce Asexually?

Ramshorn Snails are hermaphroditic. This means that they have both male and female reproductive organs. There have not been many in depth studies about Ramshorn Snails reproducing, but it is known that they can, and do reproduce asexually. Asexual reproduction means that Ramshorn Snails do not require a partner to reproduce. This can quickly become a problem as they will overrun a tank if left unchecked.

Ramshorn Snail Male vs Female

Ramshorn Snails are hermaphroditic. This means that they have both male and female reproductive organs. They can also reproduce asexually. This means that if left unchecked, they will produce many offspring and can take over the tank.

Ramshorn Snail Eggs

Ramshorn Snails lay many clusters of eggs in little brown blobs called globules. These globules have around a dozen transparent snail eggs inside. They protect the eggs and anchor them to the surface they are deposited on for the safety of the egg. Since the eggs are transparent, if you can get a good look at them, you will be able to see the tiny, black snails inside as they are developing.

How Often Do Ramshorn Snails Lay Eggs?

Ramshorn Snails are highly efficient at reproduction without any help or coaxing. Once introduced into your aquarium, as long as conditions are optimal for them, you will soon see little clusters of eggs appear through your tank. They can lay several clutches of a dozen eggs per day.

How Long Do Ramshorn Snail Eggs Take to Hatch?

Ramshorn Snails are not just efficient at reproduction, but they are quick to grow and develop as well. Ramshorn Snail eggs take roughly 1 week to develop and hatch from their eggs. Once they hatch, they are able to get food on their own and take care of themselves. They are not only quick to develop, but they are quick to grow to maturity as well reaching full maturity in just a few months. It is easy to see how they can quickly take over an aquarium if left to reproduce unchecked.

Why Are My Ramshorn Snail Eggs Not Hatching?

Even though Ramshorn Snails are highly efficient at reproduction, and their eggs are fairly hardy. It is still possible to damage them. Even if you have removed the eggs carefully from your tank’s surface it will still damage them or their protective globule. If the eggs become damaged they will not hatch. If you are planning on keeping eggs in a different tank or container, you just have to remove your parent snail and place it wherever you want it to lay eggs.

Do Ramshorn Snail Eggs Need Water?

Ramshorn Snails lay their eggs in water, and therefore they should remain in water. If they are removed from water their protective coating will dry out and they will not hatch.

How to Remove Ramshorn Snail Eggs

Ramshorn Snails can be very beneficial for your aquarium, but they can quickly take over and over populate your aquarium. This is because they are hermaphroditic, and they can reproduce asexually. They waste no time getting settled into your tank, and begin their reproductive cycle. Ramshorn Snails lay several clusters of roughly a dozen eggs per day.

Since they are so highly efficient at breeding, you will want to consider a means of population control for your Ramshorn Snails. The first step in population control in your aquarium is to locate the globules of Ramshorn Snail eggs. Once you have located them, you can remove them with an aquarium vacuum, scrape them off with a thin plastic piece, or have fish in your aquarium that will eat them.

Remember that Ramshorn Snails can enter your aquarium hitch hiking on plants and decor so it is best to give your new plants a bleach dip to kill any eggs that may be attached before you place them in your aquarium.

How Do I Take Care of Ramshorn Snail Babies?

Ramshorn Snails are incredibly efficient at caring for themselves. This self sufficiency occurs from the moment they emerge from their eggs. They are able to take care of themselves. Ramshorn Snail babies take only a few months to reach maturity and begin reproduction of their own.

How to Get Rid of Ramshorn Snails

There are a few ways that you can rid your aquarium of Ramshorn Snails. If you see an unwanted Ramshorn Snail in your aquarium, you can reach in and take it out. If the snail is small enough, you can use a gravel vacuum to suction them up.

Another means of eradicating Ramshorn Snails is to cut off their food supply. The reproduction of Ramshorn Snails is largely dependent on their food supply. If they have adequate amounts of food they will reproduce quickly. Remember that Ramshorn Snails will eat aquarium plants if they are not getting enough from their diet, so you may want to remove your aquarium plants and relocate them to another aquarium after giving them a bleach dip to kill any Ramshorn Snail eggs that may be attached to them and hiding amongst the leaves.

Ramshorn snails will also eat food that is left behind from feeding your aquarium fish, so take care to feed your fish only enough that they can completely consume so that there is nothing left behind for Ramshorn Snails to eat.

Ramshorn Snail Disease

Ramshorn Snails are a hardy species, and there are not a lot of diseases or ailments that can affect them, but even though they are not affected by these diseases or ailments they can still bring them into your aquarium to affect your fish. Even though Ramshorn Snails can not be affected by the diseases they carry they can also harbor parasites.

These parasites attach themselves to the skin of the Ramshorn Snail, and they are called Skin Flukes. Skin Flukes are often not identified as they are not easily seen, and they can hide up in the shell of the snail. Skin Flukes can also attach themselves to the fish in the aquarium. It is important to make sure to quarantine any new snails before you add them into your aquarium to ensure that they do not pass along any parasites to your fish.

Ramshorn Snail Tank Mates

Ramshorn Snails are small and slow. This makes them an easy target for hungry fish. It is for these reasons that you want to place them in an aquarium with fish that will not go after them for food. They do well with other docile species of snail such as mystery snails, and they also do well with shrimp. Smaller, non aggressive species of fish such as Rasboras, Guppies, Danios, and Gouramis.

With as fast as they reproduce, you may want to add into a community tank that includes Ramshorn Snails a fish that will eat them or their eggs. This will help provide a balance, and population control for your Ramshorn Snails.

Ramshorn Snail and Betta Fish

Ramshorn Snails and Betta Fish both have similar water parameter requirements, and they make for great tank mates for Betta Fish. They do not get in the way of the Betta Fish, and Bettas will eat their eggs if they find them. The only problem you might have to worry about with this pair is Ramshorn Snail overpopulation.

Where Can I Find Ramshorn Snail for Sale?

Ramshorn Snails are found in most pet stores, and for sale online. You can get a grouping of 10 Ramshorn Snails for around $15, although given their rate of reproduction, you will only need to purchase 1 or 2 for your aquarium to end up with as many as you want.

Ramshorn Snail Colors

There are many different colors of Ramshorn Snails. They can have different skin and shell combinations which adds to the variety you can choose from. Colored Ramshorn Snails are selectively bred for their coloration but this can be difficult to control as Ramshorn Snails can store sperm until they are ready to reproduce. The shell color and skin color of the snails may be different from what you expect due to this reason.

Blue Ramshorn Snail

Blue Ramshorn Snails have shells that have a blue tint to them. They are sometimes referred to as Silver Ramshorn Snails. They grow more blue in coloration as they grow to maturity. The blue variety of Ramshorn Snail is considered more rare, and will have a higher price. Usually around $4 per Blue Ramshorn Snail.

Pink Ramshorn Snail

Pink Ramshorn Snails are sometimes referred to as Red Ramshorn Snails while they are young. Pink Ramshorn Snails are considered a rarer coloration, and will cost more than other colors.

Red Ramshorn Snail

Red Ramshorn Snails range in color from pinkish-red to varying shades of maroon. The bodies of Red Ramshorn Snails are always bright red or pink.

Leopard Ramshorn Snail

Leopard Ramshorn Snails have shells that are a brownish coloration with different colored spots. They are called this as this coloration resembles the patterning of a leopard’s spots.

Jade Ramshorn Snail

Jade Ramshorn Snails have a darkish green coloration to their shells that owners usually compare to Jade. Jade Ramshorn Snails usually have darker colored skin.

Brown Ramshorn Snail

Brown Ramshorn Snails can come in a wide variety of brown colors. Ranging all the way from a light sepia color to a dark brown mahogany. They can have different skin colors too. Even though they are brown in color, they can still be interesting and even beautiful to look at. Some Brown Ramshorn Snails will have a lighter shade of brown that spirals around the shell in addition to the darker brown that makes up the majority of the shell.

Black Ramshorn Snail

Black Ramshorn Snails are an Indonesian Ramshorn Snail that are just as hardy as its North American Relatives. These snails come in a black skin coloration with a black to brown spiraled shell that is sometimes flecked with white. Other than their color difference, Black Ramshorn Snails do not have many other differences as they behave like others of the species.

Gold Ramshorn Snail

Gold Ramshorn Snails are another color variation that shows up among the many different color possibilities for Ramshorn Snails. They often have bright yellowish-golden shells with pink skin. Other than their color difference, they still have the same requirements for care.

Spotted Ramshorn Snail

Spotted Ramshorn Snails typically have light brown shells with dark spots dotting them. They have a tannish brown body coloration.

Purple Ramshorn Snail

Purple Ramshorn Snails are among the more rare colorations of Ramshorn Snails, and therefore they are more rare. There is a possibility of getting Purple Ramshorn Snails by breeding pink and blue, but this is not guaranteed as Ramshorn Snails can store genetic material to use later for reproduction.

White Ramshorn Snail

White Ramshorn Snails have a white colored shell completely. There are some snails that turn white as they age or due to shell damage, but White Ramshorn Snails are born with this coloration.

Ramshorn Snail Types

Ramshorn Snails refer to multiple species of snails. In fact, they can refer to snails in different genus as well.

Here’s a few different types of Ramshorn Snails:

Seminole Ramshorn Snail (Planorbella Duryi)

This species of Ramshorn Snails behave and act the same way as other types of Ramshorn Snails. They are considered different due to the fact that they have see-through shells. The see-through shells make it easy to see into their bodies and give you a glimpse of their digestive tract as they consume their food.

Great Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius Corneus)

Great Ramshorn Snail is the common name for the species of Ramshorn Snail. These snails are identified by their spiraling shells, and their characteristics.

Columbian Ramshorn Snail (Marisa Cornuarietus)

This type of Ramshorn Snail is typically larger than the others. They have large spiral shells that look like they are put together in sections. They have banding or striping on their shells too. This type of Ramshorn can be found in the waters of Columbia.

Ramshorn Snail vs Mystery Snail

Both Ramshorn Snails and Mystery Snails can be great additions to your home aquarium, and sometimes they are both housed in the same tank as they both enjoy roughly the same water parameters. Owners of Ramshorn Snails and Mystery Snails love them for their interesting personalities, and calm natures as they do not cause any problems between themselves or your fish.

There are some differences between these two species that might make your decision a little easier to choose between the two. Ramshorn Snails are experts at their reproductive cycle. They reproduce rapidly, and they also hide their eggs in places that you may not see them. If left unattended, Ramshorn Snails can quickly take over your aquarium, but Mystery Snail reproduction is a little easier to maintain. Mystery Snail eggs remain on the surface of the water, and are much easier to scoop out of your aquarium.

Both Ramshorn Snails and Mystery Snails will clean algae from your aquarium for you, but Ramshorn Snails are much more efficient at it. Mystery Snails will help clean the substrate, but not much else.

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With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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