Jump to content

New Library Article - Planorbidae - Ramshorn Snails


Recommended Posts

large.IMG_9630.jpgPlanorbidae make up a significant portion of aquaitic pulmonate gastropods. In Australia alone, there are over 20 species group taxa that have been described. Their common name, ramshorn snails, comes from the spiral shape of their shells, which looks like a ram’s horn.

Ramshorn snails come in a wide range of colours, including red, brown and black, and they can even be shimmery and translucent in colour. Because of the unique design on their shells and their colour, they can be a welcomed addition to an aquarium, offering vibrant colour and interest. However, oftentimes, these snails inadvertently appear in aquariums, hitchhiking on the live plants and/or accessories that have been transferred from one tank to another. If there is enough food available, these snails can quickly breed and take over an aquarium; but, if they are properly maintained, they can be a welcomed addition, even if their presence was not intended. These snails eat food that is leftover in the water, dead plant material and algae, and as such, they can help to maintain the health and appearance of an aquarium.

Maintaining Ramshorn Snails

large.IMG_2174.JPG.43e32a3bef8e26a094a16b6a8bee7d27.JPGWhether you are interested in adding ramshorn snails to your aquarium or they have taken up residence unexpectedly and you decide that you want to keep them, it’s important to understand how to properly maintain them, which fortunately, is easy to do.

They do well in aquariums of various sizes. They are also very adaptable, which means that they can do well in various types of water conditions, though they prefer water that is filtered. Additionally, they do best in tanks that do not undergo sudden changes in their condition. These snails consume algae and food remnants from fish, but they prefer to eat dying and dead plant matter that is shed from live plants. They will also eat dead fish, shrimp or other snails.


Things to Avoid

If you are interested in maintaining Ramshorn snails in your aquarium, you should be aware that there are species of fish that will eat them. The most common predators of Ramshorn snails include bettas, loaches and dwarf puffer fish. Assassin snails will also prey on these snails.

Live Plants

large.IMG_6383.jpgSome people claim that Ramshorn snails destroy their live plants, while others have reported they do not cause any issues. However, in most cases, they do very little damage to live plants, but if a large amount of them are present and there are delicate plants in the aquarium, such as Water Sprite and Cabomba, they can do damage.


Ramshorn snails are peaceful and non-aggressive. They will not cause issues with fish, shrimp or other types of snails in an aquarium. They spend their time moving about the tank eating and adding interesting colour, texture and dimension to an aquarium.


Arctos. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2017, from http://arctos.database.museum/name/Planorbidae 

Brown, D. S. (2001). Freshwater snails of the genus Gyraulus (Planorbidae) in Australia: taxa of the mainland. Molluscan Research, 21(1), 17-107. doi:10.1080/13235818.2001.10673736

large.IMG_2174.JPG.43e32a3bef8e26a094a16b6a8bee7d27.JPG Image credit - @Paul Minett


View full article


Edited by jayc
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • jayc
      It might be easier if you can tell us what substrate you have access to. We could list items that you can't buy or find.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      The substrate I used with some success is not available anywhere. When I retried with the shrimp king substrate it didn't work but I can't be completely sure the substrate was the cause of the failure, but I won't use that one if/when I try again! Here is a link to my usual suppliers active substrates so you can see what is available in the UK. I would recommend you get a different one to the one you have tried, but it probably isn't that that is the problem if it is made specificaly for shrimps and/or plants. Many active substrates require a 'run-in' period of some sort before adding creatures so you will need to bare that in mind - you can probably just do that first part in a bucket?  If unsure you could call ProSchrimp and ask what they use themselves? https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/55-active-substrate Usually bleach would be used to clean the tank and anything else in the tank, but obviously you will need to be sure to remove all traces of that before setting the tank up again! If you are going to start again then you should try some different GH+, one specifically made for shrimps, I use the shrimp king as below but there are others like salty shrrimp (pro shrimp seem to be out of stock of these, but you could call them). If it is shrimp specific then it will always be the perfect ph/gh/tds balance when used with RO water! https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/shrimp-king/803-shrimp-king-mineral-fluid-double-gh-4001615061413.html Is your taiwan bee tank still doing ok? If so, are the water parameters in the usual range in that tank as you were having something throwing them out in the CRS tank if I recall correctly? If you are getting new shrimp then try from a different source as it may be they were poor quality? ProShrimp do sell them, but if you are resetting the tank best not get new ones for a few months. If the taiwan bee are doing well and the tanks were set up the same then logically it may be the shrimp? https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/crystal-bee-shrimp/482-10-crystal-red-bee-shrimp-a-s.html Sorry to hear you are still having problems, I just hope the taiwan bee tank is at least doing ok.
    • herrwibi
      Hi all, Posted a few times with my CRS dying and it hasn't stopped. Tried to do several big slow water changes but no success. Looking to reset the tank and start again . What soil does everyone use and what should i use to clean the glass to make sure i kill anything that's on the glass etc. Potentially looking at Bluebolt's but i'm determined to crack CRS. Thanks. 
    • Subtlefly
      Thanks for the tip!
    • sdlTBfanUK
      A tip for using the glue is dry the wood/rock as much as possible then put a dollop/bead (or 2) of glue where you want to attach the plant on the wood/rock, then hold in situ for a few seconds, all done in a few seconds and no mess! The bead/dollop can be quite large as it dries clear so won't be visible! This is much easier, and less messy than trying to put the glue on the plant.
  • Create New...