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Ramshorn Snails

Last Updated: 9/29/12

An adult black ramshorn snail in my 65 gallon tank on 4/26/12.

My Ramshorn Snails
Photos of My Ramshorn Snails
Photos of Other People's Ramshorn Snails


Survive in aquariums: Yes
Survive in warm ponds: Yes
Survive in cold ponds: Yes or No (depends on actual species)
Plant eating capacity: Low to Moderate (some larger species love plants)
Algae eating capacity: Moderate to High
Breathing: Pulmonate
Breeding: Hermaphrodites and sexual, egg-laying

A black ramshorn snail on 5/2/02.

These horn-shaped snails clean algae off surfaces and grow to about an inch. They are good to have around. They are hermaphroditic egg-layers. One species is Planoribis rubrum. The black ramshorn snail is Helisoma sp.. A few other species names I have seen are Planorbis corneus, Marisa rotula, and Segmentina victoriae. Some species will do fine in a pond but others require warmer waters. Generally, the larger, ornate species are to be avoided in ponds since they need more warmth. The little ramshorn snails do well in any setting. There are many species of ramshorn snails. My tanks and ponds have a small species that stays under 1/4 inch. Here is a photo of them in my 20 gallon tank on 4/22/01. They must have come in with some of my aquarium plants. Pond suppliers sell a one inch species that can survive winters. Our local aquarium store sells an ornate tropical two inch species that is really not a ramshorn snail but an apple snail. One such two-inch faux ramshorn is the Columbian ramshorn snail which has stripes, breeds well, and loves to eat plants. It is an apple snail, not a true ramshorn snail. The little species of ramshorn do little harm to plants.

My Ramshorn Snails

I have ramshorn snails in my 20 gallon tank, a small species that showed up years ago by itself.

I also have black ramshorn snails in my 153 gallon pond.

I put a few black ramshorn snails from my 153 gallon pond in the 65 gallon tank in the fall of 2011 and did not think much of it after that. Then, in late April, 2012, all of a sudden, there are a dozen ramshorns in there, some getting pretty big. They have plenty to eat.

Photos of My Ramshorn Snails

Photos are listed from oldest to newest.

Little species of ramshorn snails in my 20 gallon tank on 4/22/01.

On 4/1/08, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond and took photos of some snail eggs on my Lerio pots. They are probably ramshorn snail eggs (although there were some pond snails and Melantho snails in the pond too. The eggs for all three species look basically the same.)
Snail eggs on a one gallon Lerio pot.
Close up of snail eggs from the previous photo.
Snail eggs on a two gallon pot.

From the 3/31/10 cleaning of the 153 gallon pond:
Snail eggs on a two gallon Lerio pot; they are black ramshorn snails.
Snail eggs
Snail eggs
Black ramshorn snails in my hand; a few of them before I put them back in to the pond.

Ramshorn snail that was in my filter (always tons in there) on 7/3/10. It looks like a baby but it is actually nearly full size! These are the little species of ramshorns to which I refer.

Snails - trapdoor snails (the biggest ones) and their babies (the smallest ones), black ramshorn snails (the round ones), and Melantho snails (the elongate ones), on the day that I got them, 4/28/11.

I took some photos of the black ramshorn snails in my 65 gallon tank on 4/26/12:
Black ramshorn snail - close- up
Black ramshorn snails - a large one and some babies to the right.

I took these photos of the black ramshorn snails (and my common plecostomus) in the 65 gallon tank on 6/19/12. The snails are feasting on cucumber.
Ramshorn snails
Ramshorn snails
Ramshorn snails

Photos of Other People's Ramshorn Snails

Photos are listed from oldest to newest.

The red ramshorn is supposed to be a great algae eater. Robert sent me some photos of his red ramshorns on 8/23/05:
Red ramshorn
Red ramshorn with a baby betta
On 9/28/05, he sent this photo of the red ramshorn with some babies.

On 3/13/06, John sent these three photos of his ramshorn snails.
Ramshorn with a baby pond snail it looks like below that.

Else sent photos of this snail for identification on 4/15/07. I did not know what they were but she was able to get an identification from a mollusk expert at a University who said it was Planorbella scalaris or the mesa ramshorn.
Mesa ramshorn snail
Mesa ramshorn snail
Mesa ramshorn snail
Mesa ramshorn snail

Mandy sent this photo of a little ramshorn snail on 6/15/09. It may be a highly-sought-after red ramshorn snail:
Red ramshorn snail

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