The Ramshorn Snail (Planorbarius corneus)

The Ramshorn snails (Planorbarius corneus) are a type of freshwater snail that belong to the Planorbidae family. Initially, these snails were seen as pests. However, in the last few years, they have become popular aquarium pets because of their adaptability and usefulness as cleaners of detritus and algae. 


They are named for their distinctive spiral-shaped shell that resembles a ram’s horn. They belong to the family Planorbidae, which comes from the Greek words “plano” meaning flat, and “orbis” meaning circle or disk, referring to the flattened, disk-like shape of the snail’s shell.

Natural Habitat

Ramshorn snails are found in a variety of freshwater habitats all over the world. They can be found in slow-moving or stagnant water bodies such as ponds, lakes, and streams, as well as in wetlands and marshes. Ramshorn snails are adapted to living in environments with low oxygen levels and can tolerate variousPlanorbarius corneus water temperatures and conditions. 

In addition to these natural habitats, Ramshorn snails have been introduced to other bodies of water through the aquarium trade.


Ramshorn snail shell.

Ramshorn snails are small, ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters in length. The shell can vary in size and color, with some species having small and brown shells while others have larger shells that can be blue or red. 

The shell is typically flattened and disc-shaped, with a helical, spiral structure. Sometimes, the shell is translucent, making the snail’s internal organs visible.

The body of the Ramshorn snail is soft and slimy, with a long foot used for crawling along the bottom of the water. The foot has a mucus layer that helps the snail glide across the surface of the water, and it also contains a mouth that is used for grazing on algae and detritus. 

Ramshorn snails have two pairs of tentacles, one long and one short. The longer tentacles are used for sensing the environment and detecting food, while the shorter tentacles are used for detecting touch and movement.

Tank conditions

Ramshorn snails are very hardy and adaptable creatures that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Here are the ideal water parameters for Ramshorn snails:

  • Temperature: Ramshorn snails can tolerate a range of water temperatures between 18°C and 28°C (64°F to 82°F). Ideally, the water temperature should be kept between 20°C and 25°C (68°F to 77°F) for optimal health.
  • pH: The ideal pH range for Ramshorn snails is between 7.0 and 8.0. This range is slightly alkaline, which is suitable for the growth of the snail’s shell.
  • Hardness: Ramshorn snails prefer moderately hard to hard water with a range of 8 to 15 dGH.


Ramshorn snails feeding.

Ramshorn snails are omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They feed on algae, decaying plants, and animal matter in the wild. In aquariums, Ramshorn snails will provide on a variety of food sources, including:

  • Algae
  • Blanched vegetables
  • Fish food
  • Detritus

Temperament And Good Tank Mates

Ramshorn snails are generally peaceful and non-aggressive creatures. They are also social creatures and often congregate in groups, especially when food is abundant.

These snails can coexist with a variety of other aquarium inhabitants. However, they may be at risk of predation by some larger fish. Some suitable tankmates for Ramshorn snails are:

  • Shrimps such as Cherry, Ghost, and Amano shrimp.
  • Small fish such as Tetras, Guppies, and Rasboras
  • Dwarf crayfish
  • Other species of snails, such as Nerite snails and mystery snails.


Ramshorn snail eggs.

Breeding these snails isn’t difficult. If there are enough Ramshorn snails around, the water conditions are stable, and there is enough food, these snails will breed without needing any special treatment. 


Ramshorn snails are generally quite hardy and resistant to diseases. Poor and unstable tank conditions can cause health issues such as cracked or chipped shells, which can lead to infections. These snails can sometimes also get infected with parasites and other microbes. Good water conditions and a healthy diet can prevent these health problems.

Closing Remarks

Ramshorn Snails are peaceful creatures that do not require much attention, making them an ideal choice for beginner aquarists. Ramshorn snails are known for their ability to breed quickly, which can be a benefit or a drawback depending on the aquarium’s specific needs. With proper care and attention, Ramshorn snails can live for up to a year or more while being beneficial.

Common NameRamshorn snails, Ram’s Horn Snails
Scientific NamePlanorbidae
Care LevelEasy
TankmatesSnails, Shrimps, small fish
DietAlgae and detritus
SizeA few millimeters to a few centimeters
LifespanAbout a year

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