Ramshorn Snails are a group of snails from a different genus that are used in aquariums for adding beauty and cleaning the water. It is commonly known as the Ram’s Horn Snail because they have a horn-like appearance. Their outer shell is folded in a circular manner, which gives it an iconic horn-like appearance. These snails are known for being easy to care for and manage and for that reason, they are very popular among fish keepers from all over the world. Also, the Ramshorn Snails are freshwater aquarium cleaners, meaning that they naturally clean the water inside the tank. These snails feed on algae inside the tank and that’s how they help in the cleaning process.

Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also, the addition of Ramshorn Snails in your tank adds beauty to your tank, and it makes your tank look more interesting. It is not a single species of snail, but a large number of snails that have different sizes, colors, and appearances, but have the same horn-like shape and that is why they are categorized as the Ramshorn Snails. They are available at multiple fish markets online and offline, and you can buy the one that you like the most based on physical appearance, and nature. Below are further details about these snails and how to take care of them.

Basic Facts Table

FamilyMost are from the Planorbidae family.
Lifespan3 years
Size1 inch
ColorsBlack – Red (Depends on Species)
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelMinimum
CompatibilityPeaceful Fish Communities.

Tank Companions

Here is a list of the possible tank mates or tank companions of the Ramshorn Snail.

  • Cory Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Vampire Shrimp
  • Bamboo Shrimp
  • Nerite Snails
  • Guppies (Peaceful and small)
  • Rasboras (Peaceful and small)
  • Gouramis (Peaceful and small)

How To Select Tank Companions?

When selecting a tank mate or tank companion for the Ramshorn Snail, you need to be very careful. This is because it is a vulnerable species of snail that does not have an extremely hard shell to protect it. So, if you introduce them into the wrong tank, there are chances of them becoming the food of the predators in those tanks. For that reason, you need to be very careful when selecting a tank mate or tank companion for the Ramshorn Snails.

First of all, you should consider introducing them to small species of fish. Smaller fish species cannot eat them. That is why you should introduce them into the tanks of small fish. It would help them survive and live their life peacefully. Size is a very important factor when selecting a possible tank mate or tank companion for any species of Ramshorn Snails. As you know, these snails are only an inch long, and wide. This means their bodies are extremely small, and fragile. Also, most species of Ramshorn Snails do not have extremely hard shells to protect them. So, when you are selecting a possible tank mate for the Ramshorn Snails, keep in mind that they are only good companions for species of small size that cannot eat them.

Apart from size, the second most important factor to consider here is the nature or temperament of the fish or tank companion for the Ramshorn Snails. It is very important that you only introduce them to the peaceful species of fish. If you introduced them to an aggressive species of fish, you would lose the peace inside your tanks. Your fish species would try to fight, and kill the Ramshorn Snails as they do not have any special defense apart from their shells against the aggressive species of fish. It can induce tension, and stress in your snails and that can kill them. So, you should keep this in mind and only introduce your Ramshorn Snails with other peaceful fish species.

The third most important factor to consider here is the living conditions. Make sure that your tank companions are capable of living in the same environment and living conditions as the Ramshorn Snails. If your tank mates cannot live in the same type of living condition as the Ramshorn Snails, they would die within a few days of being introduced into the wrong environment. For example, Ramshorn Snails are freshwater snails, and you cannot pair them with the brackish, or marine fish species. Because if you did, your snails would die. So, you should first make sure that the tank mates you are selecting are capable of living in the same conditions.

If you follow the guidelines given above, you can select suitable tank companions for Ramshorn Snails.

Species Overview

It is not a single species, but a group of multiple species from the same family. The name ramshorn is used for a variety of snails who have a unique appearance. They come in different sizes, colors, and with multiple color patterns. But they all have a common appearance when it comes to the shell. Here is a list of a few famous aquarium snail species from the Ramshorn Snails group.

Red Ramshorn Snail: It is a naturally occurring Ramshorn Snail species that is found in nature. This is also one of the most commonly found species of the Ramshorn Snails. They are very common in freshwater aquariums. Red Ramshorn has a reddish appearance, and their bodies are covered with a red shell that is shaped like the Ramshorn.

Black Ramshorn Snail: As the name of this species suggests, it is a dark black Ramshorn Snail. It is also a naturally occurring species of Ramshorn Snails. This Ramshorn Snail also lives in the freshwater aquariums.

Pink Ramshorn Snail: It is a selectively bred variety of the Ramshorn Snails, it is a very rare variety that has a beautiful pinkish appearance. They have the same size as the original red or black Ramshorn Snail, but their bodies are pinkish or pinkish-red which makes them look different.

Blue Ramshorn Snail: Blue is also a selectively bred species of Ramshorn Snails that is very popular but extremely rare. It has an inch-long body that is encased in a dark blue shell. It is also a beautiful species to add to your tank.


As you know, this is not a single species, but a group of different species of snails that are used for aquariums. The two most common species of this are red and black Ramshorn Snails that you can easily buy from anywhere. Blue and Pink are two of the rare species that are only available in a few places. All of them have a similar appearance, their bodies are encased in a shell. This shell has a shape like a ramshorn.

But this shell is not as hard as nerite snails. It is more like an ornament than a protective measure. The reason behind this less strength of snail shell is that the shell of the Ramshorn Snail contains less calcium as they mostly live in those places where calcium is deficient in the water.

When snails are young, their shells are comparatively transparent. But as time passes, these thin shells become hard and thick. This thickness keeps growing throughout the lifespan of Ramshorn Snails. The reason behind the redness in their bodies is that these snails use hemoglobin for oxygen transportation. The average size of these snails is less than one inch. But some snails can cross this one-inch limit as they age. But for this, you will have to provide them with excellent growth conditions.


This is one of the species of snail that is found almost everywhere. Ramshorn Snails live in freshwater habitats all over the world. They were first introduced in the tanks to clean after that they became a very popular fish species and were being introduced into the tanks to make them look more appealing and natural.

Natural Habitat

Ramshorn Snails live in freshwater habitats, including rivers, canals, lakes, potholes, drains, and any other place where they can find water and algae to feed. It is one of the hardy species of snails that is capable of living in different conditions. This flexibility in their nature makes them a perfect choice for the new fish keepers who do not know much about snails. So, if they were to introduce them in their tanks, these snails would not die on their first mistake.

Ramshorn Snails love warm, moist climates outside the water, but inside the water, they need moderately warm climates and plants. These snails love climbing on the plants inside the water. You will see them climbing the aquatic plants that you put inside your aquarium. Make sure to plant a lot of plants in their aquarium so that they have a larger area to explore inside the tank.

Ramshorn Snail Lifespan

There is no specific lifespan or age for these snails. Most of them die in the second year of their life, but many can die early if the conditions are not perfect. Age and lifespan depend on the type of care that you are providing them. For example, if the care is perfect, your Ramshorn Snails would live for more than 2 years. But if the care is mediocre, your snails would only live for 1 to 2 years. In those places where they are not being cared for properly, they would die within a few months. From this, you can get an idea about their potential age, which is three years, and their actual age based on the conditions which vary greatly.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

From the discussion above, it is clear that the health and lifespan of the Ramshorn Snails depend on the conditions and habitat that you provide them. So, if your tank and habitat are not perfect, your snails would die immediately. But if your tank conditions and habitat are perfect, the chances are that your snails will live for a long time. Here are a few things that you should consider while creating a tank for the Ramshorn Snails.

Tank Size

The first thing that you need to consider while creating a tank for the Ramshorn Snails is the size of the tank. The Ramshorn Snails are small creators and they do not need a large space to swim. But as you will introduce more species in the tank they will occupy the tank and will need more space. For that reason, you need to select a spacious tank that can accommodate more than one species of fish and snails inside the tank. You can start with a smaller tank if you are just planning on keeping a few fish and snails in your tank.

Most people think that a 5 gallons tank would be enough, but it is not. You can use it but it will be extremely small and would not provide enough space for the Ramshorn Snails to explore and also the fish inside the tank would feel more encased. To prevent this you should select a large tank. A tank of 10 gallons would be perfect for a healthy population of fish and Ramshorn Snails. If you want a larger population of fish inside your tank along with the Ramshorn Snails, you should select a tank after considering the fish per gallon ratio of your tank. It would allow you to select a balanced size of the tank that is not too small or too big.

Tank Setup

After that, you will have to work tank setup. A tank set up for the snails is slightly different from the tank setups for the fish species inside the tank. You need a lot of space for the snails to explore. As mentioned above, this species of snails like to climb on the plants, and ornaments inside the tank. You should put a lot of leafy plants inside the tank. Also, you should put appropriate decorations that your snail can use for climbing.

When working on a tank setup, it is always good to start at the bottom of the tank. Your snails would spend a lot of their time in the bottom layer of the tank, so make sure that your bottom layer is comfortable for them to walk and explore. Use soft sand and fine grained gravel, and stones in the bottom layer. It would depict the natural conditions where these snails live. Do not put stones, or gravel with edges inside the tank as it can penetrate the skin of the snails, and it can harm them.

After you are done with your bottom layer, you should start planting some aquatic species of plants in your tank. You should put aquatic plants with lots of long leaves. These long leaves are the places where your snails would be sitting most of the time. There are a lot of species that you can select for your tank. Apart from plants, you should also put some decorations in the tank for the Ramshorn Snails to explore. Also, you will have to put a temperature control device inside your tank. A temperature controlling and monitoring device would allow you to maintain a steady temperature.

You will also have to put aquarium lights in your tank to keep it lit. use the standard aquarium lights for this purpose. There are a few other devices such as a filtration system that you will have to add to the tank. A filtration system would keep the water clean and would create a flow inside the water. You can also use a lid to cover your tank.

Water Conditions/Parameters

Apart from creating a perfect habitat, you also need to create perfect conditions or water parameters inside the tank. These parameters are related to water conditions such as temperature, pH, and hardness. Each of these directly impacts the life of your fish and snails. For that reason, it is very important to maintain them perfectly. If you do not maintain these parameters, there is a chance that you will lose the entire population of your tank. Here are a few parameters that you need to maintain.

  • Hardness under 15 dGH.
  • Temperature about 70°F to 78°F.
  • pH level at 7 or neutral.

Make sure to maintain these parameters, otherwise, there are chances that your fish would die within a few days after being put in this tank. Your Ramshorn Snail population would also die after a few days in harmful conditions. For temperature control, heaters are used in cold areas, while in warm areas, you have to put ice cubes in water to keep the temperature low. Apart from that, to maintain pH levels inside the water, you will have to add calcium or driftwood. These alkaline substances would help reduce the pH levels and maintain them at 7. Also, you will have to use a filtration system as well. This would allow you to maintain the hardness of the water and would keep the water clean.

Water Source

There are multiple sources of water that you can use. For example, you can use tap water if it is clean. But in most areas, tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine. These chemicals impact the health of Ramshorn Snails. For that reason, you should clean and filter this water using reverse osmosis and then use it.

Behavior and Temperament

The Ramshorn Snails are known for being some of the most peaceful aquatic species. They do not fight or harm any other species in the aquariums. Mostly, they just stick to the stones, decorations, and leaves of the plants. This behavior is very common in Ramshorn Snails. Ramshorn Snails do this to feed themselves. They would climb a leaf on the plant and would sit there and filter the water using their specialized systems. It allows them to filter algae from the tank water, hence they clean the tank naturally. Also, this reduces the need of feeding your Ramshorn Snails. They are capable of feeding themselves, but if you want, you can add food inside their tanks as well.

Breeding Ramshorn Snail

Breeding of Ramshorn Snails usually does not require any output from outside sources. They can do it by themselves. But if you want to help them you can use the temperature control settings and raise the temperature a little. It would create a breeding season for them inside the tank. The Ramshorn Snails are capable of breeding without a female or male, as they are hermaphroditic.

These snails would lay their eggs and would drop them in multiple places. Most of these eggs do not hatch, but some hatch. As these snails lay a lot of eggs, you will notice that their population would increase rapidly inside your tank. You may even have to take preventive measures to control the population of young Ramshorn Snails in your tank. A lot of fish keepers introduce predator fish species as a population control measure. Predator fish species eat the small and weak individuals, and this leaves you with a healthy and strong population of Ramshorn Snails.

Eggs and Fry Care

Eggs and the Fry of Ramshorn Snails also do not require any special care. These eggs can hatch on their own, without outside intervention, and the fry is capable of living without outside assistance. You should make sure that the parameters inside the taken are kept in a range that is perfect to ensure their safety and survival.

Diet of Ramshorn Snail

The Diet of these species of snails is an herbivore, as they only eat algae and green plants inside their natural habitat. You can feed them vegetables, and algae flakes as a food source. They do not have any special food requirements and that is why they are known as some of the best species for new fish keepers who are not aware of the feeding guidelines.

Diseases of Ramshorn Snail

There are a few diseases that attack the Ramshorn Snail population. Here is a list of those diseases and how to treat them.

  • Parasitic Flukes: It is one of the most common diseases in the Ramshorn Snails. It is not a single disease but a group of diseases that are caused by various parasitic diseases. You can treat these diseases but it is very hard to identify these diseases. You will only notice them when it is too late and your snails are about to die. The only way to protect your snails is by keeping the tank clean and preventing the parasites from entering the tank.

What is the Ideal Size For The Tank?

The most recommended size for the tank of Ramshorn Snail is a 10 gallons tank. A ten-gallon tank has enough capacity to hold a healthy population of Ramshorn Snails. You can also use a smaller tank of 5 gallons, but it will be too short, and using a 20 gallons tank is also unnecessary as it would be too large. But if you are planning on keeping the Ramshorn Snails in your tank with other species of fish. You should get a larger tank that can accommodate your fish as well as your snails.

Is Ramshorn Snail Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

The Ramshorn Snails are a freshwater species. It can survive in different conditions.

Is the Ramshorn Snail schooling species or not?

No, Ramshorn Snails are not a schooling species. They are not a fish species, and this schooling behavior is only seen in the fish species. You might see them socializing with other snails in the tank but it is a rare sight. They usually live alone on the leaves of tanks.

Conclusion – Is Ramshorn Snail Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Yes, Ramshorn Snails are suitable for your aquarium. This is because they are a peaceful, and amazing species of colorful snails. They have multiple beautiful colors, including red, black, pink, blue, and dark. Also, it is an interesting species of snails as it has red blood cells because it contains hemoglobin. It is a perfect species of snail for those who do not know about keeping snails in aquariums. It would allow them to learn because these snails are hardy and can survive in harsh conditions including mistakes made by the aquarium keepers. For these reasons, it is one of the most suitable species of snails to keep in the aquarium.


Question: What is the lifespan of Ramshorn Snails?

Answer: The lifespan of Ramshorn Snails is about three years. Most of the Ramshorn Snails die within the first two years. Some can outlive this three-year lifespan, but these are rare cases. The lifespan of Ramshorn Snails depends on the care that you provide. If the care is excellent, your snails would live for more than two years. But if the care is poor, your snails would only live for 1 year.

Question: Are Ramshorn Snails bad?

Answer: Some aquarium keepers consider the Ramshorn Snails as bad. This is because these snails reproduce very quickly and can overtake your aquarium if you do not control their population. But if you follow population control strategies, and keep them in separate tanks, you would enjoy their presence.

Question: How do the Ramshorn Snails breed?

Answer: Ramshorn Snails are hermaphroditic, meaning that they contain both male and female sex organs and can breed without the need of a partner. These snails lay multiple eggs and these eggs hatch quickly. It allows them to breed quickly.

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