Ramshorn Snail Care Guide: Diet, Size, Lifespan

The ramshorn snails is a popular freshwater aquarium snail. By themselves, they make for greats pets, but they can also share an aquarium with fish and shrimp. Here’s everything you need to know about the ramshorn snails.


Ramshorn snails can grow to up to four centimeters (1.5 inches) in size. You can tell a snail’s age by the size and thickness of the shell. The larger and thicker the shell, the older the snail tends to be.


The average lifespan of a healthy ramshorn snail is about one year. There are instances where a ramshorn snail can live over a year but this is rear.


Ramshorn snails spend most of their time eating detritus, plant matter, and leftover fish food. They also eat soft algae that grow on hard surfaces. As pets, a ramshorn snail can help keep the aquarium clean. You can supplement their diet with a variety of fish flakes, pellets, bottom feeder tablets, algae wafers and calcium-rich supplements.

Algae Eating

Ramshorn snails will eat soft green algae and sometimes soft brown algae. Other types of algae are too hard for ramshorn snails to eat—for example, Green Spot Algae.


  • Common Ramshorn Snail
  • Red Ramshorn Snail
  • Blue Ramshorn Snail
  • Pink Ramshorn Snail


Ramshorn snails are prolific breeders. These snails lay their egg clutches on hard surfaces like the tank wall, plants, and fish tank decorations. Ramshorn snails’ egg clutches are transparent and jelly-looking. It doesn’t take long for the snails to fully develop and leave the egg patch.


Well-fed ramshorn snails grow fast. With sufficient calcium in their diet, they grow thick and healthy shells. Underfed and lacking in calcium, the snails tend to grow slower and their shells show signs of wear and tear. Thus, it is important to supplement their diet with calcium-based food.

Tank Mates

The ramshorn snail is peaceful, so it is best to keep them with other peaceful aquarium pets. When threatened, ramshorn snails retreat to their shells for protection. Here are some good tanks mates for ramshorn snails:

Freshwater aquarium fish like:

Other Snails:

Some species of aquarium shrimp:

Never keep ramshorn snails in the same tanks with aggressive fish or crustaceans. So, no aquarium crayfish, no goldfish, no cichlids. These fish can hurt ramshorn snails.

Tank Size

Ramshorn snails can live in most tank sizes. For example, small tanks between 5 to 10-gallons are ok. As a general rule, the more aquatic animals you keep, the large the aquarium you need.

Water Conditions

  • Aquarium pH: 7.0 – 7.5.
  • Hardness: On the hard side.
  • Water Temperature: 70 – 78 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lighting: Normal tank lighting

Things To Consider

How To Buy Healthy Ramshorn Snails

As with other species of freshwater snails, you should look for active ramshorn snails that cling to hard surfaces. Baby ramshorn snails tend to have small shells and are a bit transparent. Adult ramshorn snails have large and thick shells.

Check that the ramshorn snail that you are buying has two tentacles at the top of its head. Healthy ramshorn snails are active, moving about the aquarium in search of food, or eating.

Do not buy snails that are kept in tanks with other dead snails or dead aquatic animals. Do not buy snails that are floating or not stuck to a hard surface. Snails that are motionless on the tank bottom are more than likely dead.

If you are buying online, be sure to read the reviews and make sure that you are ordering from a trusted online fish store.

Live Plants

There are reports that ramshorn snails eat live plants. But, well-fed snails generally won’t eat live plants. Plants that have durable leaves and stems are safe choices if you are concerned. For example, the Anubias Barteri is a hardy plant that does well in snail tanks.


Dead ramshorn snails sink to the tank bottom. If your ramshorn snail is at the bottom of the aquarium and has not moved in quite some time, it is more than likely dead. The shell of the ramshorn snail may start to thin, and holes can form. It’s best to remove the dead snail from the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Ramshorn Snails Good?

Once the population of ramshorn snails is manageable, they are good tank cleaners. They eat algae, plant matter, and other debris. But, if their numbers get out of control they can become a pest.

Do Ramshorn Snails reproduce asexually?

Yes. Ramshorn Snails can reproduce asexually. A single Snail can lay a cluster of eggs that hatch into a few dozen new snails. Eggs and live Snails often come with live plants unbeknown to the owner.

How long do Ramshorn snails live?

The average lifespan of a healthy ramshorn snail is about one year. There are instances where a ramshorn snail can live over a year but this is rear.


Video: Ramshorn Snail Care Guide