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FAQs on Snails in Freshwater Aquarium Ramshorn Snails

Related Articles: Snails and Freshwater Aquariums by Bob Fenner, In vertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Assassin Snails and Sulawesi Elephant Snails. Keeping Clea and Tylomelania in the Aquarium by Neale Monks,  Fresh and Brackish Water Nerites by Neale Monks, 

Related FAQs: Freshwater Snails 1, Freshwater Snails 2, & FAQs on: Freshwater Snail Identification, Freshwater Snail Behavior, Freshwater Snail Compatibility, Freshwater Snail Selection, Freshwater Snail Systems, Freshwater Snail Feeding, Freshwater Snail Disease, Freshwater Snail Reproduction, Snails by Species: Mystery Snails, Apple/Baseball Snails, Malaysian/Trumpet Snails,

Horned Nerite and Ramshorn not doing well       4/30/15
I bought 4 horned Nerite snails and 3 Ramshorn.
<Do bear in mind the Horned Nerite, Clithon corona, is somewhat sensitive... it's arguably happier in slightly brackish conditions, certainly doesn't like soft water, and prefers water that is slightly cool (22-25 C) and well oxygenated. When stressed it often tries to leave the tank.>
They were active when i bought them from the shop. After putting them in my shrimp tank for only a day. They all looked sick and dormant.
<Is there sufficient oxygen? Snails will "shut up shop" if conditions aren't right, clamping down to the glass or else trying to leave the tank.
Most dislike acidic conditions, so review water chemistry too. Finally, and potentially most seriously, is copper. Widely used to treat Whitespot and other external parasitic infections. Copper is acutely toxic to most molluscs, and can explain many "random" deaths.>
The first few hours they were all happily eating the algae on my glass.
After a few more days all the Nerites were dead. Picked them and smelled them. The Ramshorn i moved to a bottle where i had apple snails. Only one survived. A few days later i put the Ramshorn back in and same thing happened. Ate some algae then dormant/dying. Took it out again. A week later i bought 4 more horned Nerites. And they happily ate my algae off the
glass. I just took them out again as they just started staying still. The moment i take them out they start moving as per normal again. My tank only has cherry shrimps. Some moss, Riccia, ferns and duck weed. Bottom is gravel. I live in Singapore. Tank temp is 28deg. I only put stress coat and water ferts. Both of which i tested into the other container which the snails were in and they were fine. The container water is taken from my tank too so it can't be my water.. What could be causing this? Could it be the gravel? I really really hope you can help me. I want to have snails in my tank and i don't want any more of them dying.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Mollies + Ramshorn snails, BR?    7/9/14
<Hello April,>
I have read some of your FAQ and you seem very knowledgeable, therefore I come to you with a question: I have an Aqueon 15 Column tank (roughly 15 gallons, give/take for evaporation) that easily supports 3 Mollies (one black girl, one white girl, one Dalmatian boy).
<Hmm... wouldn't be too sure; column tanks are notoriously "poor" in terms of stocking because of their small surface area at the top (which means less air/water mixing at the top, so less oxygen in/CO2 out). This is one reason columnar tanks -- despite looking lovely -- have never caught on in the hobby. They hold much fewer fish for the volume than you'd think, perhaps half as many. Mollies are marginal in a 15 gallon tank at the best of times; even 20 gallons can be a bit tight. For sure many domesticated strains are smaller than the wild ones, but Sailfins routinely reach, what, 10 cm/4 inches, while the Shortfin Molly should easily get to a chunky 6-7 cm/3 inches.>
My white girl is somewhat aggressive, especially around food, and my boy is sort of...protective of both of the girls. I've noticed nurturing behavior in him such as getting food and spitting it out at them. It's cute.
<Indeed. But it isn't what's happening. In a nutshell, fish like Mollies can't chew. They don't have plates either. So when they have food too large to swallow, they will spit it out in the water, where the food particles linger for a while before sinking. If they're quick, they can slurp up some smaller particles, and try to swallow those. Repeat as necessary!>
But that's not my issue. My issue is that I have a somewhat generous population of Ramshorn snails. I got two from Wal-mart a long time ago when I got my goldfish, and while my two progenitors have not survived, I have several babies (roughly 15 in two different tanks, 7 in small tank, 8 in big tank). I plan on moving my other seven over to my big tank. I need to know if I can salinate my water for the mollies to the 'slightly brackish' level with my Ramshorns in there with them?
<Yes, but the Ramshorn snails will die off eventually, probably around the SG 1.005 mark.>
If so, about how much? Or is it a better idea to just leave it as it is?
The water is hard to benefit the snails, but are the mollies harmed by this?
<On the contrary, the harder the better!>
If the water needs softened, how do I do this? I have a live Java Fern and driftwood (on which the fern is growing, and which my snails *love*), so will these help?
<Java Ferns will tolerate SG 1.005 indefinitely.>
I do not wish to get rid of my snails, but everything I find online is geared toward getting rid of them rather than caring for them. I hope you can help!
<Yes: if you want the snails to survive, then a specific gravity around 1.002-1.003 will be ample, and perfect for the Mollies, which ADORE brackish water.>

Parameters: Nitrate: 0, Nitrite: 0, PH: 7, KH: 120, GH: 180, Ammonia: 0
Thank you,
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Snails dying     3/18/13
I am setting up a new 20 gallon tank. I added driftwood and a lot of plants and was letting the tank cycle. I dropped in about 4 dime sized Ramshorns from a different tank about 2 weeks into the cycle and they thrashed and twisted violently for a few min.s and then were soon dead. The bodies turned a weird white color. The ammonia is testing .25ppm. Is it just a matter of
waiting longer in the cycle?
<Ramshorns are sensitive to ammonia, so yes, let the tank fully cycle and do properly acclimate them. - Rick>

Snail identification and possible infestation     4/9/13
Hello WWM,
The problem: I accepted some plants from a neighbour. It seems that there were some snails in the plants and now there are some snails in my tank. I fear that there may be many snails.
The steps I have taken: First step: Identify the snails. The largest is very small, but I want to act fast if this is the beginning of an infestation, so I took the attached photos.
<... your pix... I'd shoot larger files, crop the subject/s... send these on. These appear to be Ramshorns, Planorbis, from what I can make out. See WWM re the genus>
 The first and third are of a snail and are unfortunately rather blurry owing to their size and the poor quality of my cell phone.
<... a lesson in...>
 The snail is attached to the glass at about the centre of the first photo.
The snail is at the bottom left of the third photo. The second shows white spots which I am seeing on the glass of the tank and on plant leaves.
<Egg casings>
The only thing I can see in your material which looks like this is a snail you have identified as a Planorbis or Ramshorn snail.
<I do concur>
It seems that these can become a serious pest and destroy plants.
Second step: Assuming that I have correctly identified the snails and I do need to take steps to avoid an infestation, it seems that a good way to deal with them is to buy some Clea helena or assassin snails.
<One approach...>
Third step: Check with the people at WWM before acting in case I am incorrect and make things horribly worse.
Conditions:10 gallon planted tank.0 ppm ammonia0 ppm nitrates10 - 20 ppm nitrites Ph is 7.8Temperature is 78 degrees Substrate is gravel Inhabitants: 3 neon tetras1 male guppy 2 Nerite snails I change 1/3 of the water every two weeks or so
1. Have I correctly identified the snails? 2. Is it true that they will wreak havoc with the plants?
Can I leave them?
<Could; though I'd periodically "thin the herd"... w/ baiting/removal>
3. If I must take action, what should I try first?
<Up to you>
 I have seen it suggested that I put vegetable matter in at night and remove it in the morning.
<Ah yes>
Will this just put off the problem?
<"So many foxes, so many hens">
4. Should I go straight to the Clea helena?
<Could... I wouldn't>
 Is it true that I would need  5 to 6 Clea helena to control the problem?
<About this number>
5. Can my tank sustain 5 to 6 Clea helena?
<Not indefinitely no... what would they eat?>
 Will they leave enough algae for the Nerite snails?
<Will kill, consume these as well>
6. Will I ever be free of snails without starting over?
<Possibly not. There are chemical molluscicides... they have their potential and real downsides though>
As always, I am enormously grateful for your help with this.
Elisabeth in Toronto
<BobF in San Diego>

Ramshorn snail smell?     3/28/13
I have 15 Ramshorn snails in my 10 gallon fish glass tank.
<Neat animals. I have these in my freshwater systems as well>
They have been in there for around a month and have been pretty happy crawling around and eating their carrot i put in there for them and such.
I change the carrot every few days, but lately the water has gone very murky and smells REALLY bad, like smelling up my entire room.
<Yikes... time for some searching about, gravel vacuuming, changing out a good deal (perhaps a quarter) of the water; maybe adding some activated carbon to your filtration>
I thought maybe one died, but I've checked and they`re all alive and crawling about, so what is causing this horrible smell and how can I fix it?
<Is there someone else who might have placed something in the system?>
I don't have a filter running in it, but I half-change the water every week
or two, and I've only put cuttle bone and carrots in there other than the small ornament I have.
I also have two Marimo moss balls in there, but they couldn't be causing the smell because they weren't at the pet store?
Thank you for your help!
<See the above suggestions again... These are what I would do. Bob Fenner>

Question(s) about Ramshorn snails? 3-8-13
I've recently(Less than a week ago.) gotten 15 Ramshorn snails.
They are in a 10 gallon tank which I set up a few days ago and put them into 2 days ago.
<Are the snails the only occupants?>
My tank pH and carbonate hardness was <were> quite low(pH was about 6.), so I added a bit(2 teaspoons.) of baking soda, having read online that this will help bring the pH up.
<Well, yes, but not in a controlled manner. See this write-up about pH.
but also realize that the pH isn't what is the problem for snails so much as the carbonate hardness.  Harder water tends to be more alkaline, but
again, the pH is the effect, not the cause.>
About an hour ago, I checked the water and it's pH has gone up to around 8 and it's carbonate hardness is around 250 now.
But quite a few of my snails seem to be floating around on the top, or just sitting on the glass up top, and one on the bottom of the tank hadn't moved
in hours, so I moved him and he seems to have joined the others at the top now.
There is no filter running yet, I keep the water around 18C, and there is nothing but gravel and a small ornament I've put in there.
<I suspect the pH moved too far, too fast. Like fishes, snails can be affected by environmental stress.>
When I first set the tank up I was sure to purify and neutralize the water.
<Neutralize as in forcing to pH of 7.0, or do you mean dechlorinating?>
There are no fish, only the snails. I have about a 2" long maybe 2 CM high carrot slice in there, and I've broken up bits of cuttlebone and added it.
<Carrot might be too hard for snails; I've never tried it.  They'll be all +over algae wafers, cucumber and zucchini. Also reportedly like leafy
greens. Blanch before putting into the tank.>
The carrots/cuttlebone has been in there for a day.
<Keep the vegetables fresh, change daily.>
I'm just wondering if them floating around and sitting in one place for long periods of time like that is normal? When I left for school this
morning one of them was floating around in the middle of the tank.
<It doesn't sound good. Are any of the snails moving? They'll often crawl around looking for food.>
I really want them to be healthy!
Also, I was wondering what the optimum  carbonate hardness for ramshorns is, and what else I can feed them?
<I haven't seen any optimum listed, but hard is good for snails. If the
water is too soft, the shell will begin to dissolve.
Thank you.
<Welcome, rick>
Re: Question(s) about Ramshorn snails? 3-8-13

yes they move around more at night but tend to sit in the same spot a lot during the day. I do mean dechlorinating!
<Hopefully you can keep the pH stable and keep the hardness up. You might consider putting some crushed coral into the tank, either as the substrate,
or in a filter bag inside the filter path. That will tend to drive the pH alkaline and drive up the hardness. Moving around at night is a good sign,
I think. Hopefully they make a full recovery. - Rick>

Planorbarius corneus and guppies    2/10/12
First I want to thank you for your website, it's really great, I've found many useful information. I'm from Czech Republic (so, please, apologise my mistakes), we have websites for aquarists, too, but I have found there just basic information usually, that's why I'm writing to you.
<Fire away!>
To the question: I have one snail Planorbarius corneus (great Ramshorn, as I've found on Wikipedia) in my "baby tank" for guppies and it had laid many eggs recently.
It's a small tank, so I can easily catch them and I want to know, if I crush the small snails, can I use it as feed for the guppies?
<You can feed crushed snails to fish. But these will be a bit tough for Guppies. So I don't think they will eat them.>
Or should I dry it first?
Thank you for answer,
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Unidentified Snail.    8/12/11
Hello there!
This evening I was looking at my 20 gallon long planted tank when I saw a tiny snail on a piece of driftwood.
I attached a photo. Do you know what it is?
<Likely Planorbis; read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Ramshorn Snail in trouble?  3/1/11
I recently got myself 2 Ramshorn snails and 1 seems to be giving out this white fluff-like substance. I've read numerous posts on your website about white fluff ON the snails but this fluff seems to be excreted (I think) BY the snail. It often ends up under its foot preventing it from moving around, but once I remove the stuff it seems normal, until it secretes the stuff again. I cant seem to find any explanation for it anywhere else, so hoping you can help.
<Hello Amanda. If snails live in a silty environment, the mucous they produce will often trap silt particles. That could be what you're seeing here. It's hard to say from your photos because they're not in focus. And
please, we do specifically ask for folks to send small images, 500 KB or so; yours were 1.5 MB each! When people send big images straight from their cameras, that clogs up the e-mail allowance we have here, and also wastes time at my end as I download the image. Use an application like iPhoto to trim, reduce the image down to a more manageable size. In any event, if your snails seem happy, don't worry about them. Cheers, Neale.>


My Ramshorn snail is reproducing :| -03/27/08
Hello again everyone!
I've been reading about snails on your website so long my eyes feel like they're going to fall out! Very helpful, but i just have a couple quick questions for you. I recently bought a Ramshorn snail from the pet store, and he's been doing great so far in my tank - a little too great in fact. He (and she, I suppose) just laid a nice big batch of eggs in one of our fake plants. From what I've read online so far, I understand that this will probably not be the only time this happens and snails tend to lay eggs like crazy. Now, being the paranoid fish owner that I am, I am worried about the fish in my tank! I know they will probably not do well to have a snail infestation. I've got a collection that includes one violet goby, one dojo loach, two Bala sharks, one clown Pleco, three black skirts, one emperor tetra, and two blue rams. So far, no one has touched the eggs as a meal, so I am worried that once they hatch there'll be a similar reaction - that is, none. I read that loach's eat the baby snails, but will any of the other fish? And if not, should we try to get rid of any future eggs before they hatch to prevent the snails from taking over?
Thanks so much for your time,
<Yes, the Loach will eat the baby snails. Chances of the snail population causing problems are low, but if you want to be sure, by all means remove the snail eggs. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Green Spotted Puffer, Coquina Clams, and Mole Crabs... + Now, raising snails... for puffer food  – 12/14/2007
Within two hours of placing the snails into the 20 gallon, I had a cluster of eggs smack-dab in the middle of the front pane of glass. Now, a few days later, they are getting' down-and-going' to town. Another question: I've read that one should rinse lettuce leaves (Romaine), dry them, then freeze them for a few minutes before feeding to the snails. Is it okay to just buy a head of lettuce, separate the leaves, wash, dry, and leave in the freezer until needed?
<Sounds okay. Personally I prefer feeding well washed slices of cucumber and other vegetables in addition to old (but still good) fish flakes. Ramshorns are not picky and as long as you do not poison them with pesticides or heavy metals they seem to thrive on various foods.>
What I buy always goes bad in the fridge before the snails can eat it all. It may be a silly question, but I want to make sure before I do so.
Thanks for the link on picky puffer feeding. I've read it. Pete doesn't have a problem with other dead foods. Loves squid and bloodworms (dead, of course) and will even eat some greens (macro algae). He also gets mealworms (live) and snails when I have them available......I'll try the chopstick trick and see if I can get him to eat clams/oysters that way....or maybe I won't need to now that I can use Coquinas.
Speaking of feeding him live foods....my backyard is Roly-Poly Central (Woodlice). I think I read somewhere that these are okay to feed him. Just double-checking with you. Are they?
<I feed them from time to time to GSPs and other puffers, but they are not among their favourite foods and seem not to be very tasty.>
There are no pesticides that we use, so they should be okay in that regard. Our sprinkler system does use water that isn't potable, though.
<You can rinse them and freeze them if you are feeling unsure.>
By the way, I called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Dept and was told that I could remove 20 clams/crabs at a time without a license. Yeah!
<That’s good news. Very good you called.>
Hey, where's your picture under the Crew Bio section? I've seen Jeni on her Harley and Bob in his leopard print wrestling tights (eeeee hehehehe), Anthony with his beanie and goatee (you ROCK, Dude); plus pictures of other crew members. But no Marco.....! What gives? I'm just sayin', is all.
<I'm very shy and reclusive.. just kidding. Will send a picture to Bob if needed. Until then you can find a picture on my homepage http://www.geo-lichtenberger.de.vu/ , click at “Zur Person”.>
Thanks again, Corinthian.
<Not much to do here for me, but lots of good information for other GSP owners by you. Thanks for writing. Great how you care for Pete. Marco.>

Attn: Bob Fenner, Variety of questions... on Bettas.... health... and snails... comp.... and algae    5/2/06
Hi Bob (if you don't mind the familiarity),
<Not at all... is my name...>
Thanks for your reassurances.  Terrence and Edmund are both doing fine, in fact Edmund's fins look a bit less curly.  I did get Terrence to try bloodworms and he loves them.
<Few Bettas can resist these>
  The patchy white spot hasn't spread, though I haven't seen him blow any bubble nests lately.
With more frequent water changes (10% 2x a week, 40% once a week out of a 2.5 gallon tank) the water is still 0 ammonia, now 0 nitrites, and the nitrates are hovering around 20 ppm.  I've been feeding less-- skipping a day occasionally, and when I do feed, 2-3 Betta pellets with sometimes a bit of bloodworm, or sometimes just a bloodworm.  Still too much?
<Not likely>
I have a good number of Malaysian burrowing snails-- I'd hazard a guess of 10.
<Soon to be more>
  Except for two old ones of maybe 3/4 of an inch, they're all about 1/4 inch or smaller.  I used to have a large population of small Ramshorns, but not long after the move to this new tank, the Ramshorns have gradually died off except for one, whose shell is covered with white scratches.  (I'm it's because my water is soft and slightly acidic.  All the Ramshorns started looking that way as time went on, though the burrowing ones haven't shown any shell problems.)  I was wondering if the die-off may have raised my nitrate levels, and if the waste of the current population could be contributing.  The snails came in with plants from my LFS (and then proceeded to multiply); I knew they were coming and kept them in hopes they'd help keep the tank clean.  If you think they should go, I'll remove them via blanched zucchini or something similar.
<Might want to just do this occasionally to keep the numbers in check>
I've also had some small smudges of algae on my tank walls, and true to your word in the snail article, the snails aren't eating it.  It's not very noticeable unless it's right between you and the tank light.  It showed up after I added aquarium salt-- any connection?
<Likely so>
There is also some green on my filter floss where it's moist but not underwater, as well as an iridescent sheen on the surface of my water.  The filmy iridescence has always been there and I take out as much as I can with water changes.  The green growth I've seen before.  Any advice for getting rid of any of the above stuff?
<Posted... see WWM re>
  I have been keeping my light on too long (about 14 hrs) so I'm setting up a 10-hr timer, and I'm assuming the growth has to do with the high nitrates as well.  I scraped some of the algae off the walls... should I go after the green stuff on the filter floss?
Thanks again,
Terrence's mom
(attached is my last email)
<Be chatting, reading. Bob Fenner>

My poor snail   1/18/06
I have a Ramshorn snail that I have had for a few months. I had noticed a while back that his shell was deteriorating from the center of the spiral outward. I called the place where I had gotten him and asked what was causing it and they told me that snails shed and not to be concerned. Well, it isn't getting any better and I came across the article "Damage on snail's shell" and realized what it was. My pH is 7.0 and I am concerned about adding the crushed coral substrate so I was wondering what else I could use to add calcium. At this point his shell is really bad and I am afraid of loosing him but I don't want to harm my other fish.
<A small bag full of crushed coral in the filter will have a good effect at this pH, but do monitor KH and remove if it rises too high. Some commercial GH buffers such as RO-right may also raise calcium, but add sparingly to get a feel for their effect. Do read up on your fishes' requirements before attempting to adjust such parameters. Bear in mind also that the snail may just be showing signs of age or lack of food. Best regards, John>

Snail Stuff
Hi Scott
The pH reduction was on the advice of the fish shop man. but he said he didn't have a book to look up in so he was guessing. What should pH be for a Ramshorn? Liddy
<Well- no specific pH. Like with other aquatic creatures, stability is what works best...Make sure that the snail has plenty of food, a stable water temp, and he/she will be just fine!
Good luck!  Scott F.>

Re: snails-Ramshorn
Thank you in regards to the question of sex of the single birthing mother snail.  Now another for  you please.  I have 3 large goldfish or carp now, and was wondering if I can put snails in the same tank without them getting eaten.
<This should work out fine. These minnow fishes don't generally eat snails>
  Also, I do not use a heater in my carp tank, just room temperature, and do have snails born in another tank I have that have a heater, will they survive the temperature of room and if yes or no, can you tell me some names of snails that can survive with my carp in room temperature.   tanks, Paul
<This also should be fine. Please see here re your last question:
Most all of the larger species of snails sold in our interest (particularly of the genus Pomacea (= Ampullaria) will do well. Bob Fenner>

Red Ramshorn snail
<Hi there! Scott F. here today>
My friend has a single red Ramshorn in her tank (no other inhabitants).  The shop she bought it from had no idea about giving info on how to care for it properly.  She has had it for several weeks but over the last month it's shell has been getting very dark (almost black).  He spends his time lying on his side in the tank (he is not dead). She checked the pH it was 8 but is now 7
Any suggestions? Thanks, Liddy
<Well, Liddy- the Ramshorn snail is a remarkably adaptable animal (just ask anyone who has them in their planted tanks!). They do eat a large amount of vegetable matter, can eat uneaten food, etc. Snails do spend a lot ofttimes just "sitting around". I know that you've heard the term "slow as a snail"...It's for a reason! I would keep an eye out on that pH. A downward shift in pH is a call to re-examine husbandry procedures (i.e; water changes, etc.). If this pH reduction was intentional, please disregard this! Good luck! Scott F.>

Re: snails-Ramshorn
Thank you in regards to the question of sex of the single birthing mother snail.  Now another for  you please.  I have 3 large goldfish or carp now, and was wondering if I can put snails in the same tank without them getting eaten.
<This should work out fine. These minnow fishes don't generally eat snails>
  Also, I do not use a heater in my carp tank, just room temperature, and do have snails born in another tank I have that have a heater, will they survive the temperature of room and if yes or no, can you tell me some names of snails that can survive with my carp in room temperature.   tanks, Paul
<This also should be fine. Please see here re your last question:
Most all of the larger species of snails sold in our interest (particularly of the genus Pomacea (= Ampullaria) will do well. Bob Fenner>

Ramshorn snails
I got a Ramshorn snail a few weeks ago. Since I got him (Ryan is his name) he has gotten a white patch that is growing. It kinda looks like someone took sandpaper to his shell. Is this something to worry about? I got 22 baby swordtails less then 3 months old, 1 Pleco, 1 spiny loch, and one clown loach. My setup is in a 20 gallon high. I got a heater and keep my tank around 72-74. Is my snail healthy?
<He’s probably getting picked on by the loaches (especially the Clown) and they will end up killing him as snails are a favorite food of theirs. Ronni>

Rams' Horn Snails - Good Guys or Bad?
I have been reading through a lot of the FAQ's and didn't find my question...so here goes.  I have a Ram Horn snail recently placed in my 55 gal. freshwater tank.  There is also an old large Pleco and an old large Tiger Oscar.  No one seems to bother the snail.  My question:  The Ram Horn snail has laid several clusters of eggs in the artificial plant.  Will these eggs hurt my Oscar and Pleco?  
<No, not at all.  The Plec may even eat some as he cleans.>
Should I remove the eggs?  
<Heh, that depends on whether or not you want lots of snails.  They can multiply tremendously.>
How do I handle this?
<You can either do nothing, or you can pull out the plant and scrape the eggs off - but I'm fairly positive there will be eggs elsewhere in the tank, as well.  Either way, it is nothing to be horribly concerned about, except that they can become an eyesore when there are too many of 'em.  More here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm .>
Thank you for any help you can give.  Beverley
<Sure thing!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Rams' Horn Snails - Good Guys or Bad? - II
Thanks so much for your quick reply.  
<You bet!  We do try to answer things quickly.... with the volume of questions we get, things sometimes slip through the cracks, but we certainly try to do our best!>
You have made an instant fan.  Beverley
<Ah, wonderful to hear!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Snail eggs
I got two Ramshorns snails last Wednesday and put them by themselves for a couple of days to make sure they would live. One is a golden color the other is the stripped kind. Then I put them in a small two gal tank with two Corys. Yesterday I saw them stuck together and now today, I have a egg sack stuck to the glass. I have three questions.
1.   Should I keep the water level above the eggs?
>>Not sure. Here are some snail websites: http://www.mtbaker.wednet.edu/harmony/ditch/ramshorn_snails.htm, http://www.applesnail.net/, http://www.naturegrid.org.uk/biodiversity/invert/snailram.html.<<
2.   How long will it be, before they hatch?
>>I am not sure.<<
3.   Will the Corys eat the eggs or the babies once the hatch?
>>Chances are good that they will eat them, yes. Check out the websites, I hope they will help you. :D<<
>>You are welcome. -Gwen<<

Damage on Snail's Shell - 02/22/2004
I'm new to this...keeping up a small aquarium and finding info on the internet. Anyway, my problem is similar to one I read from a fellow named Ryan writing to WWM.
<I can't seem to find this particular correspondence, but hopefully we can help you out.>
I have a Ramshorn snail that appears to have something (a parasite or organism?) eating away at its shell.
<Mm, likely not an organism, but a deficiency in a certain nutrient(s).  What is your pH?  What about total and carbonate hardness?>
The shell has a covering of algae on it but at the very center on each side, the area where the spiral is the tightest (if that is a word), the shell looks as if it is being eaten away.
<I understand precisely what you mean.  This is more likely than not a nutrient deficiency.>
Ryan, in his message described it as appearing as if someone has taken sandpaper to the shell. That is what I am seeing too. The strange thing is that it appears to be following the spiral, as if an organism is eating from the center outwards.
<The reason this is happening is because the inner part of the spiral, near the center, is the oldest part of the shell; as the snail grows, the shell in the center just gets older and older, it's not living tissue.  If the water lacks certain stuff (calcium and iodine, primarily) the shell dissolves over time.>
In this case the only other organisms in the 5 gal. tank are a small goldfish now about 2 in. long tip to tip and a small catfish about 1 in. long. When I mentioned this to the pet store they seemed to think that the fish would not be doing this.
Is the goldfish doing this?
<No.  I doubt that goldfish are ambitious enough to eat live snails - and certainly aren't capable of pitting their shells in this manner.>
or is there a parasite or other organism responsible?
<I highly doubt that this is the case; I know of no organism that does this.>
If the fish is doing it wouldn't it have random pitting all over the shell instead of a pattern identical on both sides?  
<Of the few fish that would damage snail shells (puffers come to mind), I agree, yes.  The best suggestion I have for you is to check your pH, GH, and KH, and depending upon what you're at now, you may consider adding a satchel of crushed coral substrate to try to bring up the calcium (and thereby, hardness, which will bump your pH up, too - so beware).  Before you do that, I recommend trying adding iodine (use Kent marine iodine, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons weekly - NOT the saltwater dose printed on the label).  I do this for my freshwater shrimp, and as a side effect, the few large Ramshorn survivors in my tank have rich, lustrous shells now.  The damage that has already happened on the shell is basically not reversible, but fixing the problem should help your snails to produce lovely shells from here on out.>
<Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Unknown snails in FW tank
I've been reading up on the various snails that sometimes sneak their way into planted freshwater tanks and I'm left a little confused.  I understand that it's impossible to tell most snail's gender, but I'm not sure if it only takes 1 snail to turn into a million little copies of itself, or if it still requires two.
<Some species are monoecious ("one house"... hermaphrodites, both functional sexes in one individual), others are dioecious...>
Reason I'm asking is recently two such specimens showed up in our 20g tank, we quickly plucked them out and put them into an old 10g for quarantine.  They're not the same breed by any stretch, one looks like a Ramshorn and the other is some form of smaller apple snail from what I can tell.  In any even... they've been there for a few weeks munching away on algae and we've seen no signs of breeding or eggs.  Is it safe to put them back into the display tank?  Thanks!
<Always a bit of a risk... these may reproduce still... but then again, you may still have more snails to come from wherever these ones originated! Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown snails in FW tank
Thanks for the info!  Unfortunately you were right, another Ramshorn popped up in the display tank.
  No less than an hour after putting it in the quarantine there were eggs on the glass.
<Ah ha! And like most humans, I do greatly enjoy (the rare occasion) of being "right", or actually hearing same. Heeeee! Do take a read re our take on FW snails: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm
and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top)
You may want to employ a snail eater if these gastropods get to be "too much".
Bob Fenner>

A question on snails
Hello, I just purchased a snail from a local pet store, unsure what kind it is, the shell is brown with white, yellowish stripes and it is about the size of a quarter.
<Sounds like a Ramshorn. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm>
  anyway I have put the snail in my 10 gallon fresh water tank to eat algae on my tank.  I have 3 painted tetras, a rainbow shark and a platy in the tank with plastic plants.  When I put the snail in the tank he did not move for hours, I then figured out that he was upside down, so I flipped him up right.  The next thing time I looked in the tank he was flipped upside down again so I flipped him back upside right.
<No need to flip... will do this on its own... if it is alive. Bob Fenner>
but he or something keeps flipping him upside down.  Is this normal and should I just leave the snail alone or what?  I am confused, This has happened several times now.  Thanks

Snail eggs
I got two Ramshorns snails last Wednesday and put them by themselves for a couple of days to make sure they would live. One is a golden color the other is the stripped kind. Then I put them in a small two gal tank with two Corys. Yesterday I saw them stuck together and now today, I have a egg sack stuck to the glass. I have three questions.
1.   Should I keep the water level above the eggs?
>>Not sure. Here are some snail websites: http://www.mtbaker.wednet.edu/harmony/ditch/ramshorn_snails.htm, http://www.applesnail.net/, http://www.naturegrid.org.uk/biodiversity/invert/snailram.html.<<
2.   How long will it be, before they hatch?
>>I am not sure.<<
3.   Will the Corys eat the eggs or the babies once the hatch?
>>Chances are good that they will eat them, yes. Check out the websites, I hope they will help you. :D<<
>>You are welcome. -Gwen<<

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