If you are already tired of normal fish and invertebrates, why not switch to ramshorn snails? Are ramshorn snails good for the tank? Yes, they are!
Not only are they fun to watch, but they are also hardy and relatively easy to care for. Furthermore, ramshorn snails are quite affordable, making them a perfect choice for beginners.
Still, some aquarists are worried about whether do ramshorn snails eat plants. In today’s article, let’s learn more about ramshorn snails and their eating habits.
Do Ramshorn Snails Eat Plants?
Yes and no. Generally speaking, ramshorn snails are reported to feed on live plants, especially those on the verge of dying or already decaying leaves and roots.
Furthermore, ramshorn snails also develop a liking for any plant matter that falls onto the aquarium’s floor. This includes food leftovers from when you feed other fish inside the tank.
However, most ramshorn snails will not feed on live plants unless there is something wrong with their current diet and feeding habits. Usually, ramshorn snails only go for soft, elastic stems.
If you see them feeding on hard leaves, you might have to check up on the snails and see how they have been doing.
Ramshorn Snails – What You Need To Know
Ramshorn snails get their name from their appearance since their shells are shaped like a ram’s horn. They are native to freshwater bodies and are not easily found in nature. You are most likely to come across ramshorn snails when you go shopping for them in the stores.
“How long do ramshorn snails live?” you may ask. Unlike their slow-moving counterparts, ramshorn snails have a relatively short lifespan of around a year. Still, provided that the water conditions are maintained at optimal levels, you may expect these animals to live up to 3 or 4 years.
Ramshorn snails look quite small, with an average diameter of around one inch. That said, some scientists believe that if taken care of properly, ramshorn snails can increase in size. But whether or not this statement is true is still up for debate.
Given their tiny size, it should be no surprise that ramshorn snails do not require much more than a standard 5-gallon tank. In case you want to house at least a few ramshorn snails at the same time, consider investing in a 10-gallon tank.
Or, should you want a community tank with other aquatic pets, feel free to buy a 20-gallon or even a 50-gallon tank.
Remember, the key is to make sure all members inside your aquarium feel safe and comfortable. The more personal space they have, the quicker and safer they will develop.
Ramshorn snails are not particularly picky when it comes to water conditions. While they do not call for much regarding the environment they live in, they still need something constant. This means that your water must stay relatively the same throughout the entire time.
As far as the cleanliness of water is concerned, ramshorn snails are fine either with murky or crystal-clear water. They would do best if the temperature range is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH level not exceeding 7.5.
Food & diet
Ramshorn snails are big fans of algae. They still spend most of the time searching for algae, regardless of where it is located. Whether your tank has algae on the walls or the floor, rest assured that ramshorn snails will consume them all.
Furthermore, ramshorn snails can also munch on decaying matters such as fallen stems, leaves, and leftovers.
That said, you should not rely solely on these sources of food. If you want your snails to develop healthily, you are advised to supplement their diets with commercial food. These include protein-rich flakes and pellets, as well as calcium fish supplements.
In case you wish to feed them with veggies, consider sliced cucumbers and blanched lettuce.
It is worth noting that ramshorn snails are voracious. Thus, you should feed them for 5 minutes only. Exceeding this time frame and you will be left with a ton of overfed snails.
Like most snails, ramshorn snails are peaceful and quiet creatures. They tend to roam around the aquarium on their own without causing much trouble for other aquatic animals. Sometimes, they even climb up the walls in an attempt to munch on algae.
Another behavior easily spotted in snails is their tendency to share a meal with other snails. Usually, they travel alone. But once food appears, you will be surprised at how fast these animals gather and eat together.
Given how peaceful ramshorn snails are, it is understandable why they should not be placed in the same tank with aggressive fish. Their tiny size and quiet temperament make snails the perfect target for belligerent aquatic animals.
In case you wish your community tank to stay conflict-free, make sure to house ramshorn snails with equally peaceful fish or snails. You can also put in several types of shrimp that prefer solidarity and will not tamper with the existence of your snails.
Ramshorn snails have both sexual organs in their body. Thus, they do not need a female or male counterpart to reproduce. And how quickly do ramshorn snails reproduce? Rather frequently!
All you have to do is to wait for them to lay the eggs. Once 4 or 5 days have passed, the baby snails will be hatched.
If you want to keep these snails, make sure that there are enough soft algae for them to feed on. Once the water conditions have stabilized, these baby snails will soon grow to their full size and start roaming around on their own.
Do ramshorn snails eat plants? Yes, they do! However, if you want your snails to fully develop, you might want to diversify their diets with commercial food and algae as well!
Alex is a pet freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. He attended Colorado State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was where he first got some experience in animal nutrition. After graduating from University, Alex began sharing his knowledge as a freelance writer specializing in pets.