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Planorbis rubrum

Planorbis rubrum
Red Ramshorn Snail
The Ramshorn Snail (Planorbis rebrum) has earned itself a bad name. A lot of planted aquarium hobbyists consider it to be a pest and try to irradicate them using many different methods. This snail can eat your plants, destroy your foreground glossostigma, eat the food meant for the shrimp while kicking the shrimp to the side, and many other irritating things. It may sound very bad but it can easily be prevented by not overfeeding.

Overfeeding is the number one cause of snail outbreaks. If you see a lot of snails in your tank then there is a high probability that you are overfeeding either your fish or shrimp. The Ramshorn Snail reproduces rapidly. It lays a clutch of eggs in a hard mucus. You can see a picture of an egg clutch at the bottom of the page. You can see these eggs on rocks, leaves, glass, and virtually any surface in the aquarium. Do not even attempt to remove them, you will drive yourself crazy. For every clutch you find there are at least 5 others you don't see.

Unfortunately there are products on the market that are meant specifically for killing snails. If you are keeping shrimp, crayfish, or any other invertebrates I highly recommend you do not use any chemicals in your aquarium with the objective of removing snails. You will most certainly kill your other invertebrates as well. Put the chemicals to the side and use the snails weakness to your advantage, that weakness being its slow movement.

You will not be able to find all of the snails in your aquarium by simply looking around. You will most likely rip your entire tank apart before you even get 10% of the population. There is one solution: let the snails come to you. This method has been used many times in the aquarium hobby and it works. Best of all it is extremely easy. Place a piece of cucumber at the bottom of the aquarium before you turn off the lights at night. Wake up the next morning about an hour before the lights come on and voila, the snails are sitting ducks.

There are some very beautiful looking Ramshorns though. There is a Blue Ramshorn, a Pink Ramshorn, and many other different colorations. Some invertebrate hobbyists enjoy keeping these different colored Ramshorns and breeding them.