Great Ramshorn (Planorbarius corneus)

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Great Ramshorn
Planorbarius corneus
Great Ramshorn (Planorbarius corneus)
Name Great Ramshorn
Name Lat. Planorbarius corneus
Family Ramshorn Snails
Family lat. Planorbidae
Order Freshwater Limpets
Order lat. Hygrophila
Origin Europe
Habitat Streams, lakes, pools
Diet Algae, detritus, snail food
pH 7.0-8.0
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Individual, group
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Egg layer
Breeding Simple
Life Span 2-4 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 3.5 cm
Temperature 3-27 °C
Hardness 5-15 °dH
Aquarium ~ 20 l
US Units
Size 1.4"
Temperature 37-81 °F
Hardness 89-267 ppm
Aquarium ~ 5 gal

Distribution and habitat

The ramshorn snail is widespread throughout Europe. It inhabits plant-rich, stagnant or slow-flowing waters, where it is usually found on aquatic plants, roots or stones


They need a well-structured aquarium, with plenty of aquatic plants, roots and stones. The substrate of sand or gravel should be partially covered with foliage (e.g. sea almond leaves, oak leaves), rotting plant material and mulm

The water quality must correspond to that for the average keeping of freshwater fish. No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable in the water and the nitrate value should be below 100 mg/l. When using a filter, make sure that only a weak current is created and that no animals can be sucked in. The lighting must correspond to the natural day-night rhythm of the animals.


They feed on algae and residues of dead plants and animals (detritus). The food supply consists mainly of scalded leaves (lettuce, dandelion, etc.), food tablets with high vegetable content (spirulina) and nori algae leaves. Aquarium plants are usually not considered food. Unaccepted food must be siphoned off after 2-3 hours.

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

In cold water aquarium they can be well socialized with carp-like fish and other invertebrates (mussels, snails, etc.). In tropical aquariums they should not be socialized with fish that pluck at their antennae (e.g. perches) or that regard snails as food (e.g. puffer fish)

In principle, only mutually compatible species with similar requirements for water quality and water temperature may be socialized.

Reproduction and breeding

They are hermaphrodites. During mating, they act either as males or females. Self-fertilization is also possible.

The clutches consist of a flat, oval-shaped jelly and are mainly attached to aquatic plants. Depending on the size of the snail, a clutch can be 30 mm in diameter and contain up to 70 eggs. The eggs are laid during the night. Depending on the water temperature, the young snails hatch about two to three weeks after egg laying.


They occur in the natural color variants yellowish, brownish and olive horn.

Since young snails leave the water again and again, a distance of approx. 2 cm between water surface and aquarium edge should be kept and the aquarium should be well covered. In the lung cavity there is a well supplied with blood skin flap as a substitute gill, which enables them to survive also in oxygen-poor waters.

To build their shell, they need an adequate supply of lime. Especially in soft, acidic water, shell damage (holes) can occur due to calcium deficiency, which can lead to the death of the snail. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the calcium concentration in the water and, if necessary, calcium should be added in the form of limestone, cuttlebone or special preparations from the specialized trade. The foliage (sea almond tree, oak, beech, etc.) when rotting promotes the development of microorganisms, which are a valuable secondary food source.

The well-being of the animals should be checked regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least every 14 days. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even when contaminant levels have not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced animals must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Barbara Pachner; Image: petdata

Source: BITTER (2008): Schnecken-Fibel, Dähne Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch