Columbian Ramshorn Snails

Columbian Ramshorn snails are a type of apple snail and are quite different from the normal Ramshorn snails. Read our guide below for more facts and information…

The Columbian Ramshorn snails got the scientific name “Marisa Cornuarietis” from the shape of their shell that looks like a flat coil or even the horn of a ram. Most Ramshorn snails belong to the family “Planorbidae” barring this type that belongs to the family “Ampullariidae”. Unlike the regular Ramshorn snails, Columbian Ramshorn snails are plant eaters and are not related to the former at all. They are excellent scavengers and can clear up all the waste in the tank. They can also clear all the excess food to less toxic elements and help cleanse the water.

Physical attributes of Columbian Ramshorn snails

They have a planispiral shell and have an operculum that they can close themselves in. They also have a pair of tentacles and a siphon on the left hand side. They have separate genders for male and female. The shell is yellow in color and has brown stripes all along the shell.

Type of water suitable for Columbian Ramshorn snails

They are originally from Central and South America and thrive in room temperature hard water. The pH of the water does not affect them. To check if the water is suitable for them, you can drop them in the tank full of water and observe keenly for 24 hours. If the snail does not open up then it is advisable to change the water. Soft water is not suitable for them, as their shells tend to dissolve in it. These snails fulfill their requirement of oxygen from the water they live in, and do not need to breathe in fresh air.

White Sidewall Ramshorn

This variant gets its name from the white stripe seen on its shell. Columbian Ramshorn snails are also referred to as “Giant Ramshorn snails” and are available in pet stores.

Food consumed

Columbian Ramshorn snails fall under the category of an omnivore (scavenger) and can eat huge amounts of plant matter, rotting vegetation, algae, fish food and almost any organic matter within its reach. They can even feed on sponge filters and water hyacinths.


Columbian Ramshorn snails are eaten by many aquarium species like turtles, crayfish, critters, clown loaches etc. Even other snails can eat the eggs and need protection; hence, the eggs are laid in a gelatinous blob.


For breeding, they need 80 º or higher temperature. They breed in large numbers and lay at least 50 eggs that look like a gelatinous mass on submerged plants. The hatching can take time, ranging from 12 to 40 days. These snails can grow up to 4 centimeters in size. The blob in which the eggs are laid is many times larger than the snail itself as when the eggs are laid the blob absorbs water and expands. The blob protects the eggs from aquatic predators. Most pests tend to stay away from the blob barring the crayfish sometimes. The shells of newly hatched snails are quite fragile and that makes it difficult for them to herd together.

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