5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium
5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium (Photo copyright from aquaticmag.com)

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails in The AquariumFreshwater ramshorn snails (planorbidae) are common aquarium pest snails species that usually attack the aquarist tanks. They are dangerous pests because of the rapid population growth, making it hard to control them.

These aquarium pests have round spiral shells that resemble ram’s horns. Generally, they have various colors, including pink, orange, blue, etc. But the majority of specimens that frequently inhabit the aquarium are the orange types.

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Planorbidae can grow up to 1 inch, and the harder water (calcium) can increase their shells’ strength.

Ramshorn snails are omnivorous. They feed on live aquatic plants and foods which are specifically for other invertebrates.  The excess food also becomes their favorite snacks, which will help push their population outbreak.

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium
Photo copyright from naturalaquariums.com

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium


These aquarium snails will compete with shrimps and other helpful tropical snails to get food. It may boost up their populations too large and starving them.

You can quickly identify them by classified them into three main size categories. White Ramshorn Snails “Gyraulus albus” is the smallest specimen that only grows up to 1/3 inches. Common Ramhorn Snails typically reach up to 1 inch in size. The last, Great Ramshorn Snails, “Planorbarius corneus,” can grow around 1.5 inches in diameter.

Generally, these aquatic snails can live about 1-3 years. But, most of these species only reach up to 1 year. In smaller populations, they help to decrease nitrates in the aquarium. Unfortunately, they receive a terrible reputation when inhabiting an aquarium with large numbers.


Read Also: 10 Good Reason Why You Should Have An Aquarium Fish At Your Home


Where do ramshorn snails come from? Mostly the snails or snail eggs rides on the live aquatic plants to introduce into your aquariums. However, they can come in on any equipment or decorations such as gravel, ornaments, and filter that have been used in other tanks.

If you are really unlucky, these pests can be scooped up together with your fish which you buy in an aquarium store, and bringing them into your tank by fish bag water.

Ramshorn snails’ reproduction process is similar to pond snails. They are hermaphroditic, which means a single snail can rapidly produce many snails. These aquarium snails usually lay their eggs on a hard surface such as driftwood, stones, plants, and wall tank.

Their eggs easily to see with the naked eye. These aquarium mollusks usually lay the eggs in numerous small clusters, and the tint is brownish. Each cluster generally has about 12 eggs.

These snails act as biological load enhancers on your aquarium filter by consuming a fine-leaf aquatic plant like Cabomba to become feces. They tend to die in small tanks and pollute the water quickly.

Read Also: Algae Eating Fish Plecostomus in Tropical Tanks: Gold Nugget Pleco


5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium
Photo copyright from en.aqua-fish.net


The ramshorn snail will grow up well under the conditions below:

  • Water Temperature: 75 F’ / 24 ‘ C
  • Water pH: 7,5
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrates: > 40 ppm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5-gallons


How to get rid of ramshorn snails effectively? There are 5 ways to remove these harmful snails in your aquarium:

Remove The Food Sources

Reducing the portion of fish and shrimp/snail pellets can lower the population of ramshorn snails. Clean quickly as possible the decaying leaves of aquarium plants, it may become other snacks from them.

Although they can spawn quickly, these snails also can generate babies by controlling their consuming habits. Ramshorn snails also accept algae and organic debris as their foods.

Read Also: Awesome Algae Eaters: Zebra Nerite Snails


Manual Removal

There are three ways to remove these aquatic mollusks from the tank. First, you can remove them directly by your hand when each time you see these snails. Second, you can try to create a snail trap using vegetables (leaf lettuce, cabbages, zucchini, cucumber, carrots) or large pellets clipping on the aquarium wall at night. In the early morning, you can easily harvest the pest snails and dispose of them.

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium
A Group Of Ramshorn Snails Trapped In Snail Catcher (Copyright: @nano_aquatics On Instagram)

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The third is using a snail catcher; this tool is handy for picking up the snails from the aquarium without wetting your hand. It can scrape them off the aquarium bottom and walls. Are you interested in trying this tool?

Unfortunately, the manual removal method won’t erase every ramshorn snail, but you can control the number of them.

Read Also: COMPLETE Blackwater Fish Tank Setup Guide


Snail-eaters Snail (Assasin Snails)

Keeping a snail predator, A.k.a Assasin snail (Clea Helena), can decrease the growth level of these aquatic pest mollusks. They are a good solution for almost every aquarium that is infected by ramshorn snails.

Assassin snails’ appearance is not too bad. They are actually small, with an adult who can reach 1-inch size. Their shells are cone-like, with dark brown and yellow bands running around them.

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Ramshorn Snails In The Aquarium
An Assassin Prey On A Large Ramshorn Snail (Copyright: @nano_aquatics On Instagram)

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Sometimes they are completely brown tint without yellow stripes through the shells, but it is slightly rare. They are also known as bumblebee snails.

The number of Clea Helena depends on the number of pest snails and your aquarium size. Commonly 2-4 snails per 10 gallons are enough. But, if the growth of pest snails is dropping significantly, just left one assassin snail to guard the tank. Because in my experience, they also predate the beneficial snails when primary food is over. Almost all of my young and mature nerite snails kill by them.

Another interesting fact is these pest snail predators are slow to reproduce and need a female and male to breed. It means you can maintain their numbers simply.

Read Also: The Best Algae Eater Snails: Horned Nerite Snail


Fish Predators For Pest Snails

An aquatic mollusk becomes a tasty morsel for many freshwater fish species, so adding fish that naturally predate pest snails is another good option, even though some aquarists breed the pest snails to feed their pufferfish. Snails are their favorite foods.

If your tanks are small, you can keep the dwarf pea pufferfish; they are suitable for many nano aquariums. There is another freshwater fish that enormously help you to get rid of the pest snails in your tank:

Read Also: The Complete Guide To Keep Dwarf Gourami Fish (Tank Setup And Mates, Appearance, Feeding, Disease, Breeding)


Chemical Removal

The fastest and simple method to get rid of the pests from your tank is using an anti-pest snails medicine which is available almost in local and online fish stores.

Add the chemicals into your tank and let it for the duration specified on the product’s label. After that, remove all dead snails to prevention they pollute your water quality.

This simple and easy process tends to be preferred by beginners, but it has adverse effects and may cause a few collateral damages. It is because the dissolved copper substances in these medicines are poisonous for any snails and shrimp species that you keep.

An expert aquarist says, “You should not use a chemical treatment, except you do not care about the survival of other species in the aquarium.”

Read Also: Are Axolotls Good Pets For You? It’s A Complete Guide Of Keeping, Feeding, Behavior, Characteristics



The best method to avoid the ramshorn snail is never to let them come into the aquarium in the first place. When you buy a new fish, ensure that nothing in the fish bag, including the water, drops into the tank.

If you buy a new live aquatic plant, quarantine them with some medicines before putting them into the aquarium.  Plants soaking options including:

  • Alum: Soaking the new plants with 2 tablespoons of alum and 1-gallon of water. Let them in there for 2-3 days, then clean them by washing them with the water before keeping them in the aquarium.
  • Potassium Permanganate: Prepare a half tablespoon potassium permanganate and 1 gallon of water, then mix them. Soak the plants in this solution for 15 minutes and then washing clearly before adding to the tanks.
  • Bleach: Make a solution from 1.5 cups of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Soak the aquarium plants for 5 minutes, then soak them in plain water with a dechlorinating agent for 5 minutes, then rinse well. Be careful the fine-leaved plants are harmful to damage by this mixture. Although, the bleach solution is a very powerful way to get rid of ramshorn snails and their eggs.

How about this article? Is it beneficial for you? We hope our knowledge can help you to get rid of the harmful ramshorn snails in your tank. Don’t forget to tell your friends that need this guide.

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