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 Red Ramshorn Snail Factoids

Origin

Hitchhikers on new plants

Maximum Size

One inch

Temperature

Normal tank temperature

Attitude

Eats days and nights

Usefulness Cleans up excess fish food

Security

A tough shell that clamps to the glass.

Foods

Algae, fish food, zucchini, dead fish, decaying vegetation

Supplements Calcium helps their shells.  Most algae contains calcium.

Water

Prefers hard water with elevated pH -- but flexible

Brood Size

Lays several eggs in one mass

Gestation Period 4 to 40 days depending upon temperature

Breeding

Hermaphroditic.

Longevity Two years
Threats Copper, low pH, dirty water, salt, loaches, puffer keepers, and cichlids

 

  LA
Albino red ramshorn from a decade ago.

Red Ramshorns.  A couple decades ago, red ramshorn snails were more popular in the aquarium hobby.  We don't see them much anymore.  However, they're still out there in the gene pool -- as the pictures below indicate.  I've tried to pull out the redder ramshorns in the past and line breed them to re-acquire the red ramshorns.  I know they still exist in other parts of the world, but I want my own.  My line-breeding attempts in the past have been unsuccessful.  Seems like the harder you try to raise snails, the quicker they die (or maybe that's just me).  The reddest ramshorns I've seen in the past, lived in clear or white shells.  Unfortunately, I have no current pictures of the reds, they still exist only in my mind.

  LA
0.35-inch "red" ramshorn.                                               0.75 brown ramshorn.

 

LA
Two red variants -- bottom with red shell, top with brown shell.

LA
Ole!

LA
Mostly red-blooded ramshorn snail.

"Red" Observations.  Ramshorn snails or Planorbis rubrum seem to have Red in their scientific name.  "Rubrum" usually refers to a red coloration.  Theoretically, the red ramshorns contain no melanin, the black pigment.  They are red because of their red blood cells.  Perhaps the reds are weaker like many deviations from the "norm."  Who knows?    

LA
Piece of carrot for snail bait.  Couple of reddish rascals in the crew.

LA
Ramshorn snails enjoying a slice of zucchini.  We are capturing the red ones.

Ramshorn Genetics.  Probably out there in the ethernet, there's some carefully crafted DNA charts and family trees of various ramshorn strains.  However, I'm making my own built on a couple axioms and some line breeding.  Axiom 1:  red color is recessive.  Axiom 2:  Red ramshorn smaller than 0.5-inch are still virgins.  In other words, the eggs of the half inchers that grow into adults will yield 100% red snailettes.

LA
Starting out with 0.5-inch breeders.

LA
Some are redder than others.  We culled the brownish reds to build a purer red strain.

LA
 Breeding lab, January 11, 2011 -- a one gallon plastic goldfish bowl.  (One brownish red to cull.)

Breeding Laboratory.  Even half-inch snails eat large quantities of fish food.  This batch of future breeders required every other day 100% water changes.  This enabled us to feed them heavily to promote faster growth and maximum egg production.  Egg cases show up much easier in a small container than in a regular aquarium.

LA
Eggs on the side, January 18, 2011.  Four brand new egg cases all together.

LA
Eggs, January 25, 2011.  You can see the tiny snailettes developing -- about 1/16-inch in diameter.

LA
I culled this guy out January 18.   He may have messed up the gene pool.  We'll know more on the second generation.

LA
0.5-inch red ramshorns.  Quite different from the reddish-brown guy.

LA
Cirque du Snail, eh?  I'm still thinning out the reddish-brown shells.

LA
Reddest guy "walking" across the surface tension.  Reddish-brown guy gets removed.

LA
Red gene pool getting redder.

LA
Lotsa egg cases showing up.

LA
One week's production (just on the front glass).

LA
They can crank out eggs by the dozen when you overfeed your fish.

Closer to Last Words.  We'll track all these egg cases to come up with a more exact gestation period.  That first egg case (earlier, with my finger) has already disappeared.  Perhaps the larger snails are eating them?

LA
The eggs hatch at different rates.
 

Varying Hatch Rates.  The "big guy" above measures 0.25-inches.  The guy to the left is too small to measure without a micrometer.  The one above is even smaller.  The red crescent shape below is a drop of water on the glass.  There is no water in the tank at this time.

LA
Both from the same batch of red ramshorn egg cases laid six weeks ago.

LA
Eggs hatch at all different times.

LA
Still a few "brownies" that need culled.

Progress Report.  We currently have some 100+ head of these good looking red ramshorn snails.  It still takes time to grow them to "sellable size."  We'll keep you posted.  Red ramshorns make good eye candy -- not just for puffer food anymore..  LA

  LA
1-inch brown ramshorn snail to remind you of where the red ramshorns came from.

LA
Recovering our red ramshorn heritage.

LA
Everyone's doing their part.

LA
Not so sure I like the whiter shells after all. 

LA
No idea why they do this.

LA
My professional breeders.

LA
Still enjoying their carrot stick.

LA
These guys enjoying theirs even more,

LA
Get ready for a cool idea.

How do You Trap a Snail?  If the picture above doesn't give it away, here's the details: 
1.  Do not feed your snails for one day.
2.  Add a strip of freshly cut carrot.
3.  Check it the next morning.
4.  Scrape off any unwanted snails and feed them to your turtles.
5.  Repeat if necessary.  LA

LA
Have we discovered a new zebra ramshorn snail worth line breeding for?  Re-set your timers.

LA
Might just be shells dissolving in the water.  We'll find out.

LA

LA
They are now on the market.

LA
Intriguing disguise.

LA
Three of these guys growing their own toupees.

LA
One admiring himself in the mirror.

LA
Group photo.  One's a little shy.

LA
Most snails love carrots.

LA
Red ramshorn eggs hatch over a long time table.

Last Words.  Red ramshorn snails are back -- at least at Aqualand.  LA


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