Planorbella duryi (Seminole Ramshorn Snail) is a species of air-breathing freshwater snail, a pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Planorbidae, the ram’s horn snails.
Planorbella duryi can be an interesting addition to a community tank. These snails can be a good match for species tanks as well, like shrimp or snail tanks. Planorbella duryi can do a good job keeping a tank clean by eating uneaten food, dead or decaying plant matter, debris, detritus, and soft algae buildup on hard surfaces. A ramshorn snail can be seen for hours on end canvasing the tank for edible matter. They have the ability to move and bend their rubber-like bodies around very thin plant leaves, dangle from stems and stretch as they move from one hard surface to another. With a young Planorbella duryi, the inside of their bodies can be seen as they eat and digest food, because their shells are thin and translucent.
In general, Planorbella duryi care can be thought of in terms of tank size, habitat, water parameters, diet, growth rate, lifespan and reproduction. Ramshorn snail care is relatively easy, making it a good snail for beginners.
Planorbella duryi can do well in nearly any size tank, from small tanks like 5 or 10 gallon setups to much larger ones, provided the rules regarding fish count are followed. Although a ramshorn snail is not the escape artist like some other snails are, its best to keep the tank covered to the extent possible.
Planorbella duryi can adapt to a variety of habitats, but they seem to really enjoy tanks with a variety of live plants. Live aquarium plants shed dead or dying plant matter into the water serving as food for the snails. Tanks with live plants are never “too clean”, making Planorbella duryi a good custodian. A ramshorn snail also enjoys a tank with lots of rocks, caves other interesting spots to explore.
Ramshorn snail care is easy is because they are very adaptable and can do well in a range of water conditions. Ramshorn snails can do well in established tanks with clear, moderately moving water, as well as in tanks more on the murky side. Either way, the tank water should be well aerated and oxygenated, with stable water parameters. Planorbella duryi do best in tanks where sudden shifts in conditions are avoided. Planorbella duryi seems to enjoy being in water within the community tank range: pH 7.0 – 7.5 with water hardness at around 10 – 20 dGH. The optimal water temperature is between 18°C – 25°C.
Planorbella duryi, it’s important to test tank water regularly. Make sure Ammonia and Nitrite levels are at 0 ppm, and control Nitrate levels as well as organic matter accumulation with regular partial water changes. As with other shelled tank mates, be very careful when using medications and plant fertilizers as some of the ingredients may be harmful. Most importantly, avoid copper. Even in small amounts, copper can be fatal.
Planorbella duryi spend a lot of time on the hard surfaces of a tank searching for something to eat. Ramshorn snail food sources include dead or decaying plant matter, soft algae, uneaten food and fallen tank mates. Their food should also include a variety of fish flakes, pellets, bottom feeder tablets, algae wafers and calcium-rich supplements. Calcium is important for healthy shell growth. As for feeding, feed in small amounts and no more than the snails can eat in 5 minutes.
Ramshorn snail food can also include dead fish, snails or shrimp. Even though Planorbella duryi will eat dead fish and snails, it’s best to remove the deceased to avoid ammonia spikes and other water quality issues. A ramshorn snail can also interested in eating dead aquarium shrimp. Ramshorns seem particularly interested in feeding on molted Bamboo and Amano shrimp shells. Some hobbyists let the snail feed on the shell for a while so it can ingest some of the minerals. When the snail is finished feeding, simply remove the remaining portion of the shell from the tank.
One interesting thing to observe are Planorbella duryi eating in groups. They are very active, moving about the tank during the day and night on the prowl for food. When one snail finds a source of food, other snails will migrate to the area. The group of snails will devour the food until gone. Often, clumps of snails actively move to position themselves in just the right spot to get the best bite.