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Maximum size : 5 cm

Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail - Marisa cornuarietis : Complete Snail Profile & Care Guide

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The Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail (Marisa cornuarietis) is a popular and visually stunning addition to freshwater aquariums that don 't prioritize plant life, as these snails are voracious plant-eaters. However, they are peaceful and won 't bother other tank inhabitants. It is important to note that they should not be kept with fish that eat snails or species that may attack them, such as Clown Loaches, Dwarf Chain Loaches, Botia Loaches, or Pufferfish. These snails are unique in that they possess both lungs and gills, along with an operculum, which allows them to survive in waters with low levels of dissolved oxygen where other species would perish. In addition, their scavenging skills and aesthetically pleasing shells make them a favourite among tropical fish enthusiasts. Their shells are smooth, with uneven stripes ranging from yellow to dark brown or reddish-brown, with three to six dark spiral bands located mainly at the umbilicus that can be dark brown or black. Mutations without a banding pattern, such as black and yellow, are also common. Interestingly, sometimes the shells can be divided into two parts, with one side being light and the other being dark. The snail 's soft body parts can be white with a yellowish hue, golden, or grey and black with coloured spots. These snails also possess long tentacles and black eyes, with their upper side often being beige and their bottom being a darker brown colour.

Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual differentiation in Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snails presents a challenging task, but specific physical attributes can be observed to distinguish males from females. Males tend to possess a rounder operculum and a light-beige body colouration, accompanied by small brown spots. In contrast, females exhibit a dark chocolate colouration on their lower bodies, serving as an important marker for distinguishing between the sexes.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMarisa cornuarietis
Year Described1957
Other NamesGiant Ramshorn Snail, Giant Striped Apple Snail, Marisa Snail, Paradise Snail, Apple Snail, Golden Horn Marissa, Striped Ramshorn Snail, Stripehorn Snail, Hard Disk Snail.
OriginsCosta Rica Brazil Venezuela Panama Honduras Colombia
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asN/A
Lifespan2 - 3 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.5 - 8.0
TDS150 - 250
75 - 81
23.9 - 27.2

Natural Habitat

The Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail is an enchanting species native to Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras in the heart of South and Central America. These captivating snails prefer calm, shallow waters with plenty of vegetation, inhabiting rivers, lakes, and swamps where they stay close to the water 's surface, adding to their charm and appeal. Although these snails can tolerate relatively high levels of salt concentrations and are occasionally found in lightly brackish waters, it is essential to note that they cannot reproduce in such conditions. Therefore, creating a suitable habitat that mimics their natural environment is vital for maintaining healthy and thriving populations of these snails.


Breeding Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snails is a relatively straightforward process, given their prolific breeding habits. Ensuring the presence of both male and female snails in the aquarium, coupled with a consistent and nutritious diet, is crucial for successful breeding. Based on our experience, providing these snails with green vegetables, such as blanched broccoli and green beans, appears to be an effective breeding trigger. Unlike most Apple Snails, Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snails are not hermaphrodites and have distinct male and female reproductive organs. Females deposit their eggs in disk-shaped clutches below the waterline on various aquarium decorations, plants, or glass surfaces. During the initial stages of development, these eggs are visible as small, white spots within a translucent, gelatinous mass, with up to 50 eggs measuring 2-3 mm in size. As the snails continue to develop, the eggs become increasingly transparent, and little spots become visible on the egg 's exterior. The incubation period for these eggs is temperature-dependent and typically takes approximately two weeks to hatch. Once hatched, the young snails will bury themselves in the substrate, where they can care for themselves without any additional support.

Diet & feeding

The Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail 's primary diet consists of living and decomposing aquatic plants. However, they can also consume decaying animals, live eggs, and even other juvenile snails, making them immensely adaptable to various food sources. These snails are undemanding in terms of their dietary requirements and will consume a wide range of food options, including most aquatic plants and regular fish food such as pellets, wafers, and flakes. Additionally, they will accept small frozen fish foods and blanched vegetables, making them a convenient and versatile species to feed. It is important to note that these snails cannot solely "clean" a tank, and it is necessary to provide them with a varied and dedicated diet, including calcium-enriched foods, to maintain healthy shell conditions. In cases where the water is relatively soft and acidic, the use of liquid calcium, cuttlefish bones, calcium pills, and eggshells is encouraged to ensure the snails ' optimal health.


Giant Colombian Ramshorn Snail (Marisa cornuarietis) Rare Freshwater Aquarium Snail Profile & Care Thumbnail

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