Marine Invertebrates

Planorbis snail

  • Scientific name: Planorbis corneus
  • Common name: Planorbis snail, Devil snail
  • Aquarium size: 20 liters
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature: 20ºC to 26ºC
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.5
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Length: 2 cms.


Corneus Planorbis snails are highly appreciated by fans of aquatics, because are snails really easy to care for and play in the aquarium … So if you have no care can become a real plague.

Their effect within the aquarium ecosystem is beneficial,
they feed on the remains that are at the bottom and the algae in the aquarium.

We can find Planorbis snails with different shell colors, although the most appreciated is the red one.


The Planorbis corneus snail reaches 2 centimeters in its adult state and usually live between 2 and 3 years, depending on the characteristics of the aquarium. With very high temperatures their metabolism accelerates and they live less, while with cold waters they tend to prolong their life expectancy.

Its shell is very characteristic, somewhat flattened and in the shape of a spiral as in all snails.
It has a tall, large and curved outer spiral, to finish in the center of the snail shell.

Unlike many snails, they
lack an operculum , that closure of the shell that keeps them safe inside.


The variety of colors in Planorbis snails is very wide, from brown, blue, pink, red and gold tones, the red ones being the most appreciated and difficult to obtain.

The color that we observe is the result of the coloration of the shell, but also of the color of the snail’s body.

Young snails usually show specks that are part of the pigmentation of the mantle , which disappears as it grows and its shell becomes thicker and opaque.

It is not uncommon to observe how within the same aquarium and without the need to introduce any different specimen, variations in color may arise.

Sexual dimorphism

As with most snails , they are hermaphrodites. There are no differences between males and females, because they can exchange their function at any time.
They have male and female reproductive organs. All specimens produce both sperm and eggs, but they must mate with each other, because they cannot self-fertilize.

Distribution and habitat

They are native to Europe and Central Asia, although there are colonies of Planorbis corneus snails in all areas with a tropical climate in the world.

In their natural state they live in fresh water courses with little movement, being able to hibernate and withstand long periods of drought.

Aquarium conditions

They can survive perfectly in an aquarium without a filter, air pump or heater.
They do not attack or eat the leaves of the aquarium plants , on the contrary, they tend to bury themselves in the aquarium substrate , preventing compression of the sandy substrate and improving air circulation and root expansion.

They can be perfectly in a planted aquarium,
only the leaves that have already deteriorated and that are in the process of decomposition will be eaten.

Water quality

Although they endure extreme conditions, for a perfect development of the Planorbis corneus snail, we must maintain the following water parameters:

  • Temperature: Between 20ºC and 26ºC, with a temperature below 18ºC the snails go into a hibernation process.
  • pH: The pH should be between 7.0 and 8.5. With a pH below 7, the shells begin to fall apart.
  • dH: Slightly hard water, between 3.35 and 6.7, to avoid descaling.


They are omnivores and scavengers, they will eat all kinds of algae and debris that they find at the bottom of the aquarium, both leaves, food debris from other fish and remains of dead fish.

They respect the plants in the aquarium, their radula (a device used to scrape and grind food) is not strong enough to scrape healthy leaves.

They can provide
plant foods such as lettuce leaves, chopped zucchini or cucumber and specific dry food for snails.

Behavior and compatibility

They are very calm, they do not have a problem with any species in the aquarium, except those that they interpret as their food, such as botia, puffer fish or good-sized cichlids.


Being a hermaphroditic species they reproduce very easily, so much so that they can become a pest, if we do not have a certain control over their population.

They are laid on any type of surface, be it crystals, plants, filters, and they lay their eggs on top of another snail.

The number of eggs can reach up to 20 per specimen, in
clutches that are oval or rounded, almost transparent and somewhat gelatinous.

As the moment of hatching approaches, the transparent gelatinous mass acquires a yellowish hue, the result of the new snails that are about to be born.

When the new snails are born, they look like a ball and as they grow, they acquire their typical flat shape.

Photos of the snail Planorbis

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