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Re: Red Ramshorn Snails

> Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 19:53:19 -0500
> From: krombhol at teclink_net (Paul Krombholz)
> >Subject: Re: Red Ramshorn Snails
> >
> Merrill wrote Sept. 13:
> >...There is a brilliant Red Ramshorn Snail available somewhere in the World
> >which is a good algae eater.  It was imported into the United States
> >through the Netherlands some years ago.  Southern Tropicals in Florida
> >exhibited these gorgeous Ramshorns at the Fish Farmers' Show in Florida,
> >but evidentially lost the snails somehow sometime after the show.  I was
> >told that they came from someone in Italy that was producing them when I
> >inquired in the Netherlands.
> >
> >If there is someone from Italy reading this, do you know about the
> >availability of these gorgeous, brilliant blood-red snails?  They are a
> >lovely addition to the planted aquarium.
> >
> I have two color varieties of ramshorn, brown and red, although my red
> variety may not be as brilliant red as the one you describe.  I wonder if
> these color varieties are controlled by a single pair of genes, as in the
> case of blond and  brown guppies.

I've got some of these snails too.  My population started from a few of
the normal black-bodied brown-shelled individuals that came in on some
plants.  There seems to be several genes that affect shell color and body
color.  I've seen three colors of body - blood-red, dark-grey or black, and
a sort of muddy white.  The shells are either transparent or brown, but
young brown snails sometimes have spotted shells.  I've seen brown shell
snails with all three body colors, and transparent shell snails with red
or white bodies.  The white-bodied ones have a low survival rate, or
perhaps they turn color later, since I've never seen a white-bodied adult.
Possibly they don't make hemoglobin, and die when they get too big to
respire by diffusion?

I suspect that transparent shell plus red body breeds true, since I have
several uniform populations of these.  They are interesting critters to
watch, since you can see how little of the snail is left in the shell when
they are crawling around, and how they use air bubbles for buoyancy.  The
brilliant red color is beautiful too, in the brown shell ones as well.

I usually toss a few snails into any fry tank to clean up excess food,
so I've got a lot of separated populations in the gallon jars I use for
killifish fry.

As far as I can tell, these snails don't damage plants.  I've got them
(not by intent!) in several tanks that fish have spawned in, and I don't
trust them not to have eaten eggs, but I do have plenty of young fish,
so they probably aren't a real disaster, any more than the Malayan trumpet
snails of which I've also got lots.

Btw, anybody in Canada who would like either ramshorn or Malayan trumpet
snails, write to me and I'll send you some for mailing costs or in trade
for plants or whatever.