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Care

Taking care of snails is more than just feeding. First, housing must be in order for the snails to feel good. In addition, it is important to give them proper food. And of course, the humidity must be monitored, calcium must be available and larger species must be able to bury themselves.

Achatina iredalei (links) en pleurodonte isabella (rechts)

Housing

My land snails are largely housed in terrariums made of concrete plywood. Some of them, where my achatina species live, have a glass bottom. This makes it easy to see if eggs have been laid. I do not let all eggs hatch and I can easily remove them. Until a year ago I mainly used plastic transparent curver boxes. Mesh is glued over the two handles so that the animals cannot escape from there. This has its advantages, you can simply move the boxes, cleaning them is easy. In addition, the transparent bottom makes it easy to determine whether eggs have been laid. The substrate consists of potting soil (with coconut fibers) mixed with reptile bark (wood chips). The thickness of the bottom layer depends on the snail species. Large animals that like to bury themselves need a thicker layer than small species. Plants are often not recommended, but it is possible with a number of smaller species. The terrarium is there for the snails and if the plants are gnawed at, that is bad luck. A few branches, a number of larger leaves and sepia complete the picture. A bowl with some water is handy, but it should be placed in such a way that it cannot be knocked over quickly, otherwise the terrarium will be soggy after a few days and no longer suitable for the snails. Of course you have to take the moisture into account so it may be that the soil must first be moistened before the snails can get in.

Nutrition

Nutrition is not always an easy matter. Some species eat everything, others are very picky. The most important things for my snails are zucchini, cucumber, lettuce and to a lesser extent carrot, pear, dandelion leaves, ... Some species also need some branches that they gnaw on or some dry leaves that are also eaten. In addition, they sometimes also receive a special 'porridge' that contains all kinds of extra nutritional supplements and calcium. It is often a matter of trying what is best for the snail species you have bought. Some species only eat cucumber with me, but every now and then I try a piece of carrot and some fish food. Certainly the latter is also eaten by most.

Etende achatina reticulata