How To Care For Giant African Land Snails
Follow Mark Amey's step by step guide to looking after Giant Snails, These creatures are native to East Africa and can grow to 25 centimetres long, so learn how to care for them properly with VideoJug's help.
Step 1: Housing and Bedding
Keep your snail in a well-ventilated glass or plastic tank with a secure lid. Fit a heat mat with a thermostat and thermometer at the back of the tank to check the temperature is kept at about 25 degrees. Place the thermostat sensor over the heat source. Line the floor with a thick layer of substrate such as cocoa fiber which should to be kept damp. Don't use soil from your garden as it may contain stones or chemicals. The tank should be kept away from direct sunlight, radiators, draughts and chemicals such as fly sprays. 1 snail needs a tank about 40 centimeters by 25 by 25. Provide bark for your pet to climb and hide under. Spray the tank every other day with warm water to maintain the level of humidity at 60-70%. This can be checked with a hydrometer.
Step 2: Handling
Snails should be picked up gently by their shells. It is best to pick them off the floor rather than when they are stuck tightly to the glass. Snails don't mind being handled but make sure your hands are clean and damp, as sweat or chemicals are easily absorbed by your snail, and can be harmful.
Step 3: Diet
Feed your giant snail leafy greens every day such as lettuce, cabbage and spinach. All vegetables should washed to remove all traces of chemicals. Remove any food that hasn't been eaten within a day. Snails need calcium so also provide a cuttlefish bone, natural chalk or crushed eggshells. They will need a shallow bowl of fresh water, but can drown if it is deeper than a few millimeters.
Step 4: Cleaning
Clean the tank of snail trails and change the substrate every week. Wash the tank only with warm water as detergents may be harmful.
Step 5: Health
Your snail should have few health problems if kept in the right conditions. It is critical that it is not exposed to any chemicals around the home. If the environment is too hot, cold or dry it will hide and become inactive, and a membrane may form over the aperture of the shell. A healthy snail has a clean, unbroken shell, and no unusual lumps or patches on its body.