In the conditions of modern life, residents of megalopolises do not always have the opportunity to have pets. This is primarily due to the lack of free time. However, with the popularization of snails as pets, many owners have found new friends in the form of cute slow creatures.
Basically, giant African Achatina act as an unusual pet. These molluscs do not hibernate, unlike the Helix group (grape, garden and mountain snails), and their size is more impressive.
The advantage of gastropods consists of the following factors:
- minimum costs of time and money for maintenance;
- lack of unpleasant smell.
Another plus is that even a child can take care of this animal.
Snail house and accessories
You need to prepare a little for the appearance of a new pet. First, choose a house. There are two options here: a large plastic container or an aquarium.
- little weight;
- the presence of a cover.
The lightweight container is more convenient to carry to the bathroom for cleaning. And the cover is useful if you plan to transport the snail. Important! Be sure to make large holes in the cover for air intake. Despite these advantages, a glass aquarium is considered a more sustainable home. In addition to the “dwelling” for the Achatina (or another type of gastropod), they buy:
- soil (coconut substrate, cleaned soil, moss);
- bowls for water and food (plastic lids for cans are suitable);
- spray gun (for spraying the walls of the aquarium);
- hygrometer, thermometer.
So, the new pet has arrived, it’s time to make a diet. It’s actually quite simple: snails are happy to eat seasonal vegetables and fruits. They especially love juicy and sweet foods:
- lettuce leaves;
Vegetable food should be varied so that the snail receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals:
The exceptions are: onions, garlic, potatoes, and citrus fruits (due to the large amount of ascorbic acid, which interferes with the absorption of calcium).
Calcium is very important for snails, because thanks to it, the so-called outer skeleton — the shell — grows and forms. The health of the animal directly depends on the strength and condition of the shell. For this reason, it is important to add boiled eggshells to the diet, a special mineral supplement, or put a calcium stone in the aquarium.
It will not be superfluous to feed your pet with a grain mixture. Several types of cereals and legumes are interrupted on a blender and sprinkled with plant food. Complex carbohydrates provide energy and strength.
The protein component is also important. Animal protein (gammarus, daphnia, boiled egg) plays a key role in muscle building.
About humidity and temperature
As you know, snails are lovers of high humidity, which must be provided in artificial conditions.
Only clean drinking water is used for bathing and spraying the aquarium. The more often you irrigate the walls of the house, the more comfortable the animal will feel.
The presence of a device called «hygrometer» will help control the required parameters (70-80% inside the container).
As for the temperature, the indicators depend on the breed of snails that live in the house. Achatins, as representatives of African countries, are more thermophilic. They feel comfortable at + 25 … + 27 ° С. Grape snails love coolness (+ 21 … + 23 ° С).
It is important to keep the house clean by removing food debris and excrement. Also remember to rinse the snail under water. It is desirable that it be running water from a filter or simply purified water. The soil with which the bottom is covered is changed once every two weeks.
All these rules are actually quite simple. Following them will not take a lot of energy and strength from you. But the most important thing is communication with your pet. After all, the fact that snails are the simplest creatures is just a delusion. Experienced snail breeders know that molluscs are even able to recognize and sense their host.