Snails are recognized as truly multifunctional animals:
- some still consider them garden pests (and this is true);
- others cannot imagine their diet without snail meat;
- still others are used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes (mucus of molluscs is used);
- and some people consider gastropods to be ideal pets.
Unlike cats and dogs, snails do not make noise, do not have a smell, do not bite, do not scratch, do not spoil furniture, etc. When you leave for a couple of days, it doesn’t matter, the pet may well do without food. The maintenance of the mollusk is not expensive, and there are no problems with such animals.
In this article, we will consider the most popular type — African Achatina.
All about the Achatina family
Despite the fact that there are more than 100 species representing this genus, only five are found in terrariums:
The first three species grow and reproduce well in our conditions, therefore they are popular among snail breeders.
The genus Achatina is widespread in countries with tropical climates. In the United States, these molluscs are recognized as serious pests not only of crops, but also of homes! Calcium lovers eat plaster, spoiling the appearance of the building. Keeping snails in America is prohibited by law.
In our climate, Achatina has no chance of surviving in natural conditions. Accustomed to the heat, they cannot stand a drop in temperature, and unlike the Helix group (grape, garden, mountain snail), giant mollusks do not hibernate. Anabiosis occurs only with a temporary deterioration in external conditions.
No wonder Achatina fulica is called giant. The length of the shell of an adult is 8-10 cm, while a rather large grape snail carries a house with a diameter of about 5 cm.Well, against the background of the garden Helix aspersa Maxima and Helix aspersa Muller, Achatina generally seem huge.
Cases are described when the length of the shell reached 20 cm!
The shell is twisted clockwise and has a cone shape. Old snails have 7-9 coils on it.
The color of the shell depends on the environment. As a rule, stripes of brownish-yellow shades are visible on it.
Conditions of detention, nutrition and care
Despite its unpretentiousness, the Achatina is still a living creature that needs to be looked after.
A glass aquarium or a plastic container is chosen as a home for the snail. For one adult, you need at least 10 liters of volume.
The terrarium is installed on a flat surface, in a place where there are no drafts and direct sunlight. Above the “house” is covered with a lid with holes to allow air to enter, but the animal does not escape.
Achatina, like other land molluscs, love moisture. Every day the aquarium is sprayed with water from the inside. As for the temperature, it is desirable that the level does not fall below + 20 ° C. Unlike grape snails, Achatina easily withstands up to + 30 ° C.
For comfort, coconut soil is placed at the bottom of the terrarium. If you decide to use the ground from the street, it must be calcined. The thickness of the soil is 5-7 cm.
Important! Do not put decorative ceramic houses and other structures inside. Snails sometimes fall off the walls, so they can damage the shell.
- vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, Chinese cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin);
- fruits (apples, pears, bananas, persimmons, peaches);
- greens (lettuce, dandelion, plantain, clover).
The diet is supplemented with a grain mixture (ground peas, buckwheat, corn, wheat, pumpkin seeds), calcium (ideally a stone bought at a pet store), as well as protein products (dry daphnia, gammarus).
A container of water is also placed in the terrarium. This can be a bowl with low sides or a plastic lid. There Achatins love to take a bath.
It is important to maintain cleanliness in the snail’s “dwelling” by removing food debris and waste products. Otherwise, the process of reproduction of bacteria begins there.
Rinse the mollusk itself periodically under running water, without directing the stream to the head.
Do not be surprised if a pet without a pair will bring offspring. On rare occasions, snails fertilize themselves. Recall that these gastropods are hermaphrodites. In one clutch of Achatina there are 15-17 eggs.
A healthy active Achatina is a lot of fun. It’s funny to watch her explore the territory, eat and examine your hand, the warmth from which immediately prompts the animal to look out of the shell.
A funny slow creature will add new colors to your life!