Hello dear aquarists. Today’s post will be devoted not quite aquarium inhabitant, but this, however, does not reduce its popularity, or rather it. Achatina snails belong to the Archachatin family>
The largest members of the Archachatinidae family are African Achatines. They are also considered to be one of the largest land mollusks that exist on our planet. The shell is yellow-brown in color, the body is also dark.
The largest snail weight ever caught was 600 grams with a shell length of forty centimeters.
For home content suitable widespread Achatina fulica. This African guest can be found in almost any tropical country, where she brings a lot of headaches, as the snail eats fertile plants.
Achatina is famous for an interesting pattern of the shell, the color of which is affected by the food consumed by the mollusk.
The best house for the mollusk will be an aquaterrarium or a not very large glass aquarium. For one adult, you need a lot of free space, guided by the figure of 20 liters per individual.
If you keep a snail in an aquaterrarium, then it should be covered with a lid on top and there should be holes in it for the passage of air. The main thing is not to make them too big, as the pet can easily leave their home.
To successfully maintain a large snail at home, without the soil you can not do. During the day, the Achatina snail sleeps, buried in the substrate.
Some lovers say that it’s best to use peat-like floral earth as the soil. However, keep in mind that a high concentration of peat will acidify the habitat, and for an animal it is a negative phenomenon. Once a day, you will need to moisten the primer with a sprinkler.
Otherwise, with a lack of moisture the snails will begin to secrete a lot of mucus.
As a result, your pets will get dirty, and in addition they will stain the entire aquarium. It is also not recommended to use clay substrates and soil containing wood bark.
The best solution is coarse loose sand. In some cases, the sand can be replaced by a shell of walnuts or hazelnuts, but keep in mind that such a substrate can injure the delicate skin of the mollusk.
Coconut litter has proved itself as a good substrate.
Remember one more important moment – Achatin snails need to be kept clean. The substrate will have to be cleaned at least once a week, and its full replacement should be carried out once in 6-12 months.
The more often you get out of your pet’s home, the better for him. The mollusk products of the mollusk have no smell, but over time they will begin to sweep and the mucus will completely cover the reservoir, which will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the decorative appearance of the aquaterraium.
What about lighting? Snails do not need artificial light, they have enough daylight. In addition, the alternation of the day with the night is an integral part of the life of the snail, because in the daytime the clams are asleep and awake at night.
But if you suddenly want to install artificial lighting for a better view, the lamp should be external, as the snails can crawl close to the lamp and get burned.
Try to monitor the ambient temperature in the aquaterrarium, it should be between 22 and 28 degrees, as this is the normal temperature range for most tropical snails. It is not advisable to place the aquaterrarium in direct sunlight or near the battery, as temperature fluctuations may occur.
From the interior of the monastery of snails, on the ground, you can put clay ceramics and various mosses. It is also possible to plant vegetation in the substrate, the main thing is that it does not over-wet the soil. It is better to opt for those plants, on the leaves of which there are small villi.
Since snails can eat vegetation in an aquaterrarium, you will have to replant them periodically. The best options are ivy and ferns.
Adult Achatina home snails should eat once every several days, young once a day. Almost any plant food will be suitable as feed.
These can be dandelion leaves, lettuce, grapes, apples and cucumbers. In addition, snails eat well melons, bananas, zucchini, corn and spinach.
It is not recommended to give pets watermelons with stones, grapes and oranges often. Sometimes Achatina can eat cabbage and carrots.
As a source of carbohydrate mollusk can be given bran and oatmeal.
In the first year of life, there is an accelerated growth of the cochlea and in order for the shells to be strong, mollusks need to be fed with a special food feed. The best option is calcium carbonate. In addition, it will not be superfluous to place a piece of chalk or crushed eggshell in a tank with a snail.
Special vitamin supplements for snails you can buy at the pet store.
In addition to food, snails also need water. As the mollusk grows, the water tank should increase.
Water Akhatinam necessary for the normalization of the process of mucus production. Some snails are not averse to be held in their hands and bathed in a warm bath, they just adore water.
In captivity, Achatina breed well from the age of six months. Which specimens begin to multiply earlier, which later.
The incubation period of caviar can last from one month to two. If the soil layer is thin, then the mollusks may not reproduce at all. The optimal soil thickness for the snail to lay eggs, is 7 centimeters.
It is not surprising if the mollusk will produce offspring throughout the year. At the one-year-old age, spermatozoa are first formed in the cochlea, and only then the ovum. African Achatina are hermaphroditic, but sometimes they can interbreed with each other.
If you bought two snails, then spread them out better in different aquariums.
Keeping Akhatin snails at home means quality care and constant monitoring of their pets. Since clams are imported from the tropics, they can often carry various parasites. But it is better to buy animals from razvodchiki who do this hobby at home.
Pick up any infection from Achatina is almost impossible if you wash your hands with soap after each contact.
Sometimes, Achatina crawling along the walls of the tank can fall and chip off parts of their shells. There is nothing terrible about this, the main thing is to treat the damaged area with an antiseptic and prevent infection.
After a day or two, the broken off area of the shell will grow. If you keep a pair of snails, then you will be able to notice how the mollusks periodically will scrape each other’s shells.
This can be avoided by smearing the shells with some tasteless and not harmful substance that the vet will advise you.