Keeping snails is becoming more and more common, but many still perceive these pets as outlandish and exotic animals. Aquarium mollusks are ideal pets for busy or lazy people who do not want to spend a lot of time on keeping pets.
Care for snails is simple and unpretentious. Keep a snail at home and is able to beginner.
Snails are gastropods with a spiral outer shell. The structure distinguishes the head, leg and bag with entrails. Moves around the surfaces with a foot that releases mucus.
The body sizes of snails vary in species from a couple of centimeters to several dozen.
The life span of snails at home depends on their size, breed, natural habitat. Water snails have a short lifespan and do not exceed 4 years. Mollusks living mainly on land live up to 10 years.
Some long-lived species, such as a grape individual, can live up to 20 years.
Keep a home snail is not difficult. But in order for a pet to live a long life, it needs to create favorable conditions for life.
To choose a snail housing, consider the natural habitat of your pet. For land snails suitable terrariums, containers, molluscs of a volume of 10 liters per individual. For aquatic mollusks, get an aquarium.
Remember that not all aquatic mollusks are able to get along with aquarium fish. For 1-2 aquarium snails suitable capacity of 5 liters.
The terrarium or aquarium should be equipped with small holes or narrow slots through which air will pass and excess moisture will evaporate. Pets can easily get out through large openings; a large number of openings can lead to overdrying of air, which can be detrimental to snails.
For land snails, ventilation is not at all obligatory – they need only the air that enters the terrarium every day when cleaning and feeding.
To arrange a suitable housing will need:
- substrate for the bottom;
- terrarium cover;
- lids or plastic feeding bowls.
At the bottom of the molluskariy or terrarium lay a layer of substrate. For the substrate to the bottom of the terrarium fit coconut substrate, compost without fertilizer or peat, allowed a small amount of sand or shell from the nuts.
Clay, wood chips or bark are not allowed.
Terrarium with mollusks does not need separate lighting, because the life of the snails does not depend on the light of the day and the intensity of lighting. But observe the daily change of day and night.
At night, they are active, and in the daytime they hide.
When keeping snails at home, temperature plays an important role; sharp changes in temperature should not be allowed. Shellfish will feel comfortable at a temperature of 20-26 degrees.
The specific temperature depends on the breed of the mollusk and its natural habitat. After all, the temperature regime of tropical animals and snails from central Russia will be different.
High humidity in the terrarium – a prerequisite for the care and maintenance of aquarium snails. Humidity is approximately 80%, fluctuations do not exceed 10%. To maintain the humidity, an ordinary atomizer is suitable, which is sufficient to increase the humidity by sprinkling the walls or substrate with water.
It is easy to monitor the level of humidity with a hygrometer or by observing the level of condensate on the walls of the terrarium. You can also compress the soil in a fist – if water flows from it, then the humidity level is exceeded, and if it crumbles in your hands, then the humidity should be increased.
Putting a bowl of water on the ground is not highly recommended – land snails turn them over with ease, arranging a swamp in the substrate, which leads to excessive moisture levels.
Snail breeders often decorate terrariums with moss, snags and branches. It is important to carefully treat them before placing them in the terrarium.
It is forbidden to use jewelery made of stone, ceramics and other hard materials – snails often “peel off” from the ceiling cover and fall down, and hard objects can damage the fragile shell.
Well complement the home of snails and plants. But make sure that the humidity of the air does not change too much due to irrigation.
And also mollusks are not averse to eat planted plants, especially they love ferns and ivy.
General rules for care and maintenance for all types of snails.
- Cleaning the terrarium 1-3 times a month for aquarium snails and daily cleansing for the ground.
- When caring for aquarium snails, replace the substrate every six months or a year.
- Water treatments. Land mollusks need spraying, washing with warm water. However, with a favorable level of humidity in the spraying is not necessary – the cochlea is completely enough condensate from the walls.
- Remember about hibernation – this is the main signal of the problem. Pet hibernates when the temperature of the environment decreases or the moisture level is incorrect. If this happens – carefully inspect the cochlea, terrarium, and begin to correct the deficiencies in the content.
A healthy and whole shell is an important sign of mollusk health. It requires proper care.
In order for the shell to be durable and quickly recovered when chipped, the cochlea should have constant access to calcium supplements (sepia, egg shells, ground into powder, natural chalk without additives).
If the sink is cracked or broken off, then treat the damaged surface with an antiseptic to prevent infection. During the healing period, it is better to deposit the mollusk in a separate tank, provide it with calcium and closely monitor the diet.
The snail independently grows damage.
Clean terrarium directly affects the health of the maintenance of snails at home, so daily clean the ground and the walls of the terrarium of land snails from food waste, mucus, stains, divorce. Replace the soil mixture annually, as bacteria and microorganisms accumulate in it.
Mollusks are not tame animals and most often contact with hands will cause stress to your pet, especially if you have it recently. You need to take the snail very carefully: either let it crawl on a wet hand, or gently peel it off with your finger, starting from the head. In no case can not pet grab the sink.
It is also important to remember that dry flat air is harmful to snails, so if you really want to let your home snail crawl along your arm, you need to constantly spray it with water. But it is still better to not disturb the Mallusk without the need.
The frequency of feeding depends on the age of the mollusk. Small representatives require feeding several times a day, and adults are fed 1 time in 1-2 days.
A pet can go without food for up to 2 weeks, but do not abuse it.
The snail’s daily diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits and vegetation. More on nutrition snails, we wrote separately.
- Vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage).
- Fruits (bananas, apples).
- Leaves (grapes, dandelion, spinach, lettuce).
- Berries (strawberries, strawberries, raspberries).
- Oatmeal, bran.
- Protein supplements 1-2 times a week (gammarus, daphnia).
What can not be fed:
- Citrus (oranges, lemons, tangerines).
It is not necessary to bathe the snail – the moisture that is formed on the walls of the terrarium is enough for it. In addition, mollusks love to poke around in the ground, because of which their body and the shell will always be in particles of soil.
But if you really want to wash the snail – you can gently plant it on your hand and spray it with warm water or spray it directly in the terrarium.
Snails do not need walks outside the terrarium, but if you want to watch the pet’s behavior, you can dampen the lid of the terrarium and transplant the snail there. It is important to regularly spray the pet, because dry apartment air is extremely harmful to the mollusk.
Snails – hermofrodity. One snail is quite capable of breeding independently.
Mollusks become sexually mature at 8 months. Incubation of eggs lasts a couple of weeks, and then the snail lays about 300 eggs in the ground.
Small snails hatch from eggs after 2 weeks.
If the mollusks do not breed, then most likely in the mollusk is not enough heat, humidity or space. For reproduction, a layer of soil is 4 cm, with a smaller thickness, pets will not lay their eggs there.
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The mollusks are quite sensitive and do not have strong immunity and strong health, so you will have to protect your pet from possible ailments and diseases by properly courting snails.
- Overheat. When overheated, the mollusks do not have enough fluid in the body, and they are not able to release enough mucus to protect the body.
- Hypothermia Because of the constantly wet body, the mollusks are particularly prone to hypothermia.
- Hypovitaminosis. Occurs when there is no vitamin in the mollusk’s diet. Especially dangerous is the lack of calcium. Calcium is necessary for the construction of the shell, and if it is deficient, any cleavage will become a serious problem. For treatment, diversify the diet with leaves, dandelion flowers, provide constant access to calcium. Also, pets need protein supplements (gammarus, daphnia), which should be added to the diet on a pinch 1-2 times a week.
- Shell injuries. Small fragments of the shell still grow, but if the pet has completely lost the shell, it becomes unviable. Loss of conch leads to infection and fungal diseases.
- Parasites, worms. Get into the body from poor-quality food, soil or hygiene. For treatment, antiparasitic or anthelmintic drugs are needed, as well as the complete replacement or treatment of the soil (boiling or roasting in the oven).
Follow the rules of hygiene: wash your hands before contact with your pet with plain water without the use of chemicals, clean the container or terrarium in time from mucus and food waste. Do not allow food to rot and choose healthy foods.
The best prevention is the right care, timely cleaning of the terrarium and full treatment or replacement of the soil every six months.
- Place molluscarius in accessible places, but not in passable rooms.
- Do not abuse spinach feeding.
- Ensure optimum moisture levels and constantly monitor the temperature in the terrarium.
- Because of the peaches, the snail mucus becomes watery, so it is best to remove this fruit from the diet.
- Pets love cucumbers and sometimes refuse other foods, but cucumbers do not do them any good.
- Avoid drafts.
- Do not allow mollusks to come in contact with salt, sugar and chemical agents.
Snails are good pets for many people. It is extremely interesting to observe the behavior and growth of the mollusk.
So do not be afraid to get yourself such a pet.