stellafelice  asked:

hello ! Do you have any advice for a first time snail purchaser?

i’m so happy that you’re interested in the wonderful world of snails! i would love to give you some advice.

getting ready for your new snails

snapartment (snail apartment)

before you adopt any snails, you should prepare a cozy home for them. i keep mine in a 10 gallon aquarium that works perfectly. if you decide to use this aquarium, i highly suggest you also get a cover like this. it’s not the exact one that i have, but i’m sure it will work great. next, you will need some kind of substrate. i use plain soil that i found at walmart for my snails, and i recently bought some coconut soil that i’m going to try out (ill post about that soon!) i also bought two succulents and planted them in the aquarium. succulents are great for snail habitats because they’re cute, they don’t need a lot of water or sun, and snails love to climb them! i found some rocks outside and washed them thoroughly in the sink and placed them in the aquarium as well, along with some glass stones which i also washed. i also added a little terra-cotta pot for them to crawl all over and hide in. the first couple of nights, snails would sleep inside of it, but now it’s old news to them and they just ignore it. i use a spray bottle to regularly mist the aquarium, as snails like their homes to be a little moist. i keep a shallow water dish in their home. it’s important to keep it shallow because snails can drown.

if you are going to get a giant african land snail, there are some different requirements, like a heat mat and a larger tank.

food

for feeding, i highly recommend using a mandoline like this one to prepare food for your snails. it makes thin slices that are easy for them to eat. my snails love carrot the most, but they are also fond of kale, asparagus, and mushrooms. all snaily food should be sliced into a little snaily size!!!

foods that snails can eat:

  • apple
  • banana
  • beans
  • blueberries
  • fish food soaked in water
  • mango
  • romaine lettuce
  • potato
  • dandelion leaves
  • strawberries (mine are not fond of strawberries, but many snails are!)
  • plum
  • cauliflower
  • cherries
  • watermelon
  • tomato
  • mushrooms
  • raisins
  • turnips
  • cabbage
  • basil
  • cuttlebone
  • boiled egg
  • and more! google will be your friend.

foods that you shouldn’t feed snails:

  • salt
  • salty foods
  • avocado
  • onion
  • grapefruit
  • lime
  • lemon
  • leeks
  • spinach
  • rhubarb
  • parsley
  • celery

tips about feeding:

  • the darker the greens, the better! darker greens like kale have more chlorophyll which makes it healthier and more nutritious for snails (and humans!)
  • avoid cucumber. snails love cucumber, but sometimes they love it so much that they become “picky eaters” and will only want to eat cucumber.
  • have a designated eating area, above the ground. this makes clean up easier. plus, snails will learn where to go if they are hungry.
  • wash food before feeding. snails have survival instincts that will keep them from eating food treated with pesticides or chemicals. a lot of our food has those, so always give the food a nice rinse before preparing it
  • feed your snails once a day, and remove any food that they didn’t eat the next day.
  • give them clean water each day. they like to bathe, and sometimes the water can fill up with dirt, poop, or even slime. it’s just nice to replenish their water every day.
  • feed snails, especially babies, a variety of foods each day. otherwise they can become fussy eaters. snail babies who are introduced to many foods opposed to just one or two are healthier and live longer.
  • notice a soft shell? your snails need more calcium!!

acquiring snails

i adopted my little garden snails from… a garden. i think looking for snails in nature is fun and a Good Time. i haven’t purchased a snail online (yet), but i know there are a few websites, and even shops on ebay, that sell snails. snails are social dudes that like having friends so probably buy more than one.

the snails are HERE

⚡️always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling snails!! ⚡️

snails have personalities. some are shy while others are little party people. if your snail is not coming out of his shell, don’t worry. try massaging their foot or lightly spraying them with water. give them some time to adjust to their new crib.

if you notice any eggs in the soil, crush them or boil them or freeze them, unless you want hundreds of little cute baby snails that you cannot practically care for but will inevitably become emotionally attached to.

if your snail bubbles up when you try to touch or hold them, don’t worry, they are not dying. this is what snails do when they are anxious. just give your snails some time to get used to you.

one thing i’ve noticed, at least with my snails, is that they will immediately try to escape their new home before settling in. i imagine it like a human being locked in a luxury hotel. at first, they’ll try to get out, because that’s the instinct… but once they realize they’re stuck in there for a while, they’ll probably take advantage of all the amenities like the food and the pool and everything else.

your snail friends will learn who you are and recognize you by your scent. snails are good little sniffers. i’ve had snails who love to be held and pet by me, but bubble up when held by anyone else.

if a snail is sticky-stuck to something, DONT pull on their shell!!! slide the snail along the glass and eventually they will let go. if you must lift a snail, lift from their head because that is the stickiest part and less likely to hurt.

be sure to clean the tank at least once a week.

bonding with the snail dudes

my snails love me. i’m sure your snails will love you as well. at first, they might be scared of you, but soon they’ll recognize you as the big warm thing that gives them food and love. once your snail is comfy with you and likes to crawl on your hand, try petting them. start by gently petting their shell. they love it. you can also gently stroke their little bodies and heads, but don’t poke their eyes please. it hurts them and makes them sad. if you accidentally poke em, don’t worry too much, they’ll forgive you.

SNAILS LOVE CLIMBING. ok this is probably my favorite thing that snails do. when holding a snail, try to putting a finger or two directly above their head. they will get really excited and CLIMB UP ONTO YOUR FINGERS. they just love climbing. one of my little snails, rocco, loves climbing the most. he will lift up his entire head and body in hopes that i will give him a finger to climb on. when i put him back in the tank, he will immediately climb wherever he can, especially onto another snail. be attentive. snails sometimes get really excited about climbing. rocco has fallen off of my hand from trying to climb when there wasn’t anything to climb on.

there is nothing cuter than a snail drinking out of a sink. while i opt to give my snails bottled water 99% of the time, i can’t resist letting them drink tap water every now and then because it is so cute. take your (awake) snail to the sink. turn it on so it is barely running, but not just dripping. have it warm or lukewarm if you can. put your hand close to water. your snail will be very confused for a moment, but then they will drink and shower under the water. it is very good.

cute and good snail quirks

  • when a snail decides they want to go somewhere, they GO. they don’t rly understand the concept of going around things, they just GO. so, when a snail wants to go, they will climb over literally anything in the way, whether it be the entire water dish, a pile of food, or another snail who is trying to eat or sleep… the snail will just GO until they get to THE THING.
  • snails are a little dumb. they will learn where the food and water is, and they will get very confused if they go to the spot and there is no food/water. i have come home to find a snail just sitting in the empty water dish, waiting for the water to show up. it’s cute.
  • i’ve been holding a snail as i’ve typed this and the little dude FELL ASLEEP on my HAND. he trusts me!!!! he trusts me to keep him safe and to stop him from falling. oh my goodness, live tweet, he is just now waking up. he is peeping his little eyes out. i love this snail.
  • snails can’t hear… but i still tell them i love them bc i need to vocalize it.
  • snails are most active at night and will eat/drink the most then.
  • snails keep all their important organs in their shell, so don’t try to remove it or paint it!!
  • snails can live for YEARS!!!