ACHATINA SNAILS: MAINTENANCE IN HOME ENVIRONMENT

ACHATINA SNAIL

ACHATINA SNAIL

These unusual pets have appeared at my house about eight years ago: friends have left us two snails for the summer. Firstly they seemed to me quite uninteresting. They lie in the terrarium, they are active at night, do not play with them, do not stroke them. But soon I got to know them closer, and the Achatinas became my favorite pets.

 

Now let me share with you my observations and experience.

Achatina’s snails: Maintenance and Care

If you have decided to get snails, then be sure that you will have no big expenses. Large acquisitions require only terrarium for Achatina at least ten liters, although my first snail was living in a large glass bowl. It was a special laboratory dish, covered with a mesh lid. This house for achatina was built by my friends, and it was cozy in it. The main thing is that the dwelling of the snail should be kept clean and ventilated.

An obligatory condition – there must be a litter on the bottom of the terrarium. I buy coconut substrate for this purpose in the pet store. Some use moss, leaves, soil. In my experience, the substrate is more practical: it does not rot and retain heat.

A little more about the placing of the house for snails: do not place it on a window under direct sunlight or draft.

The terrarium can be supplemented with lamps for heating and lighting, place a snag there, on which the snail will be happy to climb.  I have an artificial unevenness on the wall in my terrarium, on which the achatina walks mostly at night. Some people put a small container of water for the snail to bathe.

How to take care of achatina

How to take care of achatina

Answering the question, how to maintain Achatinas and care for them, I will say the following: there are no special wisdoms. Provide the cleanness of the terrarium, a comfortable temperature (25-28 degrees) and a humid environment. To do this, simply spray the terrarium with water and wash the snail with warm water every other day. Achatinas like water procedures very much, they straighten the horns, relax, getting out of the shell. Do not forget to change the litter in the terrarium once or twice a week as it gets clogged.

Snails like moisture, but you cannot overdo it and build a swamp. If the soil is too wet, then your pet will always sit on the walls of the terrarium. Dry soil also will create the inconvenience for the snail, and it will have to bury itself into soil in search of water.

I remember this case: my first snail has disappeared once from my terrarium. I looked for it for several hours and, to my surprise, I found it in a flower pot. It dug into flower pot as much as half a shell!

What to feed Achatina

Snails are vegetarians. They are unpretentious in food. What do they eat? Their favorite treats are lettuce leaves, cucumbers and apples. I tried to give bananas, carrots, cabbage leaves, and watermelon. Achatina likes tomatoes.

Is it permissible for Achatina to give beets and tangerines? It is permissible.  Try it. If the snail left the offered food untouched – she did not like it.

And the tangerines are controversial. Some pet owners forbid giving citrus fruits, and some do not share this opinion. Remember that Achatina cannot eat salty, smoked, fried!

Don’t forget the mineral additional feeding for snails: it’s needed to keep their shell strong. It is sold in a pet store (a mineral stone for birds). Or it can be made from the shell of raw eggs (the shell must be grind in a powder).

Snails are active at night, so feed them best in the evening.

SPECIES OF ACHATINA

SPECIES OF ACHATINA

Owners usually keep six species of these snails at house conditions.

  • Achatina fulica, or Giant African land snail. They have a conical shell of black, brown and red color. This snail grows up to 20 cm.
  • Achatina glutinosa,  Brown Achatina is very similar to Achatina fulica, and they differ in the structure of the shell. The shell of this snail is massive with semicircular coils.
  • Achatina reticulate.  The shell of such snails is striped or spotted. The head and neck of the cochlea are black or brown, there is a light border on the trunk. It reaches in size up to 20 cm.
  • Achatina immaculata. The distinguishing feature of this species is a flat strip, passing from the head to the shell. The shell itself can have a variety of colors.
  • Achatina achatina. Giant tiger land snail. The largest achatina, which in nature reaches 30 cm, in captivity grows to 28 cm. The color of the shell is light yellow with brown strips.

If you have already decided to buy a snail, then for certain you have a question: how many years do achatina live? In comfortable conditions, the life span of achatina is 10 years.

How much is Achatina?

How much is Achatina

Achatinids are for sale in pet-shops and on web-sites. One snail costs from 3,5 to 5 dollars. Often breeders are happy to sell Achatinids for a symbolic price.

Reproduction of Achatina

Although I’ve been with snails for a long time, little Achatinids from my pets appeared only once.

If you are going to breed Achatinids , it will be useful for you to know the following:

  • Achatinids has no division into female and male individuals, they are hermaphrodites.

How do Achatinids reproduce?

  • Snails reach puberty in 5 to 7 months. The sexual organ is a small tubercle on the neck of a cochlea.
  • If the Achatina snail has laid eggs, take care of the laying: provide a comfortable temperature in the terrarium (27-28 degrees) and make sure that the soil is moistened.

How to care for Achatina’s eggs?

Try not to touch them. Check that the laying is in a separate place, if there are several tenants in your terrarium. How many days do the Achatinids hatch? Little snails appear in a month. They have the same food as adults. Just remember that they can suffocate by digging into large pieces of food.

Diseases of Achatinids

Diseases of Achatinids

Achatids, although they are among the most unpretentious pets, can also get sick. If the snail refuses food, sluggish or corked, then most likely it is sick.

The following factors may be the cause:

  • Chemical exposure (contact with chemicals, powders, salt).
  • Mechanical action (careless handling of the cochlea, which causes damage to the shell).
  • Temperature influence (overheating or overcooling).
  • Parasites (fungi and mold on the body and armor).

Remember, if you carefully handle a snail, take it correctly from the terrarium (from below, with wet hands), take care of the cleanliness of its house, change the litter frequently, give the quality feed and mineral additional feed – your pet will not get sick.

In my practice of breeding Achatinids was the only case: the shell broke, and there was a crack in the solid part. In this case, you should put a patch of egg shells and fix it with a plaster. And do not forget about a mineral feeding up – the snail needs a building material to heal the shell.

It will be useful to tell at last that the achatina fall in hibernation. Do not be worry if your snail is hidden in the shell and sealed with a sticky stopper. This is due to uncomfortable conditions in the terrarium, poor diet or because of a stress.

In this condition, the snail can sleep for up to two months. Bathing in warm water can wake a snail.

So, I shared with you my many years of observations of the achatinas. And now  it’s up to you to get  this snail or not.

More from ZooEarth