Terrarium For Snails Achatina Container, Care And Maintenance


Why do you need snail soil

  • Soil helps maintain the required moisture level in the terrarium. Spray it several times a day.
  • The soil layer should be at least 10-15 cm, so that the African snail "burrowing" into it, can relax and wait for daylight hours. Also, the soil should be loose, so that the snail buried in it can breathe.
  • The snail lays masonry on the substrate. Creates a cozy house in the land for future offspring.
  • The soil absorbs the fall of the snail from the wall or lid of the molluskaria (the snail can break the shell on the bottom of the terrarium and die).

The soil should be moist, but there should be no water at the bottom of the terrarium.

How often to change soil in a terrarium

Change the soil in the snail terrarium once every two to three weeks. If you hear an unpleasant odor or midges appear in the terrarium, then change the backing immediately. How to deal with midges in a terrarium read in our article. It is not necessary to completely replace the substrate, it can be washed several times and scalded with boiling water, then add a little fresh soil and loosen. This rule does not apply to the container for laying eggs, because after washing the soil, the humidity in the terrarium changes, as a result, the masonry dies.

No matter how you put things in order and cleanliness, Akhatinki will still dig in and dig in small, half-eaten pieces of food. How to properly equip a terrarium for a snail read here.

How and what types of soil are used for snail maintenance

In this part of the article, we will consider the main types of soil for keeping African snails. Their pros and cons.

Coconut substrate

How to prepare soil from coconut substrate (briquette) or coconut chips

  • Carefully break off or cut about 1/3 of the briquette.
  • Pour coconut fiber over boiling water for 20-25 minutes.
  • Flip the substrate into a colander and rinse with cold water.
  • Let the water drain and gently squeeze out the coconut soil with your hands.
  • Lay the finished substrate in a terrarium.

Neutralized peat

Earth (soil)

Land for flowers, like litter in a terrarium is not suitable.
The snail eats soil, passing it through itself. Any flower land with a low acid-base environment and always contains fertilizers that will kill Achatina. There are no neutral flower grounds. Chemical substances (fertilizers) accumulate in the body of the mollusk, and after a while it will “causelessly” die, deadly poisoned by flower soil.
If you decide to use the soil for flowers, wash it several times with clean (not tap) water from fertilizers and add a few tablespoons of food chalk or dolomite flour.

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Land recruited in the suburbs

The soil collected in the country or in the forest can be used as a substrate if it does not contain fertilizers, pesticides and feces. Freshly collected soil cannot be poured into the terrarium without preliminary processing. Fry the soil in the oven for 10-15 minutes, let it cool and add 1-2 tablespoons of food chalk to it. The correct soil for keeping the snail is ready.

Moss sphagnum

Forest Cover Moss

Leaf litter

As an independent litter, leaf litter is rarely used. Usually it is mixed with moss or laid on top of the ground imitating the natural landscape, since dry leaves do not retain moisture well. Leaf litter is collected in autumn; any leaves from forest litter are suitable. They are washed and dried, stored in a pillowcase or dry container.

Hazelnut shells or walnut shells

Snail barkers are rarely used as litter. The nutshell practically does not absorb water, as a result it accumulates at the bottom of the terrarium and stagnates, an unpleasant odor appears and midges and nematodes quickly start. But there are pluses to the nut substrate, the snail is not injured, it does not multiply so actively and such a substrate does not dirty the walls of the terrarium.
Clean up food debris daily, as they cause mold and Drosophila.

What soil is not used for growing snails and why

The following types of soil are not recommended for use as snails, as they are not a natural habitat for snails.


They are not used as soil for the African snail. Snails always pass through the soil on which they live. Sawdust injures the throat of the cochlea and its delicate body. Scratches and stuck splinters lead to inflammation and suppuration. The tentacles of the snail are the first to suffer, which die off due to clogging with sawdust. It should be noted that sawdust can cause an unpleasant white coating on the cochlea shell, which cannot be eliminated. Also, sawdust does not absorb moisture well, water accumulating at the bottom of the terrarium stagnates and is a hotbed of mold and midges.


Opinions on sand, as soil for a snail, among the Achatina breeders diverged. Some people think that sand is a natural habitat for Achatina, they feel great and actively breed in it. Others consider the sand is not comfortable, because it does not hold moisture well, stains and scratches the glass of the terrarium. Sand strongly scratches the cochlea’s shell, resulting in it being scratched, dull and worn. Sand also injures the delicate body of the mollusk, and when it enters the stomach and intestines of the cochlea, it clogs it and is not completely excreted.

Pebbles and stones

Soil made of pebbles or small stones as a substrate for an African snail is not suitable. Stone soil does not absorb water at all, scratches the delicate body of the snail and the shell. A snail will not be able to dig into such a ground and feel comfortable. Stones and pebbles are also dangerous for the snail in that if it falls from the wall or ceiling of the terrarium, it will certainly damage the shell or completely break it.

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As a soil for keeping snails, pure clay is not suitable. When wet, it is not as loose as earth or peat; clay nourishes a lot of water and turns into mud. On this soil, the cochlea and the walls of the terrarium will always be dirty.

A few words about the snail

Achatina is the largest land mollusk, individual specimens of which can reach 30 cm. It is widespread in countries with a tropical and subtropical climate and can cause significant harm to agricultural plants, in particular sugar cane. Due to a lack of calcium, the mollusk can scrape lime plaster from the walls of buildings with a sink, causing serious damage to light shelters in the tropics.

In Europe, including Russia, Achatina cannot survive in the natural environment, and quite often they are kept in terrariums, because they are unpretentious in care and easily breed. Of course, this is not a cat or a dog that can caress its owner. Nevertheless, Achatina is good in its own way. She is quiet and does not need regular walks. In addition, the cost of its maintenance is minimal. This mollusk is active in the dark, although in wet weather it can creep out during the day. In the daytime, he hides in some secluded place, buried in the soil, and only a couple of hours after sunset begins to become active. At ambient temperatures below 9 ° C, the snails hibernate.

Due to the high speed of reproduction and growth, Achatina are imported in large quantities to France and, along with grape snails, are used as food.

Home Housing

As a terrarium for Achatina, you can use both a small glass aquarium and a plastic container with a vented lid. The weighty top cover will not allow the snail to escape, and the existing openings will provide fresh air. Since mollusks love to climb the walls and lid of the terrarium, make sure that the holes do not exceed the size of the cochlea. Otherwise, she can use this window as a way to escape from home. A cardboard box is not the best option for a settlement, since it will be impossible to observe the mollusk, and it can easily nibble such a house.


When choosing soil, it is first necessary to focus on its looseness. It is the loose composition that allows the snail to bury itself in the ground and get enough air.

Often, Achatina breeders use coconut soil for snails, which can be either loose or in briquettes. Coconut briquettes are poured with boiling water, cooled, washed with a gauze or sieve, dried and poured into an aquarium.

Terrarium For Snails Achatina Container, Care And Maintenance

Some recommend using a floral earthen mixture as a primer for Achatina snails. However, often these substrates contain fertilizers that can harm achitina.

It is undesirable to pour sawdust into the terrarium, because snails are quite delicate creatures and, crawling along such a coating, they can be scratched or get a splinter. Pebbles and other stones that can damage their shell are also contraindicated for mollusks.

The thickness of the soil layer should be 5-10 cm. Thus, the cochlea is completely buried in the soil. The loose composition does not allow her to suffocate. In addition, snails in the soil of the aquarium lay eggs. But for newborns Achatina it is not needed, as it can trigger the death of babies.

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As a decoration, you can use various twigs, picturesque driftwood and tree bark. Of course, all this must first be disinfected. If you want to decorate the soil with moss, then this litter must be soaked in water for a day before use in order to get rid of any harmful living creatures.

The role of the litter can be played by large leaves of cabbage or lettuce, which also serve as food for gastropods.

Achatina house needs regular cleaning. Dirty soil for a snail needs to be thrown out and replaced with fresh. Coconut substrate or tree bark can be washed, dried and reused.


Since Achatina is a tropical animal, it feels most comfortable in warm and humid conditions. The optimum temperature for the content of the cochlea is 25-28 ° C. At a lower temperature, the mollusk will live, but its activity will be reduced.

To maintain moisture, regularly spray the terrarium and soil from the spray gun.

As for direct sunlight, Achatina do not like them at all.

Terrarium For Snails Achatina Container, Care And Maintenance


Achatina’s favorite foods are herbal products, in particular soft and decaying parts of plants. Nutritional preferences depend on age: young individuals are more likely to like living plants, and older adults are more likely to have dead rotting plant debris. At home, the most common food for snails is zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkin, mushrooms, cabbage and lettuce leaves, and other soft vegetables.

In the diet of Achatina, animal products containing protein and calcium should be included. Therefore, in small quantities, snails are given boiled chicken meat without salt. Sometimes they are fed boiled porridge from a mixture of cereals.

Smoked and salty foods are strictly forbidden to give to shellfish. It is undesirable for small Achatina to give a lot of soft food at the same time, as they can dig into food and suffocate.

Care Tips

In a terrarium, where adults live, it is advisable to place a flat and stable bowl with water.

Do not forget to cover the aquarium so that the gastropod does not run away at night. In addition, this will help maintain humidity at the required level.

For constant air circulation, openings must be provided in the cover.

Clean the aquarium once or twice a week with a damp cloth without using chemicals.

Wash the snail periodically under a gentle stream of warm water.

At least once a year, change the soil for the cochlea to a new one. over, it should be of such a composition, to which Achatina is accustomed.

Avoid direct sunlight in order to avoid harming the mollusk.

Use special heaters to maintain the required temperature.

Terrarium For Snails Achatina Container, Care And Maintenance

As you can see, caring for an Achatina snail does not take much time and even a child can do it.

We hope that the article turned out to be useful and now you probably know how to properly care and which soil to choose for a snail. Let your pet give you only positive emotions.