The right choice and arrangement of a terrarium for a snail is the key to its long and healthy life.
Most types of snails are kept in horizontal containers with a wide bottom, but with a small height, closed with a lid, in order to avoid serious injuries when the snail falls from the walls or the lid of the terrarium. Woody snail species, on the contrary, feel more comfortable in vertical-type terrariums.
photo: Terrarium for snails (top view)
The most convenient to use by almost all owners of snails were recognized plastic containers for storing clothes. The main advantages of such containers are their affordability, ease of daily care and washing, durability and impact resistance, low weight compared to glass, variability in size, color and transparency of the material.
The volume of the terrarium directly depends on the size of the shell of the snail. For an adult snail about 10 cm in size, a terrarium with a volume of 10 liters is ideal, that is, 1 liter of free space should be per 1 cm of adult snail. If several snails are contained in one container at once, the fraction of space for each snail can be reduced to 2 \ 3 of the ideal volume. However, it is always worth remembering that the more spacious the housing, the more likely it is to grow a large snail. At the same time, the container for snail, on the contrary, should not be excessively large, since crawling across the entire area of the terrarium is difficult for some kids to travel long distances to food, which can also affect growth rates. In addition, snail need high humidity, which is sometimes not easy to maintain in large volumes at the proper level.
photo: Terrarium for horizontal snails
The container for holding snails must have a tight-fitting lid with the possibility of fixation. The lid helps not only prevent probable shoots of snails and their possible injuries, but also maintain the necessary level of humidity in the container.
An important aspect of preparing a terrarium container for the life of snails is the creation of proper ventilation, which does not allow sharp fluctuations in the level of humidity. The required ventilation holes are located on the top of one of the walls of the terrarium and / or on its cover. You should not immediately make a sieve out of the lid, as a rule, then you have to seal the excess holes with tape or cover with cling film, which does not look very aesthetically pleasing. For starters, one row of ventilation holes up to 5mm in diameter on both sides of the lid is enough. If the humidity in the terrarium container is too high and waterlogging begins, the number of holes should be increased. Different types of snails require different levels of humidity. For example, wood snails are one of the most hygrophilous, 80-95% humidity is comfortable for them, while 70% humidity is quite acceptable for most Akhatin. Therefore, when preparing a home for a snail, rely on the individual preferences of your pet.
The temperature in the terrarium also requires special attention. It should not fall below 18 degrees and rise above 32 degrees. The optimum temperature regime acceptable for most snails varies from 24 to 26 degrees during the day and from 20 to 23 degrees at night. A constant level of the required temperature, especially in the winter season, is achieved using thermal cables and thermal mats of small power. To measure the temperature in the terrarium, external digital thermometers, mechanical or alcohol, are used. The use of mercury thermometers is highly discouraged.
To create comfortable conditions in the terrarium, you need a 5-7 cm, depending on the size of the cochlea, layer of regular soil, which can be coconut substrate, land with low acidity (usually for violets), sphagnum, moss, leaf litter and bark some trees. Various soils are most convenient for snails, which retain moisture well and allow the snail to completely dig into the ground without difficulty. In addition, loose and soft soil prevents damage to the shell of the cochlea during a fall. It is strongly not recommended to use sawdust or sand as soil. Sawdust quickly acidifies the shell of the snail and soon it becomes covered with a crust of white plaque, which can no longer be removed. Sand mercilessly scratches its shell, and getting into the esophagus is not completely excreted.
photo: Terrarium for a snail with soil
To ensure the safety of the cochlea in terrariums, it is not recommended to use products made of hard materials. ceramics, stone, glass, hard plastic, etc. As bowls and bathing suits, plastic lids for cans, disposable tableware made of thin soft plastic or silicone, etc. are ideally suited.
As decorations in snail terrariums, natural materials are used: moss bumps, sphagnum, bark of non-coniferous trees, twisted driftwood, etc. It is worth remembering that all materials brought directly from nature require special processing, because snails, like other animals, are prone to risk of infection with parasites. Having created a work of art in the terrarium, expressed in a unique design, you should not hope for its longevity, because clumsy snails, especially large ones, are likely to restore their own order in the home, while destroying all the work of the owner.
Photo: Decor of a terrarium for a snail
The location of the terrarium with snails in the room is practically unlimited, except for the desirable absence of drafts and direct sunlight.
Following the simple recommendations given in this article, you can easily create comfortable conditions for a long and healthy life of your pet.