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Old 01-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
Call me Alison
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Question does anybody have an african land snail?

I'm a bit weird lol ( you probably know that without me telling you)

i hate bugs etc but i absolutely love African land snails!!

I've being doing some research on them ( was going to go on a reptile forum but it was scary)

i was wondering if anybody could give me some basic advice a there seems to be soo much contradicting advice.

i know they live in a tank/ viv but what substrate do you use, Ive been reading about using a type of soil has to be peat free/fertilizer free
ive seen rec something called coir substrate and spaghnum moss which you have to keep to moist.

some people say to use a heat mat others say you don't need it?

to give a cuttle fish for the shell and to feed a diet of vegetables.

if anybody could add/ correct me on what ive wrote i would really appreciate it.

thanks Alison xxx
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
Kissa
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Default Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

The heat mat totally depends on the species of snail and the temperature in your house. The "normal" giant african land snail, Achatina fulica, is fine at room temperature (21-23 C), although you might need something to keep them warm at night, but Achatina achatina like it at 25-30 C, and I've heard Achatina reticulata, Achatina immaculata and Arachatina marginata like it warmer as well. Food wise, sweet potato is apparently very good for them, although it makes their poo orange! There's a list over here of foods they can have. Coir seems to be the best from what I have heard, but whatever substrate you use, it needs to be kept damp, as snails thrive in humidity. Spraying once or twice a day is usually enough.

... Most of my knowledge about snails I picked up by reading this monster of a thread over on a reptile forum (I end up reading some weird things ), but there are slightly smaller places to start, like petsnails.co.uk. There's also a snail forum

There is someone on this forum who owns some Achachatina marginata, who has posted a couple of threads about them too:
Introducing the giant african land snails - Margie suts (pic heavy)
Giant African land snail setup

Oh, and by the way, you think you are strange, well I don't even own snails (or reptiles, for that matter!)
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
CAB
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Thumbs up Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

I have had some previously and they are great critters and get quite large! only thing is they breed and breed. if you remove the eggs and freeze them immediately you stop them developing. if not you end up with about 200+ baby snails appear! (talk from experience)

mine had a little heat when they was small but as not needed i weaned them off it by a small light bulb on the outside of the tank. was only a small 25w bulb but gave enough heat for them and was cheap alternative to a heat mat. once they where huge at the time i couldent afford a large tank i kept mine in a Gabber hamster cage with a perspex lid instead of the wire one. i drilled many holes in it and they thrived.
i used a chemical free type of peat stuff, but i know someone who used sand, someone else used a corky subsrate (dampened)
i have used bark when i couldent get the peat.

i fed mine on kitchen veggy scraps, cucumber, lettuce etc, a friend of mine had hers in the kitchen and all veggie off cutts went straight into tank.

they need cuttlefish all the time for calcium. but they are fascinating and cheap and easy to keep.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
Liz47
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Default Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

Can't really add anything to the above posts, but I used to keep them. Mine used to love getting showers, under a little bit of warm water and used to be fun giving them it and washing their shells. I recommend using coir substrate, I did use soil but it used to be hard to find some suitable, tbh I didn't really know what was entirely suitable as every site I found said different and I found it got dirty very quickly and then could attract flies/bugs.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

What a nice thread. I`ve always liked snails but never kept any. I think the mass production of eggs puts me off! In the garden, I`m always looking for snails and if they are wandering around, I love to watch what they are up to and put a few greens out for them to enjoy! The little ringed shelled snails are cute, but we also have those massive slugs appear! They can be huge too!

African Land snails can grow to a large size so accommodation can mean having large tanks!

I`ve always fancied having some easy-to-keep fish, but having never kept fish properly (since the typical gold fish in a bowl as a child!) I know they need water changes and filters and such, so I would be too much of a worry-wort over their care really.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

Sadly, any kind of terrestrial snail is banned from being imported into the US. That is because of all the introduced land snail species (and some aquatic) being terribly invasive.

I would love to have a couple ALS but if I were to somehow procure one, it would most likely be confiscated by the government due to the afore mentioned reasons.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:14 AM   #7
Viv Wray
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Thumbs up Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

Hi, I suppose you might call me a little bit weird too or just plain animal mad but I just adopted 6 juvenile ALSs from a friend who had missed removing some eggs!

I had to wait for a few days for the heat mat I'd ordered online during which time they were quite slow and only came to life when having a warm spray or shower (my hand being the rain cloud). The mat arrived yesterday and they are more active since I put it into their tank. To be honest they are very easy to keep and I have spent much more time than I expected I would simply watching them and trying to improve their surroundings.

My 7 month old ham, Mister Merlin, doesn't appear at all interested but as he is a free roamer I was concerned about contamination and I discovered they can carry some nasty bugs and more but just like when we wash our hands and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw chicken it is very important to always do the same before and after handling the snails and their water dishes, waste food, etc. - not a problem right.

Only thing I can add is that I used coir substrate and it's clean, cheap and very satisfying to break up with water. The substrate doesn't need to be deep, they don't dig (do they?). Mine is 1.5" depth only at it's shallowest but the coir is also great for forming hills and other features. It's easy to get lost in their world. I was stroking the tummy (foot?) through temporary plastic sheet cover and the little snail was eye-balling me in the cutest way! Not as cute as MM hammy though!!

Anyway, bye for now from us all (Ham, snails and me) and good luck! Enjoy!
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:24 AM   #8
Viv Wray
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Default Re: does anybody have an african land snail?

Hi,
It's me again.. I forgot to say if anyone in or near Leeds, UK can give a good home to a couple of ALSs my friend has more to give free to good homes. I will check this site every day for another week or so and if anyone is interested please reply to this post and I will forward her contact details.
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