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julie114

giant african land snails

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hi

 

i have recently got two giant african land snails and i wondered if anyone here has kept any has has any tips on keeping them

 

thanks

 

(green eglu)GNR(white chicken)PP

 

(white duck)(white duck)(white duck)(duck)(duck)(cube orange)

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Never kept one, but i'm sure they are hermaprodites so if you have two you'll soon have hundreds! Cute tho!

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I was asked to rehome one a while back - Bruce was only with us for a few months as was old when we got him/her but was a far more amusing pet than I could have imagined. We found that it was important to keep temperature warm as would retreat into shell for days if got cold and then at risk of not waking up. A wee heat pad placed under tank is good idea (pet shops that have reptiles should have them - not expensive - I think ours was £20).

 

It may seem odd but when Bruce died he/she was put in garden pond and the clean shell (full length of an adult female hand!!) was retrieved the following year by my daughter who has displayed it as a thing of beauty!

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HOUSING: Something like a fishtank or carbuoy is good. It MUST have a lid - something they can't eat or crawl through. Cling film or fabric will be no good. You need a proper, thick plastic, glass or metal lid. Wilkinsons do plastic lidded tanks for about a fiver. Bi-orbs are brilliant display tanks for GALS (as they are called by snailophiles).

 

SUBSTRATE: They like being on substrate they can bury in - so compost or something, but ensure that it is completely free of chemicals/fertilizer and the like. Avoid peat because of the damage caused to peat-bogs in harvesting it. Something like compost or leaf mulch is good for substrate. I use untreated gro-bag soil. About three to six inches is good. They like to bury themselves right into it. Before putting it in the tank, nuke it in the microwave for a full ten minutes on full power. It stinks, but is necessary to kill any mites and bad things in the soil. The substrate should be kept moist but not wet. Spray it with a plant spray to keep it moist every couple of days.

 

FOOD: Fruit and veg. Try them out on various things to see what they prefer. Cucumber and apple are favourites. Just cut off a chunk and put it in the tank.

 

WATER: Keep a small pot of water in the tank. They will need to drink.

 

SHELL: They need eggshell or cuttlefish bone to ensure their shells grow healthily. Pop some in the tank and ensure they always have some.

 

BEER: A fizzy drinks bottlecap-full of beer once in a while is an amusing treat for them (really!)

 

BREEDING: They are hermaphrodites. They breed with any snail they come across. You may see a tiny 'blowhole'-type hole on the side of their 'necks' - sort of 'ear hole height'. On their undersides, they have a sort of calcite 'love dart' which will pop out now and then. They will slither this into the hole on the side of the other snail, and three to six weeks later, you will probably find, buried, a cluster of eggs, about the size and shape of bean bag polystyrene filling.

 

CLEANING: Remove eggs IMMEDIATELY as you see them. NEVER just throw them away. Pop them in a bag in the freezer for a couple of days, or nuke them in a microwave for about five minutes on full power. You MUST destroy the eggs before discarding them. If you don't, they will breed like billy-o wherever they end up. Wild GALS are a very bad thing. They are banned in the USA because a tiny amount released a very long time ago caused a major kill-and-destroy headache in Florida. They ate masses of crops and bred like crazy.

 

Change substrate when it appears quite 'poo filled'. Again, check thoroughly for eggs.

 

They will eat fruit which is 'on the turn' but remove properly mouldy fruit to avoid getting fruit flies and nasty smells.

 

If you DO want to breed a few, keep a tiny number of eggs only - like half dozen eggs. They WILL hatch. You WILL have snails. They have a lifespan of 5-7 years.

 

Restricting diet will curb some of their egg laying, but it is unkind.

 

Does that help?

 

Anna

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Wow.....I'm not a person with an interest in snails, but that is a super post Anna. So informative.

 

Welcome to the forum. :D

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wow :shock: definitely fascinating :D

 

Christian, step away from the large snails :lol: you dont really want them :lol:

 

welcome to the forum Anna :D

 

cathy

x

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Anna's post is fantastic - and she is bang on about the beer - it brought our old boy/girl back from the brink on a few occasions! They also like cat food!!!

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I completely missed this post, we have 5 GALS which we rehomed from school who had 10 and couldn't cope with them. They are amazing things, we were given a huge fishtank which we put a lid on and, considering they look like they are SO slow, you have NEVER seen a snail move so quick as when you put fresh cucumber in! :shock: Ours have grown MASSIVELY in the few months we've had them, they now fill the palm of my hand, cucumber is their favourite and lettuce and apple, everything else they seem not to bother with. And you can't even begin to imagine the damage they do to a cuttlefish, they are SO much more than big garden snails. I never would have got them through choice, but I'm SO glad school gave them to us!

 

Mrs B

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I,ve never seen these snails you speak of :oops: Any pictures?

 

Edited to include the word never... :oops: [/i]

Edited by Guest

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Well here they are, not very good pictures I'm afraid but I hope you all appreciate that I HAD ONE ON MY HAND :shock::shock: - I have subsequently scrubbed my hand until it was nearly red raw as, much as I love them, they are cold, slimy and VERY BIG when they are on your hand! :lol:

 

Middle daughter to add a bit of scale...

july018.jpg

 

On my hand!!

july020.jpg

 

5 GALS together..

july021.jpg

 

 

Hope that satisfies curiosity!

 

Mrs B

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We used to have 5 giant landsnails, amazing things.

 

All I would say is keep a look out for eggs, if you want babies just leave a couple of eggs in the soil otherwise put the eggs in a bag and freeze them for 2 days then through away in bin.

 

We didnt see the eggs as they were burried under the soil and suddenly had about 200 little shells sliming around!

 

Good luck

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:shock::shock::shock: Oh my goodness, I shouldn't have come in here :? That picture of one on your hand has given me the collywobbles ANH :anxious:

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