Help with (baby) Giant African Snails

(11 Posts)
ninja Sun 03-Jan-16 08:22:50

My (D)sis gave my 7 year old DD 5 young African land snails for Christmas (no consultation which since she's only here half the time ... angry)

They just had some moss, a couple of stones and some apple in the tank but they were out and about.

I read that they liked compost in the bottom so put some leafmold in when I took them home. They've now just buried themselves in it and from what I've seen have just sealed themselves up.

I've put in cucumber and lettuce, sprinkled in warm water, even bathed them once (which made them come out of a while). I've put them next to a radiator - but I must admit it's not on that often (although I did put it on the night before last for them)

I have ordered a heat pad - but my sister said they seemed quite happy where they were before.

Was the compost a mistake? Is there anything else I can do? DD loves them of course and I could really do without them dying on me but equally could do without them being too much work!

3across2down Sun 03-Jan-16 08:36:26

We have 2 young African land snails and at the beginning they also buried themselves and sealed themselves up. We found moving them to a small glass tank has helped with a heating mat underneath. They also need misting to keep the compost moist and the humidity up. Oh and a cuttlefish bone so that they have calcium to grow their shells.
Ours are mainly awake in the night and ate munching their way through lots of food.
Let me know how you're getting on!

ninja Sun 03-Jan-16 08:49:06

They're in a plastic tank which seems to be the recommended size (maybe 40x30x20?) and the heat pad should be here in a few days so fingers crossed. They have cuttle fish in there (but ordered some more).

I can't see evidence of them eating much.

Did they just come out all by themselves or did you have to do something?

3across2down Sun 03-Jan-16 09:27:06

Ours only started being more active once we moved them out of a similar plastic tank to a smaller glass tank. I think it retains the heat and humidity better.
Have they got a seal across the shell "entrance"? If yes, don't try and break it off. We put the snails in a shallow dish of warm water and they came out of their shells. Hopefully yours will become more active and start to eat once you have the heat mat.

3across2down Sun 03-Jan-16 09:37:45

We use coir as compost (you can get it from pet shop as a block that you need to soak) as ones bought from garden centres have pesticides in them.
I've just asked my son (he's the bug expert here and also has hissing cockroaches and millipede) and he says they don't need moss or stones. We bought dried oak leaves online that we add.
Good luck!

ninja Sun 03-Jan-16 11:00:58

Thanks - I'll look at glass tanks then - so much for a christmas present!

I've ordered the block of compost online. I did put the snails in warm water - and they came out for the night but then buried themselves again. I think i'll wait to get the heat mat before I try and get them out again.

Thanks -

ninja Thu 07-Jan-16 15:59:11

Right - heatpad has arrived and been installed

Coir compost arrived and there's a cm or two in the bottom of the tank

I bathed them gently in warm water and got them all 'awake'

they stated moving for a day or two (before I'd put the compost in) and now they've just buried themselves and the one I looked at had sealed itself up again.

I'm stuck for ideas and worried that they're just going to die sad

ninja Thu 07-Jan-16 17:48:03

help please

ninja Thu 07-Jan-16 22:01:36

any ideas?

NeededANameChangeAnyway Thu 07-Jan-16 22:05:15

Is there a zoo or bug expert locally?

ninja Thu 07-Jan-16 22:17:34

I'll see if I can find a pet shop that can help. My friend's son has snakes so he might know of someone, good idea!

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