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Home snail Achatina: care and maintenance

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Land gastropod mollusk from the pulmonary snail subclass. Widely distributed in countries with a tropical climate, highly invasive species, is a pest of agricultural plants, especially sugarcane. Currently, further expansion of the Achatina area has been stopped due to strict quarantine measures. Started snail invasion in the United States was prevented. In Europe, including Russia, where Achatina’s survival in nature is impossible, they are often kept as domestic animals.

The content of the snail Achatina (Terrarium)

Terrarium for Ahatin can be made from a simple aquarium. The minimum size is 10 liters per snail. The larger the aquarium, the larger your snail will grow. A terrarium should certainly have a cover, because snails can crawl out of it. It is advisable to organize small holes in the lid for better gas exchange. In extreme cases, you can simply lift the lid to form a small gap. Lay the litter at the bottom of the aquarium. The litter can be the "Begonia" soil, or ideally the coconut substrate 5-7 cm of the mound. You can build a small tub with fresh water, Achatina love to swim. The main thing is that the depth of the bath does not allow the snail to choke. In general, Achatinaes crawl well under water, but if they accidentally fall into the bath from above, a small snail can drown from fright. You also need to make sure that the bath does not turn over if the snail starts to dig in the ground next to it, otherwise the water will spread, which is not good.

The temperature and humidity of the air, necessary for Akhatinam, approximately coincide with those in a regular city apartment. Soil moisture is determined empirically. If the snails are all the time sitting on the walls of the terrarium, it means that there is too much water. If they prefer to clog (the evidence hides in the sink and closes the lid), on the contrary, it is too dry. Under normal ground moisture, snails crawl over its surface at night, and often burrow into it during the day. To maintain humidity, it is enough to spray the soil and the walls of the terrarium from the spray gun twice a day.

To wake up a blocked snail, you can pour water on its mouth and gently remove the cap or simply place it in a terrarium with normal humidity. It is recommended to wash the terrarium at least once a week. An exception is a terrarium with an egg laying that has to be cleaned without water in order not to change the humidity and not damage the laying.

It is better to keep small whiters without soil, spreading cabbage or lettuce leaves to them, thereby increasing the chance for the snail to find food and to facilitate the care of the terrarium.

Feeding Achatina snail

It is better to feed as you eat and dry food and remove leftovers. Achatina eat vegetables, fruits and herbs, but in nature do not refuse meat. Usually they are fed in captivity with cabbage, carrots and cucumbers, but it is preferable to give more diverse food. First of all, this is necessary in order to be able to switch to another available type of food at any time. It is known that snails have certain food habits, including many who prefer cucumbers and salads to other products and, if they are fed only cucumbers since childhood, often refuse to eat anything other than them, which can cause certain inconveniences. Large snails can be given whole stubs, they are surprisingly quickly recycle food waste. Soft products should be given for a short time, otherwise they flow and smear on the ground, causing pollution. Small products are generally not recommended to give soft foods. There was a case when the whites wholly buried in a banana and suffocated there. Very small newborn snails are better to give greens, grated carrots on a grater, and a few days later a salad and an apple.

Fruits: Apple, apricots, pineapple, avocado, bananas, pear, strawberries, strawberries, cherries, mangoes, papayas, plums, a bunch of grapes, figs, watermelon, cantaloupe.

Vegetables: pumpkin, rutabaga, zucchini, broccoli, champignons, lettuce, cucumber, potatoes (boiled), carrot varieties of carrots, red, red pepper, celery, spinach, tomato, cabbage leaves.

Beans, peas (boiled or fresh), oatmeal.

Other: mushrooms, plants of meadows / trees, nettle, daisy flowers, elder flowers, clover, dandelion, plantain, yarrow, sprouted oats, alfalfa, color of fruit trees (apple, apricot, peach.), bread (softened), milk (dried or natural ), dairy / lactic acid products (without sugar, salt, spices), minced meat (minced meat, raw or boiled meat), egg (cooked), mixed feed, meat and bone meal, peanuts (minced), baby food, vegetables and meat, gammarus.

It is important that the plants are not torn down within the city, factories or enterprises, wastewater, landfills. After you bring home, rinse thoroughly in warm water!

The effect of calcium on shellfish

Calcium is necessary for building snails. Calcium is a very common chemical element.

The lack of calcium in the snail leads to the curvature and deformation of the shell. The snail shell from calcium deficiency becomes softer, it is not protected from the environment. Since all the internal organs are attached to the walls of the shell, any damage to it can lead to malfunctioning of organs or death. The mollusk, which is not receiving calcium from food, as a rule, lags behind in development: the growth of the shell is disturbed or stops altogether, a failure occurs in puberty.

In order to prove how important calcium is to snails, I conducted an experiment.

Two groups of snails of the same age and type were taken and placed in the same conditions, but feeding was carried out in different ways: some with food with added calcium, others with its complete absence.

Soon the snails of the second group stopped growing. From this it follows that calcium is indispensable for mollusks.

Captive snails get calcium from sepia, eggshell, fodder chalk, shell rock, gammarus, etc. Calcecashes are made for a more effective result. Kaltsekasha is a nutritional mixture made on the basis of various cereals with the addition of various sources of calcium, such a product is served both in dry form and cooked.

Breeding Achatina snail (Breeding Akhatinov)

Achatina snails are hermaphroditic, that is, each individual has both male and female genitals. In the absence of a partner, self-fertilization is possible, but it is quite rare.

The snail can store sperm for two years after mating, using it to fertilize ripening eggs. The number of eggs in a clutch is about 200 (in some cases up to 500), the snail can make 5-6 clutches annually. The size of one egg is 4.5-5.5 mm, in shape it resembles a chicken. The development of eggs is possible at a temperature of 22 ° C and lasts from several hours to 17 days.

Appearance

Achatine coloring is not the most diverse, often brown with black stripes or markings. The age and color of the snails depends on their conditions of detention. Over the years, the shell is gaining up to 7-9 turns and acquires a greenish tint.

There are many types, they differ in size, color and whimsical. Often among Achatines there are individuals with a white body and a brown shell, or even albinos, whose shell has a yellow color. They are slightly smaller and grow a little slower, but they look very original.

The most popular are several types of Akhatin:

  • Achatina fulica (Latin Achatina fulica) - the length of the shell in captivity can reach 20 cm. Very hardy appearance, because of which it is prohibited to import it to some tropical countries because of the threat of invasion. The shell has a brown color of different shades - from dark sand to nutty. The pattern on it consists of longitudinal light stripes.
  • Achatina reticulata (lat. Achatina reticulata) - the homeland of this snail - East Africa. It differs from the fulikas in the pattern on the shell - in reticulums it represents zigzag stripes.
  • Lemon Achatina (lat. Achatina iredalei) - the clam got its name due to its bright yellow shell. The size of the species is relatively small - 6-8 cm. The main feature of this snail is the ability to live birth. She produces up to 25 live cubs.

Achatina are champions in size among land mollusks, because their length can reach 30 cm!

Content

These unpretentious snails not only do not require complex care, but also delight the owners for a long time, because their life expectancy is on average six years, and some long-livers can live more than 8 years.

Pet quickly get used to the habitat and begin to remember the location of the feeder. In addition, your mollusk may receive your favorite food and place in the terrarium.

In order for the content to be comfortable and optimal, you need:

  • spacious terrarium,
  • good substrate
  • quality nutrition,
  • hygiene rules.

Some owners snails allow them to walk around the apartment.

With improper feeding or excessive dryness of the terrarium, the sink can become fragile or cracked.

Achatina snail: care

Terrarium should be spacious with a lid and ventilation. On one individual you need about 10 liters of volume. The larger the capacity, the faster and larger the pet will grow. The lid is necessary to maintain the required level of humidity in the tank, as well as to prevent the snail from crawling out of its aquarium and crawling into an unsafe place for it.

Lighting should be dim, as it can damage the eyesight.

For ground choose the most loose and soft substrate. Coconut chips are best.

The substrate layer must be of such thickness that the snail can be completely buried in it.

Temperature in a terrarium around 28 ° C is the most optimal, but room will do as well. When the temperature drops to 10-15 ° C, the snails die because they are not adapted to survive in such cold weather.

Humidity should be maintained by spraying the walls and soil from the sprayer with water. If there is too much moisture, pets will prefer to sit on the walls and lids. If the terrarium is excessively dry, they will be closed in their shells for a long time.

Water. You can put a house in the terrarium (for example, half a coconut shell) and a bath. The bath should be chosen such that Achatina could not drown in it or overturn it.

Sanitation. You need to clean the terrarium once a week, rubbing the walls with a brush. You also need to replace the substrate as pollution.

Hygiene. Bathing pet should be carried out in shallow baths with lightly warm water. For therapeutic purposes, it can be diluted with chamomile decoction. The water level should be at the same time low, otherwise the snail may choke. It is not necessary to bathe the clam in tap water, as it may contain substances dangerous for the delicate body of snails, and in general finding Achatina in the bathroom is dangerous - falling on a hard tile can result in serious injuries. Do not forget to clean the shell with a soft brush.

More related articles:

How to keep red-eared turtles, read here.

Aquatic frog - the rules of maintenance and care.

What do Achatina snails eat?

Food Achatina is different from what they eat snails in the aquarium. They are almost omnivorous. You can give fruits, vegetables, berries, herbs, occasionally minced meat, fresh cereals (corn, peas, beans), baby vegetable food.

It is imperative that a shell needs eggs, hamarus, a shell ground in dust or natural chalk. Sepia, which can be purchased at the pet store, is particularly popular. Make sure that there is no salt in it.

Snail salt is deadly. It causes severe burns and can cause death.

The main thing is not to teach one to something and not be afraid to overfeed. Leftovers need to be cleaned so as not to contribute to the development of rot and mildew. Meals for the same purpose should be put on a saucer.

Breeding Achatina

In captivity, these mollusks are divorced so successfully that for some inexperienced breeders this phenomenon becomes a real problem. In order to provoke snails to breed, it is enough to create favorable conditions.

It is important to remember that Ahatinas, like most snails, are hermaphroditic, which means that they have both sets of reproductive organs.

If you do not plan to get offspring from Akhatin, it is not recommended to keep them together.

Sexual maturity comes in 6-8 months. At this time, you can notice the appearance on the head of snails a special thickening. It is through him that the snails conduct mating, releasing long genitals. The lovemakings themselves can last for 2-3 hours, during which the snails are woven together by their bodies, crawling on each other and biting each other's neck.

Snails can store partner's sexual products for up to two years.

Pregnancy lasts up to two weeks. At its last dates, you can see the eggs through the respiratory opening under the sink. Once the snail is ready to lay, it digs into the ground and lays up to 300 white eggs. Incubation can last from 15 to 60 days, so it is important to periodically inspect the soil for the presence of hatched.

To attach a horde of hundreds of snails is very difficult, so experienced breeders sort the masonry. To do this, they carefully remove the eggs and sort them out, choosing 10-15 pieces of the largest and most even. The rest of the clutches are frozen and processed for adult snails.

The fastest growing babies in the first months of life, so do not limit them in the feed at this time, giving them food with a high content of protein and calcium.

Achatina snails are very interesting and beautiful pets that do not require large material expenditures, a lot of time, they are not noisy and very funny. Proper care contributes to the health, beauty and longevity of the pet.

Video story about keeping Achatina African snails at home:

Choosing our pet

Giant African snails, which in Europe and in Russia are bred as pets, are considered at home as terrible and voracious pests that can destroy the crop of sugar cane and other agricultural crops in the bud. The land gastropod mollusk scientists refer to a large family Archachatinidae. It includes several genera and about sixty species. Representatives of the genus Archakhatin have a blunted rounded crown of the shell, are considered more primitive compared to the Achatina. They are also sold in pet stores, especially Archachatina marginata, whose house can be up to twelve centimeters in diameter. African Achatina differs from its relative by its pointed and elongated shell crown. She also has a sociable character.

African Ahatina snail - structural features

Among land mollusks - Ahatina is the largest. Its shell can be up to 25 centimeters in length, and its body is 30. The snail has a heart, a kidney, eyes, a brain, and a lung. Besides it, the clam also breathes through the skin. She does not hear anything. Achatine eyes are located at the ends of the tentacles, they help the cochlea to perceive the degree of illumination and objects located at a distance of no more than 1 centimeter. The degree of brightness of illumination of the cochlea is also perceived by light-sensitive cells located throughout the body, which is probably why they do not like the blinding light.

The shell protects the mollusks from drying out and becomes protection for them in case of danger. It may have an interesting pattern and color, which can change depending on what the snail was eating. Smells Achatina feels the skin of the entire front area of ​​the body, as well as the tips of the tentacles. With the help of them and the soles of the snail perceives the texture and shape of objects.

What are the Achatines

But within this genus there are quite a few species. If you are after size, purchase Achatina achatina from West Africa - the largest snail. Achatina giant in the wild increases the shell to thirty-seven centimeters in length, and the weight of the mollusk can be 450 grams. In captivity, they are slightly smaller, but look no less impressive. The most prolific is Achatina fulica. She, by the way, and the most unpretentious. He eats everything, feels great in the conditions of an ordinary city apartment. But these creatures are uncommunicative and slow.

Achatina reticulums from East Africa, on the contrary, are very mobile. It can be said that these mollusks are curious, sociable, quick-witted. Their shells, covered with a dotted or striped pattern, can reach 20 cm in diameter. Breeders have the most valued albino reticulums, they are smaller, but insanely beautiful. Achatina iredalei, or lemon Achatina, is interesting because it is viviparous. The snail brings in one litter up to 25 babies. Its light yellow shell is rather small, only five centimeters from an adult.

Does the choice and type of Achatina change the care and maintenance of the cat? In fact, all of these African snails - relatives, and close. Therefore, they all have almost the same requirements for food, temperature and humidity. Some like a wet environment, others like a dry one. Кто-то зарывается днем в грунт и нелюдимо выползает только по ночам, а представители других видов доверчиво залезают на ладонь к хозяину. Но, по большому счету, основные приемы ухода и кормления для всех видов ахатин одинаковы.In choosing a pet, be guided only by your aesthetic feelings. Let his bright and unusual coloring pleases your eye and improves your mood!

The snail is not a crocodile or even a python, so the house for her may be the most ordinary. This may be a glass aquarium, but not filled with water, of course. It can also be a container made of transparent or translucent plastic, a terrarium of plexiglass. Take care of enough space for your pet, the capacity should be at least five liters for one snail. If you decide to breed three or four Achatines at once, their maintenance requires a 20-liter aquarium or box. And since the mollusks are not small fish, they can voluntarily leave the place allocated for them and crawl around the apartment. To prevent this from happening, cover the terrarium with a lid in which to make a sufficient number of holes for free air circulation.

We equip the house

On the bare bottom of an aquarium or container, Achatina snails will feel uncomfortable, stop growing, start to languish. That is why the ground is needed, where the pet could be buried. Ideally, the litter can be an orchid or coconut substrate. For better health of adults it is necessary to fill the soil for five to seven centimeters, but young animals should not be given so much to dig. Small snails can suffocate in too dense a covering. You can use the substrate "Begonia" (sold in stores for gardeners) or compost without fertilizer.

The right litter

It is not necessary to pour peat and loam, after a while you will watch your soiled pets through the glass, which is not less crushed in mud. The sand is good because it encourages snails to lay eggs. But Achatina, whose care and maintenance are otherwise very simple, can spread the grains of sand throughout the terrarium and scratch each other’s glass and armor. In general, here you need to empirically find the "middle ground". The substrate should not be completely organic, because the fruit flies can start in the compost, which will fly throughout the apartment. Those who know the snails advise to create a litter from a mixture of coarse loose sand and non-acidic soil.

Water treatment

Achatina snails love to splash, so in the terrarium do not forget to install a bath in which to pour fresh water at room temperature. If you have hatched young, make sure that the bath was small enough. In general, these African snails move well underwater, but a small individual may accidentally choke. The bath should stand firmly on the bottom, so that if some Achatina decide to undermine the litter, the water does not overflow.

Aesthetic design

A beautiful diamond needs a decent rim, as the saying goes. And if such gems are Achatas? Care and maintenance of these beauties is simply unthinkable without the aesthetic design of the terrarium. Not rotting pieces of wood, moss, terracotta shards only emphasize the sophistication of African snails. Plants will not only look spectacular in the terrarium, but also saturate it with oxygen, and at the same time diversify the diet of your pets. The most optimal neighbors for Achatina will be fern and ivy.

Temperature conditions

Giant snails - the inhabitants of the hot tropics. Therefore, the temperature in the terrarium should range from +20 to + 28 Celsius. You should not put a container with snails near the battery, this leads to the drying of the substrate. Also undesirable direct sunlight, in this case, the snails waiting for an undesirable temperature contrast. If your home is colder in winter, then to maintain an optimal climate in the terrarium, use heating lamps, as for keeping reptiles. The light of Achatina is more or less indifferent, they do not need to extend the "day", as for orchids. But it is important to bring the light source out of the container, so that the snails do not try to crawl through the lamps.

These people from the equatorial jungle love a moist environment. Therefore, it is necessary once or twice a day to spray the litter and walls of the terrarium with water from a spray bottle. The relative humidity of the air inside the box should vary from 75 to 85 percent, depending on the type of your Achatina. And the albopic snail (in appearance resembles a reticulum) generally needs 90% damp. The optimal moisture regime should also be sought empirically. Spraying the terrarium should be without excessive fanaticism, because you will dissolve the swamp and dirt. If you see that most snails are sitting on the walls and tend to climb higher, then the environment is too wet for them. If they burrow into the ground even in the evening, they are plugged with lids, then in the terrarium it is too dry.

What to feed Achatina

This item excites many novice snail lovers. Do not be afraid, because Akhatins eat our “domestic” vegetables and fruits perfectly. Unlike other exotic plants, they can easily live without papaya, bamboo shoots, fresh eucalyptus leaves and other things. Most breeders distinguish three products that Achatines adore. These are lettuce, fresh cucumber and apple. However, do not limit them only to these products. For health and longevity snails should diversify their menu. Give them also carrots and cabbage leaves. Potatoes Achatina not too fond, except boiled. In the summer, treat your snails with a variety of berries and fruits. However, the young do not give soft fruits. There were cases when young snails completely burrowed into a banana and suffocated there. Achatina tomatoes, shpinat, mushrooms, beans, zucchini, as well as melon and watermelon will appreciate. But what snails can not, it is hot, fried, smoked, sweet.

Mineral Supplements

Calcium is an important ingredient that Achatina extremely need. Care and maintenance of snails provides for regular feeding with food chalk. In addition, you can provide them with the necessary "building material" for the shell in the form of pureed egg shells, sepia, shell rock, gammarus, cottage cheese (without salt and other food additives). Sometimes give your pets calcium porridge (a mixture of cereals and minerals). Do not forget that in the wild Achatina do not disdain and carrion. Therefore, occasionally you can give them meat puree, bone meal, boiled eggs, minced meat. If the snail gets enough calcium, its shell becomes thinner. Consequently, its internal organs, which are attached to the inner side of the shell, become vulnerable.

Breeding

Domestic snails Achatina extremely prolific. In addition, they are hermaphrodite and can produce offspring regardless of the presence of a heterosexual partner. If you do not want a new offspring, just wash the eggs (they look like chicken, only in miniature) with water. But if you want to breed snail offspring, you should be careful with cleaning the terrarium. It should be cleaned so as not to change the humidity of the air and not damage the laying. To newborn Achatina not suffocated in loose soil litter, you need to keep them on lettuce or cabbage leaves.

Baby food should be treated with special responsibility. In order for a strong shell to grow faster, give the young calcium pods. Very useful for him grated carrot. Achatines become sexually mature at the age of nine months, but their breeding instinct should be held back to one and a half years. Just make a layer of substrate in the terrarium less than three centimeters. One snail lays two or three hundred at a time, and the number of clutches can be up to four per year. Do not let go of unwanted snails in the summer. First, they will die during the first night cooling, and secondly, Achatina - an extremely invasive parasite. In the UK, even a law prohibiting the release of Achatina in the wild. What to say about countries where a lot of agricultural land is covered with vineyards!

Diseases and care for snails

The most common problem faced by breeders is shell injuries. Very often, crawling on the lid of the terrarium, the snail falls off and falls down. Sometimes the landing is very unsuccessful and leads to chipping or cracking the shell. Do not immediately panic. If the soft body does not fall out or is given very little, it is fixable. Just grease the antiseptic. The rest will make a strong body of a snail. Soon the wound healing process will start. Maybe the shell will not be so beautiful, but the pet is alive. At the time of therapy, remove the wounded Achatina in a separate box, because the snails love to rub each other with their shells.

It is necessary to especially consider how careful it should be for such delicate mollusks as Achatina, content. Photos of these snails in the palm of the owner are very popular. But do not often abuse the sociability of these creatures and take them in their hands. If you still want to hold the pet, you need to do it very carefully. Dampen the leg of the mollusk with water, stick your fingers under it. With your other hand, hold the snail at the same time with its heavy shell. To prevent Achatina infection with microparasites, you need to wash the terrarium at least once a month and remove the missing products (food residues) from it.

Types of Achatina

In nature, there are more than 100 species of giant snails. To dwell in detail on each one does not make sense, since the conditions for their maintenance are almost the same. Consider the most common types of Achatina, which are most often found in pet stores.

The easiest to care for, and therefore the most common of the giant snails, is the Achatina fulik species. Its representatives have a shell with a motley color, which changes color depending on the diet, and a brownish or brown soft body with pronounced bumps on the skin. Achatina Fulika sluggishly likes to rest a lot in a secluded place.

The second most common type of snail for domestic use is Achatina reticulata. Its representatives have a pattern on the sink in the form of stripes and dots, the color of the soft body is black or dark brown with a light border of the “legs”. Achatina reticulum is curious and mobile and raise its head in an attempt to consider what is happening.

Care and maintenance Ahatin

For content Achatina you do not need special tools. They can even be placed in an old, cracked aquarium, since it will not be necessary to fill it with water. Instead, you can even take a plastic box, only to watch the pets will be difficult due to poor transparency of the walls. But from the use of a cardboard box is better to refuse, since Achatina can gnaw it.

How to keep at home

For one snail you need a “house” with a volume of at least 10 liters. If you plan to have several Achatines, its volume should be at least 20-30 liters.

You should always cover the aquarium with a piece of Plexiglas with holes or a special lid. Otherwise, you will have to look for a snail around the house. But it is also impossible to close the aquarium tightly, because the mollusk needs fresh air, if the lid does not contain holes, then leave at least a small gap.

At the bottom of the aquarium should be placed primer for Achatina layer up to 10 centimeters. It must be loose, breathable - the snail will dig into it and lay eggs. Suitable coconut substrate or soil for transplanting flowers, which can be found in any flower shop. The main thing is that there is no fertilizer and other harmful additives in the soil. It is not recommended to use sawdust and clay soil as a soil. Sometimes a terrarium for Achatina is recommended to fall asleep with sand, web of walnut or needles bark. You can experiment and find the most convenient option.

Whatever soil you choose, please note that it should be in a slightly damp state, but not overmoistened. This will maintain optimum moisture in the tank. Determine the degree of moisture can be on the behavior of the cochlea. If it tries to close in the sink - the air is too dry, if it constantly hangs on the walls - the humidity is too high.

Since the African snail Achatina loves to swim, in her "house" it does not hurt to put a shallow container with water. The container must be heavy and stable so that the mollusk cannot turn it over. It is recommended to pour water into it a little so that the snail cannot choke in it. Water bathing change about 1 time per week.

Since Ahatina is a native of Africa, it is logical that she loves warmth. The temperature around 26 ° С is comfortable for her. Since it is lower in our apartments, a dim lamp will help to provide a suitable snail climate. This can be done without, but note that Achatina, which was held at home below 24 ° C, will be a bit lethargic and not very mobile.

The clam does not need additional lighting. Ahstiny indifferent to the intensity of light. For snails, it is important that the day turns regularly at night. They are more active in the dark. During the day, snails prefer to hide in the ground or other secluded places. Such places can be created by placing large stones, snags and coconut halves in an aquarium. In the aquarium, you can plant live plants, they will become an additional feed for Achatina. Better fit ivy or fern.

What do Achatines eat

Achatina can eat almost everything, and the preferences of each snail are often significantly different. The basis of their diet is plant foods. They are recommended to give apples, salad and cucumbers. In summer, young foliage and herbs such as clover or dandelion can be added to food. Snails can happily eat bananas, watermelon rinds, bell peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, corn, berries, zucchini and spinach. But most of the snails do not like carrots and potatoes. To diversify the diet of ahatan, sometimes give her dry, unleavened biscuits, bran and oatmeal. Occasionally you can offer her meat, egg white or poultry.

Calcium must be present in the nutrition of the cochlea. Therefore, in the aquarium should always be rubbed eggshell or natural chalk. Limestone or mineral stones can be placed in it.

Young snails are recommended to be fed daily, and they should be given food in the evening, since they mostly eat at night. Adults Achatin enough to feed in 2-3 days.

The merits of the African Achatina snail

The Achatina snail is not a tender kitty and not a playful dog, but it has its advantages. She will not demand from you daily walks, frequent feedings, will not whine at night and nibble at sneakers, while spending on its content almost does not have to. It is interesting to watch the snail, especially when it is swimming, crawling on the glass or moving slowly along the arm. You can try to “train” it, producing conditioned reflexes in the mollusk.

But the main advantage of the Achatina snail is that you can go on vacation or a business trip and leave your pet unattended. After all, for a long time, without receiving food and additional moisture, Achatinaes hibernate. Returning home, you just need to sprinkle the mollusk in hibernation with water and he will soon wake up. Achatina snails, whose care and maintenance met the requirements, can live for about 10 years. They can be your faithful companions for many years.

Achatina characteristic

The average length of the shell of adult snails, as a rule, does not exceed 50-100 mm, but some specimens have larger sizes in excess of 20 cm. The shell of a snail is of conical shape, most often characterized counter-clockwise..

Age Achatines are characterized by a shell, which has about seven or nine turns. The basic color of the shell depends on the environment, as well as the diet, but most often has reddish-brown stripes and yellowish shades.

Buying Achatina snails - tips

Before purchasing, it is necessary to find out the peculiarities of snail care and to take an interest in the diet of the mollusk, its maintenance and care, as well as to take into account the main nuances:

  • It is not recommended to purchase home Achatines from their hands, so it is advisable to visit the pet shop and observe the behavior, food preferences and the general health of the cochlea,
  • it is important to inspect the terrarium and its equipment, taking into account the volume of the dwelling and its lighting, the presence of an air vent and other accessories,
  • African Achatina must have a good pedigree, recorded in a special registration documentation.

It should be remembered that individuals who are unprofessionally engaged in breeding land gastropods, do not reject and try to sell snails in large quantities, as well as sell clutches and do not have competence in matters of care or maintenance. Quite often, such people are not able to provide complete information about their mollusks and do not care at all about the state of health of the animal.

Important! Special attention should be paid to the appearance of the mollusk. Snail shell should not have cracks, and a good sign is its uniformity. Лучше всего приобретать ахатину в возрасте старше двух месяцев.

Заводчики или киперы грамотно выращивают улиток и полностью компетентны в вопросе их содержания. Профессионалы не ищут выгоды от реализации улиток, поэтому способны при необходимости предоставить исчерпывающую информацию о происхождении и родословной моллюска. Breeders make a timely rejection, but the clutch is never sold for breeding.

Device terrarium filling

As a clam dwelling, any glass or plastic container having a lid with special small vents can be used. As practice shows, preference should be given to a horizontal-type terrarium, and the volume of such capacity for one adult can not be less than ten liters.


Special attention is paid to the heating of the terrarium for growing a tropical pet.. The heat-loving creature should be provided with a comfortable and stable temperature regardless of the season at a level of 26-28 ° C. It is important to prevent not only the animal from freezing, but also its overheating, therefore it is advisable to place a thermometer in the terrarium.

It will also be interesting:

Equally important is the lighting of the terrarium, but additional highlighting at night is not mandatory. Sunlight should be prevented from entering the mollusk, therefore the terrarium should not be installed on the window sill of a southern direction.

As a filling for a dwelling, it is required to choose the correct variant of the soil, for which it is desirable to use a coconut substrate that retains moisture well. The thickness of the soil is selected in accordance with the size of a pet. Before filling the briquette is poured with boiling water, after which it is cooled, washed and dried. As a quite worthy option of filling, it is also possible to use high pure peat with a pH level in the range of 5-7.

Important! Place a terrarium with a giant snail is necessary in a place where there is no negative impact on the animal drafts or direct sunlight, as well as excess heat from heating appliances.

Additional accessories for the snail include high-quality drinkers and feeders made of environmentally friendly and soft materials, as well as a pool and a small house. Food plastics have proven themselves very well. Do not use sharp or dangerous, too hard objects in the terrarium, which can cause damage to the body or shell of a homemade clam. Experienced owners of such pets recommend planting lettuce cultures or special cat's grass in the house for Achatina. The twigs, picturesque snags or traditional tree bark will be a real decoration for the landscape.

The correct diet snail Achatina

The basis of the Achatina diet is represented by lettuce leaves, various greens, shoots of cereals and vegetables, as well as tops. The following items should also be included in the diet of shellfish:

  • cucumber and pumpkin pulp,
  • spinach
  • zucchini
  • carrot
  • the cobs of young corn,
  • peas
  • tomatoes,
  • cabbage
  • apple and pear pulp,
  • watermelon and melon,
  • bananas
  • apricots,
  • avocado,
  • mango,
  • pineapples
  • cherry
  • plum,
  • raspberries,
  • strawberries.

Adult gastropods may be a bit moody in matters of nutrition, so they often prefer one food, completely neglecting the other. In any case, soft fruits and vegetables are cut into slices, and hard ones are grated or ground in a kitchen blender to a puree. Any food given to the cochlea should be brought to room temperature.

It is forbidden to give your pet products from the common table, spices and fried foods, sweet and sour, as well as smoked and spicy foods.. Natural acids contained in citrus fruits, including lemons, tangerines and oranges, are dangerous for snails. It is very important to provide the gastropod mollusk with a special mineral feed containing a sufficient amount of calcium.

It is interesting! Pure water is especially important for gastropods, which Achatines not only drink, but also very actively use for water procedures. Water is subject to daily replacement.

It is advisable to feed adult domestic snails in the evening, once a day. Small and young individuals should be provided with round-the-clock and unhindered access to food and water. Meals are given in a special bowl or on a tray, which may well be a cabbage or lettuce leaf. The uneaten food is removed from the terrarium.

Achatina care

Such exotic pets do not require special care. Cleaning in the terrarium should be done as it is contaminated, and general cleaning is carried out at least a couple of times a month. Hygienic cleaning of the walls of the terrarium and the inside of the lid is performed daily.

It is categorically impossible to use traditional chemical scouring powders and other products for cleaning, therefore experienced owners of domestic snails are advised to use hot water and soft rags or a usual kitchen sponge for this purpose.

Important! Attention is drawn to the fact that any fixtures used in the cleaning of the terrarium should be kept separately.

Gastropods love to take regular water procedures. Of course, it is enough for such exotic pets with a hygienic purpose to install a shallow pool inside the terrarium, but it is highly advisable to periodically arrange a warm shower for the cochlea, keeping the animal on the arm above the ordinary sink. The stream of water directed at the cochlea should not be too strong and necessarily warm. The total duration of such a procedure is no more than three minutes.

Health, Disease and Prevention

The main causes of snail diseases are most often presented:

  • improper maintenance, including overcooling or overheating of the animal, the use of too close a terrarium, the use of dry or marshy ground,
  • low-calorie diet with insufficient amounts of protein and calcium,
  • rare cleaning in the terrarium, the accumulation of rotting food debris and excrement,
  • improper ventilation and poor quality primer,
  • neighborhood disturbances of different species and subspecies of domestic snails.

The main signs of illness in a pet are lethargy, complete or partial refusal of food, blockage of the entrance to the sink, excessive or thick mucous discharge, as well as pronounced separation of the shell. A particular danger is the loss of the gastropod mollusk from the shell, which may be caused by genetic predispositions or prolonged exposure to carcinogens, the effects of bacteria, infections and fungi. The result of this pathology, as a rule, is the rapid death of the cochlea. In order to prevent such diseases, it is recommended to competently approach the process of selecting the main feeds and additives of animal origin.

Important! Of particular importance is the observance of preventive measures, including the monitoring of the cleanliness of the terrarium, the observance of proper diets and proper care for homemade clam.

Careless handling of homemade shellfish can cause household injuries and damage to the integrity of the shell. Not too much damage is most often corrected with the help of epoxy glue, after which the animal must be provided with a diet rich in calcium.

The unsanitary conditions of the snails provoke the appearance of parasites and infectious diseases in the pet, which can sometimes be very difficult to get rid of. For treatment of an animal it is allowed to use ointment on the basis of propolis, as well as the drug "Mikoseptin" and a pharmacy solution of iodine.

Types of Akhatin snails

The genus Achatina of the family Achatinidae includes about one hundred species of Achatina. Among the lovers of these gastropods, the following species of African snails are prevalent and popular:

  • Achatina Fulika,
  • Achatina reticulata,
  • Achatina Immakulata
  • Ahatina tiger,
  • Ahatina iradeli.

Achatina - content

African Achatina snails - land, care and maintenance at home do not require increased hassle. Many aquarists consider them ideal domesticated pets. Achatinaes do not smell, do not bite, do not cause allergies, do not require communication and walking, even on vacation or a business trip you can not worry about them - the snail will easily live alone for a week or two.

How to keep Achatina snails at home?

Keeping Akhatin snails at home will not cause any special difficulties. African snails are ideal pets. Prefer nightlife, daytime rest in a dark corner. To settle the snail should be in a closed terrarium or aquarium, because in order for African guests to feel at home, they need an air temperature of 25-27 ° C and high humidity (75-90%). Violation of living conditions will lead to the fact that the snail will hibernate and may even die.

Snails Akhatin Terrarium

Large Achatina snails need a spacious house. It is extremely important to prepare for the acquisition of a pet in advance in order to immediately place the animal in an environment suitable for its maintenance. Select the capacity for these giants at the rate of 10-15 liters of volume per individual (in a small space it will be difficult to maintain constant humidity). As a home for land snails you can adapt:

  • reptile terrarium,
  • an aquarium (better rectangular, you can get from the hands of the old, which gave a leak that will be much cheaper),
  • container with transparent plastic food
  • Ulituli made personally from glass, plexiglass, plexiglass, transparent plastic.

African Achatines are curious creatures. Traveling on the glass or plastic walls of their world, the snails are able to escape beyond its borders. Therefore, on top of the container cover with a lid or a grid with holes of a size that a pet could not get into. Do not forget that the Achatina African snail is a breathing mollusk. Achatina needs fresh air, so never close their house tightly. But drafts are contraindicated.

Pick up a place in your home, where direct sunlight will not fall on the terrarium, it is better - away from the window. The snails do not like being in the sun, their delicate body is severely suffering and dehydrated. The bright light gives them inconvenience, since the skin of the snails is a continuous photosensitive organ. The light does not need a snail, it is perfectly oriented in the dark. Illumination is necessary only for the viewer, who will admire the clams. Equip your ultarius with a thermometer and hygrometer and constantly monitor their readings.

Soil for snails Ahatin

The height of the litter from the ground should allow the African snail to hide, optimally - 5-15 cm, no less. As the soil is preferable to use:

  • coconut substrate
  • wet (but not waterlogged!) sand,
  • peat with a pH level in the range of 6-7.

Stones, metal objects, and any decorations made of hard materials are dangerous for the delicate body and the Achatina shell. The snail will not like the content in conditions where, falling from a height, it may break against the walls of a ceramic decorative castle or flowerpot. Achatina is capable of injuring the body on the edges of shards of clay, china, glass, so exclude these dangerous elements from the decor of the snail's dwelling. You can decorate ulitarium with snags, dry branches, food plastic items, and living plants.

Achatina home snails - care

So, you decided, prepared a dwelling for the new pet and brought the African snail Achatina into the house. From now on, care for your baby and its nutrition will become your pleasant responsibilities. You can entrust the care of these unusual mollusks to a child of school age, he is quite capable of it. The main stages of caring for Akhatina and its housing:

  1. Monitor the temperature. No sudden changes in temperature can be allowed. If it is necessary to raise the temperature in the ultyaria, use heating pads, electric heating mats, incandescent lamps, placing them from the outside.
  2. Maintain a constant high humidity, while not over drying and not watering the soil. Dry air will cause the snail to hide in the sink. Use a spray bottle to increase the humidity. The snail climbs on the glass and sits there - in the pulley is too damp. To reduce moisture, open the lid of the ulitaria.
  3. Install a shallow (up to 1 cm) stable tank with water for bathing the mollusk. Water is regularly changed and monitor its level so that snails, especially youngsters, do not choke.
  4. Bathe the snails with slightly warm boiled water to remove sticking pieces of soil and food. You can make a "shower" for the cochlea, puncturing small holes in the cap of the plastic bottle. From such a bottle it is convenient and safe to rinse your pet.
  5. At intervals of once every 2–3 months, the urnard should be washed and the ground must be changed. In the process of washing to use only water, no detergents or cleaning products! If the snail laid eggs, then clean the walls without water at all, rubbing with a damp cloth.

What do Achatina snails eat at home?

African giant snails Ahatin have a great appetite, they are not picky about their food. It is better to feed them late in the evening, before the period of activity. Let's eat a variety of food, it is better to lay out the products on a special plate, and not on the litter. What to feed snails Akhatin:

  • lettuce, cabbage,
  • dandelions, chamomile, plantain,
  • cucumbers, zucchini,
  • tomatoes,
  • carrot,
  • Champignon,
  • apple and other fruits
  • grapes
  • fresh berries,
  • watermelon, melon, pumpkin,
  • oatmeal flakes, buckwheat,
  • meat puree, mince,
  • boiled eggs.

Do not treat your snails with products that will lead to the death of pets:

  • salty,
  • sweet,
  • spicy
  • smoked meats
  • roast,
  • raw potatoes
  • citrus,
  • bread, pasta.

For the construction of the shell snails need a source of calcium, so the diet should include mineral supplements:

  • food chalk,
  • crushed egg shells,
  • sepia (as ground as a food supplement, or as a whole),
  • cottage cheese without sugar, salt and other additives,
  • calcium porridge (a mixture of ground cereals and minerals),
  • bone flour.

Snail diseases Achatina

Achatina land snails also get sick, like all living creatures. Malaise ailments occur for reasons:

  • domestic injuries
  • shell loss
  • overcooling or overheating,
  • poisoning with salt, household chemicals,
  • microparasites (flies, bugs, springtails, etc.) and fungal infections,
  • infection with worms, worms,
  • infections,
  • tumors.

Achatina snails - reproduction

You may have heard how Achatina snails breed. These gastropods are hermaphroditic. The result of the content in one ulitarius two or more African Achatine will lead to fertilization. In most cases, snails lay eggs, but there are also viviparous Achatine species. The female becomes that snail, which is older and bigger. A younger individual will act as a male.

Eggs snails Ahatin

What to do when you notice that the Achatina snail has started breeding? Eggs care is extremely important; if certain conditions are not met, the clutch will not be viable and the eggs will die:

  1. It should maintain a temperature of 27-28 ° C, without fluctuations and differences.
  2. When overmoistening the soil, the eggs will rot, in the dry - the embryos will die.
  3. Do not touch the eggs with your hands, but move them to a separate terrarium together with the substrate.
  4. Sprinkle eggs with soil.

Small Achatina snails

The African land snail is a caring parent. Small ulitata hatching from eggs, crawling to the surface in a few days. Their shells are very tender and fragile. It is better to put the kids on the cabbage leaves. Feed them need grated vegetables and fruits with the addition of kalmesmesey. It’s easy to make babies drink: spray the walls of ulitheria with boiled water. This is quite enough. Snails will drink, crawling along the walls and licking water drops.

How many years have Achatina snails live?

Achatina domestic snails have a longer life expectancy than their wild counterparts. Everything is very simple: in their usual habitat Achatina are pests of crops and are actively destroyed by humans. Poor sluggish creatures in addition to humans have many enemies in nature: hedgehogs, weasels, frogs and even insects. With proper care and healthy nutrition, the giant Achatina snail grows well and can live for seven to ten years.

The African Achatina snail does not scratch the wallpaper, does not nibble on sneakers, does not howl at night and does not carry food from your plate. This cute, quiet creature, similar to an alien, will allow you to enjoy the rest in a comfortable chair near his terrarium. The snail will move slowly, with an appetite to eat a slice of fruit or a juicy leaflet, immersing you in a contemplative "trance." And worries, hassle, sadness will recede into the background, giving way to peace and endless admiration for the harmony reigning in this tiny corner of nature.

What you need to keep snails Akhatin?

For unpretentious Achatina when content in the home will need a transparent container. Suitable vessel:

  • from plastic,
  • plexiglass,
  • old glass aquarium.

Чтобы моллюск чувствовал себя комфортно, объем контейнера должен быть не менее 10 л, если в нем будет жить семейство улиток – значит больше. Для поступления свежего воздуха террариум должен быть оснащен верхними крышками с мелкими отверстиями, через которые обитатель не сможет сбежать. Caring for snails Achatina at home - how to fill the container:

  1. The bottom is covered with a layer of substrate 10 cm high, suitable floral compost or pure peat. You can add sand, hazelnut shells or walnut kernels. The substrate is needed for the snail to be buried in the ground - they love to do it, they lay eggs there. Compost needs to be moistened with a spray bottle every day.
  2. Additionally, you can put large stones, snags, coconut halves in the aquarium - the snails will hide in them. Green vegetation (fern, ivy) will decorate the living area and will be useful food for the inhabitants.
  3. A plastic trough with low edges and a plastic lid trough are placed in the vessel.

Temperature for keeping snails Ahatin

African Achatina when you care and keep at home will feel comfortable at a temperature of 20-30 ° C and humidity of 80-95%. Similar conditions are close to their natural environment. The activity of the mollusk depends on sunlight, humidity and ambient temperature. They go for walks mostly at night or during a period of rain. If the gastropods on the walls climb up - then in their house a high humidity, hiding in the ground - very dry. The container should not be installed under direct sunlight and near heating devices.

Care for Achatina at Home

Unpretentious home snails Achatina when you care, in addition to maintaining optimal temperature and humidity require cleaning the aquarium, balanced feeding, care in the period of breeding mollusks. Careful attention should be paid to the shell of the pet - it is its protection from diseases and external damage. When caring for snails Achatina at home you can arrange them water procedures:

  1. To place a bath with non-cold water in the terrarium, there should not be a lot of liquid in it in depth.
  2. Occasionally arrange for pets a warm shower, holding them in your hand above the sink for about 3 minutes.

Caring for Achatina snails at home - cleaning the terrarium:

  1. The container is cleaned 2-3 times in 3 months.
  2. Cleaning includes his complete washing and replacement of the substrate.
  3. If the walls of the aquarium are covered with mucus (it is left by crawling gastropods) or an unpleasant smell is heard from it, an unscheduled cleaning should be done.

Achatina - sink care

The Akhatinam big snails need special care, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  1. For good growth and development, the mollusk should receive a sufficient amount of calcium. Otherwise, the pet may begin to have problems with the sink - that will begin to exfoliate, become fragile, and the snail itself will not reach the gigantic dimensions for which it is so famous. Calcium is necessary for the inhabitant also if she is pregnant or her armor is damaged. Chalk, powdered egg-shells or sepia, a mineral stone for birds, are used as top dressing.
  2. Another common problem is chipped and cracked sinks. Sometimes the mollusk, crawling along the upper edge of the house, falls down, which can lead to injury to the shell. In this case, it is necessary to treat the damaged area with an antiseptic and put the pet in a separate vessel so that it does not rub about its relatives (the Achatines love to do this).

Achatina eggs - care

Caring for the care of the Achatina snails at home you need to know that these mollusks are hermaphroditic. Each individual has both female and male genital organs and, having reached the age of 6-7 months, they can multiply. For offspring, a pair of adults is placed in a separate vessel for a week. Achatina are hyperplodovic, they bury their eggs in the soil approximately 2 weeks after mating. At one time, the clutch can contain 50-400 eggs. Their size is 4-5 mm, in shape they resemble chicken.

Many breeders care for laying Achatina produce in a separate container. They shift them with a plastic spoon in a separate transparent vessel and sprinkle with 1-2 cm of a layer of soil so that the adults who are always digging do not harm the offspring. Substrate and vessel walls should be irrigated daily, the container should be closed with a lid. The development of eggs occurs at a temperature of 25-27 ° C and a humidity of 70%, it is important to prevent differences in the values ​​of these indicators.

Newborn Achatina snails - care

African newborn Achatina snails, the care of which was made in comfortable temperature conditions, are born a month after fertilization. The egg shell becomes thin, all the calcium from it goes to the formation of the shell of the kids. In the process of birth, the mollusk is separated and tries to get out of the ground. It is desirable to dig up the soil around the clutch to help newborns get out. The first few days the snail eats the remnants of its shell.

Little Achatines - care

The basic principles of care for small Achatina:

  1. A temporary food container for 8-10 l can become a temporary home for newborn snails; they do not need a spacious dwelling.
  2. There must be holes in the lid of the container so that air gets inside.
  3. In the first few months it is better to place a thermometer and a hygrometer in the container. The optimum temperature for keeping small Akhatin is 25-27 ° С, humidity is 65-70%.
  4. To maintain the desired temperature will help the incandescent lamp, and humidity - the spray.
  5. For small Achatyn soil is the leaves of cabbage and lettuce. If they live in a terrarium with a substrate, then preference should be given to floral soil, coconut chips. Moss, sand, sawdust and stones are prohibited.
  6. Putting the container with the kids is better on the shelf or bookshelf, not on the window.

What can you feed snails Ahatin?

When caring for African snails Ahatins at home, it is important to feed them correctly and in a timely manner so that the clam will grow healthy and not sick. Their diet should consist of plant foods, mineral supplements and animal protein. Achatina - proper nutrition and care:

  1. The basis of the diet: leaves of lettuce, dandelion, plantain, various greens, shoots of vegetables and cereals.
  2. Vegetables: cucumbers, spinach, pumpkin, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, peas.
  3. Fruits and berries: apples, pears, watermelons, melons, bananas, apricots, plums, strawberries, raspberries, cherries.
  4. Squirrels: mashed meat products, fish food, meat and bone meal, boiled egg.
  5. Mineral top dressing: fodder chalk, eggshell, small shrimp, special mixes for reptiles, sepia.

There are a number of products that are forbidden to give snails. Deadly danger for them is salt. We must ensure that in its pure form and in large quantities, it does not fall into their diet. It is forbidden to give gastropods spices, sweet, smoked, spicy or sour foods, fried foods. From macaroni, raw potatoes and citrus, too, should be abandoned, the latter do not have a very good effect on the shell of pets.

What to feed the little snails Achatin?

Proper maintenance of African snails Ahatin implies full-fledged feeding of young animals. How to feed the little snails:

  1. The first few days after birth, they grab a few leaves of lettuce, copiously sprinkled with eggshell or chalk.
  2. In a week, chopped greens, grated vegetables, calcium and cereal mixes, ground in a coffee grinder, should be added to the kids ration.
  3. Minerals they need to grow and form a beautiful and strong shell. Vegetable protein will help to form a healthy mollusk faster.
  4. From the second week of life, animal protein can be added to the menu.
  5. Since the age of one month, grated fruits and vegetables are replaced by sticks.

How many times to feed Achatina?

If African Ahatina lives in the house, food and care for it should be carried out correctly. It is better to feed snails in the evening, because these mollusks are nocturnal creatures and in the evening they become active. For adults, one feeding per day is enough; it is allowed to give them food every other day. Youngsters need to provide round the clock access to food. Food can not be put on the ground, so that it does not mix with the substrate and does not spoil, is not covered with mold. For food, you must use a bowl or, in extreme cases, a leaf of lettuce.

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