I wrote a prior post about setting up a snail tank, just under a year ago, that gets a fair bit of traffic, so I thought I would write an updated version now that I have gotten a proper glass tank for Jupiter. The original post is more about snail-keeping from a DIY angle with plastic tubs, but it does include a list of essential supplies also.
As Jupiter got bigger (so much bigger in fact that it’s a bit of a shock seeing how tiny he is in the old photos!) he figured out how to push up the lid of his plastic box. Snails are notorious escape artists as it is, and I was worried that I would come down one morning to find he was either halfway up the wall or just nowhere in sight at all. Also, because my dog gets terrible Flea Allergy Dermatitis, we use a powerful spray on the house to prevent infestation, and this would almost definitely hurt Joop.
So whenever we heard the loud plastic popping sound of him pushing on his lid, we went over to intervene and get him down. Thankfully he never actually made an escape, but it became obvious I would finally have to get him a proper glass reptile tank.
Plenty of people’s snails do just fine being kept in appropriately adapted plastic storage tubs, but if you do want something more for your snail, or you want to start out with a tank straight away, hopefully my experience with one will be of some use to you.
The tank I bought is this one from Reptiles-Planet. The version I got is the 62.5 x 45 x 45 version. It is clearly a more budget tank than those offered by companies like Exo-Terra, but I am satisfied with mine.
It arrived in quite a beat-up box but luckily, the components inside were all fine.
This tank has a proper cable hole in the back, which is great because it means no lid edges are getting bent open and providing any leverage for a certain sneaky snail. I patched up the gaps around the wires by bending tape back on itself so that the sticky part wasn’t facing in to Joop, and then sticking more tape on top of that so there was no visible sticky part anywhere.
I don’t buy into the general “organicness” of things but this seems to be a safe substrate for snails. Things that are safe for humans are not necessarily safe for a snail, so I have to look past the marketing and make a decision about what I can give to him.
This tank’s ventilation holes are quite large, they’ve been OK so far but if any flies or anything do get in, I’ll need to install the chiffon fabric I talked about in the original post.
A few weeks ago now, I caught Joop doing something rather odd!!
Sometimes when I pick him up, he has quite literally hugged his poo underneath his body. He goes to bed with it and everything. I’m still not entirely sure why he does it, but, I do now have some insight into how it occurs in the first place.
I lifted his hidey hut to check on him, and I immediately noticed that he was pooing out of the hole on the side of his body, which in snails is also the breathing pore. Seems weird to poo out of the same hole that leads to your lungs, but whatever.
But there’s more.
He was gripping the poo string with his flaps and pulling the poo out of himself.
I’m used to having seen garden snails poo as they’re going along, and it just drops off behind them. So to see Joop physically handling his own poo was really weird! But it certainly explains how he gets so much poo in his flaps, it’s not an accident. I had a quick Google and it just seems to be something that Giant African Land Snails do sometimes! What a strange babe.