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Akhatin snails: care and maintenance. What to feed ahaatin at home. All kinds of ahatin: African, gigantic

Whom only the urban dwellers are now turning into as pets! Very popular in recent years have become quiet and generally unpretentious giant snails Akhatina. The maintenance and care of these dumb creatures are fairly simple, not more difficult than for a turtle. What do you need to know the newcomer who decided to breed mollusks? Sellers of pet stores often can not clearly explain to the buyer all the details of care for Ahatin. Here you will read advice on feeding and keeping these beauties from the Black Continent.

Choose our pet

Giant African snails, which in Europe and in Russia are bred as pets, are considered at home in their homeland to be terrible and voracious pests capable of destroying the harvest of sugar cane and other agricultural crops. The terrestrial gastropod mollusk scientists refer to a large family Archachatinidae. It includes several genera and about sixty species. Representatives of the Arkhahatina genus have a blunted rounded vertex of the shell, are considered more primitive in comparison with the ahatins. They are also sold at pet stores, especially the Archachatina marginata, whose house can be up to twelve centimeters in diameter. African ahatina differs from its relative by the pointed and elongated shell of the shell. She also has a sociable character.

What are the ahatines

But there are many species within this genus. If you are chasing the size, get Achatina achatina from West Africa - the largest snail. Akhatina gigantic in the wild grows up to thirty-seven centimeters long, and the weight of the shellfish can be 450 grams. In captivity, they are slightly smaller, but they look no less spectacular. The most fertile is Achatina fulica. By the way, it is the most unpretentious. Eats everything, perfectly feels in the conditions of an ordinary city apartment. But these creatures are uncommunicative and slow.

Akhatiny reticulata from East Africa, on the contrary, are very mobile. We can say that these mollusks are curious, sociable, smart. Their shells, covered with a dotted or striped pattern, can reach 20 cm in diameter. The breeders are most appreciated reticulat-albinos, they are smaller, but insanely beautiful. Achatina iredalei, or lemon ahatina, is interesting because it is viviparous. A snail brings in one litter to 25 kids. Its shell of light yellow color is quite small, only five centimeters in an adult.

Does the choice and choice of akhatin change the care and maintenance of a pet? In fact, all these African snails are relatives, and close ones. Therefore, for food, temperature and humidity, they all have almost the same requirements. Some like a wet environment, others like a dry one. Someone buries in the daytime into the ground and crawls out only at night, and representatives of other species trustingly climb onto the palm of the owner. But, by and large, the basic methods of care and feeding for all types of ahatin are the same. In choosing a pet, be guided only by your aesthetic senses. Let its bright and unusual coloring pleases your eye and raises the mood!


A snail is not a crocodile or even a python, so a house for it can be the most ordinary. It can be a glass aquarium, but not filled with water, of course. It can also be a container of transparent or translucent plastic, a plexiglass terrarium. It should take care of sufficient space for your pet, the capacity should be at least five liters for one snail. If you decide to breed three or four ahatines at once, their content requires a 20-liter aquarium or box. And since mollusks are not fish, they can leave their own place for themselves and crawl around the apartment. To prevent this from happening, cover the terrarium with a lid, in which do enough holes for free air circulation.

We equip the house

On the bare bottom of an aquarium or a container of snails, the ahatina will feel uncomfortable, stop growing, and begin to wilt. That's why there is a need for soil, where the petites could burrow. Ideally, such a litter can serve as an orchid or coconut substrate. To improve the well-being of adults, it is necessary to fill the soil with five to seven centimeters, but young animals should not be given so much digging. Small snails can suffocate in too dense coating. You can use the substrate "Begonia" (sold in stores for florists) or compost without fertilizers.

Necessary litter

Do not pour peat and loam, after a while you will watch your dirtied pets through no less muddied glass in the mud. The sand is good because it encourages snails to lay eggs. But the ahatines, the care and maintenance of which are otherwise very simple, can carry grains of sand around the terrarium and scratch them with glass and shells of each other. In general, it is necessary to find empirically the "golden mean". Substrate should not be completely organic, because in compost can start fruit flies that will fly throughout the apartment. Knowing coaches advise to create a litter of a mixture of coarse loose sand and non-acidic soil.

Water procedures

Snails of ahaatin adore splashing, so in the terrarium do not forget to install a bath in which pour fresh water at room temperature. If you have hatched young growth, make sure that the tub is small enough. In general, these African snails move well underwater, but a small specimen can accidentally drown. The bath must stand firmly on the bottom, so that if some ahatina wants to undercut the litter under it, the water does not spill.

Aesthetic design

A beautiful diamond needs a decent frame, as the proverb says. And if such precious stones are ahaatin? Care and maintenance of these handsome men is simply unthinkable without aesthetic design of the terrarium. Non-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 best neighbors for ahaatin are fern and ivy.

Temperature conditions

Giant snails are residents of the hot tropics. Therefore, the temperature in the terrarium should range from +20 to +28 Celsius. Do not put a container with snails near the battery, this leads to the drying of the substrate. Also undesirable direct sunlight, in this case snails waiting for an undesirable contrast of temperatures. If your home is colder in winter, then to maintain the optimal climate in the terrarium use heating lamps, both for the maintenance of reptiles. By the light of the ahatina are more or less indifferent, they do not need to extend the "day", as for orchids. But it is important to take the light source out of the container, so that the snails do not want to crawl on the lamps.


These natives of the equatorial jungle adore the wet environment. Therefore, one or two times a day, sprinkle the litter and walls of the terrarium with water from the spray gun. The relative humidity of the air inside the box should vary depending on the type of your ahatin from 75 to 85 percent. A snail album (in appearance resembles a reticulum) generally needs 90% dampness. The optimal moistening regime should also be sought empirically. Spray the terrarium without excessive fanaticism, as you will dissolve the swamp and mud. If you see that most snails sit on the walls and tend to climb higher, then the environment for them is too wet. If they burrow into the ground even in the evening, they are clogged with lids, then in the terrarium it's too dry.

How to feed ahaatin

This point worries many novice snail lovers. It is not necessary to be afraid, after all akhatin perfectly eat our "domestic" vegetables and fruit. Unlike other exotics, they can safely live without papaya, sprouts of bamboo, fresh eucalyptus leaves and other things. Most breeders distinguish three products that adore the ahatina. These are salad leaves, fresh cucumber and apple. However, you should not limit them to these products only. For health and longevity snails should diversify their menus. Give them also carrots and cabbage leaves. Potatoes ahatina not too fond of, except that boiled. In the summer, indulge your snails with a variety of berries and fruits. However, young animals do not give soft fruit. There were cases when young snails completely buried themselves in a banana and suffocated there. Appreciate the ahatina tomatoes, spinach, champignons, legumes, zucchini, and melon and watermelon. But what snails can not, so it's sharp, roast, smoked, sweet.

Mineral additives

Calcium is an important ingredient in which achatins are in great need. Care and maintenance of snails provides regular feeding with food chalk. In addition, you can provide them with the necessary "building material" for the shell in the form of a grated egg shell, 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 nature of the Akhatina do not disdain and carrion. Therefore, occasionally you can give them meat mashed potatoes, bone meal, boiled eggs, minced meat. If the snail receives insufficient calcium, its shell is thinned. And consequently, its internal organs, which are attached to the inner side of the shell, become vulnerable.


Home snails of Akhatina are extremely prolific. In addition, they are hermaphrodites and can bring offspring, regardless of the presence of a different-sex 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 offspring, you should be careful with cleaning the terrarium. It should be cleaned so as not to change the humidity of the air and do not damage the masonry. So that newborns can not suffocate in loose ground of litter, you need to keep them on salad or cabbage leaves.

To child nutrition should be taken with special responsibility. To grow faster than a strong shell, give the young calves. It is very useful for him grated carrot. Sexually mature achatins become at the age of nine months, but their reproductive instinct must be restrained until one and a half years. Just make a layer of substrate in the terrarium less than three centimeters. One snail lays two to three hundred at a time, and the number of clutches can go up to four a year. Do not release unwanted snails at will in the summer. Firstly, they die at the first night's cold snaps, and secondly, the ahatina is an extremely invasive parasite. In the UK, even a law has been passed prohibiting the release of ahaatin into the wild. What can we say about countries where many agricultural areas are covered with vineyards!

Diseases and care of snails

The most common problem faced by breeders is the injury of the shell. Very often, crawling on the cover of the terrarium, the snail falls off and falls down. Sometimes the landing is very unfortunate and leads to the cleavage or cracking of the shell. Do not panic at once. If the soft body does not fall out or is issued quite a bit, the matter is fixable. Just lubricate the cleavage with an antiseptic. The rest will make a strong snail organism. Soon the wound healing process will start. Maybe the shell and will not be so beautiful, but the pet is alive. For the duration of therapy, remove the wounded ahatina into a separate box, as the snails are very fond of rubbing each other with shells.

It should be especially taken into account, how careful it should be for such delicate mollusks as ahatina, the content. The photos of these snails on 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. Moisten the foot of the mollusk with water, put your fingers under it. The second hand at the same time, hold the snail for a heavy shell. To prevent infection with micro-parasites, you need at least once a month to wash the terrarium and remove the missing food (remains of food) from it.

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