Characteristics of a Good Snail Habitat
It doesn’t take much to create a good snail habitat, but you certainly need to know your stuff when it comes to the snail lifestyle. Snails are seen as the world-wide symbol for laziness because of their characteristic slow pace, but they really can be interesting creatures to observe. In this article we are going to get to know the snail’s lifestyle a little better and describe the must-haves in a snail habitat.
Snails are a member of the molluscan family. They are soft creatures that often sport a hard spiral-shaped shell on their backs. Slugs are essentially the same creature as the snail but they sport a very small shell or have no shell at all. There are three main categories of snail ranging from sea snails, freshwater snails, and land snails. Each type of snail requires a specific environment, although all snails like moist, dark surroundings. Most snails are herbivores, which means that their diet strictly consists of plants; however some species of snail eat both plants and meat.
If you want to create a snail habitat for sea snails, the first thing you will need is a topless aquarium. You will also need to look into obtaining sea water (saltwater). Furnish your aquarium with whichever rocks or gravel you like, as long as you leave plenty of room for the snails to flourish. These snails feed off of the bacteria and algae that will build up in the tank, which is why they are often included in saltwater fish aquariums because they will eat the “scum” that accumulates on the walls of the tank as well as the rocks.
Freshwater snails live much in the same way as sea snails, only they require freshwater in their aquarium. As with sea snails, freshwater snails are often included in freshwater fish tanks to help keep the tank tidy. They will eat the fish waste, extra food flakes that accumulate at the bottom of the aquarium, as well as the general “scum” that builds up over time. You can keep the snails in an aquarium on their own, but they will have much more natural food generated if they are put in a tank that also houses fish.
Land snails are the smallest in number when compared to the aquatic snails. Land snails absolutely must be kept in an aquarium that has a closed top, otherwise they are bound to escape within minutes. You can fill the bottom of the tank with soil and even add a little makeshift swimming pool, as even land snails like a moist environment. The soil should be slightly moistened but never made to be muddy. You also might want to gather a few tree branches to add to the aquarium as snails LOVE to climb trees. As for food, land snails love vegetation. A variation of vegetation from your garden will do nicely, but try to switch it up every now and then, and even consider adding a calcium supplement to help the snails’ shells grow strong.
The environment of the tank should ideally be dark, as snails much prefer a dark environment and a temperature around 75 degrees F. Other than the initial snail habitat setup and freshening the food and water, snails are pretty easy critters to take care of. They can be quite curious when they finally come out and about at night and can be excellent to observe during this time. So whether you have children who would like a pet but can’t care for one on their own or if you simply want them for your own enjoyment, snails can be a real joy to have around!