Introduction: Keeping Pet Snails @ Home

Picture of Keeping Pet Snails @ Home

Sick of your boring old pet?

Want a new exciting pet?

What about a snail?

Step 1: Housing & Substrate

Picture of Housing & Substrate

A good sized tank is a 20 liters (5 gallons). I would suggest having one garden snail per 4 liters (1 gallon).

For the substrate i have used bird grit as it will give the snails calcium. This can be found at your local bulk food store or pet shop. If you choose another substrate it would be a good idea to provide another source of calcium such as a cuttle fish bone or crushed eggshells.

other substrates you can use:
Aquarium gravel
Peat moss
And soil

Make sure you wash it well first.

Step 2: Decorations

Picture of Decorations

I have added Bark, Rock and pots to replicate a garden.

What ever you use make sure you wash it first.

Step 3: Finding & Choosing Your Specimens

Picture of Finding & Choosing Your Specimens

A good time to find snails is early morning or at night. You are most likley to find them in early summer. Choose active and healthy looking snails.

Step 4: Other General Care Tips

Picture of Other General Care Tips

~ Mist the cage daily.

~ Provide fresh greens daily.

~ Clean the tank weekly.

~ Move/change the decorations once in a while to allow more places to explore.

Step 5: Thanks for Reading

Picture of Thanks for Reading

Please comment and add suggestions so i can improve on my work.


eatteyah (author)2016-07-25

Very Nice ..

danielle2468 (author)2016-07-11

how do i wash the dirt ?

lsquilla (author)2016-05-03


lsquilla (author)2016-05-03

snails need to have friends so keep them with two or more plus subscribe to me on youtube "luke squillante"

Achatina90 (author)2014-02-23

Snails should really not be kept on grit/gravel or sand,they do not like it.Best to use soil or coco coir.If they keep going to the top it's either because they don't like the flooring-may be too wet/not wet enough, or there's not enough air in there for them. Iceberg lettuce is no good for them as it has no calorific goodness,so waste of time eating it.Cucumber is a favorite of theirs but again,that's not great so cabbage,melon,apples,bananas,carrot(usually eaten better if grated) and most fruit and veg,though steer clear from onions or citrus fruit as that can kill them.Calcium is a must for snails to grow their shells properly,and though egg shells have calcium,they don't have a lot,so cuttle fish are the easiest way to go,bought from pet shops who supply them for birds.Fish food is good for them too as full of vitamins and minerals :) put in a dish of warm water with some plain porridge oats and mixed up/left to cool,they will love it :) They prefer their tanks/tubs warm and humid,so spraying with warm water every day will help with that,and a jam jar lid with water in as they seem to like taking a bath every now and then :) Plant pots/cardboard tubes and moss make nice hideouts for them,and 2inchs of soil means they can burrow as they would in the wild :) I don't keep garden snails,as here in the UK you can keep as many Giant African Land snail species as you like,so i prefer keeping those :) from the smallest babies -around the size of a 5p coin,right up to the ones that are as big as an adult hand.

IndigoOnion (author)Achatina902016-01-07

Quite so. Also, if you make the substrate calcium, they will absorb it through their foot, overdosing, and causing problems for the snail.

iamaqtpoo (author)Achatina902015-09-13

Thank you for the info

pensyltucky girl (author)2016-01-05

I found a snail on a car light that was shipped from Texas to Pennsylvania it is white in color and the snail is kind of tan. I don't know if he needs heat or if he lives in water I have been keeping it in a small tank with soil moss a stick and a piece of bark that he hides in sometimes he won't eat for days and stays in his shell is this normal?

tobathewolf (author)2014-01-18

Snails r awesome!

19SnailGirl (author)tobathewolf2015-12-05


ionaanimallovr (author)2013-08-05

Can someone tell me what species i have? I found it in my garden. And his shell is long not round.Its creme and his body is dark dark brown,black I suppose...

Probably a garden snail. I have two of my own. ;)

violetp (author)ionaanimallovr2014-03-02

Here is a picture of a snail chart,

jacqs22 (author)2015-09-14

My 7 year old wanted to keep a snail as a pet during the school holidays, which turned into 2 snails. We have them in a fish tank (no water, obviously)! and as expected, I have taken over their care! I have been making sure they have everything they need and they seem happy; one of them laid a clutch of eggs after a 24 hour mating session a few weeks ago. One thing i'm not sure of is how long should you let them 'come out and play' everyday? I give them fresh food every day, remove the old food, clean off the poo, spritz them with water etc, but while I'm doing this, they go for a little wander and are always a bit reluctant to go back in! Should I let them out for longer? Any thoughts on this would be really appreciated.

AnnaE21 (author)jacqs222015-10-06

Hey jasqs22! That's great that you're 7 year old has 2 pet snails! You should probably let the snails stay out for about half an hour to let them get some food/fresh air and you should let them explore but don't let them go!

Hope i helped!

jacqs22 (author)AnnaE212015-10-22

Thanks AnnaE21! Really appreciate your reply. I had thought only a few of the eggs that were laid had survived, as only saw 2 baby snails in the tank. Until this morning! Overnight lots of baby snails have appeared! I counted 48 while I was changing their food earlier! As a novice to keeping snails, I'm not sure what to do. Should I wait for them to get a bit bigger (to handle them) and then buy another, bigger tank? I don't feel happy letting some of them go as it's getting cold outside, I think i'll wait until they are bigger and it's warmer outside. The ever increasing wonder that it is to keep snails! The babies are so cute!

ZoeV1 (author)2015-06-14

Hi there! One of my pet snails got pulled today by her shell. she didnt come fully out but its like the membrane between her body and shell is damaged, shes moving around but more slowly and floppy. shes eating still but im very worried about her. can they heal? please help! :D x


AnnaE21 (author)ZoeV12015-10-06

Yes! She will heal in a couple of months if you keep feeding her egg shells. Make sure they are nice and clean!

Msbehaven (author)2015-06-29

every year I'll find snails in my backyard so that's not a problem. The problem is each early winter the snails will do there little hide in shell thing until spring but the snails don't come back out and and it's sad cause I was hoping to breed themis there anyway for me to keep them alive over the winter

AnnaE21 (author)Msbehaven2015-10-06

Hello Msbehaven! The best way to keep a snail warm in winter is to keep them inside! They will probably mate inside, cause it's warmer! If you are outside in winter and you want to bring them out, i don't think that's gonna work=I..

AnnaE21 (author)2015-10-06

Can someone please tell me why my snail has a bit of it's love dart hanging out of it? It wont go back in at all! Does that mean it is pregnant?

Please answer to this, i really need to know!


CeciliaGraceMay (author)2015-08-25

How should you make a proper snail house and how many snails should you put in a six gallon bucket? I have about 15 in there. I used natural soil for the base, a layer of leaves, some egg shells for protein, a tomato, some green pepper and water. Is that okay? Any of it dangerous to snails or anything?

ads4224 (author)2015-07-14

how do you mist the container???

JohnV17 (author)2015-06-30

can we use regular potting soil for the enclosure. Also should I find more snails to put in my snails enclosure.

JohnV17 (author)2015-06-30

Msbehaven (author)2015-06-29

Also good job I found you steps very easy to follow

BlueGap (author)2015-06-27

how do I clean the tank?

ZoeV1 (author)2015-06-14

Page is great by the way Its already given us ideas for our snail habitat!

RoderickS1 (author)2015-06-04

RoderickS1 (author)2015-06-04

RyanS5 (author)2015-01-15

Where can I buy a slug

ali_f (author)RyanS52015-05-16

You can just find one for free, try at night, in the morning, oh, also, it's easiest to find one near the start of summer.

ali_f (author)2015-05-16

What can I use as an alternative to dirt? It's been raining ALOT latley where I live, and the ground is pretty much just a big, soaked, hard, mass. (.P.S., I'm unable to buy anything at the moment, I have some straw/hay, is that okay to use as the bedding?)

econdie (author)2014-07-23

I NEED to do this! XD

nephicarrera (author)2012-08-05

I'm gonna try this.

summerberry228 (author)2012-06-23

Hey i just to know were i should keep the snails:

I have 2 snails in a 18 inches length and 18 inches deep tub with no lid i placed about an 3 inches of compost in the bottom with some garden soil i then placed some leaves in there and a small tray of water in there with some paper in it because they like eating it (apparently.)
(Its not too deep to drowned them).
put some boiled egg shells in too, i don't know if i should keep them in side or out i place a wet towel over the top and some netting to stop the birds eating them. i put 2 of the same species in together hoping they will have baby's i keep straying them with some water from the pond witch has aligi in it.
Please reply ASAP! Thankyou some much

Emily 13. xxxxx

preciousxoxo420 (author)2012-06-10

i made a house for my snails and i lined the bottom of the tank with what is called gravel and grit (for birds) i have noticed that they stay at the top of the tank most of the time. is this the wrong stuff? I read below they dont like sand cause it sticks to them so I was wondering if this is the same thing. if so what is the right was to line the bottom of the cage? Thank You

aviva1 (author)preciousxoxo4202012-06-17

i think it is because mulch holds water and gravel doesn't. YOU should try putting mulch and then gravel on top. That should help. My snails stay at the the top sometimes, so I make the aquarium look diferent by rearangeing the tank. the "house" should be like cover up so they can crawl upside and be under shade. hope it helped

aviva1 (author)2012-06-17

i don't Know what kind of snail i have.There are tan/brown and have very dark brown spots. I have 5 from my backyard. THey are living in a ten gallon aquarium. It has a little plastic log, 4 wood logs that are edible, a bedding made out of straw and grass/dead grass, dirt, grass, and mulch. Is it a good aquamiam for them to live in? I fed them every other day (lettuce) and pour some water in the tank. Sometimes i will put a wet paper towel in there. My biggest one has a black spot on its back. It looks like a chip, is it dead? Please answer my questions ASAP. Thank You to whoever answers.

Natsitrall (author)2010-08-14

What can i feed them during winter, there's no green stuff here during the cold.

mann546 (author)Natsitrall2012-06-02


khope (author)Natsitrall2012-05-28


mann546 (author)2012-06-02

I found 2 snails in my backyard. They are currently in a giant unknown-gallon sized tupperware container. I added a moist sponge. I made a little house for them by cutting off the bottom of a solo cup. I used the top part of the solo cup as a tube and put a moist piece of paper towel in it. I also have lots of sticks and a few rocks in there. I suggest that you go to for more info.     Any suggestions for my tank/ habitat???

sophie templeton (author)2011-06-19

do snails need like other snails in its tank? (please reply)

khope (author)sophie templeton2012-05-28

no they don't, it usually ends up with many baby snails afterward so if you don't want that then you should only have 1

haclil (author)2009-03-18

Actually I have a question for the author or anybody who knows: We've set up a snail terrarium following all the above directions. The only thing I must change is to get some aquarium gravel. Having nothing better at the time , I put sand in the bottom. The problem: The snail stays inside his shell and up near the top of the glass most of the time (well, for the 3 days we've had him). He has eaten a little lettuce which I hung from the screen up top, but has resumed staying up there by the screen, not moving. What could be wrong? We're having an early spring and found the snail chuggin' along on the sidewalk. Would it be a good idea to put the terrarium on a windowsill, and if so a window with what exposure. Help!

tibereassnail (author)haclil2011-11-14

whell your problem my fellow snail lover is that garden snails or white lipped banded snails dont like sand as it sticks to their shells

jessiak (author)haclil2009-07-31

OK, sand is not a good substrate, because it's bad for the snail somehow... So put in bird grit, or for the cheaper option, garden dirt! Good Luck!! Oh Yeah, Check Out My Snail Instructable Too!!

tibereassnail (author)2011-11-14

i have 3 pet snails one garden that looks fully grown(or almost anyway)and 2 small white lipped banded snails they look no older than a month-2 months old(the white lipped banded snails) their names are tibereas-garden snail mellten- white lipped banded snail and the smallest doughnut- white lipped banded snail they love their home tibereas comes out at night mostly

snailluver (author)2011-09-19

i have a couple Q to ask! i found a snail outside in the grass and i almost steped on it! i am tryiing to keep it! i feed it lettace and tomotos. i have a couple sticks and twigs in it also one popsicle stick. i have it in a 1 gallon that good? comment ~

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Bio: i like animals and saying weird things like are you speeling feshal today and i think you have drain bramage
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