Picture of Keeping Pet Snails @ Home
Sick of your boring old pet?

Want a new exciting pet?

What about a snail?

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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.
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RyanS54 months ago
Where can I buy a slug
ali_f RyanS58 days ago
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_f8 days ago
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?)
econdie10 months ago
I NEED to do this! XD
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...

Here is a picture of a snail chart,

Achatina901 year ago

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.

Snails r awesome!
I'm gonna try this.
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
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
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
aviva12 years ago
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.
Natsitrall4 years ago
What can i feed them during winter, there's no green stuff here during the cold.
mann5462 years ago
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???
do snails need like other snails in its tank? (please reply)
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
haclil6 years ago
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!
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
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!!
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
snailluver3 years ago
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 ~
play4fun3 years ago
My son brought home a garden snail at the end of the school year and we put it in a med size plastic fish tank with the vented top.I shoveled a large chunk of grass with the rooted soil and placed in the tank and on the opposite end we placed a sponge soaked in water.We feed him celery and he loves it.Half the celery stalk was eaten in 2 days.We soak the sponge daily and water the grass.This is our first time and so far we have a very happy snail :) They dont like the extreme hot or cold,so make sure they are not near air conditioners and dont forget to remove him from the home if you spray any household pestacides and air freshners. I almost overlooked that little fact.hope this helps others just starting with pet snails.
i have got a snail and it is having a good time
ahallock-14 years ago
If garden snails are not your thing, also consider a water garden with aquatic snails. No fish needed. Just an air pump and some pretty aquatic plants. The snails will slowly get big. They will find a point where they quit breeding. If they are actively breeding in your aquarium, your water quality is poor. They are an excellent monitor of water quality, even though most people try very hard to rid their tanks of snails. In water, snail eggs look like small globs of clear jello stuck to the glass or the bottom sides of leaves. As they grow, there will be small dots in the "jello", until they hatch. If you start with "apple" or "mystery" snails, and let them breed, you will get a few long thin rams horn snails. You can actually choose to breed for certain styles of shell. It doesn't take too many generations to weed out the kind you want. I prefer the rams horn shell, but in the USA, no pet store sells that style. The fun part of snails is that you can easily tweak your own "breed". :)
You can paint a snail's shell with non-toxic paint.
Where can I get good snails?
bennelson4 years ago
eww! They are actually cute!
1littlelady4 years ago
Do the snails live in water? or just dirt tanks? I had aquatic snails before which breed like crazy but, I've never heard of keeping garden snails before. Are they legal in canada? Does anyone know?
Do the snails live in water?no. or just dirt tanks?yes. Are they legal in canada?yes. Does anyone know?yes.
I keep aquatic Ramshorn Snails in my aquarium! They love my plants and decorations to eat the algae. I may try this pot thing. No, not THAT pot thing, the one mentioned in your Instructable.
uroman14 years ago
would this work for slugs to? It seems that i cant find snails in new york.
where do you get garden snails
Kiteman6 years ago
I think garden snails are a great pet for kids - they don't run away, they don't smell, they're free, and they're easy to replace secretly if they die. Plus, when the kid gets bored, you simply release them into the wild without any negative impact on the environment.

Oh, and rather than shell out* for a tank, any garden store should sell a cheap propagator that will do just as well (I kept Giant African Land Snails in one until they grew too large).

Aqua-Man (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
cool a propagator is a great idea but it might get to hot for the snails if left in the sun or you could check your local junk shop for an aquarium thanks for the great comment
They usually have vents in the top (I had to tape mesh over them to stop the tiny baby snails escaping).
Aqua-Man (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
cool did they breed
Regularly! (I just gave away a batch of around 150 eggs last week)
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