Snails can be found almost anywhere, as long as there are moisture and food for them to eat. They are also one of the easiest pets to keep, however you still need to provide a safe environment and habitat with the right level of moisture and food for them to survive. Snails can be found in your garden and brought inside to keep as pets.
What Snails Eat Depends On Species And Habitat
Some snails or carnivores, however, the majority are herbivores. Their diet includes plants, fruits vegetables, and algae. They will also eat some of the dirt to build up their calcium levels for their shells. Snails will often be found around gardens and where there are fresh plants to eat. They are susceptible to pesticides and gardeners may kill many snails without even realizing it. If you have too many snails in your garden, they can actually damage your plants.
If you are looking for the foods that a particular snail types will love to eat, the next part of this article is written for you.
What Do Freshwater Snails Eat?
Fresh water snails are one of the most popular types of snails all over the world. This type of snail is considered to be a serious pest of some plants such as rice and other high-value commercial crops. While farmers treat snails as pests, some people would love to have snails as pets.
So what do freshwater snails eat? There are many types of freshwater snails that consume algae. This is why if a farm has an algal bloom or sudden increase in algae population, farmers will eventually notice the explosion of snail population. When the algae were exhausted and the food supply has become limited, majority of the snails will die because of starvation. If you want to keep your tank clean and free from algae, keeping a few fresh water snails such as Malaysian trumpet snails will help in maintaining your aquarium algae-free.
There are other snail species that live as scavengers. So if have an aquarium that always has fish food left, scavenger snails are great in maintaining your tank’s cleanliness. But take note, if your tank or pond has a disproportionate amount of food may cause your snail population to explode, hence you will have a serious problem in water contamination because snails excrete slimy substance that if goes unchecked, will cause your tank’s water chemistry to be unbalanced.
Aquarium plants are another food for some of the freshwater species of snails. Apple and mystery snails love to consume aquarium plants. Aquarium plants can just be a supplement for algae because species that eat plants will prioritize eating algae. Live aquarium plants can easily grow, this will mean that your pet snails will have a continuous supply of food in your tank.
Freshwater snails also eat meat. They can do this by eating its victims alive. The Clea Helena or the assassin snails is the most popular carnivorous snail. The assassin sail is a beneficial organism because some farmers use this snail to get rid of other snail species that are attacking their crops. After eating all of the snails in an area, assassin snails will shift its diet to become a scavenger, eating scraps of foods that has been left out in the aquarium or tank.
What Do Garden Snails Eat?
Garden snails are another popular species of snails that can be taken home as pets. Garden snails are so easy to be taken care of. If you want, you can have it for free by going to your garden and choose whatever species of garden snails you want to keep. By this you are getting your pet snails for free! Common garden snail species includes:
- White-lipped banded snails
- Dwarf pond snails
- Great pond snails
- Giant African snails
So, what do garden snails eat? But before that you have to consider housing your pet snails. You can have a tank or plastic aquarium and fill it with garden soil. The soil has to be baked on oven for 20 minutes. This process will not just kill harmful bugs but will also destroy deadly soil pathogens that may endanger the lives of your garden snails. After the soil sterilization process, let the soil cool down and place it on your aquarium 2 inches deep. You have to mimic its natural environment. You can do it by adding some real and artificial plants. What do snails eat? Garden snails will eat lettuce, any kind of lettuce will serve the purpose of making your garden snails happy. You can also give them scraps of fruits or veggies. Garden snails are herbivores so you can feed them leaves that are also found at the place where you collected your snails.
What Do Sea Snails Eat?
Sea snails are types of snails that live in a marine environment. These type of snails are best to left in its natural environment unless you know what you are doing. So for the sake of research, what do sea snails eat? Majority of the sea snails species known to man are omnivorous, meaning they can eat both plants and animals. This type of snails also eat algae. When food is scarce, sea snails also eat snails smaller than them.
Some sea snails are predators, just like the cone snails. Cone snails eat smaller marine life. Larger cone snails have the ability to stun and eat live fish!
There are sea snail that are scavengers. These scavenger sea snails will consume any food that they can find: dead or alive!
If you think that you are able to keep sea snails, you will need specialized type of tank or aquarium. If you are getting a carnivorous sea snail, you have to be prepared with live prey such as small fish or minute bivalves. If you have an herbivore sea snail, you have to put marine plant in your tank and let some algae grow on your aquarium so your sea snail has something to consume.
Feeding Snails As Pets
You can keep snails as pets in a small terrarium, however it must have a cover otherwise they will escape. Also make sure there are small holes in the top to allow fresh air to circulate. There are some requirements to keep your snail healthy and provide enjoyment to you and the family. Add a few river rocks and sticks to the terrarium. Make sure that there is sufficient moisture in the terrarium. You can add gravel to the bottom, however avoid adding fine gravel to avoid grit getting into their shells.
You can feed them small pieces of lettuce each day being careful to remove any lettuce or plant material from the previous day. You probably want to change the food at least three times a week or once every 1 to 2 days. You can watch your snail move around the terrarium climbing on grass or sticks that you may have placed in it.
One specific requirement is to ensure that any water, or plant material that you place in the terrarium is free of chlorine. You can use tap water however leave the tap water sitting out for 48 hours before using it to wash plant food for your snail, or spraying the interior of the terrarium to add moisture.