Readers’ Questions – Bathing, Diet & Sesame Oil

Hi there,


We have two GALS that are approx 14 weeks old. This is the first time I have kept ‘exotic’ pets but my six year old daughter has been very keen to have some for a while – we have a lot of snails in our garden she’s a big fan of the movie Turbo and after an encounter with a VERY friendly, very large GALS at a local wildlife attraction she was hooked, so when a friend said she was looking for a home for some it seemed it was fate for us to take some in! Turbo & Burn ( my daughters idea …. Honest) seem happy and healthy and I have found your website very informative but I just have a couple of questions;


I can only find ‘toasted’ sesame oil – is this okay to use on their shells?


Can I use a combo of sphagnum moss AND topsoil? 


At the moment they only seem to like cucumber and lettuce (& cuttlefish), I have tried them on other fruit and veg but they don’t seem interested – is it okay just to have a diet of cucumber and lettuce?

When should we start to bath them?


Hope you don’t mind all the questions and hope to hear from you soon.
Rebecca and Charlotte

Hi Rebecca and Charlotte,

Thanks for all the questions! In terms of toasted sesame oil, I really don’t know. I can’t imagine it’s too much different from normal sesame oil, but if you are at all worried then I would avoid it. It’s not strictly necessary to oil your snail’s shell, it just gives them a bit of a nice shine! Although, if you do test it out, then let us know the results.

Yes, you can use both topsoil and sphagnum moss, that’s totally fine. Just make sure you clean your tank out regularly.

Some snails can be fussy, and they can live happily on cucumber and lettuce as long as they are getting lots of calcium from the cuttlefish. Of course, a varied diet is always better, so it’s a good idea to keep trying a few different vegetables and fruits. I’ve found strawberries always go down well.

You can bathe your snails at any age, although it’s much easier for them to accidentally drown when they are small, so be very careful. Fill a shallow dish with some lukewarm water, place them on the edge and allow them to explore the water themselves whilst keeping a close eye on them. Always make sure the water is shallow enough so that it doesn’t cover their mouths or heads. Once they are older and large, you can give your snails a ‘shower’ with a gently dribbling tap. They love it!

I hope that answers all your questions, have fun with your snails!

Comments (4) Write a comment

  1. Hi there
    My son has had his snail about 2years now , but it has not come out of its shell for nearly 2weeks , it has a crust on the bottom , really don’t no what to do ?


    • Hi Leanne, snails do develop a seal on their shells sometimes when they hibernate during winter. You could try warming up the tank with a heat mat, but it’s probably best to just leave him for a while, whilst continuing to heat the tank and keep him damp, and see what happens. Let me know if you have any problems.


  2. Hi,
    so glad that I found this website. A couple of weeks ago my daughter made US proud owners of 2 GALS. They are only babies (now grown to approx. 1 inch) and currently living in a plastic container. I never thought I would put the words snails and cute in one sentence, but I have grown rather attached to Frank and Derek (not my choice).
    Taking any pets on is serious business for me and I want to give our Gals the best life possible, so I read up on the subject as much as I could find. But now I have a few questions:
    How do I choose a tank size, giving that they are so tiny in moment? Should I opt for an intermediate tank and then re-rehouse them to a larger one when fully grown?
    Should I already introduce them to a water bowl and if yes, any tips which or what to use? Currently we have a tea light casing with wet strong kitchen towel. Is that OK for the moment?
    Shall I introduce a cuttlefish bone to the snails already, even they are still in the plastic container? And if so, what is the best size?
    So far there are no problems. They come out every night now and feed well on cucumber and lettuce. I have already tried to introduce other foods such as apple and cabbage, but they do not seem to be interested yet.
    Thanks for all the great tips on this side. I hope my questions do not seem to random.


    • Hi Christine,

      If you are fine with switching tanks twice then there’s no reason why you can’t have an intermediate size one, then move them to a large one. However, they do grow quite quickly over the first year, after which they don’t get much bigger so I would think it would be easier to just get a larger tank immediately. Plus you won’t put your snails under undue stress by moving them frequently.

      A small water dish is a good idea, just make sure they can access it properly and that the water level is shallow enough so that they can’t drown. A tea light casing should work fine. although the edge may be too sharp. I would suggest a small dish, like a saucer, with a low level of water. Once they get larger then a water dish suitable for a lizard tank or similar is a good choice.

      Snails should always have access to cuttlefish or another source of calcium so yes, I would give them some cuttlefish. A small piece is fine while they are small, but if they are getting though it quickly then give them a larger piece.

      In my experience, snails can be fussy and only want to eat certain things. Keep trying with new foods, but make sure they always have something else to munch on in case they don’t like it.

      Hope that helps!


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