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!

Readers Questions – Shell Not Shiny, Is This Normal?



I have just been given a giant African land snail but his shell doesn’t look to good. I have attached a picture – is it normal to look like that, as its shell isn’t very shiny?


Large Giant African Land SnailThanks,

Vicky Dawson

Hi Vicky,

Thanks for your question. Your snail looks pretty healthy to me. Snail shells aren’t naturally shiny all the time – they do crawl around in dirt after all! Also, the greyness you can see at the pointier end of the shell is normal and occurs as the snail ages.

You could always give your snail’s shell a clean to make it shinier. You can find instructions for cleaning your African land snails here.

Hope that helps! Good luck with your new snail!