Reader Questions – Snail Starter Kit

Hi there,
My son received a Komodo Giant African Land Snail Starter Kit for Christmas and before we purchase a snail we have some questions, I hope you can help.

1. I’ve read lots of different information about what substrate can be used, top soil, all purpose compost, peat based compost, coir etc. Are all of these ok or only some of them?

2. Is Spaghnum Moss to be used in addition to the soil/compost/coir?

3. Is the dual temp/humidity gauge place inside or outside of the tank, and whereabouts?

4. Is a thermostat definitely required? If so, is this attached to the heat mat?

Apologies for all the questions, it’s a whole new world and we want to make sure we do things right. Thanks so much.
— Vicky & Ike

Hi Vicky and Ike!

1. All of the substrate types you mention should be fine. The reason so many are suggested is that it can be hard to find certain types in certain areas and some are more expensive than others. Just avoid composts and soils with chemicals in, as these will make your snail ill, or even potentially kill them. I suggest initially using whichever is best for you, but if you find your snails don’t react well to it (i.e. they hide in their shells or spend a lot of time on the sides of the tank) then consider trying a different type.

2. Most people use sphagnum moss on top of another soil-based substrate, although this is not mandatory.

3. You should put the temperature and humidity gauge inside the tank, so it gives you an accurate reading of the habitat your snails are experiencing.

4. Thermostats should be used with heat mats as they can turn the heat mat off once the tank reaches the desired temperature, saving energy and money, and ensuring your tank doesn't overheat. 

Do not apologise for asking questions! It is always best to ask if you are unsure, especially when the welfare of an animal is at stake.

Good luck with your snails!

Questions, HabitatKate