Cleaning Tanks

It is a good idea to regularly rinse your snail tank. The inside of the tank can also be wiped with a damp cloth every few days to remove any slime or dirt that has accumulated. You should thoroughly clean the tank at least once a month - or more regularly depending on the size and amount of snails you have. Transfer your snails to another tank or container to change the substrate and then give the tank a wash with boiling water and a detergent. Make sure the tank is rinsed very thoroughly so no traces of any chemicals are left.

Cleaning Substrate

Depending on which substrate you are using, you may want to bake it to sterilise it for re-use. Coir (coconut fibre) and peat can be baked at around 200°c for around one or two hours. Substrate should be left to cool after baking and then dampened before being put back in the tank. Sphagnum moss can be cleaned by placing it in a colander or sieve and rinsing it thoroughly with water. Don’t use boiling water, as this might kill the moss.

Bathing Snails

Snails should be bathed about once a week to keep them fresh and free from any pests. Place them in a shallow dish of room temperature water and run water over their body and shell to clean them. Make sure the water isn’t too deep for them as they can drown if water enters their breathing hole.

If your snails are large, you can give them a a 'shower' by setting a tap to a warm dribble and holding them underneath. Make sure they are not being drenched or drowned though! You may find that holding them slightly to the side and letting them reach for the water themselves helps.

If their shell is particularly dirty you can clean it with a soft toothbrush, or even your finger. Don’t be tempted to scrub the shell hard as it can easily get damaged. Never use any detergents to clean your snails.

You can also polish your snail’s shell if you want by gently rubbing on sesame seed oil using a soft cloth.

It should be noted that snails need a certain amount of bacteria in order to digest their food properly, so an overly-clean tank and substrate will do more harm than good.