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"Snello" (snail-jello) and calcium block recipes for feeding pet aquatic snails.

Discussion in 'Other Pet Talk' started by Kristina, May 23, 2012.

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  1. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    Many people erroneously believe that snails feed exclusively off of algae or "poop" that is in the aquarium, but this is not the case at all. (In fact, they don't eat poop, but they PRODUCE a ton of it! ;) )

    In order to make sure your snails receive the proper nutrition, they have certain requirements, and just like our tortoises, one of those big ones is CALCIUM.

    Here are a couple of recipes that you can quickly and easily cook up to feed your pet snails and assure that their shells and bodies stay as healthy as possible.

    Snail Jello

    1 can of baby food (4-6 oz, I like peas, squash, carrots, etc. - no meat!)
    1 tsp+ fish food (may be omitted)
    Calcium/vitamin supplements (I use 1tsp Repashy MeD)
    1 packet (= 1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin

    You can select any fish food and any flavor of baby food that you like. Try to find baby foods with at least 4% calcium (vegetable medley has a higher %), either fruit or vegetable types are fine. This is a good way to feed fish foods that are good for snails but don't sink, like freeze-dried shrimp, or fish foods that have a strong smell when cooked in other recipes. You can mix in much more than a teaspoon of fish food, and including the ingredients of a "snail trail mix" instead of a single fish food would make this snail treat more nutritionally complete.

    Instructions

    Open the baby food and pour it into a small bowl. Heat the baby food in the microwave for 60 seconds (caution, it will be very hot).

    Stir in the unflavored gelatin (add it slowly to avoid unsightly clumps of gelatin; don't use a blender or you risk creating air bubbles that will make it float) crushing any lumps with the back of a spoon.

    Add calcium supplements and vitamins if you have/want them. Stir thoroughly.

    Pour this mixture into a dish with a flat bottom (tupperware-type containers work well; if you are doubling or tripling this recipe, you might consider a pie pan).* Fold in your fish food(s) if you are adding any.

    Refrigerate for several hours, then return and cut into cubes.

    One jar of baby food yields a good handful of snail treats. Keep them refrigerated until serving. These sink and hold up pretty well in the tank, but as with any food, large uneaten portions should be removed after the snails have finished. These can be frozen for up to a month.

    *You can use an ice cube tray to create big treats for a tank full of snails. No slicing is needed in this case.

    Calcium Blocks for Picky Snails
    Another gelatin/calcium recipe.

    Ingredients:
    1 tsp unflavored gelatin
    2 tsp calcium powder
    1 tbsp honey
    (optional) other vitamins (crushed Centrum, for exaple,) low-sodium seaweed powder, etc

    -Dump gelatin into a small bowl. Boil 1 cup of water, and use as little of it as possible to dissolve the gelatin ( I used 3 tablespoons or so).

    -Let it cool for a few minutes, then mix in the honey, calcium and optional ingredients. This step is kind of tricky- you want a thick paste, but without any air bubbles in it. Try kneading it instead of stirring.

    -Flatten into a circle about ¼ of an inch thick. Put it on a sheet of waxed paper, and put it in refrigerator for a few hours. Once it is set, slice into thin chunks and place the chunks (not touching one another) onto a piece of waxed paper.

    -Put them into a warm, dry room. If you have a fan handy, you might as well point it at them (if not, don’t worry about it). Leave overnight. By the next morning, they should be completely dry. When these blocks are done, they’re hard as a rock, and sink like one too. You could probably use a dehydrator, if you have one, but I found that they dried very quickly without one.

    Tips:
    -Don’t make these when it’s humid out. They won’t dry.

    -Cutting it into small chunks is vital. If you don’t, it either won’t dry at all, or it’ll dry into an unbreakable shell of calcium with a gooey center.

    -I chose to use honey in this recipe because the snails seem to love anything sugary (thus attracting a picky, injured snail), and honey has been shown to have antibacterial properties, so I figured that might help to postpone the decomposition process while they’re drying out. Other sweeteners or fruit purees would probably work, though.
  2. dmmj

    dmmj Active Member Staff Member

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    Would this work for land snails, If I was to say be raising them for food purposes? (food for the tortoises not me.)
  3. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    It might, I have never tried it before. I usually just feed land snails leftover tortoise greens, cornmeal, and calcium powder.
  4. dmarcus

    dmarcus New Member

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    Cool, I will be trying this tomorrow. Thanks...
  5. MarcaineArt

    MarcaineArt New Member

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    Neat thanks!! I had one stow-away snail on a plant I put in my Betta tank and they have been reproducing but I never see any bigger than a 1/4 inch or so. I don't know how long they are supposed to live or how big they get. Not even sure what type it is, but I do find empty shells occasionally at the bottom of the tank.
  6. Katherine

    Katherine Member

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    RE: "Snello" (snail-jello) and calcium block recipes for feeding pet aquat

    I do not keep snails, but wanted to thank you for this informative post. I bet you have some happy slimy gastropod friends :)
  7. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    RE: "Snello" (snail-jello) and calcium block recipes for feeding pet aquat

    If they are that small, they are probably common pond/bladder snails.

    Thanks ;) I don't have tons of them like I used to, but I am certainly getting back into them. I had some beautiful ones, not sure what possessed me to stop raising them.
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