How To Acclimate Snails Saltwater? (7 Easy Steps)

Snails are mollusks that play an essential role in ecosystems to improve soil structure and decompose organic substances. Many people have kept snails in their own tanks. They not only bring uniqueness but also bring certain benefits. However, to be able to raise them, we must acclimate them first.

If you own snails for the first time or you’re inexperienced, keep reading. In this article, we’ll show you how to acclimate snails saltwater step by step and why it’s so important.

See also:

  1. Top 4 Best Snails For Reef Tank.
  2. Top 6 Facts And Some Things To Note About Sundial Snail.

Why Acclimatization Is Important To Snails?

In the new environment, many environmental factors such as humidity, temperature or altitude change compared to the snail’s previous environment. The snail is a hardy creature, but that doesn’t mean that it will survive in every kind of environment. When introducing snails to a new environment, if they do not acclimated first, it is very likely that they will be stressed because they are not used to this environment. So acclimatization is very important for them, helping them to adapt and survive.

Acclimate snails is very important to ensure their survival.
Acclimate snails is very important to ensure their survival.

How To Acclimate Snails Saltwater Properly?

To help you get your newly acquired snails acclimated properly, here is a more in-depth guide:

Bring Snails Home in a Plastic Bag

It is common for people to purchase aquarium snails which can breathe underwater, like the Horned Nerite snail or Zebra Nerite snail. You will be able to purchase a snail from a pet store along with a sealed plastic bag containing water when you buy your snail. In order to acclimate your snails, you need to use the same plastic bag. If the bag becomes torn, the water inside can leak out, so make sure that the plastic doesn’t have tears.

Replace the torn snail plastic bag with a new one if it leaks. Be sure the plastic bag is tightly tied and doesn’t get shaken too much so that your snails don’t feel stressed.

Float the Plastic Bag

Your snails should not be placed directly in the tank when you get home. Put the bag gently onto the water surface of the tank and let it float for 30 minutes. In this circumstance, snails will be hiding in their shells, and this is perfectly normal. The snails need to remain in the plastic bag because you do not want the water to shock the snails due to temperature or quality.

Remove Water From the Plastic Bag

After 30 minutes, open the plastic bag and take out about 1/4 of the water in the bag. However, do not pour that water into your tank. Because you can’t be sure the water in a plastic bag is dirty and carrying disease or not. This will affect the current ecosystem of other organisms in the tank.

Add the tank water to the plastic bag

You should replace the water withdrawn from the plastic bag of snails with water retrieved from your tank after removing 1/4 of the water. Once the water has been poured into the bag, seal the bag and wait for 30 minutes or more.

Remove Water From the Plastic Again

After 30 minutes or an hour, continue to remove some of the water in the plastic bag and replace it with water from the tank. This process will take place slowly and repeat a few times until the plastic bag contains most of the water from the tank. This process helps snails acclimate to new water conditions slowly.

Transfer the Snails

The plastic bag should be untied and the snails should be gently removed using your fingers. It is only important to put the snails into your aquarium, not the snails and water from the plastic bag. Once you have dropped the snails in the water tank, the water in the bag will need to be removed and disposed of.

Check on Your Snails

It is likely that after transferring the snails from the plastic bag to the aquarium, they will still be in their shells. Give them time to come out, but keep in mind that it can take a few days. Ensure that they are still moving a few days after your trip in order to ensure they have survived.

If you have Cowries or Turban snails, you want to ensure you position them properly. When they are stressed out, they cannot flip themselves over, so you may have to assist them. Please do

this as soon as you drop them into the tank to ensure their survival.

Introducing Land Snails To A Terrarium

Introducing land snails
Introducing land snails

Land snails, or terrestrial snails, can be found in the back garden of any house, and they are easy to take care of. Common land snails are the Brown garden snails, Milk snails, and Burgundy snails. When you bring land snails back to your terrarium, you need to make sure the conditions are ideal.

It is recommended that you use a container made of glass or plastic which is large enough to accommodate the snails. There should be a lid on the container to prevent the snails from escaping. There should also be a water bowl, a food bowl, a substrate, and a place for the snail to hide. Lights do not need to be included in the terrarium.

As your land snails will want to burrow themselves “underground”, make sure the substrate is deep enough for them. Substrates are available at your local pet store. 

How long does it take for a snail to acclimate?

The acclimatization process can take anywhere between several hours and several weeks. Acclimatization is an important concept but it is not to be confused with adaptation, which can span several generations. The acclimatization process of different organisms varies.

How long does it take to acclimate Nassarius snails?

Nassarius snails take quite a long time to acclimate to their new environment. You should drip acclimatize them slowly, for about an hour and a half, roughly twice as long as you would for a fish. If possible, place it on sand instead of rocks in the tank as they are more likely to burrow into the substrate.

What will happen if you don’t acclimate your snails?

When you have a new snail in your tank and you don’t take the time to acclimate them to the tank, you run the risk of them dying. It’s best to ask the pet store where you get your snails for advice if you don’t know how to handle them.

When you purchase snails from pet stores, they usually come in acclimatization bags which you can use later at home to acclimate your snails to their new home.


Snails are adorable little creatures. They not only become entertaining companions but also help you clean your aquarium. But it is important not to forget to acclimatize them before introducing them into the tank. Follow our guidelines above for successful snail acclimatization. Also, be patient is the most important.

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