When adding new marine life to your saltwater aquarium, it is really important to ensure that they are acclimatized to their new home. Abrupt changes can really harm a living animal, and a slight change in water parameters can kill marine life. 

Our recent article discussed how to acclimatize fish into your saltwater aquarium, and today we will look specifically at snails and the best way to acclimatize them to your tank.

The method we will be discussing is an alternative to the drip method and is an easy way to ensure your snails are going to survive the move to your saltwater aquarium! 

Do I Need To Acclimatize My New Snails?

We believe that it is really important to acclimatize your new snails as this will ensure their health and wellbeing. Snails are a bit less sensitive than fish when it comes to big changes in their environment, however, they still are vulnerable to death if the big change gives them a shock. 

A lot of hobbyists do choose to drop their snail straight into their tank and claim that they have had no deaths. However, we think that, for the health of the snails, you should always acclimatize them. 

Snails might get scared during shipping and therefore might be close when they arrive. Because of this, acclimatizing will help them to come out of their shell. 

Do I Need To Quarantine My New Snails?

When you bring any marine life into your aquarium you run the risk of also bringing in hitchhikers and illness. Having a quarantine tank means that you are able to isolate and monitor your new friend before putting them in the main aquarium. Doing this hugely decreases the chances of bringing in illness and disease to your saltwater aquarium. 

A small 5 or 10-gallon nano tank is a perfect way to quarantine your marine life, and the cost of setup is definitely worth it. Without one, a disease could kill all the creatures in your tank. We recommend quarantining your new snails for six weeks. 

Your snails will need to be acclimatized before putting into the quarantine tank, and then again when you are putting them in the main tank. 

How To Acclimatize Snails: The Floating Method

The floating method is an alternative to the drip method and is much more easier. It also takes a shorter time than the drip method, meaning you can bring the snails out of their bag quicker. Many enthusiasts have suggested that this is much better for the snail’s health and means less chance of death. 

So how do we acclimatize snails using the floating method?

Step 1 – Alter Lighting 

When it comes to bringing in new life to your saltwater aquarium, being super careful is the best way! This means that we recommend turning off the lighting of the tank and dimming the lights of the room before beginning the acclimatization process.

You can then slowly take the bag which has the snail in out of the box. Do this bit by bit so the lighting does not shock the snail. 

Step 2 – Clean The Bag

The next thing to do is to gently clean the bag. This will just remove anything that might have attached itself which may harm the marine life. 

Do this with a clean cloth dipped into a cup of water from the aquarium you are wishing to put the snail into. 

Step 3 – Place The Bag Into The Aquarium 

Now the acclimatizing begins! Place the bag, sealed, on the top of the aquarium water. Let them float and do not open the bag during this time. This will let the water in the bag that contains the snail slowly adjust to the temperature of the water in the tank. 

Leave the bag floating for about fifteen minutes and then remove it. 

Step 4 – Add Water to The Bag

When you have removed the bag, carefully cut it open at the top and roll down the plastic, stabilizing the bag so no water escapes. 

Then, add a splash of aquarium water into the bag. Wait five minutes and then add another splash. 

Step 5 – Remove Some of the Water

The water in the plastic bag with your snail in will slowly fill up. When it is full, remove half of the water. Then, keep adding aquarium water to the bag every five minutes. When it is full, remove half of the water. 

Soon all the water in the snail’s bag will be your aquarium water. 

Step 6 – Add the Snail Into Your Tank 

When all of the water in the snail’s bag is your aquarium water, now is the time to gently place the snail into your aquarium.

Help, My New Snail Is Not Moving!

Most of the time, your new snail will come out of its shell and start exploring its new home. However, it is not uncommon for them to take time settling in. 

One problem that many hobbyists face is that of a new snail not moving. This can be really worrying, as you might be concerned that your new snail is dead. If your new snail is not moving, try and take a look at it. If you can see its foot, then there is nothing really to worry about as it is probably just taking its time to get comfortable in its new home! 

When snails go through a change in their environment, they will hide in their shell to keep themselves safe. Sometimes it can take two or three days for a new snail to get comfortable in a saltwater aquarium. 

If your snail is hanging limply out of its shell, then unfortunately it is dead. If it is fully retracted into its shell, it is probably just shy and will get used to its surroundings soon! 

Snails Are A Fantastic Tank Addition

Now you know how to safely acclimatize snails to your saltwater aquarium, it is time to pick the best one for you! There are so many amazing snails and a lot are great at keeping your tank clean. 

Check out our full range here