I'm taking care of my roommate's 11 giant African snails for a week and it turned out that they have been depraved of necessary heat and space to move for months.

They are now, and have been for months, living at average temperature 18 °C instead of 25 °C. Anyway, how can I warm up a glass terrarium with only soil at the bottom and 11 giant African snails in it?

Any suggestions will be much appreciated!

Best regards.


1 Answer 1


Ideally your snail-neglecting roommate would have gotten a low wattage heating mat (similar to this one) for their tank. You may or may not be up for spending ~$15 on one. If you do get a heating mat you'll want to stick it to the side of the tank, and not put it underneath as snails burrow in response to overheating. You'll also need a way to monitor the temperature and make sure it's not getting too warm in there (an unbreakable household thermometer will do if there isn't one in the tank already).

If you're not up for buying a heating mat, you could try getting rice or flax to make a heating pad. The quick and dirty way to do this is basically put rice/flax inside a thick cloth which can be sealed (a flannel pillowcase would work). Microwave for 1-3 minutes, place up against the tank.

  • Would a heat lamp work too, since those are made to heat from above? Are those too high-power for snails?
    – user812786
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 18:17
  • @whrrgarbl most lamps will be too hot, although I guess you could play around the the distance from the tank to get the right temp.
    – LMGagne
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 19:27
  • 1
    Update on the snails - I warmed them up that evening by turning the heating for the entire house up to 24 C :) ...After only about 30 minutes, they became much more active. It was great... The next day my roommate took them back to school where he teaches, and I tried to educate the staff of the school about the necessary requirements of those snails. They said they will take care of it.
    – Luka
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 18:29
  • But yes, thank you both for caring...
    – Luka
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 18:44
  • An ordinary incandescent light will keep it warm; about 25 or 40 watts will be enough for those temperatures.I assume they in something like a 10 g aquarium , use a standard hood for the light. A heat lamp will cook them. Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 15:35

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