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I have got two garden snails in a glass jar which is covered by a thin cloth for ventilation.
For food currently I have given them white rice and powdered egg shells. I have also sprayed the bottom of the glass jar with water to keep the area wet.

I have placed a cardboard in there in a bent position for them to hide and rest.

The only thing that I have not put there is mud. Will it be okay if I don't put mud there? If no, then why is mud be necessary for their happiness and survival? Can it be replaced by something more maintainable and easier to clean?

Is it okay to have lots of leaves as substrate?

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Snails need substrate to be "happy"

Based on my experience.

I's not strictly essential for their survival but snail will bury if they need to lay eggs and if the environment they are in is not ideal (too low moisture, too cold/hot, not enough food).

I use store bought coconut fiber as a substrate, it doesn't smell and it retains moisture much better than dirt/mud. I also find that dirt absorbs a lot more heat thus making the enclosure colder, but this is based on feeling, i haven't done any measurements yet, and it tends to get liquidy very fast if you don't pay close attention.

Most importantly if you buy coconut fiber from a store it likely is free of any parasites, unlike dirt that you may pick up from your garden or even store bought.

Also i'm not 100% sure but i think that leaves will decay fast in an high moisture environment.

You should have a substrate that is twice the height of your snails, humidity at around 70 - 90%, depending on the species, and a small dish with water so they can drink from it, just make sure they can't drown.

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    under the thin layer of substrate you can put shredded paper from newspapers(not the glossy ones)it makes it a bit easier to controll the moisture in the container,the paper should be moist but nor soaking wet,this can be used for other animals that needs elevated moisture too. – trond hansen Sep 21 at 15:35
  • Is it okay to have lots of leaves as substrate? – Aquarius_Girl Sep 21 at 16:49
  • I used to put a different type of leaves and twigs for my snail and (s)he seemed to be happy with that and also used to feed on those leaves. I kept her for 5 days but they seemed to be happy on ground so I left them there. I can't say for sure if leaves are great for a long term... – prime_hit Sep 21 at 19:49

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