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I discovered a few things I needed to change to improve the lives of my slimy little friends. šŸ˜Š First, I increased the humidity level in their habitat. Once I increased humidity I saw an increase in activity by all individuals. This made me quite happy. Everybody is crawling around, doing their thing.

I also added some cuddlebone pieces to supplement calcium. They seem to like it. There's still no answer on if it's ok to feed them purple eggplant but I know it's ok to give them fruit. Here's a photo of one snail having fresh mango for lunch. That was one juicy mango. I went back to the store and got 2 more.

I added a few branches for climbing and hiding. I learned I need to cut up their food a little more and to stop cleaning so much.

Too much cleaning removes beneficial bacteria and disrupts the natural balance of their ecosystem. It's killing me not to go in there and clean every other day but I've been letting their system do its thing. So far, so good.

There hasn't been any mating witnessed by me since spring! However, the babies born in spring are getting big. That's a spring baby on the mango. I only have one snail older than a few months. He appears from his shell to be maybe 3 years old. I call him Pops because he's so much larger than the others.

Who knew there would be so much involved in keeping snails happy and healthy in captivity? It's fun though, and a definite learning experience that I encourage others to try.

Here's a photo of a snail's mouth. How cool is that? Click to make the photo larger and see the snail up close and personal. Lol

Faith

4

I'm in need of advice. I need a snail whisperer. If you are a person who knows about snails please leave a comment on the blog. The following is all the info I can think to provide.

The basics. Here's the thing, I've got 4 adult Helix Aspersa, larger than a US quarter and three small babies in a planted terrarium with a mesh screen top. At first it was rather dry but now it seems wet. With it being wet they're out more. They eat and crawl around then go to the top to sleep or sleep on the glass then do it again the next day. With a wetter environment I've seen a lot more activity.

Husbandry. Their terrarium is taller than wide at 12 inches by 18 inches. I lightly spritz the bio-active environment twice a day with spring water. There are crushed eggshells in the black soil. They have Sycamore bark and wood as well as a small thriving fern. I allow one of the carrots to sprout in the terrarium because it provides ready greens for them. Also provided is a small pool of spring water that is changed every 2 days. The pool has pond stones in it so that no one drowns. I wipe down the terrarium glass every other day and pick up any droppings that I see.

Food. I feed at night then take the left over food out in the morning. They seem to be most active at night. I feed the snails stuff like raw carrots, apples, soft banana, zucchini, eggplant and green, leafy vegetables. I've got a list from the net of healthy foods to give to them. They love carrots and eggplant the most but I'm not sure if it's okay to feed them eggplant so I've stopped. I know not to feed them striped eggplant.

A month ago I began to dust their food with a calcium supplement which means that all three of their non-veggie foods provide calcium. The three foods are: Reptomin, Fluker's High Calcium Cricket Diet and Fluker's Repta Calcium with Vitamin D3, Phosphorus Free. The reason they're eating the cricket and frog food is because I have crickets and frogs. If I need to get them a different snail food I will, but right now I just crumble and moisten what I have.

Now for mating. Early spring there was a lot of mating going on but that has stopped. I still check for eggs often. I lost three snails after they laid eggs. I'd like to know if there's something I can do to better assist them in their recovery?

I got rid of most of the eggs but a few baby snails I allowed to remain. Those snails are getting big and their shells seem healthy. They're living in with the adults.

If there's anything else I should be doing, any snail tips that a snail whisperer knows, I'd certainly love to hear from you. Provided in this entry are photos of my set up and of the snails.

Faith

Introducing my common garden snail pets aka Helix Aspersa.

Snails at home on spinach

I'm thrilled to death to have these snails and have set up a temporary home for them. Their new home should be here next week.

These adult snails are larger than a quarter and can live up to 5 years, however, one snail seems weak and isn't expected to make it. This will leave me with just one, but I'm okay with that. These snails can impregnate themselves which means I won't have one snail for long.

In the photograph the snails are eating baby spinach and salad greens. There's a tiny bit of apple as well as high calcium food for their shells. Unfortunately, the person who bred these snails didn't do a great job of it because the shells of these snails are in terrible shape. Despite the condition of the shell, one of them seems strong and active. As a matter of fact, I caught 'her' attached to the glass with her foot in the shape of a heart.

I heart you snail

Then she did it again.

I heart you snail 1

This led me to wonder what name I could give her that meant love? I came up with Amoretta which is Latin for "little love." There's one more much smaller land snail in there of unknown specification who goes by the name Michelle. I don't remember how she got that name but she got it before she became our Michelle's pet.

Michelle land snail Sundrip

If you know what type of snail Michelle and her two babies are, please feel free to leave a comment.

Whites Tree Frog baby, 8 or 9 months old

Though frogs and snails share an environment, I won't put these snails in my frog terrarium.Ā  I believe a separate, closed ecosystem is best for them both.

The snails came through the mail from Greece, which I recently learned may have needed to be held by Customs. I didn't realize this. I now know better for the next time I purchase snails.

Even though the Helix Aspersa can be found in the United States, these specific ones are not from here so I will take care not to introduce them into the environment.

So they're here now and we intend to thoroughly enjoy them. I can tell you that my 12 year old is absolutely thrilled.

I wondered how long its been that I've had an interest in snails. It would appear it all started with a Japanese Trapdoor snail I got for free to put in my goldfish tank. This was 15 years ago and several aquatic snails later I'm still in love with them. Michelle the snail is one of my first land snails, so this is newer snail territory for me, but I will enjoy further learning about this wonderful creation.

Lastly, here's an update shot of Isaiah the Dragonscale Betta with the marbling gene that is causing him to change colors. The photos are from November 8th to December 8th, 2018.

You know, one of the good things about photographs is you can see things you missed with the naked eye. I didn't know Isaiah had a problem with his fins. Poor guy had fin rot which is being addressed. I don't know if this was in progress when I got him or what, however, it's being taken care of now and looks so much better.

Isaiah the dragon Betta fish sundrip-down3

Faith

5

Half of Us

In therapy we talked about the unfinished image "Both of Us", drawn by Robert over a two day period. We spent a lot of time on it because it drew us into a discussion about being co-conscious and more integrated.  My emotions are more integrated and more identifiable.

I showed him 4 drawings total. Three of the drawings were done by Robert. When Robert draws himself in work, it is important to him for Dr. D to see the image of Robert. He doesn't want to be overlooked or looked through. To be ignored and overlooked is painful for anyone. 

We talked about the colors and why I use certain colors. We talked about how different it is that Robert used yellow on the face in his drawing. We don't do yellow at all. Hate yellow. Of course he asked why and I just told him. My mother's mattress had yellow flowers on it. There were too many times I had my face buried in that yellow and that's all I could see. I hate that color to touch me now. I use it in art to mean negative things. For it to touch his face tells me there's some sort of guilt or maybe flashbacks that he is dealing with. Yellow in art is explained on my art therapy page. It's also interesting that the pants worn by the girl in the upper left corner is wearing yellow pants. This just doesn't happen, not even in art. 

My Sister by Michelle

The image to the side was drawn by Michelle in pencil. Dr. D noted that the people are in typical fashion from what I used to draw.  He says the people have a look of despair and trauma on their faces. It's funny, I don't set out to make my images look this way. I just start drawing what I feel. I think its the same for others inside. Everyone just draws what they feel. The painting or coloring in is according to our color chart that we've had for who knows how long. 

We discussed how it feels to have a 12 year old alter around who doesn't want to be called anything but her own name and doesn't want to be mistaken for Faith.

Dr. D called Michelle the last hold out, then laughed. Yeah. Everyone else is on board with knowing and understanding what it means to have DID. We know how we got here and why we have DID but this one kid ain't havin' it. She can't accept that she is not separate. She hasn't yet learned that what she does affects the rest of us and what we do affects her. We're a system..... We take care of each other.

She wants her own sketchbook but we won't let her do it. She draws and paints in the community book just like everyone else. 

There's guilt associated with 'causing' us to feel anxious whenever she's around. Her anxiety is always very, very high.  

Speaking of high, Dr. D and I discussed differences in artwork when I'm high. He asked if there's a difference in noise level in my head when I'm high. Yes. I can hear the alter personalities clearer so it feels louder at times with pot, but there's also a calm that covers us all. It works out well if I eat it. I had it in hot chocolate the other day. Turns out that homemade honey cake with weed is pretty good. That one was new for me.

Last but not least, Michelle got her snails in the mail today. How totally cool is that! All the way from Greece! She keeps saying, I would have been happy even if they'd been from across the street but no one had snails that they were selling locally.  I think it's totally cool that they're from Greece. It just sort of happened that way and I'm glad it did.

Jordan 

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