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My Secret Snello Recipe for Healthy Snail Shells & Breeding

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

goldfish and snails

I’m posting this here for a couple of reasons, one being so I won’t forget it. And the other… why keep a good thing all to myself, right?

Look: I’ve experimented with several Snello recipes over the years. Some are too messy and crumble apart when they hit the water. Others aren’t readily accepted by the snails (picky little buggers)! Yet others lack the nutritional profile needed to promote beautiful, healthy shell growth and breeding behavior in your snails.

Now: You can use this recipe for mystery snails, ramshorn snails, Japanese Trapdoor snails

Just about any freshwater aquatic snail!

Neat, right? So with that said—let’s get to the snello recipe!aquarium plant divider

My Secret Snello Recipe

(Makes approximately 4 cups of Snello.)

The sea of Snello:

Great recipe for making snail food in bulk!

Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/4 C diced sweet potatoes or sliced carrots, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 C canned green beans, drained (preferably no salt)
  • 3 TB fish food flakes (I use Omega One Goldfish Flakes)
  • 3 TB dry ground krill (I use Northfin Fry Starter, 100% whole krill) or other protein sources (frozen or dried bloodworms, egg, etc.)
  • 2 TB Calcium Carbonate powder (with no Vitamin D added; I use this kind)
  • 2 Tsp Super Green Boost (or Spirulina/kelp) powder
  • 3–4 TB unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1/2 C filtered water
  • 2 capfuls Seachem Nourish (for iodine; skip if using kelp or Spirulina)
  • 2 capfuls Seachem Garlic Guard or 1 clove of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup spinach
Directions:
  1. Steam carrots or sweet potatoes until tender, approximately 15–25 min.
  2. While steaming, using a spoon and a Ziploc bag, crush flakes into a powder. In a small bowl combine crushed fish flakes, calcium carbonate, Super Green Boost (or Spirulina or kelp), and stir until mixed.
  3. To a blender or Nutribullet cup add green beans (water strained), Nourish, Garlic Guard or garlic clove, spinach and sweet potatoes/carrots and blend until smooth, adding up to 1/2 C water if the machine is having trouble. Add the dry fish flake mixture and blend again until well dissolved. The resulting mixture should be the consistency of pudding. You want to try to keep it on the thicker side, not watery, as thicker will gel better.
  4. Transfer mixture to a small pot and heat on medium heat. Slowly and gradually stir in gelatin until the mixture is steamy but not bubbling.
  5. Remove from heat and pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out flat, about 1/4″ thick.
  6. Immediately place cookie sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until set. To tell if it is set, use the “tap test” to lightly tap around the surface. If you still have liquid on your fingers, it’s not done.
  7. When set, cut into cubes and separate the cubes so they aren’t touching, as much as possible. (This is the most time-consuming part.)
  8. Place in the freezer for 3 hours before transferring to a Ziploc bag for storage.

My snails all go crazy over this stuff:

It also makes quite a bit. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don’t want to make as much. You can also modify the recipe depending on what ingredients you have available.

For instance:

If you don’t have spinach on hand, try throwing in some lettuce, collard greens, or kale instead.

No fish flakes? You can use ground up pellets as a substitute (the kind for carnivorous fish are best).

Want to use peas instead of green beans? Go right ahead!

Feel free to experiment to find what works best for you (and your snails).

Snello Benefits:

  • Iodine is necessary for snails to utilize calcium for shell building. I use Seachem Nourish as the primary iodine source. Kelp is also high in iodine if you want to use that instead.
  • The krill adds nutritious protein useful in promoting breeding and egg-laying. Krill is very nutritious and high in protein.
  • Garlic is a fantastic flavor enhancer useful for picky eaters and an appetite stimulant.
  • Super Green Boost is chock full of minerals and trace elements. Spirulina is also full of trace nutrients, including iodine, and can help enhance the color of the snail’s shells!
  • The sweetness of sweet potato or carrot helps make it taste yummy (to the snails of course!). Many fish species will go after this stuff too.
  • Cooking the spinach removes the oxalates that may inhibit calcium absorption, making it snail-safe.

aquarium plant divider

Time-Saving Alternatives

Hikari crab cuisine

Finally, if this sounds like too much work and time for you to spend, you can just straight-up buy Hikari Crab Cuisine.

Another option? You can modify Repashy Soilent Green to be more invertebrate-oriented.

How to Modify Repashy Soilent Green for Snails:
  1. Use 1 TB of Calcium Carbonate per 2 TB of Soilent Green
  2. A cube of bloodworms for protein
  3. And a 1/2 C of baby food or steamed & pureed veggies

Then add some hot water. One nice thing about Repashy Soilent Green is you can also use it for your fish. So it’s kinda two-in-one.

The bottom line?

This recipe I’ve provided does take quite a bit of time to make this stuff, store, and clean up, no getting around it.  But homemade Snello is the best option if you need to feed a lot of snails and prefer to cut costs by not buying tons of premade food.

Ultimately, it’s what works best for you.aquarium plant divider

Wrapping it Up

I hope you enjoy my secret snail Snello recipe, in a nutSHELL. (Oops, sorry—couldn’t resist.)

What do you think? Have any tips or tricks you’d like to share for making the perfect batch of gel food for snails?

Let me know in the comments below.


Featured Image Credit: Madhourse, Shutterstock

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

Authored by

Lindsey discovered her passion for fish keeping after a junior high school field trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Prior to becoming Editor-in-Chief of It's a Fish Thing, Lindsey studied marine biology at the University of California-Santa Cruz. She loves goldfish, tetras, and mystery snails, and recently began experimenting with a saltwater aquarium.

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