The sundial snail is a tiny, brownish-gray snail that lives in moist soil and leaf litter. They are nocturnal animals who spend the day buried beneath the surface of the ground. When sundials need to be read at night, sundial snails will often come out of their burrows to help by climbing up on top of them and placing themselves near where it’s needed.
The sundial snail was named for its habit of living associated with sundials created during ancient times when people used them as clocks to tell time without access to modern technology!
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The Facts About Sundial Snail
Heliacus variegatus is commonly known as a Sundial snail or box snail in the aquarium hobby. Zoanthids are predators known to prey on these nocturnal snails.
Description And Habitat Of Sundial Snail
They have a shell that is between 5 and 7 centimeters in diameter. From a flat base, the cone-shaped cover coils upwards. The spirals are composed of brilliant shades of black, white, and brown. As well as the tentacles, the jellyfish‘s body has been stripped away to copy the shell. The operculum is composed of horn-like material.
What A Sundial Snail Looks Like
Snails of this species are usually white and black, with an orange tint and a small protrusion on the back often called a rattlesnake’s tail.
Signs Of Infestation
In your aquarium, you can view sundial snails. Further, as your zoanthids gradually disappear, one by one, the remaining ones will disappear.
Life Cycle Of Sundial Snails
Snail sundials reproduce sexually, making significant infections rare, but little is known about their reproductive cycle.
This ugly little critter can destroy any Zoanthid base reef aquarium if you don’t keep it in a quarantine tank. For best results, Zoanthid corals should remain in quarantine for three months.
View the coral daily during the quarantine period and watch for Sundial snails. Remember that Sundial snails prefer to stay hidden in polyp mats and usually come out at night when the lighting has been turned off. No matter whether quarantine is an option, CoralRx is highly recommended.
Treatment should be done in a quarantine tank.
- The first step is to move the corals to a quarantine tank with good lighting and water flow.
- It would be best if you also dipped your coral in Coral Rx after removing it from the main tank.
- Take a turkey baster and blast the coral with it while it is in CoralRx. You want to make sure it gets into between the polyps and underside of the coral. For approximately five to ten minutes, do this.
- The coral dip should be discarded after about five or ten minutes. Toxins might escape from parasites that have been present in the coral dip.
- Return the coral to its quarantine tank after rinsing it in clean saltwater.
- Continually repeat these steps until no snails are found. Before returning the coral to your aquarium, let it remain in quarantine for an additional three months.
Some Things To Note About Sundial Snails
The first thing to note is that these are bad guys. Removing them from your tank is the best course of action if you see them. The sundial snails are small predatory snails that enjoy feasting on Zoanthids. Likely, they will actively hunt them. You will see these creatures moving on to other corals, mainly soft corals, and LPS corals if there are no Zoanthids in your aquarium.
In your aquarium, these hitchhikers can be found on live rock and typically have a white color with a spiral pattern. Some specimens are slightly orange.
How to control the numbers
In the same way as with many snail species, you should physically get rid of a sundial snail as soon as you see it.
If you’re going to put anything into your tank, it’s good to be proactive before doing so. Any fish you intend to put in your aquarium should be soaked and quarantined. Liverock and coral should be quarantined for a few days so you will have time to spot any potential threats and remove them before displaying them.
What eats Stomatella snails?
Some fish and shrimp will eat Stomatella Snails, and they should not be kept with certain wrasses, particularly Six Line Wrasses & Four Line Wrasses. Peppermint Shrimp will also make quick meals for them.
How do Stomatella snails breed?
Stomatella snails are easy to breed and spawn spontaneously if kept in a well-established marine tank.
How long do turbo snails live for?
Estimates put their natural lifespan at about 3-25 years, depending on species. In a reef tank, they usually don’t last more than about a year.
The sundial snail is a type of snail that can grow to be 6 inches long. It’s an aquatic animal that usually lives in freshwater and saltwater habitats. There are many different species of sundial snails, but they all have a shell with ridges on it and are often seen around the edges of ponds or lakes.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010.