Coral Of The Week - Zoanthids

daveo_irl

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I only have a couple of small colonies at the moment:

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dark_stranger

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Here is a small sample of the variety of colours & patterns you can get...

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The below is only based on my experiences or those of people I have read about and is not gospel, although my systems are run on the below priciples.

Zoanthids, it would seem that just like Marmite, people either love em or hate em. I personally think the colour & variety that you can get, on top of the lack of special requirements that are needed to keep them are an ideal starter coral, ok you could go for a leather or something, but come on, when have you seen leathers come in the colours above? They need very little care, but ideally your water needs to contain some nutrients, not over skimming and running carbon, ect 24/7. Stable temperature is also a must if you want to maintain healthy Zoa's and brighter the lights, the better, plus with added blue (Actinic or high K rating) can really make them standout.

Word of Warning:
Some Zoa's contain Palytoxin which can cause an adverse reaction to some people. How much of this is the truth and if so, the quantities of the toxin you would need in your system are unclear, but an air of precaution is advisable, although I should follow my own advise, but daily handle Zoa's, including fragging them without ever having any issues.

Here are some links that may be of some interest.
General Zoa Info
Zoa Identification

Pest and Problems
Unfortunately zoa's seem to have more than their fair share of pest or problems. If you’re not battling Zoa eating Nudibrunches, Asterina, Spiders or Snails, you're trying to cure Zoa pox, white mould or melting zoa's, to name but a few.

Nudibrunches: These little slug like creatures can cause havoc with your Zoa collection, but if persistent in manually picking them off and dipping, plus scrapping off egg sacks, you can break the breeding cycle. A good way to catch these is wait till lights out & look for them on your Zoa's or wait till lights are off, then switch lights on and look for Zoa's on your Zoa's & pick them off. Of course there are natural ways to resolve this problem with certain wrasses.
Nudibrunchies

Asterina's: These will eat your Zoa's and can be seen resting on your Zoa's eating the polyp underneath. Manually picking them off is the best solution for this or a harlequin shrimp to hunt them out.
Asterina's

Spiders: Don’t know too much about these buggers, but have heard about them destroying a whole Zoa dedicated tank.
Zoa Spiders

Snails: Sundial snails will eat you Zoa's and need to be picked of manually. Sundial snails should not be confused with COLLONISTA sp snails that are not a pest, but a good part of the cleanup crew.
Sundial Snails

ZoaPox: I have known ZoaPox to clear entire tanks of Zoa's in very bad cases, but the more milder infections, left alone will clear itself. Form my own experiences I have found that temp swings cause Pox and once you have a stable tank, the chances of pox are low. Some people start dipping their zoa's at the first sign of Pox, but I have found this causes more stress and most cases, getting a stable temp & leaving them alone, fixes the problem.
Zoa Pox

White Mould/fungus: I have found this grows over the zoa's and can be blow off the zoa's leaving them intact, unfortunately the mould will grow back and eventually the zoa's will perish. Not too sure what the cause of this is, but normally happens after zoa's have been shipped, implying there is some sort of die off, maybe from under the zoa's, such as sponge or silt.

Melting Zoa's: I have no idea why a health colony will suddenly start melting away to nothing :eek:)

For more pictures of pests & problems... Visit here!
 
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seffieuk

seffieuk

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Lovely, can you write up a short piece for us Dark Stranger, pretty pleeeeese? About care etc

Seffie x

thank you for adding to the above post - excellent info and a good read :good:
 

Anguilla82

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one of my favourite types of corals, and i'm always on the look out for some interesting polyps. One of the few corals that is virtually bomb proof when shipping. i've had them delivered to me in varying states from no water at all to knocked around and broken up, but nearly always they'll recover.

Always RO dip them to try and minimise the risk of bringing in pests. However they can also harbour good things, i've had things like bristle stars, shrimps, juvinile cleaner shrimps, snails and stomatella come in on ones i've bought.

as for conditions, they'll thrive in almost any well maintained tank but will melt away under strong lighting i.e. Halides.

there is a whole culture over the naming of zoas and some of teh names are crazy and confusing. my advice is not to get caught up with chasing named zoas, but to buy anything that takes your fancy! also many 'plain' looking zoas can look amazing under blue lighting so bear that in mind when viewing them in your LFS.

below are a few pics of some of mine:

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Rob
 

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