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Hug a mod Nano Reef Moderator
Retired Moderator ⚒️
Dec 27, 2004
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Long Island, NY
Common name(s): Zoanthids, Sea Mats, Button Polyps, "zoo's", Colony polyps

Scientific name: Zoanthus sp

Family: Zoanthidae

Location: Indonesia

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Tank Placement: Middle to top

Water Flow: Medium

Light: moderate to high

Care: Zoanthids are probably one of the most common corals available to marine aquarists and probably one of the most common species of corals recommended to beginners. Zoanthids are hardy and come in many different colors including green, blue, orange and even 'hot pink'. They usually come on a 'frag' which can be placed easily in the aquarium. Zoanthids spread by budding and will gradually extend along the live rock. Leave room for them. They CAN sting neighboring corals and if they come into contact with another, there can be turf wars. Plan carefully when placing them.

It is not uncommon for Zoanthids to close at night. Some will fluoresce under moonlights. If your Zoanthids close up during the day, there is a high probability that there are issues with water quality.

Feeding: Zoanthids contain the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae and are therefore photosynthetic. However, they will benefit from occasional feedings of microplankton. Although reportedly able to take in baby brine shrimp, I have never seen my Zoanthids do so.

Propagation: Zoanthids can be 'fragged' by simply splitting the rock that they are on.

Comments: Zoanthids have a primitive neural system for communication. If you disturb one polyp on one side of a frag, the entire colony will most likely close up. If you order Zoanthids over the internet, they will most likely arrive closed and should reopen within 24-48 hours. The longer they stay closed the less likely they will remain viable. However, chances are something will survive and regrow at some point.

CAUTION: Zoanthids secrete a poison called palyotoxin. It allegedly was used in poison darts by local tribes many years ago. ALWAYS USE GLOVES WHEN HANDLING ZOANTHIDS AND WASH YOUR HANDS AFTERWARDS. See this pinned topic: http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=79056

Green zoanthids:

Three types:

Side view to the left:



Fish Crazy
Feb 16, 2007
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Zoa gardens are really becoming popular and beautiful, because of the ease of care, incredible variety of colors, and so many nano tanks being available now. Just google "zoa garden" to get some ideas.

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