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FAQs about Zoanthids 3

Related Articles: Zoanthids, Sea Mat: An Ocean Of Color For The Aquarium by Blane Perun,

Related FAQs: Zoanthids 1, Zoanthids 2Zoanthid ID, Zoanthid Behavior, Zoanthid Compatibility, Zoanthid Selection, Zoanthid System, Zoanthid Lighting, Zoanthid Feeding, Zoanthid Health, Zoanthid Reproduction

Upgraded Tank, starting to get an interest in Corals, am scared of making the wrong decisions! Also a quick question on water storage. 4/15/2011
Hello All
<Hello Martyn>
You helped me out last year (October I think) to identify a hitchhiker Octocoral that had suddenly popped up on my rocks - link : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PolypIDF3.htm ).
Since then, I have upgraded my tank from a 60 ltr Nano type tank to a 260 ltr tank <approx 70 gallons> that I have ideas about becoming a reef tank at some point in the future (with luck and more research!).
I am now running the aforementioned 260 ltr with an external Fluval 305 filter with the pre-filter packed with filter wool (which I change every week) the bottom 2 baskets with live rock rubble - although I'm starting to wonder after reading your site if I should take this out and hide it in the aquarium behind my main display or something - I don't want to build a "nitrate factory".
<The nitrate factory usually results from poor maintenance of the filter.
Your weekly filter maintenance should pose no problem.>
The top baskets I use for carbon and ROWAPhos. At opposite ends of the tank two Hydor Koralia 2800 ltr power heads pointing at each other, and one small 900 ltr an hour Koralia (left over from the 60 ltr nanolike)pointing down the back of the rocks. Still no skimmer, tho I am planning on adding one at some point, as cash allows, for now I'm doing 30ltr water changes once a week, and at the same time changing the filter wool and half of the carbon - once every 2 weeks I change half of the ROWAPhos.
My Phosphate levels (according to Salifert) are 0 and nitrates never seem to register on my Hagen nitrate test (only measures above 5) doesn't seem to stop me having to scrape the glass once a week tho !
<A good protein skimmer will minimize glass cleaning and keep your nitrates at acceptable levels.>
Barring the Octocoral (still doing well thank you! - pic 1) I have two new additions to the tank, a Zoa and some other kind of button polyp (pic 2 attached any idea what it is ?).
<Is a Zoanthus species, button polyp. See/read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm >
Anyway shortly after buying these first tentative specimens into the world of corals, I discovered your pages on the chemical warfare that can escalate between corals. Needless to say, the panic started rising!
The specimens are only small frags - I have decided only ever to buy frags so far under the four following (probably misguided) beliefs.
1: I assume that most frags are tank propagated and grown, so hopefully more used to aquarium conditions and HOPEFULLY less impact on our oceans natural resources.
<Yes, most are.>
2: room to grow .. can be spaced out more allowing each animal room.
3: cost! - speaks for itself.
4: Variety ... although I'm learning that variety is not a good thing from reading your pages.
<Yes, must be aware of allelopathic issues amongst corals.>
anyway, my questions are : What coral frags are good to mix with these guys. are these guys ok together? (they are about 1.5 ft away from each other).
<These should be fine with what you have now but can reproduce at alarming rates. Best to keep isolated to one rock and not allowed to spread. As far as mixes, too many to list here, best
to search our site, gather info on a particular coral you are interested in. A good starting place would be here regarding your Zoanthids which can/could be problematic.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm . The following link will lead you to our marine index of articles/FAQs.
and also water storage ... I have ordered myself an RO machine (hurray no more weekly trips to the LFS for RO!) If I get a water butt - can I store RO water in it for any length of time .. or does it need using up as I pour it?
Failing that ... can I mix up a water butt full of saltwater, and store that in the water butt (with or without circulation) or again do I need to use that within a day or two - I guess I am trying to sort out my weekly schedule!
<This information can be found under Maintenance/Operation in the above index.>
Oh I forgot, my bioload is - (a few snails, (5 Nassarius, 10 Astrea) one Mithrax crab {I know, I Know! sorry!} ) one tuxedo urchin (great little guy, always got something on his head! he came with a small blue legged hermit attached! my g/f asked me if I really wanted to get him ..
considering he had crabs.) 2 baby black ocellaris clowns, 1 cherub angel - with no real plans to add anymore fish ... well .. maybe a blenny ... or a cardinal .. also a couple of weeks ago my girlfriend came home with a green BTA , not what I would have gone for (anemones look like hard work, and I don't consider myself knowledgeable yet) but he seems to be doing fine, eats bits of squid and prawn I feed him ever other day, and his color is good.
<In future queries, please capitalize proper nouns which includes fish/invertebrate names, company names, etc. Saves me time if I do not have to do it and I gave up on this one half way down.>
Kind Regards
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Possible palytoxin eye injury... Have you or someone you know had eye issues related to handling Cnidarians? Jeff is looking for your input   6/13/09
I am working up a case of corneal damage that occurred during removal of a colony of Acanthastrea lordhoweensis from a portion of rock also covered with a Palyzoa species. Some of the features of the injury, the inflammatory response, and the course of wound healing are concerning for toxic injury. There is very little information in the medical literature on this topic other than a single very brief case report and an animal
study from 1974, prior to the characterization of palytoxin. I would be interested if this has been encountered previously in hobbyists and also if there is an expert in Palythoa and coral toxins in general that might be worth contacting.
Jeff Jacobsen
<I only know of anecdotal accounts... but am willing to post your request for others input... Would you like to use/have this email address posted?
Bob Fenner>
Thanks for the response. This email address is fine.
Jeff Jacobsen  <Jeffrey.Jacobsen@hsc.utah.edu>
Will post then. BobF.

Zoanthids, palytoxin, human contact  4/9/08 Mr. Fenner, I have a disease called scleroderma that effects my autoimmune process and need to be cautious. I have read about the neurotoxin called palytoxin that occurs with Zoanthid polyps. I read about the need for caution and it's effects but on the other hand I get the impression its occurrence in the aquarium hobby seems rare. With this in mind I have what I believe is a Zoanthid Palythoa that looks like the common type with green polyps. I'm new to the hobby and need to know if I have a serious concern. I intend to use gloves if the need comes to physical touch it, but do I need to be concerned about making contact with the aquarium water with my hands. Your input will be appreciated. Steve C. <Mmm, always best to be cautious when dealing with Zoanthids... particularly in handling directly, as in asexual propagation/cutting. I do advise that you, actually most everyone wear good gloves whenever they place their hands in their tanks... to prevent possible troubles for themselves during exposure, as well as to disallow contamination. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

Is my Palythoa sick?  - 11/17/07 On Tuesday, I added a green Zoanthid Palythoa to my 55 gallon tank-wet/dry filter - w/ half the bio balls removed and live rock in the trickle section-backpack protein skimmer -2 55watt actinic and 2 55 watt full spectrum bulbs /2 white moon lamps-65 lbs Fiji live rock -25 lbs Aragonite substrate-1 peppermint shrimp-2 Ocellaris clown fish-1 velvet damsel- 1 coral beauty angel- 2 Astrea snails-20 hermits -ammonia and nitrite are 0 - nitrate is 15ppm, calcium 440ppm, alkalinity 4.0 mEq/L, salinity 1.023 ppm <I'd raise the spg... to NSW strength... See WWM re> the tank was move about two weeks ago, with most of the bacteria containing water salvaged. In the past week, I've added and lost 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 fire shrimp, 2 turbo snails, 1 Astrea snail and now the Palythoa hasn't opened up in 2 days. On your site I could find that it may have been the acclimation time for the shrimp ( approx 30 min) I feel as though all this death is too coincidental. The velvet damsel has been pecking at the Zoanthid polyps a little and there are a few polyp fragments strewn about the tank. I've attached a few pictures of the Palythoa, the polyps seem to be shriveling a bit and I just hope there is something I can do. Thanks for your knowledge! Your web site is fantastic! Kristin <I'd be reading it then... The specimen is closed up apparently, but new to the system, which has been moved recently. Nothing likely wrong here, but read: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidhlthfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Zoanthids... sys.  10/18/07 Hey guys!? Hi Will, why all the question marks?> I'm really getting into Zoanthids.? There's so many amazing colors and morphs!? I'm wanting to start collecting and fragging out some of the more rare ones (Nuclear Greens, Purple Deaths, Black Widows, Purple People Eaters, etc.) <Geez, sounds like names of rock bands.> and I was wanting to get an expert opinion.? In general, what conditions are best for rapid growth?? <No special conditions, just good water quality. Read here and linked files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm> I have a 75gal w/ 20gal refugium, Aqua-C EV-120 skimmer, 2.5 inch live sand bed, 70lbs of live rock, couple of powerheads for movement, and, as of next week, will have two 150watt 14000k halides.? With this setup, should the Zoas be towards the bottom of the tank?? <Lower third would be fine.> Do they prefer more or less direct water flow?? <No direct flow, but a good flow in the tank.> Are there any special additives or foods that make them grow faster or produce more vibrant colors?? <Read above.> Any input would be greatly appreciated.? Thanks again for your time and expertise!? <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Will Not enough detail for a step into polyps  4/14/07 First off, I'll let you know a little of my tank.  It's a 29 gallon tank, with a light holder that only holds one bulb, and is now holding a 50/50 18 watt light. <Way too light for most photosynthetic life...> I have a Emperor 400 filter (which I understand might be too much filtration <No> but I wanted to take no chance because my previous filter wasn't big enough, leading to the downfall of my first tank setup), and a small 35 dollar Visi-jet protein skimmer that is not always on due to the fact that it likes to fall apart. <Save up for a replacement> Last of all, I keep my tank at 78, with a 8.5 ph level and my specific gravity is 1.023. Now to the problem, I like to order my fish from LiveAquaria.com, but now as you know, I'm into corals and saltwater invertebrates.  The fact is, I don't fully understand the information that they use to describe the requirements for their corals.  For example, when it comes to them explaining the requirements of their Colony Polyp (or any other coral) they say that there Light levels needed are Moderate to High, what does this mean as far as the watts needed to support this coral is moderate 8 watts? or 20 watts? <Ahh, a bit "trickier" than this even... as you will understand if you consider that such "rules of thumb" don't account for depth, other factors...> Also, the site states that this coral must be in the Middle to the Top of the Aquarium. My tank is 18 inches high, and 30 inches across, so this polyp colony should be nine inches from the top of the tank? Last of all, they say they are good with any fish, such as my Ocellaris clownfish, but under Temperament, the Polyp is labeled Semi- Aggressive. does this mean my fish are in danger? or is it just the fact that it might overrun other corals? And If I were to get Button Polyps (very similar) is there a difference, and when they say Polyps give off a toxin is this dangerous? <Mmm, you'll need more light... All can be understood by taking your time, reading... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm From top to bottom... using the Net, a dictionary for terms you're unfamiliar with. Bob Fenner> Please help me, Cody Schmitt

Zoanthids are Closed.. Help!   9/5/06 Hi there!  I'll start with tank specs: 30 gal, temp 78, SG 1.025, Nitrate/Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Alk 300, <? 300 what?> pH 8.0, 192W lighting (dual daylight, dual actinic) I read through most of the Zoanthid threads, with no answer to my impending questions.  My tank has been up and running since late March 06, and my Zoanthids have been happy since I bought them in May.  However, around the middle of July I noticed that my Zoas were starting to close up. <Not compatible... in small volumes... even with their own Class>   This may have had to do with a water change gone wrong, and I ended up having a much lower SG than I had planned.  I usually kept the SG at 1.022, <Too low> and it dropped during that water change to 1.019.  I slowly built the SG back up to 1.022, with no change.  The Zoas remained closed.  I sought help from another forum, and they suggested I raise my SG to at least 1.025; so, over a week I slowly raised my SG to 1.025.  This increase was completed on Aug 7th.  The Zoas have still not opened up.  They don't look sickly, nor discolored, and in fact, they are still making little Zoas.  Now, why wont the Zoas open up? <Allelopathy likely>   What can I do to help them? <Larger system, chemical filtrant use, clean the skimmer, add a refugium, remove most of them...>   I'm really disappointed that I can't seem to do anything to help the situation.  I did a 30% water change Aug 3rd, and after reading a few articles, decided to do a 50% water change today (Aug 28).  Still no dice.  Could you please help me with what's going on?  My last idea is to quarantine them in another tank, but regardless, I am at a loss as to what I should do at this point. Thank you, Stephanie <Read, re-read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Green Polyp Crash, Zoanthid Toxicity   8/2/06 Howdy Gang. Thanks for running a great site. I find myself burning WAY too many hours through your FAQs. Keep up the good work. <Am trying!> On to my problem: I've got a 35g reef with a 10g photosynthetic refugium, DSB, plenty of live rock, 223w MH and 24wCF actinic on timer cycle, a couple of colt frags, some other Zoanthid mats, frogspawn frag, mushrooms (all well spaced out - I doubt any chemical warfare is happening), <Is... all a matter of degree and type... tolerance and acquired resistance> Longnose Hawk, Maroon Clown, 6 line Wrasse, Peach Blenny and a cryptic Rainford Goby). I am usually chemically stable, but recently experienced a little crash in Alkalinity (dropped from it's usual 8-9 to somewhere around 6 - not sure why). All the livestock survived and I'm supplementing my way back higher levels and my normal stability. The lingering problem is that my colony of green polyps/Zoanthids (look like the yellow polyps you see often, except these are emerald green) experienced some damage. About half of the polyps seem to have died and are now flopped over at the base. The larger polyps are still healthy, but I'm concerned about the dead ones, <Me too> and I seem to be seeing contradictory info in your FAQs as to whether or not to remove them. <I would> I know that many polyps contain problematic toxins and I'm worried about harming the rest of the system. Should I remove the dead polyps, and if so, HOW do I do it without harming the survivors and/or releasing toxins into the tank? Thanks in advance. <Best to wear gloves, safety glasses, remove the rock they're attached to, scrape off underwater in a tub... rinse repeatedly, let soak in system water (that is NOT returned to the main tank) for an hour or so... Stay aware of possible overt negative effects on other livestock. Bob Fenner>  

Zoanthids period   7/10/06 The setup is a 29 gal with about 1.5 inches florida crushed coral and about 20 maybe 25 lbs of live rock.  For lighting I chose the Coralife AquaLight with a 65 watt 10000k and 65 watt .03 actinic.  I also use the two blue 3/4 watt LEDs at night.  The tank is about 6 months running.  Filter is a penguin 350 with two bio wheels and is rated at 75 gal. <Skimmer?> The live rock went in a week after initial setup, then I added two clowns about a month after.  Three days ago I purchased my first coral, which was labeled "misc. Zoanthid." <The image shows a Zoanthid colony... not really "corals">   I was wondering if you guys could ID it for me so I can gain more accurate information for caring for it. <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above> Also, I am concerned that the coral is not doing so well.  Some of the polyps have turned more pale than they looked at the store. <Yes... doesn't appear healthy to me either> The polyps still open up during the day, and some stay open at night. <May well be "just" from being new... takes a few weeks to settle in... I would switch out the actinic light here for more "white", leave the LED off for now> My nitrate ammonia are both 0 and for some reason my ph is very low, reading lower than the lowest on my test kit which is 7.8.  I have a feeling this is what is causing my friend to be sick. <Might be a contributing factor> I asked the people at the LFS and they said I need to put buffer in the water. <Mmm... maybe...>   I would assume that my ph would be higher though from the salt mix,  (instant ocean) and also all the live rock and crushed coral? <Should be, yes... When are you measuring pH? In the AM? Do you have a test kit for alkalinity? See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm> I don't know what my alkalinity is but I am sure its off too.  Maybe the coral is fine and is still acclimating to my tank?  Will they do fine if the ph and alkalinity are off?  What could be causing my ph to be so off?  Any help would be great to save this beautiful specimen.   Best Regards, Christopher D. McCulloch     <Please do read where you've been referred, and take heed re two important issues. Zoanthids are quite toxic... to you and your livestock. They should be introduced after other "corals" by and large and if you should have occasion to touch them. Don't do so with your bare skin. Bob Fenner>

Re: Zoanthids period, still not reading  7/10/06 Hi Bob      Thanks for the quick reply to my email.  Your website and staff are very knowledgeable and quite helpful indeed.  I am not running a skimmer on the 29 gal right now because I didn't think there was a need for one with a filter that is very much overrated for the tank. <There definitely is... I would turn it on pronto... you'll see> I could be wrong though.  I do have a Red Sea Berlin triple pass skimmer that I could use, but I don't think I have adequate space inside the tank for a pump.  The skimmer is also rated at 250 gal I think.   Why would you get rid of the actinic light for now?  Have you seen other Zoanthids in this milky white condition? <... please read where you were referred to...>   What could it mean?  I did not buy a test kit for alkalinity because I could not afford it at the time. <More important than buying Cnidarian livestock>    I was measuring Ph in the PM also, could that be why it is so low? <... please read...>   What is your advice on buffers?  What should I use? <Posted and posted> I read that b Ionic is good.  Will this make my alkalinity and pH at acceptable levels and keep it there?  Should I even need to use a buffer?  What should I do about my Zoanthids condition?  Sorry for the bombardment of questions. Regards, Christopher D. McCulloch <Read my friend. Your answers and much more related material that you are not yet aware of knowing is laid out on WWM. BobF>

Death = Life?? Zoanthids mostly   7/7/06 Hi Crew-- <Chris> There is a very interesting tank development that i need to run by you.  I bought a Zoanthus (sp?) colony <Likely a Zoanthid> about 4 weeks ago.  Most of the spores <... polyps> died off the rock, except for the most mature (big) spores, and even those refused to bloom.  I tried moving them lower, then higher and still nothing.  They'd been untouched for about two weeks.  Well, unfortunately my sleeper goby bit the dust the other day and all my hermit crabs and chocolate chip starfish took care of the carcass. I didn't perform a water change yet, and the zoo's all of a sudden have started blooming. I'm not sure about this, but is it possible that when the goby started decomposing a lot of nutrients were released into the water, and perhaps the reason my tank has not been doing all that great is that the water is *too* clean? <Mmm, possibly... but much more likely this colony just "became acclimated"...> Anyway, looking forward to your thoughts on this.  A follow-up question is how can I maintain this water "quality" so that my tank thrives? <... Posted... marine filtration, maintenance... on WWM> As always, thank you. Regards, Chris Stormes <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm scroll down to the section on Zoanthids... Bob Fenner> Re: Help! pH non-anomaly with new water and Zoanthids   6/8/06 Thanks, Bob. <Welcome Chris> Should I consider a premium-brand salt mix? <Mmm, no... or I wouldn't... Instant Ocean is a mighty fine product... consistent, well-formulated...> On another note, I have recently purchased a Zoanthus colony, which looked great at my fish store, however, since adding it to my tank on Saturday (today is Thursday) it has yet to fully bloom. <This/these can take a while to adjust...> In fact, I would say that it's blooming at about 15% of capacity.  Is this a ph issue? <Doubtful>   I'm adding Reef Solution daily (1/2 capful), <I'd hold off on this...> have it placed very high in my aquarium. <I'd start new cnidarians lower, lowest...> The colony had been placed near the middle so I moved it hoping for better bloom. <And not move them around much at first...>   I also just recently started adding phytoplankton. <Most cnidarians don't eat much of this...> By the way, the tank is a 37G "high" tank with 130W of compact fluorescent lighting. Thanks again, your expertise is invaluable. Chris <Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Zoanthids, small polyps... RMF is not your English corrector    3/27/06 Hello crew, I apologize if this question has been addressed already but could not find it in my search. I have a  120g reef setup and have a lot of Zoanthids. <You're familiar with how toxic these are?> Most are doing quite well but recently have notice some seem to just be getting smaller. They are still open with good color but the actual diameter is much smaller. without going into to much detail, my water parameters are all great and consistent. I am wondering are they receiving to much light (to high in the tank) or is it possible that my dwarf angel (potters) is nibbling on them? <Doubtful... would be dead> Lots of other corals all look good (LPS SPS Softies clams ,anemones ).No other coral is touching these polyps. Any ideas? Thanks Jim Roach <Yes... please run your writing through a spell/grammar checker... there is a dearth of spaces twixt your sentences. Next, read on WWM re Zoanthids: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Zoanthids  - 03/25/2006 Hi. As the subject states, I have a problem with some Zoanthids of mine. They're the variety commonly sold as Red People Eaters, and I've had them since some time last summer when I bought a frag of three. They've grown well during that time, but that's where the problem comes in. Every now and then, a polyp shrivels up and dies in about a day or so. It almost looks like the skirt squeezes in and cuts the top off the polyp. The mouth will be all that's left for about a day before it falls off as well. I've observed the colony at night to see if anything was feeding on them. There were many amphipods hanging around them, but they're around constantly and the polyps die at random intervals and quite quickly so I don't think they're the culprit. To date the colony has grown several new polyps, but with the deaths I still only have three. I noticed one of the polyps starting the cycle today and snapped a photo. Any ideas?  <I'm thinking your problem relates to water quality, lack of supplements, and possibly not enough light.  Do read here and related FAQ's.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm> Thank you, Kevin  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Zoanthids    3/24/06 Your Site Rocks Big Time!  <Thank you>  this is Sam from India.  I wanted to know what is the ideal temperature for Zoanthids? Also the ideal Kelvin for these animals?  The store guy just wants us to buy anything that is expensive! I am planning to get them next week, before that I have to do the preferred arrangement in my tank. Now in my tank I have a mated pair of Clark's Anemone fish, a Purple-back Dottyback and a Coris Formosa juvenile, are these guys fine with Zoanthids?  <Shouldn't have a problem with the clowns, the Coris will pick at urchins, crabs, shrimp and other small inverts.  Not recommended for reef tanks.> I am ready to part with any fish that is not compatible! Most of my rocks are covered with red, pink and blue Sponges, they are doing great! I have some colonial anemone and two green and pink carpet anemones. <If the carpets decide to move, you will be at risk of losing some of your sessile invertebrates including the Zoanthids.  Anemones are not recommended in reef systems. > All these anemones have been with me for more than two years! I also have a Coral Banded Shrimp, some tiny hermits and snails.  So what of all this is not compatible with Zoanthids?  What other inverts can be added with Zoanthids?  Sam, this info is available on our site.  Do search before writing.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/blane-zoanthids/zoanthids.htm My tank tests are all perfect, and the water volume is also more as my tank and sump is 120 galls each! but most important question is how much Kelvin's and What temperature?  <Same as for the fish you are keeping.  Kelvin temperatures of 10-14K work well.> Thanks a lot for your time, have great day!  <Sam, you capitalize where you shouldn't and do not capitalize where you should. In future queries, please do a grammar/spelling check as this saves us much time in getting answers out to people.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Sam

Zoanthids/Shipping/Acclimation   3/20/06 Hey everyone!  <Hello Jennifer> Just a thanks and another quick question.  I recently set up a 10 gal sump/refugium to my nano reef (12 gal) thanks to your page instruction for baffling, flow rate, bio contents and so on to be able to increase the volume.  Very successful so far and a really neat addition visually too. My question is: I ordered two Zoas from frags.org last week, got them in VERY little water (water on one end of bag while Zoa on the other) warm, thank goodness, but little water.  I acclimated them and added them to my tank.  It's been 3 days and they still haven't opened.  Water quality optimal, decent water flow, skimmer, 2 filters.. so on and so forth - all good.  My question is - are they gone?  I know time tells, but how long should I leave them in there before tossing them?  I didn't want to pollute the tank.  BTW replacement is coming. <I'd give it a couple more days.  If the closed polyps have some color they should come around, if not, discard them.> Thanks again, I appreciate everyone over there helping all of us out here. ha ha.  I have a marine science degree (which I'm currently not doing anything with.  ha ha) and would one day love to join all of you!! Thanks again, have a great night.  <We are always looking for qualified individuals who don't mind volunteering their time.  James (Salty Dog)> Jennifer Zoanthid toxicity... to aquarists 02/12/06 Greetings to the best reef site on the net! <Hello! John here this morning!> As always when I have a question or concern I turn to WWM. The question/concern is in regard to Zoanthids. I seem to be finding many references as to the toxicity of Zoanthids. As i am just reef hobbyist I am in no way an expert on such matters. <Me too.. but have read first-hand accounts of problems due to Palytoxin, the toxin responsible.> Can you give me and all of my fellow reefers some insight into just how dangerous Zoanthids are? Are they potentially fatal? <Very much so, although this appears to be uncommon> What are the risks to us? <Dizziness, Short-term paralysis, death. Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" has a few accounts of Palytoxin poisoning by aquarists. Here is an account: http://www.browseatwork.com/nph-proxy.cgi/000110A/http/www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php=3ft=3d2729 . Another is here: http://www.reefpark.co.uk/bb/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=703> What special precautions are needed when handling zos? <I would wear gloves, and wash hands/gloves thoroughly after use. If you don't have gloves, make sure you have no breaks in your skin when handling these corals. If fragging Zoanthids, definitely wear gloves, and consider eye protection.> Are all zos venomous? <Not sure... I believe Palythoa are the worst.> Which types are the deadliest? Sorry to be alarmed or worried but I don't ever recall seeing any warnings posted in any LFS. Thanks again <You're welcome... Best regards, John.>

Zoanthid "Pimples"/Fish Selection - 12/22/05 Hello, (insert name of WWM crew member on duty here). Sorry, but I hope you're up for some reading. Thanks in advance for your time. <<Hello...EricR here...ready to read..>> Question #1: My girlfriend and I have been running a nano-reef (20 gal with 10 gal fuge/sump) for a while now.  We recently picked up two frags of some nice colorful Zoanthids.  About a week after getting them, we noticed white dots appearing on the stalks of one of the colonies.  These dots have been increasing and now some of the most afflicted Zoanthids aren't opening at all.  The colony is pretty much covered with them now.  The other colony, which I placed a bit away, has some too but not nearly as many.  Our nitrites and ammonia are zero, nitrates are 0-5 ppm, specific gravity is 1.023, pH is 8.3.  I actually don't remember our last phosphate and alkalinity readings but they were well within what I have seen listed as acceptable on WWM.  I have checked at night to see if I can find some sort of predator or culprit but no luck.  I thought perhaps another coral was doing something but haven't found any sort of info on the corals I have to indicate this would be so.  When the white dots started appearing, I had these corals in the tank: -Candy cane coral -Various mushrooms -Zoanthids -Pearl coral -Green star polyps I know the green star polyps can be very aggressive but they are actually one of the farthest corals from the colony and the other colony, the less effected one, is much closer.  My fish are a royal Gramma and a six-line wrasse. Any thoughts? Does this sound like the work of some pest that I perhaps haven't caught at work? <<Mmm, more likely physical/chemical aggression from another coral, or, a symptom of too intense lighting.  For the former...make sure no other corals are touching and add some Polyfilter and/or Chemi-Pure to your filter path...for the latter...make sure the Zoanthids are not close-up and directly under any intense lighting.>> Question #2: We are moving up to a 105 gallon tall tank with these measurements: 48"L x 28.5"H x18.5"D.  I have been trying to plan out the fish who will one day inhabit this tank carefully.  It will be a reef tank consisting of softies and LPS with at least 100 pounds of live rock. I have read a LOT on WWM about compatibility and the fish I am considering but I still have some questions and I would also like an overall opinion on this list: (# of fish) Name [Adult size] (1) Six-line wrasse [3"] (1) Starry Blenny (Salarias ramosus) [5.5"] (1) Royal Gramma [3"] (2) False percula clownfish [3"x2=6"] (2) Two spot gobies [3"x2=6"] (1) Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus Solorensis) [5"] (1) Scott's Fairy Wrasse [6"] Total: 9 fish, 34.5 Inches My thinking is to vary up the habits of the fish so they won't all be competing for the same space and also just to see different types of fish in action. <<Very good>> So there's the 3 bottom-dwellers, the six-line likes to move through rockwork, the Gramma sticks to a spot in the rock, the clowns can be dither fish for the wrasses.  I also tried to select larger fish that are peaceful (the wrasses) <<The six-line isn't.>> so we can keep the small fish we like and have more fish overall. Are there any conflicts here I am not seeing? <<Generally speaking I think you have done a good job researching/making your selections...kudos to you for that.  My only real concerns are the six-line wrasse and the starry blenny.  The six-line can/will become problematic for the other wrasses.  I have seen this fish maim/kill the more peaceful fairy/flasher wrasse species...even in displays of several hundred gallons.  You might get away with it if you add the six-line to the new tank as the last fish...but don't expect to be able to add any fishes of similar size/shape/habits later on.  And as for the blenny, It's just my opinion they are not suitable for reef tanks...too likely to munch corals I feel.>> Okay, now assuming that list passes muster, I want more (doesn't everyone that writes in?).  For either of the other two fish I would like, I could sacrifice members of the above list if necessary. <<Mmm...maybe the six-line and the blenny?>> Of course it would be cool if we could have all of that and these two. <<Yeah, I know...and I would love to have a half-dozen Zanclus canescens in my reef. <grin> >> We would still be under the rough 1/2" per gallon rule but it still feels to me like adding two more would be pushing it. <<Forget this rule...make your choices based on compatibility/suitability, feeding habits, mature/adult size, activity, natural environment, etc., etc, etc....and some good common sense.>> First, I would like to have a flame angel but am worried he may be too aggressive. <<Hmm, probably no more/less than the six-line.  The bigger issue is will it eat your corals...bit of a crap-shoot really.>> OTOH, lots of people seem to keep them in reefs with several other fish without much of a problem. <<Does happen/is possible...but still a gamble.>> I was hoping that by keeping him with larger wrasses I could prevent him from feeling dominant in the tank. <<Mmm, no...but less of a threat than you might think.>> I am not sure though if he is likely to pick on the bottom-dwellers. <<I doubt it...more likely to go after con-specifics/similar shaped fishes/other dwarf angels.>> Also not sure if this is sufficient space and rock work to not have to worry about the Gramma, clowns, and six-line. <<Likely so, yes.>> I would also like to have a mandarin (waiting at least 6 months after cycling).  The tank will have at least a 30 gallon refugium and we are planning on adding cultured pods to kick-start pod production.  I am not clear on whether or not the starry blenny or two spot gobies would compete for his pods. <<And the wrasses too!>> I have read the blenny and goby FAQs but didn't see anything about this.  I am also not clear on whether the fairy wrasses and flame angel are big pod eaters.  I know the six-line is.  Trying to research and plan as much as possible. Thoughts? <<Do keep up the research...But I'm hesitant to recommend the mandarin as I consider your new tank/refugium marginal for keeping this fish.>> THANKS! -Clark Carruth <<Regards, EricR>> Got the Zoanthid Blues  12/9/05 Good Day WWM Crew! <Hello Kelly> I have been reading, and reading, and reading.......seems there are differing opinions out there and I am hoping I can get some good solid advice from you folks. I have a 16 gallon bow (16 inches in depth) currently running with 80 watts of PC lighting- mix of 10K and actinics. I am a Zoanthid freak and have found some of my colonies lose their bright colors under my lighting at any depth while others stay true and bright.  <With the 16 gallon I don't believe you will see a lot of difference at different depths since the tank is not deep to begin with.>  I am thinking that halides may be the way to go, <Hard boiled eggs may be in order with the halides.>  <<I'm hungry, and that gives me an idea!  Marina>> but have read that much light is not needed in a tank that small or 'just' for Zoas. What's a girl to do?  <Smile>  If an upgrade is the best solution (can't run both PC and MH, would be one or the other) should I go for 70 or 150 watts of halide? I won't even get into color spectrum, LOL. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.  <Kelly, your lighting is fine. Some zoos don't require as much light as others. Too much light on those may cause them to bleach. Zoos do appreciate an iodide/iodine supplement. Are you dosing this? A two gallon water change per week with a reef enhanced salt such as Reef Crystals or others will help much also. In doing the above, don't expect overnight results. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for you time, Kelly  <You're welcome and Happy Holidays to you>

Re: Got the Zoanthid Blues  12/9/05 James (Salty Dog) <<Ye Olde Doggie of Salt, I call him fondly.  MH>>, thank-you for your quick reply.  <You're welcome, and in future replies to queries, please reply with the original content as I have no way of knowing everything mentioned in the original query.>  I just recently picked up a bottle of time-released iodine but have been wary of using it with out a test kit (next on my list) so have been very conservative with dosing. I will increase my weekly water change to two gallons  <Yes, it does replenish lost trace elements.>  and try the recommended salt mix. I know to expect some color variation from tank to tank but I hate to plop down the cash for gorgeous blues and have them fade to the color of baby poo.  <<That made me giggle. MH>> <Kelly, here is some info for you on zoos. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm>  Wishing you happy holidays as well.  Kelly  <Thank you. James (Salty Dog)>

Palythoa problem  11/16/05 Hi, About a month ago I purchased some Palythoa, and they were doing fine and were actually replicating until about two weeks ago. I first noticed one polyp near one end of the colony beginning to discolor, becoming darker than normal, and shriveling. It then began spreading to neighboring polyps. About one third of the colony has shriveled and died at this point, and while the opposite end of the colony is still multiplying, it looks as if the discoloration is beginning to present in the polyps closest to the die off region. <Good note, observation> I assume this is some sort of bacterial infection, but I really have no clue.   <Mmm, not necessarily, likely bacterial... perhaps environmental, predaceous...> Should I cut the colony in half and dispose of the discolored polyps to attempt to save the others?  <One route to go... do take care with exposure (yourself, skin, eyes) here... do this outside the system, toss any water, rinse the specimen before replacing> Should I try a freshwater dip, or iodine or something? <Could do this... in addition, instead of the surgery> I am using Kent Tech I for iodine, I don't know if you can make a dip out of that or not, <Yes> but I would like to make some attempt to save the remaining polyps. Thanks, Frank <Help me rest assured and read all the material we have archived on Zoanthids, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 

Yellow Polyps v. Button Polyps Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:36:54 -0800 (PST) Hey, I need some advice. I am new to the reef game and started with "easy" corals. My Yellow Polyps are doing very well, but my Button Polyps have closed up. I have moved them around the tank to no avail. I thought they had the same requirements. Can you tell me what my Button Polyps need that the Yellows do not?  <Nathan, they both require the same thing, 10% weekly water changes to reduce organics and replenish trace elements. They also require at least 3 1/2 watts per gallon of lighting, preferably four. And, food, yes these corals require feeding as with most corals. Very few corals are autotrophic where they completely produce their own food. James (Salty Dog)> 

Eradicating Thriving Zoanthus I have an 80 gallon reef tank which has been set up for almost 4 years. I have both soft and hard corals in the tank and everything is doing very well. I am building a 150 gallon tank which I will be moving all of my hard corals into along will all of my live rock.  My problem is that I would like to eliminate all of the brown button polyps on my live rock before making the move to new tank.  Is there a predator of Zoanthus that I can add which will only eat the Zoanthus? <Mmm, not really... a bit dangerous (as in toxic to you... wear gloves, eye protection), but they might be best eliminated by scrubbing them off the rock with a stiff plastic brush... outdoors or in a bucket in a utility sink, with running water... then the rock put in a system w/o other livestock for a few weeks.> My LFS has an infestation of Nudibranchs in their Zoanthus tank which is eating and killing the Zoanthus.  The Nudibranchs are brown in color and about a quarter of an inch long.  They do not seem to be eating anything else other than the Zoanthus.  I know that I have provided a minimal description of this Nudibranch, but based on the description are you familiar with it and would it attack only my brown button polyps? <Not familiar and though these sea slugs are notably singular in their feeding habits, I am skeptical of their use here... if nothing else, these predators will eat just most of the Zoanthus... not all, and they will come back> Any information and suggestions that you can provide to me to help eliminate the Zoanthus in my tank would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Regards, Jim <I would scrub-a-dub bub, Bob Fenner> Yellow Polyp Invasion Tremendous Website guys! I have a colony of Yellow Polyps that have just about tripled in size in  the past 5 months (which is faster than I expected) and I've started to get   Polyps popping up on some of my large pieces of LR. I would like to relocate the   original colony and place some frags around them so I can trade or give away as they spread but I'm a little worried about the current growth on some of my LR.  At that rate they are growing/spreading they will be popping up in my front yard  soon! Is there an easy way to remove/relocate the few polyps on  my large LR? I have 85 gal tank with all corals (Green Stars, Flowerpot, Frogspawn,  Asst. Mushrooms, Asst. Zoo's), fish and inverts doing well.   James >>>Hello James, No easy way to remove polyps from rocks I'm afraid, you just have to scrape them off. Or, in order to avoid damaging as many of the polyps as possible, you can remove the rock and chip them off with a chisel. Congrats on your success! Good luck Jim>>>

Adding Zoos! I am going to be adding 2 coral rocks with Zoanthid polyps on them to my aquarium. <Nice additions to a reef tank!> In reading, I understand that Zoanthids contain a poison that can be deadly if it gets into my bloodstream. How is the best way to get these into my 55 gal. aquarium that is already established? <I'd simply add the "Zoos" to your tank on the rock that they are attached to. Acclimate to your system like you would any other animal. Given time and acceptable conditions, these hardy inverts will spread and grow with little intervention required by the hobbyist! Hope that you enjoy the color and diversity they bring. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Where did my Zoanthids go? Hi WWM staff- << Blundell >>    I apologize for the e-mail, but was unable to find an FAQ that I was certain addressed the same problem going on.  First let me describe my system: 29 gal. with ~33lbs live rock , fish-less refugium (5 gal) with Chaeto, DSB and about 3lbs live rock rubble.   Lighting is 2*65 watt 10K/actinic( the Current Orbit 30 inch), have Bak-Pak Reef skimmer, a whisper 30 hang-on for carbon/mechanical filtration, a maxi-jet 900 for water circulation, plus another ~125 gph powerhead that pumps to the fuge.  Salinity is 1.024, temp~78 F, calcium 500 ppm, alkalinity 3.66 mEq/dl, ammonia 0 ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, nitrates 2 ppm.  Inhabitants include a purple Firefish, scooter blenny (who loves his mysis AND his fuge pods), pair skunk cleaner shrimp, pair peppermint shrimp live rock came with many Aiptasia but they have cleaned up nice), Capnella, green star polyps, finger leather, mushrooms, gorgonians and Zoanthids ( oh yes, and some assorted small hermits and snails, many micro critters and worms,  and a bunch of small brittle stars that hitchhiked in on the Chaeto and gorg.s).  I dose with 6 ml.s Combisan weekly, do a 20% water change every other week, and use Reef Crystals salt.  I feed frozen mysis daily and either DT phytoplankton or  Cyclop-eeze daily( I alternate days). The tank has been running for several months, and up until now all the corals have seemed happy and growing.  Lately, though I have had problems with 2 Zoanthid frags, both obtained from the same place about 3 weeks ago.  The first to show signs was an orange frag.  the zoos slowly stopped opening, then began disappearing. << My first thought is the lack of light.  I would increase lighting if all you have are two compact bulbs. >> Two small polyps remain. It was removed to the refugium where it shows no sign of improving.  The second is a blue/red frag.  Strangely, when I first obtained this frag it had 8-10 turquoise polyps and one red one.  The red side appears to be multiplying ( now about 6) but the blues are disappearing fast.   They really do just seem to disappear overnight. << I'd also question your peppermint shrimp. They seem to eat more than people previously thought, and there are numerous reports about them eating small polyps. >>    They are placed in the upper third of the tank, and right below the powerhead( but not directly in its flow).  Two other Zoanthid frags right next to the affected ones are happy and multiplying( these came from a different source). There are no corals within Zoanthid-touching distance.  I got some yellow Parazoanthids and a blue mushroom frag from the same source as the affected Zoanthids.  There was a die-off of the Parazoanthids as well, but the remaining polyps stabilized two weeks ago and are now going strong.  the blue mushroom took 2 weeks to expand at all but now looks ok.  So I am wondering, is this probably related to how the corals were handled before they got to me( as all corals from other sources seem fine)? << It certainly can be.  If you saw them in a tank before you bought them, then just try to mimic what that tank had for conditions. >> What can I do to save the blue zoos( which I really love)?  ?  Could this be some kind of disease?  ...Before you accuse my peppy shrimps, I did a night vigil with red light and they ignore the zoos completely. << How funny, you thought what I was thinking.  But I'd still be cautious of them. >>  Nobody looks chewed on, the zoos just disappear.  No other corals show signs of predation or ill health.  Don't know what to do.  Thanks and I apologize for the long message! << Well you can use a strawberry basket (like you get at a grocery store) and separate the polyps.  This may help to rule out predation.  Also, I'd move them as close to the light as possible. >> Denise <<  Blundell  >>

Zoanthid poison 4/25/04  Hi Crew !  <cheers, my friend>  Just another quick question .. how do Zoanthids release their palytoxin poison?  <can be exuded separately, can be carried with mucous... and can simply be ingested by things that should not eat it. Palythoa toxica of Hawaiian waters was used in time past by natives to tip spears for mortal combat. Its a serious neurotoxin>  is it through stinging or by being cut when being trimmed?  <the latter more so... and be sure that you always wear gloves when working in the tank with corals and especially propagating them>  I'm studying the different corals to choose which to stock. I've removed the Euphyllias from the list as they are toxic and give out serious stings to people. Could you give some suggestions on "safe" corals ?  <please do not stock your tank this way... you will have almost nothing in it. A majority of sessile invertebrates (corals, sponges, tunicates, etc) have some means of noxious chemical defense. DO focus instead on collecting a natural selection of species form the same niche/biotope>  Thanks for all the help, you're site is the best. Romel  <best of luck, Anthony>

Zoanthid sweepers? Hello again, <Hey, Pinky.... where you been? :) Missed ya!> As far as I know, Zoanthids don't have sweepers. <agreed... no large structures like we see/think of with other corals> So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw what appear to be sweepers coming out of them. While not entirely clear from the picture, these do come directly out of the animals mouth. I initially thought it might be some sort of worm (saw a feeding arm from a spaghetti worm), but coming out of the corals mouth, well, it certainly looks like a sweeper to me. <tough to say what these are from the picture alone. The color looks rather like the Zoanthid color. That would be odd for a sweeper whose primary function is defense (no wasted energy on zooxanthellate or reflective pigments expected here). I wonder if these aren't strand of expelled zooxanthellae? Just speculating here. Unless you are seeing them very regularly? Hmmm... interesting. Do take and share better pics if you can. Thanks :) Anthony>

-Aqua Medic AquaSpacelight- I am eyeballing an aqua SpaceLight from aqua-medic. <Purty and well made fixtures indeed.> it has 2-250 1000ok and 1 150 20000k. it is very sleek and has an internal ballast system. I have a 90 gal reef tank to be and want to know what you think of this light and is it too much light for Zoanthids if I put them on the bottom of the tank?? <I think it would be a bit much if this was going to be an all Zoanthid tank, but most should do well in the lower to middle sections of the tank after a proper acclimitization to your lamps. Aqua Medic makes great lights, you can't go wrong with it! -Kevin> Joe

Polyp ID and simple searches 2/11/04 Hi searched your site and couldn't find a match. Wondered if you could identify this tree of polyps and give me any info on it? Thanks Mike U.K. <do try to be more resourceful, Mike, with your use of the amazing resource of the Web. As it turns out, "Tree Polyps" is an extremely common and standardized name for Acrozoanthus species in the trade. If you go to any other search engine on the net (even just checking the "search the web" button on the Google search tool for our web site) you would have seen a staggering number of websites with references to Tree/Stick polyps. I'm also concerned that you bought this extremely difficult organism to keep alive without knowing its name or how to care for it. The purchase of a book (that would have told you about this coral and many more) would have been a much better investment. Please do be more conscientious as an aquarists. Buy some books... and at least use the Internet to a fuller extent if not for your benefit, then for that of the livestock who depend on you. For every day, a better way. Anthony>

Palythoa pictures Can you help with these images - see below --- <Yes... but am out in HI right now... our content use policy is posted on WWM (link on homepage). Are you a non-profit? Bob Fenner> Please respond as soon as you can my deadline if here. I am doing the photo research for the college level textbook entitled: Organic Chemistry by Janice Smith. The author has requested two photos; 1) soft coral, Palythoa toxica 2) tidal pool near Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui where Palythoa toxica was first collected. Can you supply such photos or direct me to someone who can? Your prompt reply is greatly appreciated. Mary Reeg Photo Editor Thank you. Mary Reeg Photo Editor

Re: Palythoa pictures This photo, I think, would be perfect.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm <Mmm, and I have some HI tidepool pix, though may not be Maui per se. Either Jason.C will respond to you or I will get back on my return to the mainland (about 2/11). Bob Fenner> Please get back with me as quickly as you can. Thank you. Mary Reeg Photo Editor

Red Grape Algae...but not Hi Bob, Anthony, or any of you other mystery invert specialists on the Crew: <whassup?> Quick question for you all... <Okey-dokey> I have a piece of rock with some yellow Parazoanthus "gracilis" polyps that I have had for over a year.  I have noticed that the polyps have been thinning a bit and couldn't really figure out why.   <many possibilities... often simply from lack of adequate water flow. If they have not been getting enough random turbulent or surging flow (or if they have been getting too much laminar) they will not extend so fully and fleshy and just dwindle in time or be encroached upon> Now I notice that something (I presume fauna, not flora) has begun to grow between the polyps.  I did not notice these "somethings" before as the growth started from the hidden rear of the rock.  Anyway, the creature(s) that are now growing start out looking exactly like the "grapes" on the algae that some call Red Grape Caulerpa but without the stalks of the algae.   <Botryocladia can also grow without stalks... may be the same> They have exactly the same color and translucent appearance as the algae.  I flipped the rock over and the older ones have turned a mottled brown on their tops.  Any idea what these might be?  Good, bad (at least in terms of being responsible for the waning of the "gracilis')? Thanks for all the info past present and future.  Take care, Greg

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