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FAQs about Zoanthid Health, Pests, Predators 2

FAQs on Zoanthid Disease: Zoanthid Health, Pests, Predator 1, Zoanthid Health, Pests, Predators 3, Zoanthid Hlth., Pests, Pred.s 4, Zoanthid Hlth., Pests, Pred.s 5, Zoanthid Hlth., Pests, Pred.s 6, Zoanthid Hlth., Pests, Pred.s 7,
FAQs on Zoanthid Disease by Category: DiagnosisEnvironmental,
(Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& Zoanthid Reproduction/Propagation,

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

Related FAQs: Zoanthids, Zoanthids 2Zoanthids 3Zoanthid ID, Zoanthid Behavior, Zoanthid Compatibility, Zoanthid Selection, Zoanthid System, Zoanthid Lighting, Zoanthid Feeding, Zoanthid Reproduction

Seltzer dip... on Zoanthids?   12/8/08 Dear WWM crew, <Dave> Thank you for your valuable advice and web site. <Welcome> I have a 65 gal w/ 20 gal sump, 4PCs (2 actinic, 2 10000) that has hermits, snails, 2 Zoanthid colonies, a small mushroom, a 5" toadstool leather and a hand full of Chaeto. It's about 10 weeks old. The water chemistry seems pretty stable 76F, 1.045 salinity, <Mmmm... do check... am pretty sure you mean/t 1.025> nitrates 10, nitrites 0, Alkalinity 180, pH about 8.0. I'm doing about a 3 gal water changer per week. <Mmm... I'd change out a larger percentage> In my reading (here and elsewhere), I read about the necessity of giving the Zoas a dip. <?> I posted a few places asking for advice on the seltzer dip (which sounded the least stressful) but didn't get answers until after I went ahead and dipped them (I waited a week, but it was the holidays). The Zoas did not like the seltzer at all. <Not surprising... stings, burns... even the routine, exposure to air is harmful> They closed and started producing a layer of mucus. <Dangerous> I put them at the top of the tank in the high flow area to wash the mucus off and left only the actinic lights on. I left them there for 3 days. Now I've moved them to the bottom of the tank and restarted the 10000 lighting. They haven't opened for a week and still have mucus on them. What should I do? Are they OK? Thanks for the help. Dave <I would not "do" anything further... and I do hope they, your Zoanthids are okay... hopefully they will recover. As a point to browsers/others, I would NOT routinely dip or actually handle Zoanthids much at all... they are amongst the most deadly toxic of marine animals aquarists come in contact with... to their livestock and themselves. Dave, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Seltzer dip
Thanks for the response. <Welcome David> I'm sorry about the salinity. Yes, it was a typo. It's 1.0245 <Ahh!> As for the dip, I never did a QT dip on the way in, so I was rectifying that. <Mmm... really... can't be done... i.e. no way to rectify once animals are placed, mingled with others in display systems...> I did seltzer but should have done the dip in Lugol's. <I see... such Iodine related baths/dips are best done "enroute" twixt moving Cnidarians about... not really advisable as a routine once they are permanently placed. Cheers, BobF> But, anyway, thanks for the advice, Bob.

Zoanthid and mushroom failure in nano tank 11/25/08 Please Help!!! I have a 24g nano tank that has been running since May 08. Several large pieces of cured live rock with 2" sand bed. I added 1 small powerhead for additional water movement. I ordered a small nano polyp/mushroom pack from DrFoster&Smith online after my tank thoroughly cycled. polyps and mushrooms were doing very well for about 3 months, opening expanding etc, then one day they started staying consistently closed and started dying. Water Parameters. I have tested, double tested, triple tested, had LFS test and all my water parameters and all are pretty much spot on. Water changes done weekly of 5g using Instant Ocean Reef Crystals aerated for 24 hrs before adding to tank. Lights are on for about 12 hours. Lights are new with aquarium bought in May, but as a safety measure bought new lamps a month ago. Add B-Ionic and Iodine. Again double, triple checked I was dosing correctly. Livestock (Nitrates 0) 1 percula clown 2inches 1 blue damsel 1 inch 1 blood red shrimp 1 bi-color Pseudochromis 2 inches 6 red legged hermit crabs and 2 turbo snails as a cleanup crew Here is the catch, I also have a 90 gallon FOWLR tank that I'm converting to a reef tank. Once I got the fish sold to LFS and the Nitrates down I started adding polyps/mushrooms. The water parameters of my 90g match that of my 24g...but my nano is failing. So as a drastic measure I took polyp/mushroom frags from my 24g and placed in my 90g and they are doing just fine and in fact opened within a day!!! I'm at a complete loss of what the problem is with 24g tank. My only theory My 24g tank is at my office. The building is pretty old and I'm using tap water to mix my salt. Is it possible that copper or some other metal/crud from the old pipes could be affecting the outcome of my 24g nano? My 90 gallon resides at my condo that is actually a brand new hi-rise in downtown Chicago...all new pipes etc. One other small issue, I seem to have a little extra algae growth in my 24g nano than my 90g....phosphates of both sources are 0. I just attribute the extra bright green algae growth to a shallower tank with good lighting. Oh, and one last thing, there was a 8-9 hour power outage around the same time that these polyps/mushrooms in the 24g stop opening. I just figured several months later should be more than enough time if they were shocked to re-open....but it took moving them to my 90g to get them to open again. Well hopefully this is enough info...if you need specific numbers on my water parameters I can email a pdf of a ongoing chart I keep of all water parameters. <Obviously, there may be something going on with your nano although the setup of your nano sounds good. I would cut back the time the lights are on to 8-10 hours. That's probably the reason for the algae growth. You mentioned you are using city water. Are you putting in any water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines? Secondly, you mentioned the possibility of copper in your water coming from the olds pipes in your office. I would highly suggest you getting an RO/DI unit to eliminate any possibility of this. You can use it for your home and office tanks, the best way to solve water quality issues are to start with good clean water. Of course you saved the best for last, a power outage!!! These are terrible events for an aquarium. Your polyps could have been shocked from the lack of circulation when this outage occurred, its a normal sign of stress and usually they will be back to normal within a few days. How long was it before you transferred your corals from the 24 to the 90? What kind of test kits are you using? Have placed anything in the 24 since? Also remember that as live animals, corals go through stages just like every other living creature, there are going to be times when they just don't feel like opening. If you stay on top of your system, watch it every day, you'll get a feel for the tank and be able to recognize these stages. You'll be able to immediately tell when something is wrong and you need to take action, or if its just a normal thing that your corals are going through.> Thanks, Brian <You're welcome and good luck!!! -- BrianG>

Brown coating on Zoanthid - polyps not opening -08/13/08 Good afternoon. I have been doing a lot of research on my current problem but I can't seem to lock it down. I have some Zoanthid polyps that are no longer opening due to what I would best describe as brownish green algae growing on top of it. <This algae (which looks like Cyano- or a combination of algaes) is more a symptom than a cause. It does not grow over strong, healthy Zoanthid colonies.> However, I am unable to scrape it off of one test polyps. Someone told me it could be brown jelly, but it doesn't look like it. <Nah, not brown jelly. Brown jelly is unlikely to be found on a soft coral.> Attached is a picture of what the algae like substance is. Sorry for the quality of the pic. You can see the unknown substance growing on the closed polyps. I took a fellow reefer's advice and tried a Lugol's dip, but it did not fix the problem. <I do think this is likely a water quality problem (might also be a lack of water flow). Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm (and associated FAQs, algae control, etc.)> The unknown pest is not affecting anything but my Zoanthids. Everything else in the tank is thriving, and it is slowly spreading to this colony as well as others. Water parameters are all normal. I was wondering if I will be forced to start trimming the bad stuff out or would it hurt to try using another type of dip? <I would first increase water flow to the area, see if that helps.> Thank you,
Sara M.>

Possible bleaching of Palythoas... feeding, gen. care, reading     8/8/08 Hello! <John> Pictured below is a colony of what I believe are Palythoas I bought in June 2007. The photo was taken in my tank in March 2008 so at that time it had been in my system for 9 months: I have an AquaPod 24 that had the original measly 64W PC's so I got the hood upgraded from Nanotuners.com to 150W PCs (a combination of different bulbs, I don't know the exact combos now but I can check and get back to you if you need to know. This coral continued to look this vivid for a few weeks until I noticed that it started to get a little whitish near the "mouths" in the center of the polyps. Sorry, I don't have a recent photo but I can also get one if you need it. <Please do> Anyway, within the last few months a few more of the polyps looked like they were "bleaching" so I moved the colony away from the light (it was about 4" from the top, now it's on the bottom). <Good> A few weeks after that it started to look a little better but only in a few polyps. Some of the polyps retracted their feelers and now they're only little stubs. Either way, I believe that the ones that are recovering had too much light, however: Question: Is bleaching irreversible in some cases? < If the colony is otherwise healthy, can almost always be reversed> If not, what should I be doing while these polyps are recovering? Should I be manually feeding them? <Yes... need to be fed... See WWM re... you do periodically add iodine/ide?> Also, if bleached polyps are irreversibly damaged, would I be better off just clipping off the bleached ones and wait for new ones to sprout? <Mmm, no... I would NOT do this... Do please see/read on WWM re Zoanthid troubles for humans... dangerously toxic if cut into, otherwise disturbed...> Regards,
<Keep reading, Bob Fenner>

Re: possible bleaching of Palythoas    8/8/08 Bob, <John> Thanks for the reply. Yes, I do add iodine periodically, have been doing so since July 2007. <Ah, good> As far as feeding goes, the polyps that have NO bleaching at all have very long "feelers" and are very "agile", i.e., when I squirt a little Cyclop-Eeze into them with a Sea Squirt they close right away (same with defrosted Mysis). <Bueno> Unfortunately, the ones that have SOME bleaching are much slower to close, and the ones that are more bleached hardly close at all except at night. In other words, the worse the bleaching, the less they seem to even WANT to feed. However, I'll keep trying. <Bien> PS - Are Palys a community of sorts or is each polyp an individual animal (like a sun coral?) <Are interconnected... at their bases... see... what's that site?> Regards, John <BobF, trying to finish up minimally here... to cook Ramen, onion and chicken for all, get on out diving at the "Pines"... Aloha>

Odd Zoanthid illness... 07/28/2008 I posted this on my DFWMAS forum, but thought I'd send a note to you as well. All of my research leaves me at a loss (including two LFS consults with the owners that are well-known in the DFW area). For background information, my tank is a 120 with a sump/fuge, TurboFlotor skimmer, PhosBan reactor, <Stop! This is likely a/the cause here> ATO system and has been up and running in much the same state for nearly 2 years (fuge added and lights upgraded January 2006, before that, up and running two years, in the hobby since 2001). I work from home, so I monitor the tank daily and can't think of any changes in the past few months (other than my "temp chiller" that I start around 5pm and stop before bed in order to keep the temp around 80-81 - we live in Dallas, after all - the high today was 107!!!). <Yowzah!> A few days ago, a section of my teal Zoas closed up - but it looked like a hermit or something had just walked over them. Few days later, still closed, but not "closed Zoa syndrome" not spreading. The ones that are closed on the left in the picture now really ticked off - they don't look normal anymore (in terms of their stalks are skinnier and their heads are smaller). There is a kind of odd "skin" on them that can be brushed off - but it's hard to get it on the stalks and bases. http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f249/mjgibbon/SickZoas007.jpg The pic was taken while they were in the iodine dip, but you can easily tell the "healthy" closed ones (on the right) vs. the "sick" closed ones (on the left). BTW - put them back in the display after the dip and all of the healthy ones are open again. No known Zoa predators or past issues in the tank. No changes to placement or chemistry. Skimmer working fine. Temp 79-81. Salinity 1.025. All other Zoas in the tank doing well. This colony has been a fast grower and is over two years old now. Any thoughts? <Mmm, too likely an outright lack of essential nutrient (phosphate) or poisoning from the filtrant therein. Give up on its use for a month or two and see. Bob Fenner> Kind regards,
Misty Johnson, DFWMAS

Re: odd Zoanthid illness... 07/28/2008 Hi Bob, Thanks for the response...I'll give it a shot and let you know. Should I discontinue use of the Phosban reactor entirely? Something else I could run in it that would be beneficial? <Worth trying on a punctuated basis...> Looking forward to MACNA. Cheers, Misty <See you then, there. BobF>

Button Polyps suddenly retracted for a week - 06/02/08 Hello WWM crew! <Chris> I've had a 75g FOWLR tank set up for almost 2 years. About a year ago I turned it into a reef tank. Everything has been going extremely well. I had been dosing with Coralife Calcium Supplement, Kent Strontium & Molybdenum, and Kent Iodine Supplement. <Mmm, how... am asking if you're adding directly or dissolved through water changes> Recently my Iodine ran out, and while at the store I saw Kent Tech I which I purchased instead of the Kent Iodine supplement that I had been using. The instructions say to double-dose for the first 3 weeks. Since I had already been using an Iodine supplement, I didn't double-dose as instructed. I've been using it 2 weeks, with just a single dose per week. <Mmm, I would not "dose" anything that you can't/don't test for> About a week ago one of my button polyps - which had been one of my most gorgeous corals, very large, very lush and hearty - started to retract. What once was hundreds of polyps on a rock, is now only about a dozen open polyps, the rest have been retracted for about a week. Even the ones that are open when the lights are on, don't look too healthy. <Mmmm> Could the change to Kent Tech I have something to do with it? <Possibly> Nothing else has changed in the last 2 weeks. I do have another type of button polyp and it actually looks unchanged, and everything else in the tank still looks good. <I DO want to make the fact that Zoanthids are extremely toxic (to other livestock, and you!) emphatically clear... and the bit of data that they can/do often modify their own environment to their own means and detriment at times> I tested for Iodine thinking maybe I should be double-dosing to start...and then remembered the label says that test kits will not read the "timed release iodine", and that testing is neither required nor recommended. <... I don't agree> Well that's kind of unnerving. How do I know if my Iodine levels are within range if I can't test for it? <Got me... nor do I understand, accept some sort of "timed release" claim here... try testing this material in static ocean water. I smell a rat> Thanks for your insight. Your Pal, Chris Mal <I'd hold off on using any Kent product period, do a series of pre-made water changes, spiff up your skimmer... and be patient. Bob Fenner>

Zoa trouble…A follow-up Email Requested 3-30-08 Hello Crew <<Kyle.>> I have a problem I was hoping you could help me out with? <<I will attempt to.>> I have been in the hobby for about 4 years now. First off I have a 65 gallon aquarium with a 20 gallon sump and 250 watt medal halide. My alkalinity is 11 dKH, my Calcium is 450, 0 Ammonia my nitrates and nitrite within normal parameters. <<Sounds good thus far.>> When I started collecting coral I read that mushrooms and Zoas were very hardy corals and a good way to get started. <<A good but general direction.>> That was about 4 years ago. I have a great collection of coral that all thrives in my tank but I have NEVER been able to keep Zoas. I have tried several types, colours and sizes but still they all die. I acclimatize them for approximately two hours before placing them in my tank. I have tried Zoas from friends, LFS and random people but every time without fail I get the same result. Recently I was given some electric green Zoas. For about a month they were thriving even growing new polyps, but for the past 3 or 4 days they have not opened or at least half opened and it's the same old story. They look like they are on the way out. I am at a loss. The Zoas are near the bottom of the tank in medium flow. I have tried several different placements with all of my Zoas. I keep them in the same area for usually a month and then try another area if they are not doing well. I am currently successfully keeping blue candy cane, several different mushrooms, elegance, 2 clams, red Monti, finger leather and frog spawn. I do a 10-gallon water change every week (well sometimes week and a half depending on how lazy I am but at least every week and a half.) I'm wondering if you have any suggestions? <<Kyle usually with Zoanthids varying water quality is the culprit in regards to failure with them but that does not appear to be the case with these…By chance are they getting white spots/bumps on the oral discs? What type Kelvin is your bulb and how "direct" is the light the Zoanthids are receiving? What type of lighting are on the tanks you usually do your purchasing from? DO you does or test for iodine? Any potential predators in the tank; snails, crabs, urchins, fish (what type do you have)? All of these questions may seem remedial or unrelated but they will help to diagnose some issues as well as eliminate others. In the meantime check out the articles I linked below.>> Thank you for all your help <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/blane-zoanthids/zoanthids.htm >> Kyle <<Kyle I look forward to your response and assisting your further, Adam J.>>

Re: Zoa Trouble 4/1/08 Thank you Adam for your quick responds. <<Anytime.>> (sorry I sent one this morning but I was in such a rush I called you Kevin. My bad) <<It's okay, Adam's not my real name anyway…sort of a stage name like those gals at the adult bar near the airport.>> There are no white spots/bumps on the disks. ( I read that can be caused by overexposure to light ?) <<Affirmative.>> Some of the polyps are 1/4 open it looks like they are squinting. But a lot of the polyps are brown and look as if they are rotting. I can send a picture if it would help just let me know? <<Wouldn't hurt…send it along.>> I have 14,000 HQI Phoenix Electric bulbs and I purchase them from Reef Perfection in London, Ontario. I have placed some Zoas directly under the light. I have placed some in caves to give them less light. <<Moderate light about halfway down…to the bottom of you tank would be appropriate.>> These Zoas that I have now are the closest Zoas I have had to living and they are on a rock near the bottom corner of the tank. I do use Iodine but I just add it here and there and I have never tested it, could this lead to Zoas not opening? <<If you are dosing properly and doing regular water changes I doubt this is the problem, however you should be testing for every chemical/mineral that you add to your tank.>> As for predators I have 2 clown fish, a six line wrasse, yellow tang and a bi colored angel. Lucky none of the fish pick at the coral. The Bicolored angel and the clown fish sometimes have minor scuffles but nothing serious. I used to have several hermit crabs but I am now down to just one. He doesn't seem to bother the coral just wonders around aimlessly. I also have an emerald crab (I think but I haven't seen him in a month or two). <<I wouldn't have the funeral quite yet.>> I have done a lot of reading on Zoas in the last several months; I was reading an article about tiny predators eating the Zoas. <<Likely this little attractive but very predatory guy; http://www.reefs.org/hhfaq/snails/faq_heliacus2.jpg/variant/medium .>> Is there any way to detect this ? <<A small, preferably red, light during night time hours…moving the colony (if possible) to a controlled/quarantine environment would be a good idea as well.>> Also if the rest of the coral is opening and thriving is there anything that would only effect Zoas? <<The Heliacus snail image I posted above would fit that that description and they are nocturnal, however I doubt that just one would cause the behavior you describe in your colony during day time hours. I'm still concerned about environmental issues here as well.>> I bought a yellow Fiji leather 3 weeks ago but it melted down about a week ago. <<Now I am definitely suspecting something environmental, though the yellow Fiji leathers are much more sensitive than their hardier cousins. Is there any chance you have any metal compounds making there way into the tank?>> I have been running carbon attempting to remove any toxins left behind from the leather. <<That along with a poly filter and lots of water changes would help, and do consider the benefits of not just quarantining fish but inverts as well…and while your at consider the consequences of not doing it.>> I really hope this helped please let me know if there is any other information I can offer. <<At this point I am still making educated guesses, it's difficult to pinpoint something at the moment. The picture may not help for sure, but it will certainly not hurt…do send one along to me if you can. Zoanthus are more susceptible to disease when placed in turbid water near lots of sedimentation/substrate which can irritate the colony…imagine getting rocks in your mouth when your expecting a steak. In the meantime, take a look at this article as well; http://www.springerlink.com/content/jr2lhp1g5l257418/ ; -Good luck, Adam J.>> Re: Help with Zoas 4/1/08 Hey "Adam" <<Kyle.>> Thanks again for all the information. <<No worries.>> I love to read on any thing Salt Water and although I have already read many of the articles on WetWebMedia.Com they are very helpful. <<Yes I think this is true with many things, you don't catch it all the first read through.>> I have never seen a snail like that in my tank before so I'm assuming its not that. <<Okay.>> I sent you a picture its not the greatest but hopefully it will help. <<Thanks but unfortunately it's a little to unfocussed and distant to be of much help.>> As to your question about metal, my lights are 8 inches off the water and are being held up by rebar would this effect the tank ? <<As long as you watch them for rush and corrosion, I would think not.>> I did not think about the rebar having any effects because it was so high off the water ? Is there anyway to test for metal in the water? <<If there is any it would likely come from your source water, I would contact the local powers that be for an analysis of it….that is if you are using tap.>> The only other metal is a screw on my Mag 7 pump but that was already on the pump. Is there anything else you can think of that would be a large environmental hazard ? <<I'm not seeing anything obvious in this situation.>> I really want to know where I'm going wrong I wish I could keep Zoas. I don't know what else to tell you ? Maybe I should try a large 30%-50% water Change ? <<Perhaps, but I would still be interested for you to attempt keeping some in quarantine in control system and see if you still have the same issues.>> Anything you can offer would be much appreciated. Thank you very much <<Good luck, Adam J.>>

Palythoa/Zoanthid Malady - 03/30/08 Hey crew, <<Hey, Scott>> I love what you do and I hope to be as accomplished someday! <<Thank you for the kind words>> I had an issue that is still haunting me and I was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on it? <<Will try>> Here's a quick break down of my tank: Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites = 0 pH: 8.2 SG: 1.023 (currently raising to 1.026) KH: 11 Ca: 380 (raising this too!) Temp: 78 92 gallon with 1 250w Halide and 225 watts worth of VHO's. 20 times turnover for flow; sump with Chaeto and I'm currently running active carbon. I currently have two Leathers, two Blastos, chili cactus and some mushrooms along with several species of Zoanthids and Palythoa. <<Quite the noxious mix>> I bought a package of exotic Zoanthids and Palythoa. They all came healthy and happy, some opening up within 10 minutes of being in my tank. The reason I'm writing is because the one Paly I didn't want to lose died on me and I can't figure out why. <<Oh?>> It's been about a month now and everything else is doing fantastic. I placed the Paly on the sand bed 6" offset from the halide bulb. The Paly opened up immediately and stayed happy for about a week. I noticed the oral disc turning white and figured it was pretty stressed so I moved it to a higher flow area on the sand bed. It closed immediately with the move and developed large transparent bubbles on its body. <<Mmm…>> I then pulled it out and removed the bubbles (bad move) with tweezers and placed it back in. <<Ideally…this specimen should have been moved to quarantine>> It soon had a brown blotchy spot where the bubbles had been so I assume the Paly developed an infection. <<It likely had some type of bacterial malady from the start…and it's likely luck that kept it from spreading to the other colonies>> It was eaten by my wrasse the next day <<..! Strange>> so I also assume it must have been rotting because my wrasse hasn't touched any of my other healthy Zoanthids or Paly's. <<Hmm, I wouldn't expect this fish to eat these organisms at all…perhaps what was affecting the Palythoa was some form of parasite…and something of interest to the wrasse>> I was also running Caulerpa in my sump at the time which I now know wasn't very smart. <<…?>> I have two main questions. What should I have done with the Paly I lost as soon as I had seen the oral disc turning white? <<Removal to quarantine to segregate the infected specimen from healthy stock…and possible treatment via "dips." Animals will behave differently to different methods, and I never feel "freshwater" dips to be appropriate for corals…best to dip in clean and aged saltwater, with iodine, or a manufactured coral dip like that offered by Tropic Marin, in my opinion. Do search our site re "coral dip" for examples/other's opinions re>> What do you think the clear bubbles could have been? <<Don't know really, trapped gases maybe…generated by deterioration/decomposition>> It was about 5-6 inches away from an Echinata. <<Ah, Acanthastrea echinata? A clue, possibly>> Do they have sweepers? <<Indeed…very powerful…and can be far reaching>> Secondly, I have another Paly that has all the sudden started to act funny. It's body has shrunk significantly, but still opens up. <<Mmm, do you feed these animals?>> Should I move it or get it out of the tank? <<If the only symptom/observation is its getting smaller, no…but do keep an eye on it>> Another case of allelopathy? <<Maybe so…perhaps more carbon is needed on this system…or perhaps what you have needs to be changed out more often. I think the addition of some Poly-Filter would prove beneficial here, as well>> Thank you for your time, Scott <<Regards, EricR>>

Help! Zoa eating nudis -03/16/08 Hi, I hope you can answer an urgent question- I recently noticed Zoanthids disappearing. Today lost several bam bams. I spotted 2- 1/4 inch long green nudis. Googled them and identified them as Zoanthid predators. It said to use flatworm exit. I have some used it before and a different tank. I need to know if this will hurt my RBTA. <The problem with these types of broad scale "medications" is that you never really know what they're going to affect in a reef tank. It might hurt other animals in your tank indirectly. It will kill any flatworms you have (benign or otherwise) and this could also hurt other animals in your tank (some flatworms are toxic upon death).> The package material says it is safe for reef inverts but I would feel better if I got an expert opinion first. <Expert opinion? Hehe... will you settle for mine?> Need answer quick, those buggers are munching away at my Zoas as I type. <My advice would be to remove the Zoanthids to a quarantine tank, and try your best to remove all the Nudibranchs by hand (with teasers under a magnifying glass) and also find and scrape off all the eggs (cheap dental tools you can get at a pharmacy work well). The problem with using flatworm exit for Nudibranchs is that you usually have to use a dose on the order of 5 to even 10x the recommended dose. And who knows how safe or not safe such a treatment is for a whole tank? I wouldn't risk it. If meticulous removal of the pest doesn't work, I would try the flatworm exit, but only in isolation (if possible).> Thank you so much in advance Linda Mecher : ( <Good luck! Sara M.> <<RMF would try the "usual assortment" of probable small predatory wrasses here as well.>>

Losing my zoos! -02/27/08 Hi Guys! <a gal here :-)> I have a 72 gallon reef with a large variety of corals. I have frogspawn, trumpets, Acans. lords, toadstool leather, Crocea clam, mushrooms, zoos, open brain, doughnut coral, other assorted leathers, green star polyps, and some Ricordea. They all survive happily together. <Uh huh, ok> I know that it is hard to meet the needs of all these varieties of corals, but they are all thriving successfully except my zoos and the inexpensive mushrooms. It seems like every six months or so my zoos and mushrooms fail to open and die off. Eventually, they start to come back, thrive successfully, and multiply. I am wondering if this is a natural cycle of some sort of if I am lacking in some kind of nutrient. <Or this is the result of ongoing coral warfare...> I also have an assortment of fish in the tank. A Tomini Tang, 4 Chromis damsels, blue Fiji devil, pygmy angel, clown goby, percula, along with 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 harlequin shrimp, and 1 bristle star and hundreds of tiny nuisance stars. The pH is 8.2, temp is 75.4-77, nitrates not detectable, phosphates are zero, calcium is 460, KH is 8 drops. I do weekly water changes of 5 gallons using RO water and Reef Crystals salt. The nutrients I add weekly are iodine, strontium, and trace elements. I feed the coral 3-4 times a week using Reef Bugs, Zooplankton, phytoplankton, and carnivore pellets. I have a wet/dry filter with a protein skimmer. I use 2 14,000K metal halides and 2 130watt 240/260 actinic 8 inches from the top of the tank. I have 2 1200 and 1 600 maxi jets for circulation and a chiller to maintain the temp. <In my opinion, you have too many different types of corals crammed into too small a space. Eventually, something has to give... I think your mushrooms and Zoanthids are paying the price here. Please see here to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlcompfaqs.htm > I would appreciate and help and suggestions to keep from losing my zoos and mushrooms. Thanks! Chris <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>

Bristle worms and Zoanthids -01/29/2008 Hi Guys, I did a quick search on WWM but couldn't find anything quickly. I just added a very small frag of Zoanthids (after a 10 min dip in Lugol's soln.) into my main tank. This afternoon I got home from a long night shift and found at least 4 sm. bristle worms crawling around them. I pulled off 4 not sure they were good or bad for the Zoanthid and I am completely exhausted from my night shift. Could you just tell me if bristle worms attack or have a symbiotic relationship with my new little frag? <Neither really, they typically just coexist in peace.> I really appreciate it. Thanks, going to bed now. Erika Villanueva <Sleep well, Sara M.>

copods and polyps... comp.?  12/1/2007 Hi all, <Zac> So I have an abundance of copods <... there is no such thing> in my 24gal tank, I have seen a slow decline in my daisy polyps, meaning that they have been slowly disappearing from my once large and healthy colony to a very small colony. My water quality is <20ppm nitrates, 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, 8.1 ph. I do 5gal/25% water change every two weeks, so I don't think that it is my water quality. Anyway, I keep seeing tons of copods in my tank, seeing that they have no predators, because I only have 1 sandsifter goby in my tank right now. I see the copods all over the daisy polyps at night, and also on some red zoos that I have, which are also starting to diminish. On the other hand I also see some tiny blue star fish that are on the daisies and the red zoos, so that might also be the problem. But I have no clue. Thanks, you guys are great. Zac <... What else is in this system stock-wise? What re your supplementing, feeding practices? Could be that these small crustaceans, copepods or otherwise are predaceous... BobF>

Zoanthid eating Nudibranchs   11/30/07 I recently found quite a few Zoanthid eating Nudibranchs in one of my tanks, we have a few that are plumbed together. We have pulled off as many as we can find, dipped them in an iodine solution and pulled off all the egg spirals we can find. <Good> The colonies that are infested are in QT now. My question is this: when the eggs that we haven't found hatch do they have a free swimming larval stage, and if so would a UV sterilizer prevent them from making their way into my other tanks. <No> Is there anything I can do other than quarantining them and pulling the Nudibranchs off with tweezers? Do you know of any fish that would eat them that I could add to my tanks? Thanks for all your help. Amanda <"Eggs develop and hatch as free-swimming veliger larvae with a rudimentary coiled shell. The shell is lost with the larvae metamorphosing into a miniature adult settling on the bottom." (WWM) More rapid, complete physical filtration might sieve them out. Bob Fenner>

Zoanthids dissolving... small tank, Cnid. allelopathy, not reading...  - 10/30/2007 Help! I have been trying to get a handle on my Zoanthids that are shriveling and dying. I added them to my 29g <Part of the problem...> BioCube about 10 days ago and they opened right away and remained healthy looking for several days. I then decided to move them a little closer to the front of the tank, which I know was a bad move, but they seemed to have adapted so well I thought it would be o.k. After the move, only about half the polyps opened, two days later it got worse and some started to shrivel. My thoughts were they reacting poorly to the lighting (MH 175w, 15k, 10hrs per day. Polyps are about 30" from the bulb) so I moved them back to a more shaded area. During the move several dead polyps fell out! I have not target fed, but have done tank feeding of baby brine shrimp and DT's oyster eggs. <...> I did a 20% water change yesterday and things still look grim, even with them in a shaded location. I tested water today and all parameters are where they should be, except ph, which is usually runs 8.2 to 8.4, but today it is around 7.6! I will remedy this right away, but could this be the problem? I have several SPS, LPS and other softies that are doing just fine. <Oh yes...> Is it the intense MH lighting? The low ph? Lack of target feeding? Or, was it the move(s)? <None of the above> Thanks, Tyler. <The presence of "winning" other species of Cnidarians... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Zoanthids dissolving  11/06/07 Thanks for the below response. However I am concerned that Bob F. didn't understand my question and hope that there is someone else that can help me. <Hmm, I like your optimism, but Bob is our mentor. I doubt any of us would be able to help you much more than he can, but I'll give it a shot...> <<Mmm, please... I know little of use compared with the union of all we know here... our "Crew" plus the cumulative input of folks kind enough to write in. RMF>> I have a dying Zoanthid and want to try to save him. Bob F. provided a great link regarding Zoanthids, which would be great if I were considering buying a Zoanthid. He also indicated that the size of my tank, 29g, was part of the problem. As such, I have attached about 20 photos of tanks 34g and less that have not only zoa's with LPS & SPS, but with leathers as well. Can anyone help me? <Here's the problem; every coral is different. You can find Zoanthids which are virtually indestructible. I had such Zoanthids once. I actually TRIED to kill them in a 10g tank. I raised the salinity to >1.045. I turned off the lights for 2 weeks. I did everything imaginable just to see what they could survive. These were some tough Zoanthids! However, I also have Zoanthids that start to shrivel up at any swing of water chemistry or change of temp or lighting conditions. I had some of my Zoanthids shrivel apparently just because a mushroom near them died. The point is that there's a great range of sensitivity among corals of different species (or even within the same species from different environments). Just because you found pictures of some Zoanthids which can survive in a nano tank with other stony and soft corals, that doesn't mean yours can. Furthermore, suppose your Zoanthids were doing REALLY well, this might be bad news for your other corals. This is the trouble with nano tanks housing many different types of corals. In such a small space, coral warfare is intense and there are bound to be losers (if not immediately, then eventually). This happens in ALL confined environments with limited numbers of niches. The few species best fit to survive make it, the rest die off. It's a nearly inescapable phenomenon of nature. It even happens in large tanks... it just happens more slowly. When it happens especially slowly, we call it "old tank syndrome."> I really want to save this coral and am open to suggestions. <Move them to their own tank. If they're alone, you could possibly keep them in a tank as small as 10g (if you are quite diligent in maintaining the stability of the tank-- might help to do water changes with water from the larger tank.)> Tyler.
<Good luck,
Sara M.>

Blue Zoa BUGS!!!  8/20/07 Hey crew, Thanks in advance for all the info already given and provided to us all. Your site/info has been a great resource for me and am sure for others. I am wondering if you could ID these bugs I recently found on my blue Zoas. These bugs seem to make the polyps close randomly in groups. Getting a great picture if these bugs has been tough without sucking or attempting to suck them out with a baster. Less than a millimeter in length, clear, has 2 antennae coming from its head, has multiple legs cant tell home many because its so small. The Zoas and the rock are teaming with these bugs. I have attached a picture to help, don't know how much help it might be. I can always suck one out with a baster in order to get a better picture if needed. Thanks for all the help for giving me a good understanding of what is needed in order to take care of and maintain a marine Aquarium. <Mmm... well... there are a few approaches to control here... with the usual "range of desirability"... biological, physical, chemical last... You can/could interpolate these by a cursory read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swmitefaqs.htm Do you have another "isolation" tank that you might use to eradicate the bulk of these pests? Bob Fenner.

Re: Blue Zoa BUGS!!!  8/20/07 After reading am not to concerned about these bugs just the number of them and the Zoas not opening or only opening for a shirt time. Well, I have am still working on the tanks filters, its an all glass not drilled tank and invested in an overflow with Aqualifter pump, I had plans to have a isolation tank plumbed inline back to sump for an isolation tank. At the moment it is not set up. I do have a 10gal tank sitting around. Thank you. <I do think you're wise to ignore these for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Zoa BUGS!!!   8/24/07 Thank you for all the help you have been, I think for now I will tolerate the spiders, but if continues to be a "major" problem which already seems to have lessoned I will be adding a wrasse. Thanks again Bob for all the help. -Jay
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

Re: Blue Zoa BUGS!!!   8/22/07 I could have told you that Bob! Joking aside I should have mentioned I did move them to a quarantine tank anyways, despite the lack of concern. Thanks to you all wise one, really thank you. Am i better off to leave them in quarantine till they are gone or population diminishes? Also since moving to quarantine I have been able to monitor the Zoas more closely. There are a few white worms with black spots maybe reverse black with white spots curled up on the sides of a couple closed Zoas, probably more on the underside of opened Zoas. also 3 maybe 4 long red stringy worms, almost looks like a piece of red hair flopping about over the sand, coming from under the rock which the Zoas are growing on. My question now is what would be better for the Zoas. From my understanding 2 ways would either be Interceptor or freshwater dip in RO water, adjusted ph and temp of coarse. With addition to these new findings of critters which is better to elevate the problem, interceptor or freshwater RO dip? <Mmm, FW... pH-adjusted... but... I see in your next email that these may be "something else"... Pycnogonids... do they have eight apparent legs to your eyes as well? If anything, I'd go with a purposeful predator here (Lined Wrasse sp. likely)... or just tolerate them if they were mine...> Sounds like ro dip would be better but I am worried of specimen loss, and I am wandering if the Zoas will be able to handle the additional stress levels from a freshwater dip. Thank you wise one, Bob, for making me reconsider my previous statements/actions/concern. <Mmmm, BobF>

Re: Blue Zoa BUGS!!!   8/22/07 Once I put it in Quarantine I was able to get better photos, I have attached 2 pics, to show the infestation and 1 showing the actual "bug" itself which turns out looks more like a grasshopper, a very small grasshopper. <... or a Sea Spider... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pycnogonids.htm and the Related FAQs file linked above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Zoa BUGS!!!  8/23/07 Thanks for the quick reply once again. Figured you were tired of hearing from me, the unwise. Well I see eight legs very hard to determine but definitely looks like there are 8 legs. I noticed when I first put the Zoas in my main tank my Pseudochromis fridmani (spelling?) was picking at the rock, not to sure it was eating anything or not. If I were to get a 6line or a line wrasse I'll run into compatibility issues correct? <Mmm... in a tank this size, I give you good odds of not having real trouble here> 75gal 110lbs live rock. I fear with me having the Pseudochromis fridmani (was my first fish), already has his territory staked out pretty much all the rock on the bottom half) that he will go after a lined wrasse if introduced into my system. I notice with some research to use caution when putting these 2 species together, as long as they don't resemble each other, or need to be introduced at the same time? <The Lined Wrasses are pretty sharp, and fast!> Combination of both? Or just plain luck or am just stupid for even trying to put these species together in the same tank. I would just as easily return the Pseudochromis fridmani (AND THE TWO 3 STRIPED DAMSELS!!!!) but I can not. Girlfriend picked them out for our first fish so kinda stuck with them till he dies (hmm.... gives me an idea, j/k). Thank you Bob you have been of great help. -Jay
<Welcome Jay. BobF>

Yellow Polyps... on the Move  8/6/07 Hi you guys are lifesavers and your site is amazing. <Hi Joe, Mich here, thanking you for your kind words.> About a month ago I bought yellow polyps on a rock to put in my tank. They have been doing well for that time. I have two different 15 watt fixtures one with a coral light the other with a 50/50 light only a 10 gallon tank. Today I noticed a couple of polyps came off, not torn or bitten and still alive on the bottom of my tank. Is this polyp formation dying? <Hopefully not. But it could be stressed. How are your water parameters?> Should I take the polyps out that have come off the rock? or just move them to a different rock? <I would move them to a different rock. Hopefully they will attach. Or place on some rubble rock and cover with a piece of tulle.> Will they hurt my water chemicals like ammonia or nitrate? <Mmm perhaps if the whole colony died but I doubt you would see a change in your water parameters from a few polyps.> Thanks for all your help JOE <Welcome! Mich>

Necrotic Zoo's   7/15/07 Hey crew, <Hi Nathan, Mich here.> I have had a rock of green zoos for about 8 months now, and during that time they have spread throughout the tank very quickly, and I have about 100 or so now. But today I noticed that where once there had been zoo's, there was just a rough reddish-brown mat (in the central part of the picture) covered in coralline algae, and some zoo's around the mat are closed and white. I moved this rock of zoos away from the rest, and into a stronger flow of water. <I see the patch of coralline. But from what I can see the remaining zoos looked to be in pretty good shape. Hopefully this increase in flow will help the situation.> My PC bulbs are old, and I am about to replace them. <I would switch them out gradually, one at a time to avoid any potential light shock.> I had the zoos near a group of mushrooms, but they did not harm each other. Could this be of the lighting? Allelopathy? <Many possibilities here, but I think you made the right move by putting them in an area of increased flow.> Should I remove (cut with razor) the White zoos and the mat? <I would not. I would wait to see if the increased water movement improves the situation.> Is it normal? <Mmm, no, not normal per se. But hopefully you actions will show results.> Any suggestions would be helpful. <At this point I think you have taken the most appropriate course of action.> Thank you,
<Welcome! Mich>

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