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FAQs about Zoanthid Identification 1

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Related FAQs: Zoanthid Identification 2, Zoanthid ID 3, Zoanthid ID 4, Zoanthid ID 5, & Zoanthids, Zoanthids 2Zoanthids 3Zoanthid Behavior, Zoanthid Compatibility, Zoanthid Selection, Zoanthid System, Zoanthid Lighting, Zoanthid Feeding, Zoanthid Health, Zoanthid Reproduction

Unknown critter   5/8/06 Hello all <Howdy Kent>             This is my first attempt at a marine aquarium, and all is going well so far.  Running a 90 litre tank with a couple of ocellaris, live rock and soon hoping to get some coral. <Some?>   This brings me to the point.  I have attached a picture I took in my aquarium of some sort of polyp (my best guess) and am hoping it will be ok with corals. <Is a zoanthid... should get along here>   I welcome any assistance you can give me.  There are probably dozens of pics of this on the net but I have not been able to find them.  The live rock it came on apparently came from up by Cairns, in Australia. <Been there... fabulous town, gorgeous uphill outback... Wish the upcoming int'l. HHH was going to be there instead of Perth>   I did try feeding it a small brine shrimp, and it pulled it into the center.  Incidentally it is about ? an inch tall.             Thank you in advance, Kent <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Coral ID, Zoanthids - 04/17/2006 Happy Holidays Crew, <And to you Homer.> I have a rock that a friend gave me as he was getting rid of his saltwater tank. The rock has some kind of coral that I am having a hard time IDing. <Ok...there's the pic.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have attached a photo. <These are Zoanthids Homer. Hmm...correction, these are grumpy Zoanthids. With time and care these should open right up. Start here for more info. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm .> Thank you
Homer J.
<Oh.. uh..ungh...must resist ;) - Josh>

Coral... zoanthid ... double-posted two-fer 04/17/2006 Happy Holidays Crew, I have a rock that a friend gave me as he was getting rid of his saltwater tank. The rock has some kind of coral that I am having a hard time IDing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have attached a photo. Thank you Homer j <Looks like some sort of Zoanthid to me. Perhaps an Isaurus sp. Bob Fenner>

Yucky Zoanthus?  12/26/05 Hi Crew, <Hi Lisa.>   You have a great site, its been a big help lately but I just cant seem to find out what this is.   <I'll see what I can do to help you out.> It looks like a zoanthid but I haven't seen any polyps extract <Extend?> from it.   This coral is not of my own but I do have the opportunity to buy it.  It seems to have a lot of mucus on it as well.  a few people have said it looks like a very irritated zoo and the mucus might by why the polyps wont come out. <Almost impossible to say anything or advise without a photo. However if they are Zoanthus they do not sound like they are in very good shape at all. Zoanthus are quite hardy and should open even in marginal lighting and sub-par water conditions.  The mucus sounds like some sort of fungal or bacterial infection, even a parasite possibly.> Any help would be grateful.   <Sorry I could not be of more help.>      Marry Christmas and Happy New Year <To you as well Lisa, be safe.> Lisa <Adam J.>

Invertebrate ID - Zoanthids 6/20/05 First of all, I want to join in with the masses and thank you for the wonderful and informative website.   <Thanks kindly!> It has been my number one reference for researching my re-entry into marine fishkeeping.  I recently purchased a bunch of used equipment to set up my corner 55 gallon tank, in which I plan on keeping some peaceful fishes (a  Banggai cardinal, a Jawfish, a shrimp goby w/ shrimp-friend, a sand- sifting goby, and a couple of neon gobies).  Any advice on a good order to introduce them? <All are peaceful enough... although I doubt that you have enough sand depth for the Jawfish (6"/15cm bare minimum... double that is better). Plus... they do poorly in mixed species tanks. A species tank would be much better here. And perhaps add the goby last as they can be a bit territorial> Although my tank is newly established with a 4+ inch DSB with sugar- fine aragonite sand, much of the live rock came from a well-established aquarium.  Although I scrubbed much of the long algae off before I set up the tank, there was still lots of pink, purple, and red coralline algae on the rocks, along with a base of green fuzzy algae.  Within a week of running in the tank, these polyp creatures showed up on a piece of live rock, along with many tiny featherduster worms all over the tank.  I see two separate species of polyps, one of which has a dark, purplish center (mouth/anus) <... one in the same for some people I know...> and a ring of many randomly ordered tentacles with very fine green lines pointing to the center.  It is about 15mm around, there is only one of him, and I swear he moved about 1 1/2" across the rock one night.  The others,  of which there are many, varying in size from a couple of millimeters to one centimeter, have a white center and a neat row of mini green tentacles with no lines pointing to the center.  At first I though I might of had a flower pot  coral, then I thought they might be zooanthids.   <yes... they appear to be the latter: colonial anemones, so-called "button polyps." A Zoanthid> If my description and barely adequate picture can help you identify these new friends for me, I would be very grateful.  I didn't plan on adding any cnidarians until I had a better handle on my water quality and more experience, but the miracle of the reef has blessed me with an early surprise.  I just want to identify and not kill these guys. <No worries... they are very durable as you can now attest to> Thanks in advance, Joel Schwartz <Best regards, Anthony>

Cnidarian Organism ID - 5/28/2003 Hello Crew People: <cheers, my friend> Hey, I have this round thing that started to grow on my LR.  I like to catch things early in case of a potential problem.   <agreed... and if it is desirable, to nurture it ASAP> Any idea what it is, or where I can look for it?  Is it like a polyp or something good?  Thanks, Rich. <does appear to be a small Zoantharian button polyp. A welcome find if so. Do send another/clearer pic as/if it gets bigger. Seems harmless at any rate. Best regards, Anthony>

Strange polyp growth Hello Crew! <JediRay> I have a polyp colony that is  doing great since coming out of  QT.  It originally only covered  about 1/2 of a rock and now coats nearly  the entire thing!   They  start out a whitish-brown and then turn to a bright  green when the   polyps mature.  The last month or so, there have been these   strange growths at the end of the rock (the side the polyps expanded  to).   I originally thought they were polyps but they show no sign  of opening up.   Any ideas to what they are?  Attached is a  pic of them.  I have  searched and searched and found nothing that  looks like what these are.   Feel free to post it if you know what   they are.  Thanks <A zoanthid of some sort. Looks like a Protopalythoa species to me. Bob Fenner>

Pic on comp. 1 that's on the fritz (not zyme). TBA later

Elegant Moon Polyp I purchased some live rock and had a polyp type thing on it.  I haven't successfully gotten a good pic of it yet, but it doesn't have any long tentacles on it.  I looked at the "live aquaria" website under polyp coral and it really looks like an elegant moon polyp.  My question is, there is only one of these "button" looking things, is this possible or is it something else? << Well it is possible.  Without seeing a picture I don't think any of us can really help you out.  The main items to watch are to see if it has a hard skeleton, does the polyps ever retract all the way, and a general color may help. For now, I would just let it keep growing and wait six months.  After that time it may be large enough to photograph and identify. >> Thanks and love your site! << Thanks, we love your questions. >> Donna <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Algae or coral ?? These just appeared on live rock from a crevice after having it for four months. They are like a bubble but not sphere shaped, flat on top. The bottom is reddish-purple with small tan spots and transparent. The top is cream color with dark spots. There were two at first but now seem to be growing more small ones from base. Have looked at all kinds of pics and never saw these. I'm attaching a picture and I hope it helps. Algae or coral??   This rock was covered with Aiptasia anemones and reading on your cite helped rid my 90 gal. tank of them. they were spreading all over. I got two peppermint shrimp and they ate all of them. large and small...I wish I had a before pic. They were gone when I got to borrow a camera.                                                           Thank you.                                                                    
<Actually... looks like a zoanthid to me. Please see here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm Bob Fenner>  

Zoanthid ID 6/7/03 Hey Guys, <Howdy> I bought 45Lbs of live rock about 8 months ago and noticed this little guy starting to grow. It seems to be doing pretty well considering my lighting in my take is minimal(2X40 watt bulbs 1 power glow and 1 actinic blue) I suppose its some type of coral but not sure what. <it is actually a zoanthid: AKA "Button Polyp"> I know the pictures aren't great but it was hard to get the camera focused. Any Ideas? <yep... bring the subject closer to the front of the glass for a sharper focus and shorter field of depth <G>> Best Regards, Jason Hester Mobile, Alabama
<best regards, Anthony>

Protopalythoa toxica?  11/17/03 Hello WetWeb, I recently acquired a star polyp that I believe is a Protopalythoa Toxica. A photo is attached. <alas... we cannot ID to species reliably by photograph... but similar/same agreed> I purchased this at a LFS and was told it was from Hawaii. The polyps were not attached to any kind of rock and was told rock cannot be removed from Hawaii. <correct, I believe... but the do get shipped occasionally. Wish it weren't so> I have placed it in substrate. Lighting is PC 220 watts (110 watts at 10,000 and 110 Actinic) on a 55 Gal. tank. <heavy blue light indeed... great for LPS and some softies., corallimorphs> This tank is about 17" tall. The LFS told me they feed theirs frozen Mysis shrimp. Mine does not seem to want Mysis. What else do they eat? <they will eat small/tiny minces meats of marine origin... mysids are good. Yours may simply need more time to acclimate. Feed zooplankton substitutes> Next question: A few of the polyp heads have changed from a gray green mottle to having yellow in them. Is this normal? <yes... variable color and adaptations to the change in lighting> Not sure you can tell from the picture. I have been reading Anthony's book and realize they are poisonous and will heed warnings. John <heehee... true my friend... and the species name underscores it all <G>. best regards, Anthony>

Re: Protopalythoa toxica 11/18/03 Anthony, Thanks for the quick response. Will these attach to LR? <yes... in time they will easily> As stated I have them placed in substrate. Should I attach to LR using maybe fishing line? <personally preferences... they will grow and spread across rock or rubble just the same> I had them placed on LR at first without attaching. Turns out my clown fish didn't like it there and kept knocking it off the rock. <my guess is a maroon clownfish? They are notorious for this <G>> I am enjoying your  book. Very informative. Keep up the good work! John <ahh... thanks kindly for your interest/support! Best of luck :) Anthony>

Zoanthids in Japan  Dear Mr. Fenner, Hello - my name is Jamie Reimer and I am a Canadian graduate student at Kagoshima University studying Zoanthids in southern Kyushu, Japan. I have been working with a Zoanthid species for 2 years now, and I am still having problems identifying it down to the species. I picked up your e-mail address from the wetwebmedia.com site as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to ID my species. Anyways, I wanted to ask if you or anyone you know could point me in the right direction as to IDing this species.... as you can imagine, access to English books over here is a bit limited... Thanks for your time, sincerely, Jamie Reimer <Will send your query along to the ever-so astute stony coral (though I know that these are not of that Order...) taxonomists Douglas Fenner and J. Veron for their in turn referring you to up-to-date help. Am surprised that you have not (or don't mention) finding current researchers names, whereabouts that might be able to help you through a literature search... Do you have BIOSIS, Zoological Abstracts online there? Hmm, be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Mysterious life forms Hello, I was hoping you could help identify a couple of mysteries in my 72 gal reef tank. <I'll try> The first came with a piece of green Alcyonium leather coral that got through FFExpress. On the small piece of rock that the coral is attached to there are two identical creatures that live side by side. They both have a whitish colored 'stalk' about the diameter of a string bean and is about 1/2" long. On top of the stalk is a brownish colored slightly concave disk about the size of a dime, or maybe just a bit smaller. The edge of the disk is lined with tiny hair like projections that radiate straight out and are about 1/2 mm long. These creatures are both basically resting against the soft coral, and don't' react to much. <A zoanthid of some sort probably> The other is a mysterious set of brown tentacles that appears now and then from a small piece of live rock. The tentacles are dark brown, about 1/4" long or maybe a little more and taper to fine tips. Is this the dreaded Aiptasia?? <Maybe... but if stays in own place w/o reproducing out of control, not so dreaded/ful> Any ideas what these two things could be, and should I remove them? <I'd ignore both for now> Thank you in advance. <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Question?, Coral ID Can you please identify this piece for me? I add calcium, iodine, strontium and molybdenum, and Phytoplex to the system through out the week. Does this piece require any thing else?  <possibly doesn't eat much or any phytoplankton. Zooplankton is much better for most coral. Phyto for clams, gorgonians and some Neptheids in gross terms> Does it need low, medium or high lighting. <it is a Zoantharian (zoanthid). Likely moderate to high light and feeding by absorption supplementally but little organismal feeding (Protopalythoa relatives are heavier feeders organismally).> Thanks
<best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Zoanthids? Hi guys, I have a quick identification question. We went and bought some polyps this weekend that look like giant button polyp zoanthids that are a brown and white marble sort of color. They are very large and we were told at the LFS that we bought them at that they are called cinnamon polyps.  <I know them very well. I poisoned myself three times in ten years as a coral farmer with them. They are potentially fatally toxic, but know that many corals are that you don't know about. Besides not eating your corals <smile>, you often hear that one should wear gloves in the aquarium to protect your corals from contamination on your hands and to protect your of course from these stinging animals. This is a good reason. Just do not handle them with cuts on your hands or propagate them without wearing gloves <G>. The worst that you are likely to encounter is a metallic taste in the mouth if you work in the tank without gloves. The creature is also known as the Giant Sun Polyp, Protopalythoa grandis. A beautiful creature that also occurs marbled with pink and green! as well as with radiating red and white stripes.> We have not been able to find anything on Wet Web that looks like them or on the rest of the internet, probably because we have the wrong name for them. If you could please maybe give me an idea of what these giant polyps are.  <yep...Giant Sun Polyps <G>. Always use the name (Proto)palythoa grandis or P. toxica (Pacific)> Thanks for any info. you can give. Marci = ) <best regards... and hear is a fascinating article on the toxin in such Zoantharians:

Red Stick Polyps... Hi... <howdy!> I've pored over the WetWebMedia site and haven't found the answer to this question, so I was hoping you could help. The LFS has a livestock I haven't seen before (a rather rare occurrence for me). It's a long, hollow tube about 0.5 inches in diameter, maybe 6 inches long. The tube has many of what look like pink polyps (or red), although they are rather tall (maybe 0.5-0.75 inches long each); they are all along the tube, all around it (maybe 50 crammed into this small area).  <yep... an aposymbiotic zoanthid symbiotic with the tube/sponge upon which it rests> The store says they are actually a form of anemone, and I suppose they could be,  <eh... sort of. The are commonly called "colonial anemones"> but they apparently don't propagate off of the base tube.  <separate creatures but dependant upon each other> For placement, they mount it on a chopstick, which they stick into the rocks and have it hang into the middle of the tank.  <it makes little difference how they mount them... they will starve to death within months like most. The advent of refugium strategies and the culture of natural nanoplankton someday will help us to keep this filter-feeder. Till then... save a life and don't buy it (spare the re-ordering of another by your sale, that is)> It's rather pretty, and the LFS calls it "reef safe".  <and "reef starving" too in aquaria> I'm curious what it actually is, and if you have any experience with it. Thanks a ton...:) Arthur <a beautiful creature that needs a species specific tank and possibly live plankton drips (daily) to survive. Not for any mixed reef aquarium likely. Very difficult to keep. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow polyp picture to identify Hi again, <Hi> here is a pic of my yellow polyps I stole off the internet. Can you please tell me what type they are and what they need? <First of all, it's important to point out that no one has identified the "yellow polyps" we get in the trade. I can say, however, that most likely it's in the genus Parazoanthus. Because no one is collecting azooxanthellate specimens from the Baltic Sea or Mediterranean, these specimens contain zooxanthellae and will get nutrients through lighting. These polyps, as you can tell, also contain long tentacles. The more carnivorous corals will have longer tentacles to ensure a better ability for food capture. With that said, meaty foods such as brine shrimp (anything small enough to fit into the oral disk) will benefit the coral. Overall, these polyps are extremely hardy and will do quite well in a variety of conditions. > Thank you,
<Take Care, Graham.>

Aiptasia? 3/3/04 Hello,  We came back from vacation yesterday and found this guy growing in our tank.  I think it is Aiptasia and I want to get rid of it; but my wife thinks it may be some type of mushroom.  Could you please positively ID this for me?  I have attached a picture; please let me know if it is clear enough.  Thanks in advance!  Dave <Hi Dave.  The critter in your picture is a Protopalythoa sp.  They are desirable soft corals
<<Mmm, actually a zoanthid... not a soft coral... one of my pet peeves, sorry. RMF>>
, often called "button polyps", definitely not Aiptasia.  Nothing at all to be worried about.  Best Regards.  Adam>

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