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FAQs about Zoanthid Systems

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

Related FAQs: Zoanthid Lighting, Cnidarian Systems, Zoanthids, Zoanthids 2Zoanthids 3Zoanthid ID, Zoanthid Behavior, Zoanthid Compatibility, Zoanthid Selection, Zoanthid Feeding, Zoanthid Health, Zoanthid Reproduction

Button polyps acting funny..??    10/29/13
I have acquired two separate small pieces of live rock with button polyps growing on them. They were fine for about three months and now a few have opened up (all the way if you will) and wrapped down around themselves. I have tested my water 8.2 pH, the tank is cycled and i have 10ppm nitrates and am running a protein skimmer. They all eat (even the closed ones) when i feed them. Am dosing Fluval 3-Ion and running a protein skimmer.
They have been like this for going on 5 weeks. there are more pictures of them in my photobucket account.
<... what other Cnidarian life is in this system? Do you dose iodide-ate?
If so, what, how? The NO3 is fine; do you have measurable HPO4? Bob Fenner>

Re: Button polyps acting funny..??       10/29/13
2 small mushroom polyps and they are clear across the tank on a different pile of rocks. All my fish are being QT for marine Ich but that's been ongoi to 8 weeks now. So there is a cleaner shrimp, 3 hermit crabs, 3 turbo snails, 2 bumblebee snails and a Fromia starfish. And my phosphate are 0ppm.
<Ah yes; a problem. Search, read on WWM re the need for all chemo-photosynthates for some/measurable soluble phosphate. BobF>

Zoanthid Only System: System setup. 8/16/2010
<Hi Darren.>
This is my first time writing WWM.
I've got a few years of experience with marine systems and some experience with Zoanthid/Palythoa species, but I'm far from an expert. I'm in the process of setting up a 10 gallon Zoa/Paly only system.
<Could be a very interesting display.>
The cycle is complete, and I've added a few frags that seem to be doing well thus far,
but I was wanting some good tips on how to make a system like this thrive.
Could you please comment on my system components, as well as a few additional questions?
My system at the moment is:
1) 10 gallon display, drilled
2) 10 gallon DIY sump/refugium (currently no macro algae, only rock and sand)
3) Mag Drive 7 Return Pump
4) 50 Watt Heater (Controlled by Reefkeeper Lite)
5) Phosban reactor (Currently only running carbon, changed monthly)
<Good. Keep up with the carbon, Zoanthids can be pretty noxious.>
6) 1 - 175 Watt Metal Halide (Single Ended, 14,000K Hamilton -
Photoperiod is currently 7 hours per day, no supplemental lighting)
<May want to add an actinic here - it really makes the colors on the Zoas 'pop'>
7) Supplementation: ESV B-Ionic 2 Part (Currently adding 2.5 ML of each part per day)
8) Mechanical Filtration: Filter sock, changed 2 times per week.
9) Skimmer: None (Relying on mechanical and chemical filtration and frequent water changes to polish the water)
<As long as it is weekly, and a couple of gallons, that should be fine.
Zoanthids actually prefer slightly 'dirtier' water>
Current Parameters:
1) pH: 7.9
<8.1 - 8.3 would be better.>
2) Ammonia: 0
3) Nitrates: 0
4) Nitrites: 0
5) Calcium: 400-420
6) Alkalinity: 8.7 -8.9
7) Magnesium: Not Tested
8) Temperature: 79.5 - 81.0
9) Salinity: 35 PPT
Additional Questions:
1) I'm not currently feeding the tank, as the Zoanthids are the only items in the tank. The tank was stocked with rock that had been bleached and dried from an old system, and it was cycled using raw table shrimp.
Should I feed the tank (I've heard that Zoanthids can prefer higher nutrients), should I feed the Zoanthids directly, and if so, what would you recommend feeding?
<A seafood mash works well, just turn the water circulation off when you feed. no more than twice a week.>
2) In a 10 gallon system, is there a high risk of burning the Zoas with the 175 metal halides?
<Only time will tell. It is a bit 'overkill' for a 10 gallon tank in my opinion, A T-5 HO system would serve you just as well, and be a lot easier on your wallet when the electric bill comes.>
The light is currently 15-20 inches off of the
water, and the Zoanthids are all on plugs at the bottom of the tank as I acclimate them. I'm currently able to keep the temperature under control, so lowering the bulb may result in heat issues.
<Good, temperature management is always an issue with halides.>
3) Currently, the only flow in the system is the return pump. I've tried a few powerheads, but I end up spewing water all over the floor.
Would you suspect that the return will be sufficient or would you recommend supplemental flow?
<More flow is better than less, of course, within reason. perhaps a few Nano powerheads deepen in the tank.>
4) I've read where mushrooms can take on "trumpet" or "bell" shapes based on too much or too little lighting. I have a few polyps that seem to trumpet with the Zoas. Do they react similarly as far as lighting
intensity goes?
5) I've read a few things about dipping all new Zoa additions in various solutions of Iodine and/or Flatworm Exit.
Outside of proper acclimation and/or quarantine, along with close visual inspection, do you recommend dipping new arrivals as some people recommend?
<Yes, as well as a quarantine if possible.>
6) Are there any vital items that you can see that I've missed or done incorrectly that could be changed to result in a thriving system?
<I think your lighting is a bit much A mixture of 10 - 14K T-5 with an actinic would be much easier to operate.>
Like I said, I've got some experience with Zoanthids, but nothing specialized, so
I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can.
<Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm >
Thanks so much for your help and advice,
<My Pleasure.>

Zoanthids, Mushrooms and Light Intensity and Duration - 10/21/08 Hey crew, <<Hello>> Thanks for answering my previous questions, <<Quite welcome, I'm sure>> it has been very helpful and much more accurate than some of the stuff you see on posting sites! <<Ah good>> I have another question for you. I am keeping a 55gal (fish focused) tank with good levels (1.025, 79.8-81.6, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5-10ppm, ph 8.2) and good flow (1300gph with powerheads and return pump). I wanted to grow some low light zoos and mushrooms on the rocks for a more natural look to the tank (still fish focused). I have read on here that some people have attempted to keep them with as little as 15w of 50/50 N.O. light. <<Mmm…a bit low for a tank the size of yours, in my opinion>> Currently I have a dual strip N.O. T-5 with a 10k and a 03 bulb and a N.O. single strip t8 with 50/50 bulbs. <<Okay…and a good spectrum mix for what you want to do I think>> My total watts are 96. I went this way over a pc fixture for cost of fixture and cost of bulb replacement (and it was just a FOWLR tank). The questions: 1. Will this be enough light (with feeding Cyclops) to get the zoos to grow out (I know not optimal)? <<Yes… Though I would be inclined to add another N.O. bulb or two (50/50) if possible>> 2. Are there zoo/Shroom species that do better in lower light conditions that you would recommend? (keeping in mind that this will remain a fish focused tank) <<Not so much species as the color variants within... In my experience, with few exceptions, those organisms with red or blue coloration seem better adapted to, or may do better at, the lower light intensities. I have found this to be especially true among Corallimorpharians. But with your tank and current lighting setup I wouldn't expect this to be an issue>> 3. Assuming yes to #1, how many hours do you suggest I run these lights? <<I prefer a "tropical" lighting period of 12-14 hours for all tropical systems. You can set the Actinic to come on/go off within this period an hour before/after the rest of the lights to simulate a dawn/dusk period if you like…not a necessity, but the fish at least will appreciate the "warning" before the tank goes completely dark>> Thanks for all your help! <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Zoanthid, sys. lighting    10/8/08 Hi Crew, <Ranjith> Is it possible to give too much light to shallow water Zoas? <Mmm, yes> I look at the encrusted rock and decide what location the specimen could have been taken from and thus decide the appropriate light levels. <Ahh!> I know that this is not a bullet proof way of judging but is the best guess work that can be done. For e.g. if the encrusted rock is non-calcareous of the kind you find on the rocky shores, I see a stronger possibility that the specimen was collected in shallow water. <Mmmm, maybe> Anyways, this worked with my metallic green Zoas that insist on MH lights to open even a bit. 3 days ago, I got another variety with red color on a similar type of rock. The LFS has them under a 150W 20K MH at 6" under the water level. The light was hanging 10" off the water level at the LFS. The Zoas were fully open. I placed this at a slightly lower level (12"-15" below the water level) but in full light (I have 150W 20000 and 14000 double ended bulbs 2"-4" off the surface of water) Sure enough, the Zoas opened up nicely with each polyp opening fully. While I placed them, I saw the opportunity to frag them as the rock was already broken and the colony was coming apart in 2 places. One day after, they all have closed up. My existing Zoas and Palythoa are fine. I waited for a day and then moved 2 of the 3 lower down to the level of the substrate (23" deep) Still not more than 5% change. I had also added one "finger leather" at the same time and it did give off some waxy substance (regular cleaning process I think) <Likely so> However, the Palythoa next to it is not affected at all and the leather has almost shed all the wax and is showing good polyp extension. <Chemical activity does not affect all the same> Tank is 500Liter with 3"-5" DSB. The tank is having one return pump (around 1000 LPH effective flow after the head) and one Vortech turned on at 75% for circulation. That is pretty fine for Zoas right? <Should be, yes> Nitrate ranges between 2.5 to 5 ppm. ALK at 3.5 Meq'l and CA at 250-300 Salinity is .24 to.25 <... 1.0-> Filtration is by one crappy Azoo skimmer and my sump baffles are covered with sponges to help absorb nutrients. <Mmmm, sponges?> 80 odd Kgs of Live rock. Loads of pods Livestock I have a 3 Zoas, 2 Shrooms, 1 moon coral and 2 Palythoa. Cheers Ranjith <I would be patient at this stage... move the Zoanthids in a week if no change in their behavior. Bob Fenner>

Re: Zoanthid, sys.    10/9/08 Hi Bob, Thanks for the response. <Welcome> The sponges in the sump baffles are the regular brown or whitish kinds you find on some rocks etc. they seem to have colonized the baffles. I presume they are helping the biological filtration? <Yes> You mention I should be patient and move them if no change in a week. There is already some bit of improvement in the past one day. Around 10% of the polyps are opening (not fully though) <Ah, good> The question is how much improvement would indicate the light levels are fine? <Most any> Ps: do lionfish eat pods? <If they're relatively of appropriate size, yes> Mine seems to be :) Cheers Ranjith
<And you, BobF>

Polyps and Water Flow 03/09/2008 Dear Crew, <<G'Afternoon, Andrew today>> I have a 20 gallon fully cycled aquarium with nothing but live rock and a newly bought group of button polyps. The tank has one 15W 50/50 lighting and a overall strong water flow from my filter. I have perched the polyp rock at about 9" from the top of the aquarium (that is the highest spot that I can place them due to the height of the live rock, 16" height total) so they can have adequate lighting. 0 ppm ammonia and nitrite, 0-20 ppm nitrate (as accurate as the test strip can get, the color is closer to 0 than 20, both are a peach color of different hue). <<A nice little coral which can survive in quite low lights, however, when under more powerful lighting, their colour really jumps out, amazing>> My question is, what is low to medium water flow? I currently have my power head directed at the location slightly above the polyps. The flow is not moving the polyps, but the mucus on them is swaying. Their tentacles are not moving either. Even if I directed my power head at them, the don't sway. Is this low to medium water flow? <<In a tank such as yours with these, you want to be looking around 500gph water flow in the tank, provided by powerheads. I personally don't class skimmers and filters in the tank circulation amount. I would suggest, from what you have said, you may be a little under flow.>> Thank you for you time. <<Thank you for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Polyps and Water Flow 03/10/2008 Dear Crew, <<Hi, Andrew again>> Thank you for your response. <<No problem, glad I could help>> You are much more help than any source I have searched so far. I have been bashed throughout forums for trying to grow my coral under my 15 Watt 50/50 lighting. I was assured "certain death" of the polyps. I have moved half of my aquarium so that natural sunlight may hit the coral during midday for about 3 to 4 hours. Will the polyps die with my lighting system? I don't mind if they are dull in color, but I certainly don't want a dead animal. <<Well, they are not going to thrive, that's for certain and yes, they could do a lot better under more lighting, however, I have seen these kept successful under this level of lighting>> I have a 250gph canister filter on my 20 gallon. If I directed all of the flow from it onto the polyps, that is still not enough right? If the polyps are in front of the blast they do move as the water flow is very strong (I did not aim correctly yesterday). For a healthy water flow (I will try to prevent laminar flow, but that is difficult in a smaller tank so I'll do my best) should the polyps be gently swaying or thrashing about? <<A gentle sway is fine for these>> <<Thanks for the follow. A Nixon>>

Re: Polyps and Water Flow 03/11/2008 Ah, once again, thank you. My final 2 questions: <<No problem>> 1) Will 3 of my current lights make the coral thrive? I plan to build my own hood and use 3 x 15 Watt 50/50 lighting. The coral placement will still be 9" vertically from the light source. <<To be honest, if your going to DIY a hood, i would save up the money and go for a more higher powered lighting system>> 2) If the above will not work, how many of my current lights will I need? (If too many then please tell me a better option). <<It really depends on your budget. If you are going to DIY this, then i would get some T5 lighting in the hood, and use individual reflectors on each tube to make the best use of the light>> Thank you for your help. <<Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Mushrooms and Zoanthid System 01/21/2008 Hello Crew, I hope all is well in your world. <<Hello Jeffery, Andrew here. The world is all wonderful thank you>> If you have received this Email before, I sincerely apologize. I know ya'll are flooded daily. I recently set up a 140 gallon tall 60x18x30. It is now cycling with 120 lbs of newly purchased live rock. I've been doing massive water changes and use an Aqua C EV 400 with a GenX mak4 pump for skimming to keep water parameters in check during the cycling process. I do run my skimmer 24/7, 365 days a year. <<No need to carry out water changes until your cycle has finished. Just carry out a 50% water change at the end to replenish>> Due to my recent move to a bigger house with a bigger mortgage payment, I had to give up my 240 and put it in storage along with my Dolphin Ampmaster 4700 electricity consuming pump. The new tank is circulated with a GenX mak4, identical to the one I have running my skimmer. The skimmer, heaters, float switch etc, are all housed in a 40 gallon sump below the tank. I have 2 overflow boxes and each one has been drilled for 2 inch id drains and 1 1/4 id returns. The 140 was a happy compromise between me and my wife. So with that said, I have all the equipment that's left over from the previous tank. The question I have for you is about the lighting from the old tank. I have 1 60inch 4x96 watt Pc fixture, 1 36inch 4x96watt Pc fixture, and 1 48inch T5 Nova Extreme 4x54 watt HO fixture. In the new tank I wish to keep various mushrooms, including, Ricordea Florida and Ricordea Yuma. I would also like to keep a variety of zoanthids. (Zoanthus, Palythoa, Protopalythoa, etc.) I don't wish to house any Sps, clams or any other high light organisms. Given the 18 inch width of the tank I could squeeze the T5 4x54watt fixture and either the 60inch 4x96wattPc or the 36inch 4x96watt. Not all three would fit due space constraints. The T5 fixture is 7 ? wide and both Pc's are 12 wide a piece. So stacked front to back I would still have 1 1/4 inch hanging over the back of the aquarium, but all the bulbs would still be over the tank. I was planning on putting the T5's 4x54watt up front, and using the 36in Pc 4x96 in the back since it would fit perfectly between the 2 corner over flow boxes. In both of the Pc fixtures I have dual daylight 6700/10000k and dual actinic 420/460nm. And in the T5's I have 2 54 watt 10000k and 2 54watt 460nm. The tank has 3 inches of substrate so the depth is more like 27 inches. Do you think this will be adequate lighting PAR wise for these animals, given the 30 inch height of the tank, or shall I invest in something else? I really hate to buy anything else since I already have these on hand, but I will if need be. I could also switch the bulbs on the Pc's to all dual daylight since I have some on hand if you think that would help improve things. <<At this depth of tank, I would suggest to you to keep the higher light demanding species of coral towards the top of the tank as the current lighting units, with the parabolic reflectors will not offer a fair amount of lighting at the bottom. Of course, if money was not that much of an issue, then I would upgrade to metal halides and be done with it. Or, if budget dictates, refit all the current lighting into a hood and use individual reflectors to give that extra little push of lighting towards to the bottom of the tank>> On the T5's I have the standard parabolic reflector and on the Pc's the same. I know it would help if I had individual reflectors on these fixtures. If I run the T5's and one of the Pc's that would give me 600 watts total which I know really doesn't mean much. The whole watts per gallon thing is kind of out dated in my opinion. I guess I could pick up a Lux meter to know the exact amount of light the tank is receiving at varying depths. I'm not sure this would be necessary though. I have studied up on the requirements of all these creatures and realize different species and different color morphs require different amounts of light. <<It's very nice to hear that you're putting in the research for the corals you want. Some only tend to do this research "AFTER" they have brought a coral>> I realize, running carbon, keeping lenses, bulbs, and reflectors clean can all play a part on how much light actually penetrates the water. I also read through all the faqs on lighting corals and marine invertebrates on the WWW media website. Books I've read include, Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals, Bob's CMA, Bob and Anthony's Reef Invertebrates, and all of Scott W Michaels work. All are very good books in my opinion<<Certainly, great books indeed>>. My next purchase will be a copy of Anthony's Book of Coral propagation. So In your humble opinion do you think this lighting scheme will suffice for these Cnidarians? <<As said above, it can be made to work by adding corals at different depths, depending on their requirements, and not based on tank visuals of where you would like to have them>> Oh, and one last question. Sorry, I didn't want to have to send two separate Emails. Is there enough room to house an adult Yellow and Hippo Tang in this tank with the given foot print. 60x18x30T The tank isn't crammed full of rock and is set up as two patch reefs, one on each side, with bolt holes in both. There's a good 1' to 1'1/2 foot above the rock for swimming room. I read through the Paracanthurus systems faqs before asking this. James (Salty Dog) says <Five foot and longer tanks make much better quarters for tangs.>Scott F says < I would not house an adult Hippo in anything less than a 6 foot tank, to be quite honest > Mich says <A happy home for Dory would be at least 100 gallon.> Scott W Michael suggests a 75g minimum for the Yellow and A 100g minimum for the Hippo. Different forums on websites like reefcentral.com, 3reef.com, thereeftank.com and many others all say different things. I know the Yellow tang by itself would work into adult hood. I'm just not sure if it would be cruel if I had a Hippo also. I did have this mix in my old tank. It was a standard 240 8x2x2. I know that's really not a fair comparison. I realize these fishes have a territory of a football field or larger in the wild. I guess a large public aquarium would be the closest thing to a natural habitat for them. If you think I should leave out both of these fishes I will. Anyway, I thought I'd try to squeeze one more stocking opinion out of you. <<Your tank, at 5 feet in length, coupled with the width, will house both the tangs in question, yes>> Thank you for any input you might have. I appreciate all you all do for this hobby. You all do really great work. Thank you in advance, Jeffery <<Thank you for the questions, hope it helps. A Nixon>>

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

Green zoos...   3/31/07 Hello guys! <And gals.  Brandon here tonight.> I had a couple questions for you.   <Shoot.  I will try my best.> First off I had a lighting question about my green zoos I just purchased.   <Ok.> They are amazing and stay open all day with the light on, and then they will close up at night time when the light is off which is fine.   <I would hope.  These guys will do whatever they want to do.> When I turn my moon lights on though, they open back up.  Since I normally turn my moon lights on over the night, I was wondering if this is bad for the zoos considering they are theoretically open all day then.   <Consider cutting back the brightness of the moon lights.  I wouldn't say bad, they are closing for protection, but I would still cut back the amount of moon light.> Also I had another question about salt.  I recently noticed that I can purchase salt for much cheaper if I buy it in the 5 gallon buckets, but it would be a different brand.  Is this going to be an issue?   <Depends on the brand.  Cheap salts can leak NO3 into your system.> Lastly I had a question on feeding.  I recently made a my own little ice cubes of food for the fish (blue tang, percula clown, tomato clown, hawk fish, diamond goby, cleaner shrimp).  What I did was cut up dried seaweed (lavender and Nori ) and added brine shrimp and also marine plankton and then refroze it in cubes that I can feed them.  I noticed that the fish aren't eating the seaweed that much and it collecting on the floor.   <Cut out most of the seaweed then.> I realize this is a problem with other food, but with seaweed (as it is more natural) is it bad if a little bit goes uneaten?   <Shrimp is natural too, but it still rots, just as the seaweed will.  No this is not okay, and you need to remove the uneaten food.> Thanks so much for your help, I love your site. <You are most welcome, and thank you.  Brandon.> -Jeff

Reef tank problem... Zoanthid incomp., cnid. incomp.... sys.   9/5/06 Hi, this is Sameer from India. <Hello this is Bob from S. Cal.> I have a 40gal tank with a sump. Now my basic problem is upgrading my reef tank. All water parameter are as they have to be in a reef tank. Good Coralline algae of different color is growing on all live rocks. One Percula and a Purple Dotty back are doing great. One sand shifting star, a Green Feather Duster are all happy. Lots of tiny feather dusters have come own their own from the live rocks. One small Carpet Anemone and a medium BTA are at two corners of the tank. <Not enough room... trouble in the not-too future> I have 2 rocks with Solitary Cup Corals growing on them, as there were around 6 to 7 on each rock. But now they have become to 10 to 12 on each rock. Few green plants and Red Bamboo algae or Red Balloon algae are growing well. Different Snails and few Chitons are doing well, the Hermits are molting often. Two pistol shrimps which came as hitchhikers on live rocks are there from long without any criminal records yet. <Heeee!> 5 porcelain crabs a the happiest as the molt often are always feeding on the invert food with their fans open. One Sea Fan is doing ok, in the sense its surviving but not thriving. Now all these life forms are in the tank for more than 9 months together. As I have not added any new animals. <I would not> 20% water is changed every two weeks, all in one Additive by Salifert is used every week, purple up is used every week, and calcium is added as needed. There 4 inches of Live Sand with lots of live rocks. There is one actinic tube with two 12K lights which are on timers. All in the tank is as it is to be. Except for a protein skimmer! Which I am to buy in some time. Now the main problem is three times I added  rocks with Zoanthids. <Not compatible...> They never opened and just melted away in 10 days. <Good> One rock with mushrooms just melted in 4 days. <Even better> A soft finger coral also just did not open for two weeks and the started flaking off and melted down. What could be the cause for this? <In a word, allelopathy (the topic du jour...)> Is it lack of a skimmer? <Would help> What are the signs of a failed tank? <Mmm, a loss of life I guess...> I am too confused! Is it chemical warfare with the anemones? <Ahh, yes... Principally so> If yes, then how are the cup corals doing great? <Are more resistant... their time will come though> I feel that may be because of a deep sand bed, there is too much detritus build up. <Mmm, nope. Unlikely> What do you feel? <Highly confident that this is an incidence of chemical competition twixt large anemone species... taking out other cnidarians> And the overflow to the sump is not that powerful to suck up all debris. The overflow water falls 4 feet down to the sump through a pipe and is send back up 4 feet. There are two power heads in the tank for circulation. So I was thinking of resetting it as a bare bottom with little sand for aesthetic value and some reflection of light for the LR. What do you suggest? <That you read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above> It had a plenum under gravel filter which is now not connected to the power head. Has that collected too much organic material? <Doubtful this has any negative impact. Likely it has helped forestall the coming crash> I am in a total confusion. <You keep stating so> Another question, what if I use crushed live rock as sand? <Nah> Is this tried before? <Many times> As it would have good circulation, and give a more natural look. What should be the size of the crushed pieces? <See WWM re> My basic aim in the tank is to keep few Zoanthids and a few Soft Coral in this tank. <It's not large enough, and the animals present are incompatible> I am ready for any major changes u suggest in the current system. <Get reading> The main causes according to me are: No skimmer, <Some> To much organic matter in the sand, <Nope> Chemical warfare, <Yes!> Improper acclimatizing (using drip fro 1hr) Or improper lighting Or what else do u feel? This tank has been there for more than a year! May be the anemone have to go, but till I can at least have some reef invert in it. As nothing else in the tank which looks amazingly beautiful. If I am to get these guys out, at the cost of some soft corals is fine with me. Pls help! Any drastic changes are welcome. <Remove the anemones, or all but one of them in the way of cnidarians> Thanks in advanced. Cheers! Sameer <Bob Fenner> Hair algae in yellow polyps   3/25/06 Love your site! You have helped me out several times before. I have a couple of questions. How do I get hair algae out of, and in between my yellow polyps? <... reduction of available nutrients, competition from other photosynthetic life, use of specific predators, chemical filtrants...> Every where else is fairly clean of algae, but is it growing in between the polyps. I first noticed it when my yellow tang looked like it was trying to eat the polyps but was actually going after the hair algae. What do you suggest? <Mmm, to read on WWM re> I have an enormous colt that I need to trim back. What do I need to know if I cut this coral? <Posted as well...> Thanks for all of your great help. Dallas <Learn to/use the indices, Google search tool on WWM. Bob Fenner>  

Optimal water temp for Zoanthids  - 01/09/2006 I am doing a science fair project on coral bleaching.  I want to know what the ideal temp. is for the brown button zoanthid Protopalythoa.  I have 3 12 gal tanks and want to use one for a control.  I have 4 weeks to do my experiment since I have used 3 1/2 weeks getting the tanks prepared.  Does 78,  82 and 85 degrees sound right in order to get results.  I will lower the temp after bleaching occurs and see if they recover.   Daniel Fishman <Mmm, good question... I would change the temperatures to 78, 84, and 90 in order to get something appreciable in the way of change in this time frame, w/o much risk of killing the Zoanthids. Bob Fenner>
Re: optimal water temp for Zoanthids   1/10/06 Thanks, Daniel Actually the man at the aquarium store said he thought they were bulls eye polyps. I have not found pictures of bulls eye.  Can you identify? <Mmm, are Zoanthideans... see WWM re> and this particular one has those pale greenish rings in one area.  Is that bleaching or disease or normal.  the samples have none of these. <Likely normal... for the species, growing conditions... Bob Fenner>

Unhappy Palythoa - 12/25/2005 I recently received an 8" beautiful orangish-peach Palythoa group. While I was unloading the minivan, my wife just dumps it unceremoniously into the tank. <Yikes!> Well, the polyps close up and haven't opened since (3 days now). <Again, yikes!> They half-way open at night, but then close again when the lights start up. The water he came in has a pH of 7.7, <Yargh!> while mine is 8.0... <Still too low.> more on this later... and the temps were identical. He was only in transit for about 45 min. <These animals needed to be drip acclimated for a few to several hours....  pH shock like this is deadly.  Uhh, and WHY on EARTH were they in a pH of 7.7?  That's WAY too low.> He came from being at the bottom of a 29gal directly under a 150w 10000K HQI and 2x55w CFL actinics. I have 2x65w CFL super actinics (420x430) (12hrs/day) and a 250w 10000K MH (6 hrs/day). I currently have him located about 12-15" from the MH and I'm thinking he may be a bit too close, as he's more closed up once the MH comes on. However, he isn't any happier when it's just the actinics....am I right to worry? <Yes, possibly.  You could consider "screening" some of the light out a bit, or raising your lights for a while....  but these animals' real problem right now is just adjusting to your water parameters.  The best thing to do may simply be to wait.> As for the pH, is there anything that works better than Kent SuperBuffer for raising and maintaining the pH? <Probably best to start reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm , and the FAQs files linked at the top.> I have been using the recommended amount daily for about 3 weeks and my pH hasn't changed one lick. I know this pH is pretty low, especially for my anthelia and xenia. My source water is pH 7.6 but extremely soft at .5dGH and 5dKH. Any suggestions? <Start reading....  there is MUCH more archived than I could begin to tell you.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

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)>

Zoanthus Set-up 11/2/05 Hello WWM folks, <Hi Zoo Zoo....if that is your real name!> I live on a tropical island with a few zoanthid infested reefs around.  <I'm jealous.>  Even though I could visit and snorkel these reefs anytime, I still want to see these zoanthids growing like crazy at home. <Understandable.> Here is my proposed setup/maintenance: DIY 29g Glass Aquarium (25x20x19) with built in 8g Refugium DIY stand 175w or 250w Hamilton 14000k MH (is this good enough or too much for zoos?) <You could get away with a lot less, PC's or VHO's would be fine really, you could do the MH just suspend it at a minimum of 12" above the surface and be prepared to deal with heating issues and evaporation.> 2x18w NO actinics DIY hood with computer fans <The fans are a good move.> Lee Protein Skimmer (heard that over- skimming is bad for zoos?) <Personally I'd like to see a much more efficient skimmer like an Aqua-C. I don't think you can overskim.> 1 Maxijet 1200 for refugium return via spray bar 3 MaxiJet 900 2" Sandbed <I would go with 1" or less for this tank, you need at least 4" to run DSB and 2" will just be a nutrient trap.> Lots of seeded live rock 3g water change weekly? <That probably fine, you can adjust should this not be sufficient.> DIY auto top off with float valve <Okay that's what I was looking for, awesome.> naturally distilled fresh water with pickling lime added Live Nanochloropsis phytoplankton Live Brine shrimp Live Mysis 2 False Percula Clowns <Be sure to quarantine the fish.> Kindly tell me if my lighting is appropriate as I would want the zoo frags placed at all levels in the tank. Please comment on the consistency of my setup. <See above.> I look forward to your reply. Thanks a lot. Zoo Zoo. <Quite Welcome, Adam J.>

- Lighting a Zoanthid Species Tank - Hi gang: I'm thinking of adding a zoanthid species tank (30-40 gallons) to my system. Any suggestions in terms of overall depth -- or alternately how far from the lights the zos should be) and lighting package? <Really, zoanthids do well under all types of light - so it's your call PC, T-5, VHO, or halide - all will work and be fine for the zoanthids.> I recently saw a picture of a tank where rocks containing zo's where arranged on a bed of fine white aragonite. . . not much for three dimensionality. . . but attractive nonetheless. I'm figuring something fairly shallow with relatively light water flow. <Generally speaking, low water flow is not required for this. Higher flow would help keep the tank free of detritus.> I currently use 96 watt PC's in my main system (daylight and actinic) and 96 watt daylights in my fishless refugium and an anemone tank with lots of macro algae. I'd like to stay with PC's. . . not sure of the right intensity for zo's. . . and/or the right hunk of the spectrum. <PC's would be fine. Cheers, J -- >

Moon Polyps Dear crew, I purchased a few pieces of LR yesterday, and when I put it in my tank and took a good look at them, I saw on one piece, what looks like an elegant moon polyp. There is only one though I read they usually are in groups. I'm going to place this piece of rock in my refugium, because I'm afraid my Picasso trigger will have the polyp for lunch. I've read it needs "high" lighting. On your site I saw that you recommend 5 watts per gallon, will this wattage be high enough to allow my new friend to live? Also, what should I feed it to keep it alive. I don't have a reef tank, so my knowledge of how to keep the polyp is limited. If there is anything else I need to do, please let me know.  <The lighting should provide most of the food but occasional feedings of Cyclop-Eeze would help. James (Salty Dog)>

Zoanthid question Hello WWM crew! Thank you for all the hard work you do on the site. This is my first time writing, but I've been enjoying the site for a while now. We have a 25 gallon saltwater aquarium: Aqua C remora skimmer, Emperor filter 30-35 lbs live rock 2 power heads (the ones that swivel back and forth) 2 tank raised ocellaris clownfish 1 tank raised orchid Dottyback 1 firefish 1 skunk cleaner shrimp Lots of little hermit crabs Xenia, brown star polyps, green star polyps, yellow polyps. We've had the tank set up about six months now and have really been enjoying it and are already planning a bigger tank when we have more room. ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all at 0, calcium is at 450, pH is around 8.2 or 8.3 alkalinity is in "normal" range (the test kit we have doesn't have numbers just "low", "normal", & "high") We do 5 gallon water changes every 2 weeks, and feed different foods every other day or so. We just got a nice piece of green and orange zoanthids that look like: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=681  They are so pretty and we love them, but we are worried about them, because we've had them about five days, and only about half a dozen or so (of the couple dozen on the rock) are consistently opening up. They are located on the bottom of the aquarium (oh yeah, we have 96 watt PC lighting). is this normal? <Yes, should be enough for zoanthids.>  A friend gave us some little pieces very similar to this a couple months ago, and they seemed to do fine for a while, but then just slowly disappeared. We really love these little guys, and would LOVE to see them spread and grow very thick like in the pictures, and we don't want them to disappear like the others did! Is there something we are missing? Everything I've read about these guys says they are supposed to be very easy to keep. Everything else is really doing great and it's amazing to see how much/fast everything grows (especially the xenia!). <Keep up with the water changes. I would try using an iodine supplement. This seems to benefit the animals you want to keep. An iodine test kit is a must since too much iodine can have detrimental effects. Also, move the colony somewhere in mid level of the tank. You don't mention water flow. A total of 200gph in the tank will benefit the animals also. You can also try DT's live phytoplankton, www.dtplankton.com, and/or a product called Cyclop-eeze in the frozen form. This all should help you. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

Tiny Tanks, Yellow Polyps... I started out a few months ago with a 5.5 AGA tank. My inhabitant's (Yellow colonial polyps) Were doing well, multiplying in only a couple weeks. I had an AC MINI on the tank for circulation. I used 2 6500k pc bulbs. Last weekend, I moved some LR and LS into a new 2 gallon cube that I got from a friend. In the last week, the polyps have taken a turn for the worse. Only a couple will open partially during the day, and they seem much skinnier and are wider in some spots than others. The bottom of the polyps are very skinny, and the tops are big. They look so much smaller than they used to be. I'm using the ac mini on the 2g as well, and think it may be too much current in the tank. <Well, they actually do better with stronger water movement. They also tend to maintain their yellow color better when exposed to  light that is heavier in blue. Just give them high water quality and consistent conditions, and they should be fine. They may just be reacting to the changes in their environment...Be patient with them!> Could it be the polyps have still not adjusted to the new tank? What else could be the problem? I've searched the forums religiously  everyday, and still have not come up with a probable cause. <Well, really hard to guess, but I'm leaning towards possible changes in the water quality/conditions, and reaction to a different lighting regimen...> I have not listed any specs, as my test kits were accidentally thrown away, but I used all new water, and LS/LR from my existing, cycled tank. I know it's hard to make a diagnosis without water specs, so I hope to get new test kits this weekend. <Really a worthwhile investment, IMO!> Thanks in advance, Daniel <Good luck to you, Daniel! Hang in there, use basic good husbandry and a few water tests, and these polyps should be fine! Regards, Scott F>

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>>>

Fire worms? Hey kids!, as always this site is so full of info I tend to spend all day in it snooping around. Discovered a few very large bristle worms/fireworms.. looks like Hermodice canunculata? (found a pic in a reef magazine I have)  One was too big for me not to take it out of the tank, have him in a bucket at the moment. Just curious if they can be bad for the critters I have in the tank. << I think just about all worms are very beneficial.  If they become large then maybe you can remove them once in a while. >> ..I seem to notice a lot more empty turbo snail shells around lately( but I did have a freakish amount at one point. busy little couples I guess) reason I plucked the worms out today was they seemed to be hanging on my zoanthid rocks. I don't see these worms in the night only daytime. any ideas? << I would leave them alone, but there really isn't anything wrong with removing them if it makes you feel better. >> Ill head back to the site for more info but was hoping you may be able to get me to the answer a little quicker. Also I have a rocks with Porites ( I believe mustard hill?) on my live rock. for about 2 years they were doing great, lots of growth, polyps all open and swaying away in the current. I changed the lights a few months back (raised them up higher for less shock) and now they have been closed up most of the time, open slightly. Colour has faded from a nice brownish/mustard yellow to washed out beige. I am still noticing growth but seems much less than before. I add SeaChem additives as per directions (calcium, reef complete, reef carbonate and reef plus).  Water params seem to be in recommended levels and water changes with RO water mixed and circulated for a few days ahead of time. The zoanthids in the tank are growing so fast they are popping out new ones daily it seems! They do not seem to be bothered by anything (except that worm!) coralline is covered the walls of the tank intake outflow pipes...not heavy on  the rocks but lots of colour regardless. Since the fade out I have slowed the additives down, well was trying to see if I stopped them what would happen. Any suggestions to a long and drawn out question?  << Not really, but I'd look at how old the bulbs are, and what type of lights you have.  Maybe time for new bulbs. >> Thanks again for this site and whatever info you can turn me onto. Determined here to get them back to original happy space! Aloha from Kona << With those corals? Wow. >> Pete <<  Blundell  >>

Cyanobacteria? Need more water flow/better skimming 10/23/04 Hello my name is Jay and I have a question about a black slime that has been killing certain zoanthid colonies that I purchased from a guy. <typically a lack of adequate water flow and/or needing more aggressive skimming (collecting at least several cups of dark skimmate every week> The zoos came poorly insulated and were cold. Most rocks survived but 2. They keep getting this black slime that starts on the rock as slides onto the polyps. It has killed about 60 polyps on 1 rock and wiped out the other. I have been doing coral dips with Seachem's coral dip. <fine company... but marginally useful technique/product IMO> Its mostly Iodine concentrate. This seems to help temporarily but the black slime will just reappear a couple days later and if I don't dip the rock the slime will kill polyps. <I expect that the movement/dipping is actually purging the slime (flow) more than the product> I cant vacuum or brush it off as this slime surrounds the polyps. What do I do? <flow, Joe... er, Jay> I don't want to lose that rock. It has a awesome Jewel box oyster the size of a silver dollar atta11111111tched to it. That makes it extra special but it does not enjoy the dip treatment. <adding ozone into a skimmer would be a tremendous benefit for this problem and the system overall. Do consider> Hopeless in Moses Lake Washington... Jay <hopeless as in sans beer? Aiiiieeeee!!! The inhumanity of it all! First the zoanthids... and now the beer. Oh, wait. Did you mean to say hopeless? My bad. :) Anthony... who is not sans beer.>

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  >>

Algae Choking Zoanthids - 6/30/2004 Oh worthy one(s):  I have a hair algae problem that I am battling at this time.  My Zoanthid covered rock is itself covered by the hair algae to the point where you cannot see the polyps.  I have tried manually removing the algae from the rock underwater, but I cannot get it all with those bulky arm-length gloves, and it grows back over time (have been battling awhile now!).  Can I take the Zoanthid rock out of the water and scrub it with a toothbrush or something?  Thank you very much, Rich <Yes!  You can scrub the rock with a toothbrush in a bucket of tank water (do throw out the water after!).  Also, you probably need to address some nutrient issues.  Add or upgrade a protein skimmer, be conscious of (over) feeding and perform at least 15-20% water changes monthly.  Good luck!  Adam C.>

Enquiry about yellow polyps I have bought  'Parazoanthus axinellae' <that's a taxonomic misnomer... but no worries, most hobby literature still call it such> three months ago as I was advised that this is a low light coral and that it propagates quickly and easy to maintain.   <hardy and easily propagated with strong water flow and regular feedings (fine food particles). It is adaptable to a wide range of light> I currently have a UV sterilizer and prism skimmer running on my tank that holds 100L.   <please upgrade that skimmer ASAP. A poor design that is very difficult if possible at all to get to produce a full cup of skimmate 3-5 times weekly let alone daily like it should> I  noticed that these polyps have become fewer and have grown longer in size. I have been feeding them with liquefy marine food. <liquid marine food is essentially pollution in a bottle. My advice if to stop if immediately. You can literally feed small food pellets... and try to target feed the polyps (a saltwater slurry of small pelleted food or better yet... Mysis shrimp (frozen)). Liquid foods squirted in the water simply grow algae> What could be the problem if there is one? Dave <better water flow and improved feeding technique my friend. Best regards, Anthony>

Those Darned Yellow Polyps Have Him Seeing Red! Hiya guys, <Hey! Scott F. your guy today!> Quick question about those common yellow Parazoanthids you always run across. <Sure> I haven't been able to keep a rock of them alive for more than two months. They invariably close, turn beige, and then die in small clusters (6 or so at a time) until the whole rock is bare. Conditions: 55 gal. w/ 20 gal sump., 15 gal refugium w/ Chaetomorpha, & 5 gal DSB 130 lbs. rock (split between main tank & refugium) 260 W of PC light, Euroreef CS6-2 skimmer EHEIM canister for carbon & PolyFilter B-Ionic is only additive (I'm thinking of starting CaOH too). NH3, NO3, NO2, PO4 - zero ,pH - constant 8.3 kH - 11, Ca - 460, sp.grav - 1.025, temp - 79 F. <Conditions certainly sound good!> I currently house LPS, leathers & other softies, mushrooms, polyps (including plenty of other zoanthids), clams, all with no problems.  I consider my tank to be in good health... How is this beginner coral getting the best of me?  I have tried different placements in the tank to vary light & flow. The die-off occurs in randomly located clusters, which makes me think it is not aggression from another coral or predation, but rather environmental.  I am stumped. Any help you can give me is most appreciated.-Mario <Well, Mario- my first thought was some chemical warfare between the zoanthids, but if this happens anywhere that you place them, it may just be an environmental factor. They really seem to do well with a heavy amount of blue (staying a bright yellow color). Ya know...I'm still thinking that some form of allelopathy is happening here...With lots of zoanthids and soft corals in this system, it seems entirely possible that there is serious competition going on, regardless of placement. I'd try increasing the water change schedule to two 5% changes weekly, to help possibly dilute some of the allelopathic compounds that may be in the water. Also, continue your use of Poly Filter and/or carbon to help assist with removal of these compounds...Try these steps as experiments to see if there is any impact on the problem...Eventually, you'll get it right! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Zoanthids     I have a 280 gallon tank that was a FOWLR until the recent hurricane that we had on the East Coast. I'm currently re-setting my system up and have approximately 215lbs. of Rock in the tank. Can't say that it is live because it was sitting out of the water for about two weeks while I was out of power. My question is that I would like to set up a system with lots of zoanthids covering the live rock but still want to have fish in the Tank.  Is this possible? < Yes> The fish in the system would include: Naso Tang, Red Coris Wrasse, Goldentail Eel and possibly a Australian Harlequin Tuskfish or Queen Angel (haven't decided). <queen angel might eat them> Fish will be kept to a minimum. There is currently two Turbo-Flotor 1000s running in a 75 gallon sump along with 3000gph closed loop circulation with (20) 160watt VHO lights operated by a Ice Cap Ballast on my system. My Tank Measures 60"x30"x30", how much more light will be needed if zoanthids are possible since tank is 30" deep? <since the tank is so deep I would put 2 175 watt halides on it and use you ice cap for actinics> Any certain Kelvin rating that will work better than another? <for what you are trying to keep, not really, go with what color you like. the lower the Kelvin the yellower the light will look> I talked to someone at custom aquatic and they said that using the double ended 175watt  MH would be the way to go. <double ended or HQI fixture or regular halides either one is good (I like the HQI better..> Your opinions on this? If zoanthids are not possible is there anything else that can be placed in a aquarium with fish to make it more appealing to the eye besides fish? <you can also get away with some other soft corals to like mushrooms good luck MikeH>  

PRUNING PALYTHOA AND ZOANTHUS COLONIES I have been having great success in growing Palythoa and Zoanthus polyps, to the point that they are over running the area that I would like to maintain them in. What is the best way to prune back these polyps? <Actually, to separate/isolate them on their own rocks... leaving a gap so they can't spread further... Bob Fenner> Look forward to your response. Regards, Jim

Zoanthids Good Morning Bob, Anthony and the rest of the WWM crew. <Steven pro this morning.> Let me start by saying Bob I bought your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and keep it close by. <As do I.> Now my reason for writing today is this, I have a colony of button polyps, brown and then green, under actinics. These little guys were gorgeous while in my 55. A few months ago I wrote you about transferring to my new 125 *reef one day* Still building :) anyway I did all the things you said I should and still almost 5 months into it they haven't opened all the way in sometime, now here's my dilemma. *I have many* My tank specs are as follows. 125 6ft standard tank 220 watts of compacts on each side (running day and actinic) and in the morning and evening blue moons are on. a huge sump with an AMiracle skimmer putting out a good amount of yucky stuff. I keep a log and biweekly I add essential elements and weekly sometimes every few days I add calcium, Stron-mag, iodine. my tests read as follows. Amonia-0 nitrate always reads 5 or less very small trace of it nitrite-0 ph-8.2 CA- 450. <The above sounds ok> Now My LFS sucks so I have to drive an hour away to one I trust (Rehobeth beach) I went there this week to talk to them and get something new for my tank (coral) but they said maybe I should check for phosphates, so I spent the money for the test kit and for the remover in case, and guess what *0-PHOSOHATES* needless to say I was happy about it but mad as I wanted this little piece of rock with 6 different corals on it :( so after this long book to you I'm praying that maybe the best *you guys at WWM* can shed some light on the problem. I have moved this colony around all over every few weeks to darker spots then brighter spots, <There is your problem. It takes "corals" time to acclimate to different lighting conditions and every time it is just about ready, you become discouraged and more it in an attempt to encourage the polyps to open. Please, select a good place and leave it there.> I run wavemakers in the tank but they are not in the fast current of it, I feed phytoplankton 2 times a week, <These polyps do not eat phytoplankton.> now last but not least they are on a huge piece of rock (I'd say about 20 inches long and about 8 inches wide) all my mushrooms are happy, even a baby rose anemone came as a ride along on live rock has grown so much in just a few months, also coralline algae growing on glass and such I have about 75 red and blue leg crabs and the red legs crawl on that piece of rock a lot, in fact so do the others and the snails. Please help as I'm really wanting to add new corals but I am leery due to the Zoanthids. I have about 150 lb. of live rock in there, will be adding another case soon. <150 pounds in a 125 sounds about right to me.> As always thanks in advance, it's always a pleasure speaking to you all. Sincerely, Robin <Have a lovely weekend! -Steven Pro>

Re: Zoanthids Good Morning Steven, <Morning> Wow so all this time I'm just adding stress to them :( <Yes> I feed phytoplankton due to all the other filter feeders in the tank. <It can be beneficial to feather dusters, clams, and some leather corals to name a few.> So how long does it take usually for them to adjust as you say. <Depends on how well you matched their conditions (lighting, water movement, etc.). I would wait one month without any moving around.> I want to add more corals just a bit leery about it. Thanks as always your the best! Take care and have a great weekend! Robin <You do the same. -Steven Pro>

-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 acclimatization to your lamps. Aqua Medic makes great lights, you can't go wrong with it! -Kevin> Joe

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