Alkalinity: 7.5-9 dKH
Calcium: 410-440 ppm
Magnesium: 1350 ppm
Phosphate: 0.00-0.06 ppm
Nitrate: Low to Zero
Flow: Low to High
Lighting: Low Actinic
Placement: Lower half of tank
This specific Blow Pops Zoanthid colony was shot under actinic lighting.
Scientific Name: Zoanthus sp.
Common Aliases: Zoas, Button Polyps
Growth Pattern: Colonizing
Care Level: Beginner
Lighting: Lower half of tank
Flow: Low to High, very tolerant
Most Sensitive to: Photo-inhibition & Pests
Common Problems: Zoa eating nudibranchs, Sundial Snails, Zoa Pox
Where to Start: A good coral dipping protocol to remove pests.
Zoanthids are one of the easiest corals to keep and excellent for beginners.
Once acclimated they multiple quickly, with only a few exceptions that can be more difficult to grow out into large colonies. Zoanthids are tolerant of a wide range of parameters, but it’s usually best to start them out in the lower half of the tank. Feeding zoanthids dramatically improves their growth rate and sometimes colouration. Actinic lighting will bring out their incredible colours. It’s important to note that some zoanthids grow slower than others, talk to the seller to determine best placement of that specific polyp.
Zoanthids are not demanding corals to care for, and often do well with low or indirect lighting. However, they are tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions and can also do well in stronger lighting. The key is in acclimating them to your specific lighting by starting them at the bottom of the tank. Zoanthids are more likely to be damaged from overexposure than underexposure.
- Low Light = 30-50 PAR
- Medium = 50-150 PAR
- High Light = 150+ PAR
We recommend moderate, turbulent water movement to keep detritus from setting within the colony as they grow. Zoanthids do well in almost all types of flow, however you should never point a powerhead directly at a coral.
Feeding & Growth:
Feeding zoanthids can dramatically improve their growth rate. Target feeding is usually best. A finely powdered plankton mix or a slurry of liquified frozen meaty foods often has the desired affect. There are several products that are marketed as ‘zoa foods’ that work well. Zoanthids do not always visibly respond to feedings, however improvements in growth have still bee noted in such cases.
Care should be taken not to overfeed your system in an effort to get your corals to grow faster. Increased feedings can increase phosphate, nitrates and nutrient levels.
Before purchasing zoanthids, they should be inspected for signs of pests and zoa pox. Zoa pox presents as small white pustules on or under the skin of the coral. Zoa Pox can effectively be treated with a Furan-2 protocol. Other pests include sundial snails, zoa-eating nudibranchs and zoa-eating spiders. A good coral dip will likely remove any pests but may not be affective against their eggs, which can be laid in the hundreds.