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Coral comes in three different forms, and these forms are called zoas or zoanthids. And all have the same characteristics, along with similar appearance and growth factors. Zoanthids are nothing but soft, colonial corals present in sub-tropical and tropical reefs.
Not many know this but zoanthids have a photosynthetic nature. In simple words, they contain symbiotic zooxanthelitic algae. And this is responsible for producing most of the nutrition for the coral.
A higher light setting is the most favorable environment for zoas to thrive in. Although they can adapt to different lighting conditions as well. But then the higher the light, the faster and larger they grow. Along with more pronounced colors!
As for food, zoanthids, using their tentacles, trap small food pieces. And it’s most advisable to feed them different kinds of protein foods on a regular basis. For example, sinking pellets, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and commercial coral foods. And the daily diet should also include amino acid and multivitamin supplements.
Aquarium Setup for the Best Zoanthids
Since zoas can adapt to a host of different living conditions, they are known to have a very forgiving quality. But then stability should be a part of that environment. That means changes in salinity, temperature, or lighting might make them ill. So sudden alterations can lead to the retraction of polyps.
So here are specific guidelines for the healthy development and appearance of zoanthids…
- The water flow in the tank should be between medium and high.
- The optimal salinity level is between 1.023 and 1.026 specific gravity.
- The best temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- As for the hardness of water, it’s 8-12 dKH. While the most ideal pH level is 8.4.
This is what a stable, appropriate environment looks like.
[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Q3xDn9ynY&ab_channel=EATSLEEPReef]
Just keep in mind that zoanthids thrive the most when light conditions are high. But that doesn’t mean they don’t or cannot adapt to modest light settings.
Also, did you know that some fish tend to attack zoanthids? More often than not, these fish are larger angels, puffers, and butterflies.
Best Zoanthids – Top 10 Different Types
- Purple Hornet Zoanthids
These look like fire in the reef tank. No wonder they’re priced so high. The beautiful, vibrant colors include purple, lime, and green.
- Fruit Loops Zoanthids
They look like zoanthids from an entirely different planet. Orange, green, and blue, fruit loops zoas take time to adapt to new aquariums. Maybe even as long as two weeks just to open up.
- Orange Bam Bam Zoanthids
Very uncommon as a coral, these zoanthids look stunning nevertheless. And they’re the cheapest in terms of price. Because they come in just one color, which is orange.
- Blueberry Field Zoanthids
It’s the most under-appreciated version in the world of saltwater aquarium hobbyists. And that makes no sense because the beautiful creatures have a blue mouth and oral disc with a green skirt.
- Blue Agave People Eater Pallys
This one stands out very clearly because of the subtle turquoise touches on the skirt and neon green, glowing mouth.
- Utter Chaos Pallys
If you want to get a high-end zoanthid, then here’s the best of the lot. It has a beautiful orange body, which is sure to be the highlight of the show.
- Fire and Ice Zoanthids
The steel blue and red combination is indeed the fire and ice. And these types of zoanthids thrive the best in aquarium environments.
- Sunny Delight Palythoa
The term coined for them comes from the vibrant green body that’s marked with deep orange highlights. And here’s a little-known fact about Sunny Delight Palythoas, also called Sunny D’s. They can withstand a broad range of lighting conditions. And can even adapt to low-medium water flow.
- My Clementines Zoanthids
Comparatively smaller in size, these zoanthids grow very rapidly. And the colors include orange and blue. Thus, perfect for all types of saltwater aquariums.
- The Rasta Zoa
Beautiful orange and green colored zoanthids that have a metallic shimmer. And it’s the metallic shimmer that makes them such a popular choice among hobbyists.
Are zoanthids toxic?
Are zoanthids really that dangerous or is it all just exaggerated? Studies and research show that the greater part of zoanthids is mildly toxic. But then there are a few species, which go by the name of palythoa, that create a higher level of the toxin known as palytoxin. Even so, the exposure to risks is limited.
Polyps release these toxins in reaction to threats, much like dogs and cats. So they don’t cause harm unless you give them a reason. And that means learning how to handle them properly. Along with washing your hands thoroughly after touching the corals. And, needless to say, no smoking, drinking, or eating either at the time of handling them.
How to grow zoanthids?
The most effective and also fastest method for growing zoanthids involves feeding them often. To be more specific, feeding them 2-3 times per week. It’s the most advisable for the healthy development of zoas.
As for what to feed, the answer is commercial fish food. However, if growth is a priority, then consider getting fresh food instead.
Do zoanthids move themselves?
Zoanthids move based on the conditions around them, much like in the case of anemones. The rock and base of zoas get attached. So your aquarium fish cannot move them easily. And, by chance, if they do, then that’s the end of your zoanthids.
So buying the best zoanthids also involves understanding more about these beautiful, colorful creatures. Corals like these are surely a great addition to every aquarium. On top of that, marine life aquaculture protects saltwater aquariums and also prevents the over-collection of wild reefs.
You’re actively preserving the aquaculture marine life environment. Just be an informed hobbyist, that’s all.