My first question post.... Zoa/Paly upkeep and stories

Discussion in 'Zoanthids, Polyps & Corallimorpharians' started by Heath V., Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Heath V.

    Heath V. Aptasia

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    Hey fellow reefers.

    With my first personal tank at home cycling, I'm starting to future scape my coral colonies and plan on starting out with zoas and palys. I've included a picture with my planned location.

    Here's my question. Is/are there a resident Zoa/Paly guru or gurus that would mind sharing stories with me on proper care, how to enhance color, etc?

    Id appreciate any input beyond the standard google answers. I'm looking for specific first hand advice and stories.

    Thanks for your time :)
     
  2. Heath V.

    Heath V. Aptasia

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    IMG_4050.JPG Here is the future Zoa garden spot
     
  3. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    I don't know that anyone here will claim to be the resident paly/zoa expert lol. However, I do think we can guide you as to what has done well in our tanks and what has not. Also, many of our members have polyp frags for sale all the time, which again lends itself to what has done well for us.

    We will need to know some specs on your tank (nice rock scape btw). But what is your tank size, lighting specs, skimmer, etc.

    Personally, I am not having much luck with the smaller polyp zoanthids but my larger palythoas are working out great. The palys are dong great and my LPS are all showing growth but my zoanthids are all receding on my. My tank is very deep and all my polyps are at the bottom, so I suspect that has a lot to do with it. I have the Captain America polyps and Grandis polyps. Also, it's a generalization, and those can be dangerous, but palythoas prefer to be in the sand and lower lighting where zoanthids prefer to grow up the rock and higher lighting.
     
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  4. Heath V.

    Heath V. Aptasia

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    I forgot to include that stuff and knew y'all would need it. Sorry

    My tank is a 65g 36x20x22
    Lighting is 3 AI Hydra 26 HDs that will more than likely run wazzels schedule once I fetch it out of my emails
    I plan to add a pair of t5s

    I am shooting for the tank to long term be a heavyish SPS mixed reef, so my mp10s are pumping out a good bit of circulation

    For filtration I'm using a 7" sock into a DC protein skimmer (not yet here) and miracle mud refugium and a media reactor.

    Current levels are

    Phosphate 0
    Nitrate 0
    Alk 9.0
    Magnesium 1260
    Calcium 430
     
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  5. choupic

    choupic Peppermint Shrimp

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    Hi Heath,

    I'm cycling a 130 right now. How did you connect your rocks to get that formation?
    I would like to do something similar.
     
  6. Heath V.

    Heath V. Aptasia

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    Scape wise it was a lot trail, error, and patience, but that's just about 50lbs of real reef mix.

    No cement or glue. It stacks very well on its own
     
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  7. choupic

    choupic Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thanks I'll have to give it a try.
     
  8. Heath V.

    Heath V. Aptasia

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    If I may recommend, Coral Fever sells it at a good price.

    You live right near me if you're from Thibodaux, so I'd be happy to help you sculpt it once you got the rock. :)
     
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  9. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    In my most humble opinion you will need some form of nutrients in the tank like nitrate and phosphate as dissolved organics to provide some nutrition for your corals.
    Zoanthids and palys like all other corals need dissolved organics in the water at low levels to maintain health and growth.
    I will agree with @clsanchez77 that the larger palys tend to do better on the bottom and zoanthids up off the sand due to their short stalks.
    Lighting is subjective due to the fact some folks will have color retention and success with more or less intense lighting.

    From my personal experience most Zoa Amd paly specimens will have the color present at the time of purchase unless they are bleached out from too much light or they have been starved for light and nutrition.
    Coloring up these polyps is just shy of a myth, although there will be some that change color for the better and some not so good in each individual system. Reasons will be different nutrient levels, trace elements, lighting just to name a couple.

    Some never feed their polyps and are able to have population explosions while others feed particulate matter, small foods like reef roids or chile and get great results.
    I've found that having a healthy population of micro fauna including pods will provide a source of prey for the polyps to catch and supplement their nutrition in addition to light and fish poop.

    Even in the most perfect conditions for a reef tank we will still experience a certain type of "coral" that will do poorly even though like species thrive. Zoanthids and palys are no different. While X type will flourish in your system you may struggle to keep Y healthy or living more than a few weeks.
    Some things are just unexplainable in this hobby though we make advances in our husbandry skills and understanding of our critters needs.

    I would recommend getting some fish and allow the tank to mature some without corals.
    This will afford you the time to get through the tank uglies of different algae or bacterial problems without the corals complicating things further.
    Once the tank has matured through this process and you have dialed in your maintenance schedule, your nutrients balanced then add some corals.
    Never be in a rush to have a fully stocked reef tank, take your time and allow the tank to become stable and start to mature well.
    Unfortunately this is one thing that is skipped by so many and then frustration sets in from loss of time, money and life. Eventually most give up from the perceived failure from not letting nature run its due course.
    Reefs are never built quickly no matter how much money you spend on equipment.
    Time and patients cannot be bought.

    Hope I've given something useful toward your question, sorry about the "extra" :p
    Good luck and happy reefing
    BluewaterLa/ Mike
     
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  10. bandit1994

    bandit1994 Bangaii Cardinal

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    Listen to what @BluewaterLa and @clsanchez77 is saying I rushed and I had a aglae tank that couldn't keep mushroom coral alive now that I have gotten over the hard headedness I have a good looking mixed reef
     

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