This weeks coral spotlight is on zoanthids! Zoanthids are some of the more brightly colored soft coral in the hobby.
zoanthids can handle anything from low to medium-high flow. As long as they are not getting directly blasted with flow and their polyps are opened up then they are in a good spot and happy.
Zoanthids can handle a wide range of light from low to high with the exclusion being the darkest or brightest areas.
Zoanthids are photosynthetic and can use energy produced by their zooxanthellae, however target feeding is also a common practice. Amino acids, zoo/phytoplankton, and even reef roids are all acceptable table fare for these corals polyps.
Some invertebrates, butterfly fish, rabbit fish, angel fish, and even zoa eating nudibranchs are known to make these little soft coral a common snack so be on the lookout if you see any missing polyps.
There are too many different kinds of zoas available to count but they can range from very inexpensive all the way up to hundreds of dollars for a single polyp. That paired with the endless assortment of colors and variations means it has a place in every reef aquarium.
Last but not least this would not be a zoanthid post without mentioning palytoxin. Palytoxin is a chemical that is produced in some (NOT ALL) zoanthids. Palytoxin can cause neurological damage to you or others if it gets inside your eyes, mouth, nose, or a cut. Therefore it is highly reccomended to handle zoas with care when touching or fragging them. Gloves, eye protection, and even a mask are advised.