1726 Merrill St. St, Boise, ID, 83705
This one year old 55 gallon reef aquarium has over 40 colors of Zoanthids and Palythoas. All of these colonies were started by gluing the starts onto the live rocks underwater.
The blue Zoanthid in the midle of this reef came from Mexico in 1995. It contrasts very well with the many shades of green and brown.
ORDER Zoanthiniaria [Zoantharia] [Zoanthidea]
Family EpizanthidaeParazoanthus (Yellow polyps)
Epizoanthis ( Brown to red brown colonial polyp disks - medium tentacles )
Family ZoanthidaeZoanthus ( small colonial polyps - Green, Red, Brown, Blue, Purple, yellow and a range of other colors. Central disk may be contrasting color. Polyps connected at base)
Palythoa ( larger than Zoantus with longer brown tentacles. May be bright green in center)
|This cutting is growing on an acropora banch that came in with some live rock. The zoathids thrive when they are glued to the sps branches because the water flow can move all around them.|
Another way to establish new colonies of sea mat is to remove several polyps and attach them to the base rock. We have been experimenting with a plastic 1/8" mesh net that lettuce is often sold in. The polyps are placed on the rock and the net is secured over it with two rubber bands. Two or more colors of Zoanthias can be attached to one rock.
An easy way to attach these small colonies is with a 1" square piece of base rock. The sea mat is placed on the base rock and the colony is held in place by the small rock attached with a rubber band.
You can often combine species on the same piece. These reef plugs have Zoanthids and Gorgonians on them. The gorgonians will grow up away from the plug and the Zoantid will cover the plug.
Be sure you attach animals that can live together as they grow. Palythoa and Zoathids are two of the best species to group. We often find these two on the same rock in the ocean.
Apply a small drop of thick glue to a prepared site.
Pick the polyp up with the tweezers, pat it dry, and place the base on the drop of glue.
Several colors will grow into a mixed colony. We add one or two of these polyps to most of our other rocks.
Put the Zoanthids on the end of live rock separated from other cuttings.
These colonies of Zoanthids and Palythoa have now grown onto the pipe and valve in this picture. Over 1/2 of this pipe is now covered with several types of Zoanthids.
I will take a picture that I can include next time I update this page. The colonies can now be cut into many starts. The tank will need thinning often so we will have many colored Zoanthid reef plugs for the students to sell.
These anemones require bright light and strong current. Place these cuttings at the top of the reef aquarium. We have had the best growth in tanks with at least 5 watts per gallon of VHO lighting. Most of our production tanks have 3- 4 foot 40 watt bulbs - Two Tritons and one blue Moon.
This Green Mexican Palythoa is growing on a piece of Idaho Aragonite. The polyps on this type of Palythoa can be cut off above the base and the heads can be glued or sewed onto a base. The stalks will grow another head in a few weeks.
The colony will spread onto rocks that are placed next to this group of Palythoa. This is an easy way to get more brood stock. We now have 6 colors of this palythoa that keep there colors under many conditions.
These anemones do best when they are fed several times each week. The food that has produced the best growth is made up of blended fish and shrimp meat that has been mixed in SeaChem Reef Plus This red mixture has vitamins and iodide. We use four tablespoons of Reef Complete to one tabespoon food.
This colony was grown with VHO lighting. Intense light and strong current are two of most important things needed to produce fast grownig Zoanthid colonies. The best colors we have been able to produce in these cuttings are seen in the tanks with several Triton and Blue Moon 40 watt lights.
Many of the larger Zoanthids can eat baby brine shrimp and other foods. These feedings will increase the growth rate of these animals.
2. The best lighting is florescent bulbs. We have had good production using 2- 40 watt 4' Triton and one 40 watt 4' Blue moon on our 55 gallon test tanks.
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