View Full Version : Zoa's not doing very well

08/31/2017, 06:55 AM
Hi all;

My tank is relatively new, about 3 months old. It is a 55 gallon corner tank. I have a blenny, yellow belly tang and fox face tang. Some Narssisus snails and hermit crabs and an anemone.
I introduced some zoa's frags about an month ago and they were doing great. But the last 2 weeks they seem to be staying closed and shriveling.
I have had my water tested and phosphates are good, but I have no nitrates.
I was told to skim my water change, and to dose with plankton.
They seem to be getting worse instead of better. I does iodine once a week.
I don't want to skip another water change this weekend, but I need my Zoa's to come back.
Any thoughts would be great. Salinity 1.026, Temp 79 Lights are VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control 165W LED Aquarium Light Dimmable Full Spectrum for Coral Reef Grow Fish Tank - set at 30% intensity (my anemone loves the light) I run a canister filter with a UV sterilizer and my skimmer is pulling nice yucky green stuff out.

08/31/2017, 07:02 AM
First, why dose iodine? Also what are your actual Nitrate, phosphate, calcium, alkalinity, and Magnesium numbers?

Skipping water changes are far from the end of the world, especially if you don't have many nutrients. Though with those fish in the tank that is maybe a bit surprising.

08/31/2017, 07:30 AM
phosphates are good? define good.. We test to attain a number.. Please post that number..
In the future don't use "good" or "bad" or whatever.. post the actual numbers..

Having low/undetectable nitrates is 99.99% of the time not an issue...

Now.. Iodine.. Are you testing for iodine? If so what are the results of your last test?..
If you aren't testing then DO NOT DOSE IODINE..
In general do not dose what you are not testing for..

I would never suggest not doing water changes either...
So please.. do water changes.. do a big one if you want.. Just make sure you are mixing it to the proper salinity and you are good to go..

Sounds like you might be trusting the words of your local fish store too much..
I would urge you to stop that.. You will get far better information here and we aren't trying to sell you anything..
They have already sold you fish that have no business being in a tank of your size..
Even if they are small now if you can keep from killing them they will quickly outgrow the tank and likely not be happy at all and die there..
The yellow belly regal tang needs a minimum 180g tank.. and the fox face too needs a larger tank..

Sometimes zoas just don't do well in some tanks.. Your parameters could be just fine and they just aren't happy..
The fish (foxface is hit or miss with coral compatibility) could be bothering them too..

08/31/2017, 02:03 PM

A lot of people have problems with zoanthids. Have you looked at them at night for signs of pests attacking them? Some people find predators, although that's not common. During the month that they were doing well, did they grow and spread at all?

08/31/2017, 03:14 PM
Your tank is only 3 months old and u put zoanthids in a month ago?

08/31/2017, 03:36 PM
New tanks are hard. On top of this, the sofites will use up trace minerals that you will only get back with water changes - skipping them is a bad idea. I would stop the plankton dosing - it is not likely that the corals would get much out of them if they were out and healthy, but closed up corals are not going to catch anything. I have never found iodine to be useful - used to do it, stopped and saw no difference.

08/31/2017, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the feed back everyone.... I was hoping not to get bashed too much and that this forum would help. I understand the fish will outgrow my tank and hope to upgrade the size of my tank in the future. I wanted to get this one established and functioning so I would be better educated to deal with a larger tank.
I did not test my water but had it tested so don't have the numbers. I was told phosphates were undetectable as were the nitrates.
I don't want to see any living creature die in my tank because I am not providing them with the right perimeters.
So I would appreciate positive and helpful suggestions and not snarky remarks.
I'm not as educated as those of you who have been operating tanks for years. I had a 150 gallon tank 20 years ago but things have changed so much in 20 years so I am here for help, because yes I don't think all the info I get from my supplier is always accurate.

08/31/2017, 07:41 PM
you needa get your own test kits

09/01/2017, 10:23 AM
Getting test kits for Alk, Ca, Mg, Po4, and No3 will be a good start. At least you will know if you have a water parameter issue. I would also give the Zoas a bath using a good product like Revive or CoralRx to see if your zoe's are being bothered by pests. Some of my Zooanthids closed up a few days ago. I first tested my parameters which did not indicate any issues with my water. I then looked at the tank at night to see if I noticed any pests. I did not see anything obvious. I then removed the zoe's from the tank and dipped them in a bucket of Revive Coral Cleaner and lo and behold, a bunch of very small worms began falling off along with a Eunicid worm. I will observe the zoe's for the next few days. I have not however, see anymore pest. Good luck.

09/01/2017, 12:07 PM
A wrasse would help too for any pests. Always looking for something to munch on.

09/01/2017, 06:11 PM
I was told phosphates were undetectable as were the nitrates.

if your phosphates and nitrates are "0" or close to it, this can be a problem for many zoanthids ......

09/02/2017, 10:03 AM
I'd stop the iodine . Probably try a dip for pests . I agree the hippo tang and/or the foxface may be bothering them and are too big for a 65 gallon tank.
What type of plankton are you dosing? Phytoplankton won't do much if anything for them.
What type of zoanthidae do you have? There are several species and they exhibit different feeding responses: zoanthus have a minimal response ; palythoa and protopalythoa grab small meaty foods ( zooplankton) for example. Lighting requirements vary by species as well. Might consider a little less of it if they are closed.

09/04/2017, 10:51 PM
I think what you took as a "snarky remark" was actually good advice. Your tests are reliant on the word of your LFS (personally I'd never do that), and you're dosing something you don't even know that you need so it could have a bad effect.
You may not like what was said or how it was said but it's spot on advice.

My tank is only 3 weeks old and I've got about 50 zoas (at least) as well as some mushrooms (18) and 2 SPS frags that are all doing well. The assumption of the tank is too new, I disagree with.
Not actually knowing what your test result numbers are would be where I'd start first.

I've never had a problem with zoas but if they're shriveling up then something is definitely wrong. Either placement (too high in the tank or getting too much light) or something else? Most zoas don't really need a lot of light.
I've never been a fan of canister filters in saltwater even if it's FOWLR but that's what your using so it is what it is and some people do well with them.

I've never fed my zoas or mushrooms directly (phyto or anything else) and they've always done fine. What tmz suggested is exactly what I'd do. Stop the iodine, stop the phyto, do a dip for pests and lastly but most important, get a test kit and check your own water.

I had hundreds of zoas in my 90 gal yrs ago and was giving them away just to manage them, same with the mushrooms but not as many. Whatever's going on can be corrected but knowing what and why is the only way to get an answer. :)