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Old 12-29-2015, 04:43 PM   #1
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Can I cut this Zoa to separate it?

I'm having great success with this Zoa migrating from the frag base onto my LR; now that I have a small colony on the rock, I want to cut it free from the original colony.

How should I handle the operation? Original frag colony is on the right side of the pic...
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Old 12-29-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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Here's another view; from the under side of the frag mount:
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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You could either do it in the tank or outside of the tank. If it were me I'd move the rock out of the tank so you could work with it easier. Use a flat blunt object to peel the zoas off the rock you'd like to cut from the mother colony then snip between the polyps..glue to a new plug and your done.

You most definitely need take precautions when fragging Zoanthids and any coral for that matter. Zoanthids can be especially dangerous because some contain palytoxin which is one of the most potent toxins known to man. You absolutely should wear eye protection but a full face shield would be better. Wear gloves you can work easily in that will protect you. And also cover any open wounds. If you already know this sorry but if you don't read about it before trying this so you fully understand the respect you should give to the zoas. I had to tear a Zoa from a power head once and it released toxin into the water. Not thinking I wiped the side of my face (thankfully not my eye) and my face swelled up and burned like crazy for the rest of the day.

I'm not trying to scare you out of doing this or be overly dramatic..people obviously frag zoas all the time but you don't want to hurt yourself or someone else by not using caution.


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Old 12-29-2015, 07:36 PM   #4
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Paly toxins are very potent and can cause all types of symptoms respiratory even death

glasses or goggles are recommended along with gloves , long sleeves , a mask of some type never work with palys fragging them unless in a well ventilated area never touch eyes after handling any type of coral be sure to wash hands with some type of anti bacteria soap after working with them
here is some info about paly toxins to give you a better understanding of the dangers ,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19545971
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beej1254 View Post
You could either do it in the tank or outside of the tank. If it were me I'd move the rock out of the tank so you could work with it easier. Use a flat blunt object to peel the zoas off the rock you'd like to cut from the mother colony then snip between the polyps..glue to a new plug and your done.

You most definitely need take precautions when fragging Zoanthids and any coral for that matter. Zoanthids can be especially dangerous because some contain palytoxin which is one of the most potent toxins known to man. You absolutely should wear eye protection but a full face shield would be better. Wear gloves you can work easily in that will protect you. And also cover any open wounds. If you already know this sorry but if you don't read about it before trying this so you fully understand the respect you should give to the zoas. I had to tear a Zoa from a power head once and it released toxin into the water. Not thinking I wiped the side of my face (thankfully not my eye) and my face swelled up and burned like crazy for the rest of the day.

I'm not trying to scare you out of doing this or be overly dramatic..people obviously frag zoas all the time but you don't want to hurt yourself or someone else by not using caution.
Didn't [snip] anything because I don't want to overlook responding to any of your advice...

I didn't know about the toxins, but it doesn't come as a surprise...protection for the animals themselves is important to something that moves at glacial speeds...

If I cut the colony in situ, am I risking the lives of my other fauna? I'd like to avoid taking the rock out...if possible.

I placed the frag where it is, specifically to get some polyps to migrate. It's been a notable success thus far, so I just want to cut the colony into two, then move the original frag into my 75g...

Colony is on top left of the LR; tank has 2 clowns, 1 Yellow Coris Wrasse, 1 (red) Flasher Wrasse, 1 Fire Goby, 1 Watchman Goby, 1 Pajama Cardinal, 2 Green Cromis. Also assorted corals, 1 huge (impossible to lure out) Brittle Star & over a dozen small brittle stars, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 6 Hermits, 2 Black Foot Trochus, and 1 Emerald Crab.

Yeah, that's a lot...but we're keeping a close eye on the chemistry. Had what looks like a Nitrate/Nitrite spike & lost 2 Banded Trochus and 1 Cromis...everything else is fine; that's in another thread...

Ed: Not sure why the pic is sideways...sorry
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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You can leave it in the tank if you want..I would definitely say run carbon for a few days and do a good water change to help reduce irritating the tank inhabitants.


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Old 12-30-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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BE CAREFUL!!!
I had a less than pleasant Palytoxin adventure last night and call to poisen control, when moving this bottom left coral too my Live rock!

Wore gloves too but somehow got into a little cut on my hand, wasnt much but my index finger went numb, Chills, whole body tingled, eart rate up, gnarley headache, was scary! be careful! Eye ware is a good idea bc they can squirt toxin at you!

Alo read post where palytoxin took out someones tank, If you want a link I can send you, but I think he had a large colony about 50 heads plus! Also be careful about your other pets and dont put hot water over them, if hey ever grow too much and you want to rid them, the steam and toxin is more potent and have sent families to hospital! I can link that too if you want!

Not all ZOOs have palytoxin, or high cocentrates but be careful, was not a fun night
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:21 PM   #8
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I'm not sure I was clear in my line of questions; all the advice is fantastic but doesn't appear to fit 100%

All I want to do is make a single cut through the stretched foot(?) between the LR and the frag plug. It's stretched enough to avoid the head of the stretched polyp. Would that cause any release of toxins if I use one of my pairs of surgical scissors? I plan to leave the stretched polyp connected to the LR colony.

If it won't be a problem to leave the LR in the tank while performing the surgery; one snip would take far less than one second...
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLHoenig View Post
I'm not sure I was clear in my line of questions; all the advice is fantastic but doesn't appear to fit 100%

All I want to do is make a single cut through the stretched foot(?) between the LR and the frag plug. It's stretched enough to avoid the head of the stretched polyp. Would that cause any release of toxins if I use one of my pairs of surgical scissors? I plan to leave the stretched polyp connected to the LR colony.

If it won't be a problem to leave the LR in the tank while performing the surgery; one snip would take far less than one second...
so with toxin you have a 50/50 shot, its a defense mechnism and you will be razoring a part of the coral which would make anything mad, (kinda like if I were to razor your foot, Its still part of you) it will most likely start sliming, which doesnt always contain toxin, but the toxin is water saluable.
Now i do believe your tank is quite large, so the amount should be so dilute it might not effect anything, I would watch the corals near the one you are cutting for signs of stress because the toxin would be more concentrated near the place you are cutting.

Its really taking the chance, I do recommend wearing gloves though that will go up to wear our arms submerge bc it is an irritant! Also ca cause ell what you read.

You could run carbon though to negate that in case...

does that help at all?
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:11 PM   #10
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if your just trying to cut off the overgrowth as its in tank I'd use a straight edge razor blade with gloves as long as its submerged you wont need eye wear
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