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Old 02-20-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
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Everything looks great - except zoas!!

My inability to have thriving zoas is driving me insane! I have yet to lose a colony, but the ones I do have will not fully open. 90% of the time they are fully closed and occasionally they'll barely open. They aren't dying, they aren't receding, and I've inspected at night with a flashlight MULTIPLE times and see no nudibranchs, spiders, snails, or any other of the parasites common to zoas.

All my other corals, an assortment of LPS and softies all look great. Xenia are pumping, Kenya tree stands upright, fiji leather opens fully daily, bubble coral is gorgeous, frogspawn looks better than it has in months (i had to move it back to it's original location), mushrooms are healthy looking, candycane is splitting, GBTA is settled in the bottom portion of the tank, with actual bubble tips and hasn't moved since it healed (somehow injured it's foot and stayed on the glass in the corner for 2 weeks; it looked like it was torn from foot to mouth, I didn't expect it to make it).

I'm just at a loss on my my zoas won't open. I know they're not getting too much flow, which is the only thing the owner of the LFS could suggest after drilling me with questions. I'm lucky to actually have a good LFS for corals. I feel bad for his fish, but his coral tanks are top notch, and he knows his stuff!

What happens when I get a colony is shortly after introduction they will open fully for the next few days, then they gradually open less and less. To test this, I bought a small zoa frag from the LFS. Exactly what I predicted happened and within the next week they'll probably stay closed.

My parameters are all fine, I don't feel like listing out all the test kit readings but they all fall within the norm. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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I heard some soft coral s give off toxins, which could be harmful to certain corals, maybe that has something to do with it
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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I'm having the exact same problem except with these star polyps yet those yellow ones are doing great everything checks out as far as parameters but they wouldn't all come out after a week and all my other corals seem happy :'(
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:59 AM   #4
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I also forgot to mention that I have some yellow polyps that are opening fully daily.

The only soft corals I have are fiji leather, cabbage lettuce (?), finger leather, kenya tree, xenia, and mushrooms.

If toxins were an issue then carbon should have helped them open up. I ran GAC for 2 weeks with no change.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
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Some leathers produce those toxins.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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I have had the similar issue. My zoas and polyps just stop opening up after about a week. Unlike the above mentioned, I do not have any leathers. This of course after an incident where my leathers went toxic on each other and I lost most of the coral in my tank. I had a zoa frag that suffered through this that I traded off to a local friend, it has since opened up for her 90% and this is under PC lighting as compared to my T5HO! My water parameters are all on point, my salinity is a tad high at 1.028 due to me using a hydrometer until the 11th. I am gradually bringing it down.

I have 2 duncan corals that are thriving and producing new heads, one of which has 4 growing at once. My bubble coral is doing well, not opening up as much as I expected, but it is still a recent addition and was knocked over 2 days ago.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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And here I was thinking zoas were supposed to be easy corals! What gets me is they are still alive. I do have one zoa polyp that turned brown and died. The rest are still the normal purple color!

And I'm also using a 4x54 T5HO fixture. I really want a nice zoa colony!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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Same. I have a 4x31 T5HO. Going to be upgrading it for my new 55 gal. Looking at a 6 bulb unit. Would go 8 but it is way to wide, even the 6 will have some overhang.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with a colony of "eagle eyes." They were open for a few days and then stayed closed ofr a couple of weeks. Unlike you, however, I bought some other zoas and they did not act the same way - they were open and stayed open after introduction.

It turns out mine wanted more flow. My "eagle eyes" are now about 4" away from a circulation pump and about 95% of the polyps open under the light. I also moved them higher up in the tank under a 6 bulb T5HO light. Oh, I also blasted them under the circulation pump before I moved them last in case there was something irritating the colony I couldn't see.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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Ya I think all you have to do is find a spot they like...try moving them to lower/higher flow more/less light and see how it goes
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