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Old 01-19-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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coral collision

I had a minor collision between two corals last week. The finger leather went limp while the lights were off and one "finger" rested on top of a colony of red zoas. I've since moved them farther apart but a few heads of the zoa have small white specks on their "faces." At first I thought it was sand, but they don't come off with increased water flow. I read through the chapter on coral diseases in my Aquarium Corals book and I can't find anything. Any idea what's wrong with the zoas? Is this likely a result of the collision, or a disease?
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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I know leathers wage chemical warfare so I dont think it has anything to do with the touching but stranger things have happened.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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Allelopathy, chemical offense/defense, is the main arsenal for Octocorals (soft corals) and only Erythropodium caribaeorum is recorded to produce sweeper tentacles. It is probable that the interaction caused the leather to quickly excrete chemically that caused a minor irritation or burn to the zoanthids.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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I took a closer look last night and there are some white spots on the stems of a few zoas (only in this colony - the others look fine) as well. It almost looks like eggs. Are there any parasites that lay white eggs on the surface of zoas?? I'd like to get this figured out before it gets any worse. It's a beautiful colony.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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Not sure what nudibranch eggs look like, but that's a possibility. There's also a "disease" of sorts that zoanthids can get that some refer to as "zoa pox" that kind of look like white pimples. I had a colony once that had that and it just kind of withered away. I don't recall there being any treatment for it, since folks didn't really know what it was. I'd just watch them carefully.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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I have a canary wrasse coming out of QT tomorrow so if it's nudibranch eggs hopefully he will take care of them. Where do I find more information about this "zoa pox" if that's what it is?
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:28 PM   #7
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Google is your friend...

zoanthid pox - Google Search=


CoralPedia.com! :: The definitive repository for named Corals!
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Thank you, that was helpful.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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Are the white "eggs" you are seeing in a spiral shape on the Zoa? If so they are probably Aeolid Nudibranchs. When the Nudi eats on the zoa it will actually turn the color of the zoa it eats so they are hard to see sometimes. If you notice your zoas closed up a lot chances are pretty good you have them. The wrasse will certainly help in controlling them!
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #10
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Thanks, Ziggy. There are random white spots on the face of several zoas and lines of white spots on some of the stems. All of the zoas are opened, though, so I'm still perplexed as to what is the cause. I guess I'll just keep watching to see what happens. If I could get my camera to focus that close I would post a pic. :-(
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