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Old 03-22-2006, 02:57 AM   #1
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Dying zoanthids

After doing fine and multiplying for 5 months, my zoanthids all of a sudden started closing up and dying. I maintain Ca at 450-480, ph 8.1-8.2 depending on time of day. I do regular water changes of 10% every other week. I have a large heavily lighted refugium, and a prism skimmer. The system total volume is 120 Gal.
All corals, fish, anemones and iverts are doing fine. I even have a colony of star polyps, which are quite close to zoanthids from what I understand, and these are doing great, its just zoas that are vanishing.
Any ideas what to look for?
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:06 AM   #2
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Any ideas folks? Any at all?
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:32 AM   #3
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What is beside them? Maybe it's a chemical warfare issue.
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:23 AM   #4
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The problem is that this is happening all over my tank. I had 6 clusters of zoas scattered all over, and i only have a handful of zoas left that are alive. Some of them were on a rock with a larger (predatory-type) green polyp on it, and he's doing fine.Some of them were alone, and they are also dead. It does seem to be a water issue, but I have done all tests I could find in the LFS, and nothing seems to be wrong. pH, Ca, dKH, temperature, salinity, iodine, all within norms. No detectable nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia. I am at a total loss.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:43 AM   #5
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Have you inspected the polyps at night? Maybe an hour or so after lights out. Maybe you have some predatory snails or crabs. Or, seaspiders. They will also suck out the life of soft corals.
Otherwise, you could try doubling up on your water changes and see if that helps, even if the water tests are fine, it can't hurt.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
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What kind of fish. maybe an angel nipping?
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:56 AM   #7
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No anges. I only have two mandarin gobies and four damsels (two blue and two fiji), I am not big on fish. I like inverts and corals.
I did look at the during the night, nothing suspicious. The only remotely possible suspect is a pistol shrimp that was a hitchiker on LR. I do have blue legged hermit crabls, but have not noticed them doing anything to the zoas.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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What is your PO4 reading?

Too much PO4 can cause tissue breakdown and cause the colonies to deminish...

Edited:

There may also be a parasitic problem... Do they look slimey? Are they Phosphorescent in the actinics? If the Zooxanthelae die off, the coral will starve and thus deminish the colony...
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:35 AM   #9
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My PO4 is 0.25-0.4, its hard to say more precisely with the nutrafin test I am using. This is admittedly non zero, but should not cause tissue breakdown.
I do have a slight cyano problem, and some of it is on the zoas. This does indicate some overfeeding on my part. I will try to do bigger water changes, and skip more days in a week feeding my corals. Anyone thinks this might be the cause of the zoas closing up and slowly vanishing?
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:58 AM   #10
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Yes, cyano will cause the polyps to stop opening and slowly die if left unchecked. Keep the polyps cleaned off as much as possible. I had a bad outbreak and cyano killed off some of my xenya. It can wreak havoc on a reef tank.
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