Zoa Colony Won't Open

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I'm having a problem with a zoa colony. It was mounted to a small rock by using super glue. It has about 30 "heads" on it. A few of them will open, but the rest of them are closed. They have been in the tank for 2 weeks and so far, I've only seen about 5 or 6 of them open up. Some of them will peek through by opening about 1/3, but they will not fully open.

    My water quality is pretty good:
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    Phosphate 0
    pH 8.2
    Alk 3.65
    dKH 10.4
    Calcium 460

    My temp runs about 78F. Salinity is kept around 1.022 --- 1.024

    I don't understand why this particular colony won't open. It was doing fine in the store when I bought it. I've tried locating it in different places in the tank. Higher/lower flow or More/less light. I'll leave it in a spot for 2-3 days and then move it to see if that helps. No luck.

    I'm running a 30g tall with 130w of power compact. 65w actenic and 65w daylight 10,000K.

    5" DSB in the tank. 27 pounds of mature live rock thats covered in coraline. 9 astrea snails. 3 margarite snails (haven't kicked the bucket yet, after 3 weeks at 78F), 5 small mexican reg leg hermits, 1 watchman goby 3" and one damsel 1.5" , 4 green stripe mushrooms, 1 tiny clam (was attached to a piece of live rock), 1 fuzzy green mushroom, 4 zoa frags, and one branch of stoney coral.

    I have a CPR HOB refugium with 24w daylight. Big clump of cheatomorpha. 3" DSB. 2 astrea snails. About 1 pound of live rock.

    My other zoa colonies are doing good. My mushrooms and my stoney coral are also doing well.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
    Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    26,996
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    Location:
    Ringgold,Ga
    Check your colony real close.There is a chance that you may have some zoa predators.There is a type od nudibranch that feeds on zoas,as well as a type of spider.
    Sometimes they'll be opening at the LFS because they have dipped them and killed the adult predators,but left the eggs.
    If you dont see anything,thing give the colony a quick fresh water dip.If you have any critters ,they will wash off the colony.
     
    yote, Sep 2, 2007
    #2
    Rcpilot likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I know of these spider predators.

    I'll assume same water temp. Dechlorinated water thats been stabilized for a couple days?

    How long do I dip the colony? 5 seconds? 30 seconds? 10 minutes?

    Thanks Yote.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007
    #3
  4. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    26,996
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    Location:
    Ringgold,Ga
    About 30 seconds under straight tap water.Thats how we do it at the LFS I help at.
    When the colony is closed up,their not taking in any water,so the clorine wont hurt anything except the bugs.
     
    yote, Sep 2, 2007
    #4
    Rcpilot likes this.
  5. Rcpilot

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    You can also dip them in an iodine solution. There are many coral dips for sale, but they are all basically something called Lugol's that's diluted out. You can buy the Lugol's and make your own or buy a coral dip.

    A while back I got this zoa colony that was totally trashed. I felt sorry for it and brought it home. I should explain: It looked great in the store. But I ended up dropping it, squashing it, stepping on it. Whatever. Accidentally of course. It looked like total CRAP for a couple months. Most of the polyps were all bent and crunched up, the rest of the polyps would never open. But I just glued the rock they were on in place and let it be. Many months later, they had all opened up, had spread all over the neighboring rock, had brightened in color, etc. This took MONTHS for the colony to recover from my abuse!

    If I were you, I would stop moving them around and just leave them in place, low in the tank (since they don't need much light) for at least a couple weeks. See if you see an improvement then. Moving them too often, like every couple days, could only be prolonging their unhappiness ;).
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 2, 2007
    #5
  6. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I started looking REAL close at the colony after reading Yotes reply. I saw something moving around on the colony, but couldn't identify it.

    I also spoted some type of "stringy" red algae on the colony. It looked like monofilament fishing line, but it was red.

    I took the colony out of the tank and transported it, in sea water, over to the kitchen sink in a glass beaker. Studied it a bit. Saw the unidentified creature moving about. GOTCHA!!

    I got my tap water adjusted to the same temp as the tank and dumped all the sea water outta the beaker. Filled it with straight tap water from the faucet. Within about 10 seconds, the little bugger swam away from the colonly and to the bottom of the glass beaker. It twitched and squiggled for about 30-45 seconds and then stopped.

    I gave my colony about 45 seconds in the tap water and then returned it to the tank. I held the rock in my hand, underwater, and used sterilized tweezers to pull the red stringy stuff off the colony. It was wrapped and wound around several of the polyps and was very tight. Choking tight. I pulled about 2" of the matted mess off the zoa colony and placed it in a glass petri dish.

    I set the colony down on a flat rock/shelf about mid level in the tank. Fingers crossed.

    I'm headed off to my friends house to get a pic of this creature that swam out and away from the colony. He's got a NICE digital camera with removable lenses. (SLR?) He's got a nice macro/zoom lens that I can use to hopefully take a nice, high resolution, pic of this thing.

    I'll post it up here later this afternoon.

    I hope I didn't just kill a copepod. Thats gonna make me feel like an idiot. We'll see. :shock:

    Be back in a couple hours with a pic.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007
    #6
  7. Rcpilot

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    That stringy stuff may be spaghetti worms. They are usually white, but it sounds like spaghetti worms. They are normally harmless and reef safe, but I had one zoa colony that was so covered in them that they stayed closed all the time, I think the spaghetti worms were irritating them. I dipped them in iodine and they did much better afterwards.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 2, 2007
    #7
  8. Rcpilot

    d.french

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    Granite city, IL.
    sometimes zoo colonies will stay closed when you get them at first i had some stay closed for a week or more. Plus you might have to photo acclimated them from low point in tank to a higher point over a week or more time so you don't burn them fromlights in case you have alot of light on tank.
     
    d.french, Sep 2, 2007
    #8
  9. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Don't need a pic. :frustrat:

    I put the beaker on a piece of white paper and used a magnifying glass to ID the critter that was on the colony.

    It's a spider.

    Now what should I do?

    Do I need to dip this colony every few days to catch any eggs that may hatch? Every 2 days? 10 days? 38.58364 hrs?
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007
    #9
  10. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I don't think I can burn anything with 130w of PC lights in a 24" deep tank. Maybe, if I put a mushroom way up near the top, but I'm not doing that. I don't have enough rocks in the tank to get anything closer than about 18" from the light. My light is sitting 6" above the tank, so even if I had something 12" from the bottom of the tank, it's still 18" from the light.

    It's possible, but I don't think thats my problem.

    I think it was a coimbination of me moving the colony every couple days, the spider, and that red stringy stuff that was wrapped around it. I'll just sit back and watch for a couple weeks. See what happens. They are mid level in the tank under medium light and flow. I'll just have to keep an eye on them.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 2, 2007
    #10
  11. Rcpilot

    reeffreak

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,316
    Likes Received:
    2,078
    Location:
    Clarksville,Tn
    I went through this several months ago.Definitely don't use Lugol's iodine on the predators,it doesn't work.I had some nasty zoa eating nudibranches.I freshwater dip(dechlorinated) for about 5 minutes and pick off the egg sacks with tweezers.All the colonies were dip every couple of days and put in QT.It took about 2 weeks before everything was in the clear.

    There seems to be many predators of zoa......nudibranches,spiders,sundial snails.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
    reeffreak, Sep 2, 2007
    #11
  12. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I have been watching this zoa colony very closely over the past few days.

    It's been 3 days since I did that first freshwater dip. They still haven't been opening a whole lot. I woke up this morning to find the entire colony COVERED in white slime and about 100 little white eggs. :pissedof:

    I am upset, to say the least.

    I wish I had a quarentine tank. I feel like an idiot because I brought this colony home from the LFS and just plunked them into my tank after about 2hrs of acclimation.

    I'm afraid my other zoa colonies are going to get sick now. I had another colony within just a few inches of this one that was sick.

    I did another freshwater dip and didn't notice anything crawling away. The slime and eggs were stuck to all the zoas. I swished quite vigorously. I held the rock with a pair of locking hemostats and swished and swished. There was just no getting all of the eggs off the poor zoas. I picked at them with a pair of tweezers for over an hour this morning. One egg at a time.
    I flushed the entire colony down the toilet about 5 minutes ago. :sniffles: I think it was hopeless and I don't have a QT tank. I really hate to kill something, but I didn't want to put them back in the tank and risk loosing all my other zoa colonies.

    :bye2:

    This totally sucks.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 5, 2007
    #12
  13. Rcpilot

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    26,996
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    Location:
    Ringgold,Ga
    It might be a good idea to go ahead and invest in a small Qtank.

    Just watch your other colonies close.Be prepared to dip them.
    Most of the coral predators we end up with are specialized predators.So if worst come to worst,then you can leave the prey corals out for a few weeks to completely kill the predators.
     
    yote, Sep 5, 2007
    #13
  14. Rcpilot

    Rcpilot

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I was going to put together a nano with my 5.5g tank.

    I think it would be better served as a QT tank. I'm actually working on it right now. I put saltwater in and started a HOB filter pumping.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 5, 2007
    #14
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.