Elegant Moon Zoanthid (Zoanthus sp.)
Family: Zoanthidae (Colonial Anemones)
Habitat: Shallow high flow and mix areas of reefs.
Light: High Water Flow: High Space: 1+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Zoanthids rely mostly on their zooxanthellae for nutrition, as well as microplankton capture.
Natural History: The Zoanthus are a colonial genus. Their polyps are no more than one-half inch across, on short and fat stalks, short tentacles. They do not incorporate sediments into their mesoglea (as the Palythoa do). They reproduce by budding from the base of the parent colony (which is different from Palythoa which buds off of stolons). Zoanthus colonies are often so densely packed that the polyps are crowding each other on all sides. Their zooxanthellae and absorptive ability are the basis of their nutrition. Their colors are often bright and commonly include greens, yellows, oranges, and browns. Their larvae have been observed to crawl on the sand to new growth locations.
Husbandry: Zoanthus prefer strong water flow and bright light. This genus is highly dependent on zooxanthellae photosynthesis. They will feed on sea urchin eggs. They do not have to be fed because of their reliance on photosynthesis and their ability to absorb dissolved nutrients, bacteria, and algae. They will change color shades according to their lighting regime and they are resistant to coral bleaching because of this.
AKA: Sea Mat, Button Polyps
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