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Common Zoa Pests, Diseases, and Treatments


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#1
Weetabix7

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I have seen a lot of posts and questions lately about common zoa pests and diseases and what to do about them, and thought it was about time someone (who, me?) compiled some of this information together in one thread.

For pics of some commonly encountered zoa pests, including nudi's, see here:
http://www.zoaid.com...p;g2_itemId=384

Any new zoas that you get, especially colonies or larger pieces, need to be dipped to ensure none of these pests are present before placing them in your tank.
I have found a FW dip to be very helpful in removing pests. Here's the recipe I use:
-1 gal. FW, with PH and temp adjusted to match tank
-4 drops Lugol's iodine

I dip new arrivals in this solution for 3 minutes, swishing the heck out of them while in the dip in order to dislodge the pests.
Nudi eggs will not come off in a dip and need to be removed by hand. What works for me is to place a paper towel over my fingers and then hand pick them off. The eggs are slippery and resist things like tweezers, but will stick to a paper towel.
IME, zoa spiders also will not dislodge on their own in a dip and will need to be picked off with something like tweezers. Look VERY closely for spiders, they tend to blend in with the colors of the zoas they inhabit.

For most diseases in the earlier stages, the above dip works as well, although I usually dip in tankwater/SW instead of FW. I have personally found a FW dip to be mostly helpful with pests. For diseases, I use SW or tankwater in order to cause less stress to the zoas.
You can use other iodine based dips besides Lugol's. I have also used Kent Marine's concentrated iodine and Seachem's Reef Dip.
If the frag or colony is in REALLY bad shape, you can also paint the iodine solution onto the badly affected areas and let it sit out on a table or counter for 3-5 mins. Rinse well before returning to the tank.
I have found, especially with fungus, that it helps to place the affected colony or frag in high flow when returning it to the tank.
For zoa pox, a Furan-2 dip is extremely effective. For information on how to do this, see this article:
http://www.zoaid.com/articles004.php

BibleSue and I have also found that for frags or colonies that are unresponsive to an iodine based dip, sometimes Furan-2 works. Always make sure you rinse before returning to the tank.

We have also found that when we get new zoas in, they do better if we leave the lights off on the first day or only have actinics on.

I'm sure I will think of things that I forgot to include in this, and will add on as time and memory allows.
Anyone else with experience in this area, please feel free to chime in.

Edited by Weetabix7, 06 November 2007 - 01:03 PM.


#2
tangboy

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Glad to see someone is knowledgable in my area *waves to Oak Ridge from Corryton*! Keep posting any zoa info you know because I am currently trying to get into the zoas thing!
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#3
Weetabix7

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Glad to see someone is knowledgable in my area *waves to Oak Ridge from Corryton*! Keep posting any zoa info you know because I am currently trying to get into the zoas thing!


I will try.
If I am slow to add to this, feel free to PM me with any questions, I'm happy to help.

#4
chew*

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Great post, There should really be a sticky here for alll types of pests and diseases for various corals.

In my personal experience betadine ( found at CVS ) works just as good as lugols and is widely available.

The dosage is 4ml per liter of water.
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#5
tubatime1010

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This is not necessarily a DISEASE question...but oh well..

Is it common for a 5-10 polyps to not open on a daily basis? The colony that I bought is about 5"x3" and contains no less than 50-60 polyps.

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#6
Weetabix7

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This is not necessarily a DISEASE question...but oh well..

Is it common for a 5-10 polyps to not open on a daily basis? The colony that I bought is about 5"x3" and contains no less than 50-60 polyps.


I've seen it happen, but it is usually an early sign of a developing problem.
Check tank param's first, and if those line up, you might to consider doing an iodine based dip before a full-blown problem develops.

#7
Weetabix7

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Here's a link with some really good info on dipping zoas:

http://www.club-zoa....read.php?t=1248

#8
svvad

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I like the lazier ways ... :D I bought a yellow wrasse and now my nudis are gone :D

#9
Weetabix7

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N00b bump.

#10
Weetabix7

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Here's some interesting new info that The Propagator has discovered on ways to treat bacterial and fungal infections on zoas:
http://www.nano-reef...?...152511&st=0

#11
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Great thread, Weetie. I have tried a few rocks of Zoas in the recent months, and they keep dissappearing. I looked at your link in your OP and the only thing on there I have noticed is the Amphopods. I noticed them on the Zoas at night, every night. The Zoas seemed to get smaller by the day. I also noticed some flatworms on my tank's glass. Does anyone know if flatworms are known to prey on Zoas? I'm getting to be quite frustrated now, because I really want to start some large Zoa colonies in my tank, and they just aren't making it. :(
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#12
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I have not personally noticed flatworms causing problems for zoas.
As you noted, I have personally had problems in the past with large amphipods eating palys in my tank.
Unfortunately, determining whether amphipods are a source of zoa problems is difficult.
While I am absolutely 100% certain that they DO sometimes eat zoas/palys, there are also plenty of situations where there is a sizeable pod population that doesn't harm zoas at all. From what I can tell, it is the larger amphipods that cause problems sometimes (not always).
What is also unfortunately true is that the experience you are reporting with zoas is not uncommon. I can't tell you how many times I have heard from people that they have had zoas decline and disappear in a tank that is perfectly healthy and for reasons that they are unable to determine. I've had it happen to me before too. Zoas are weird that way, they either do really well or they don't, with no apparent middle ground.
It wouldn't hurt to check your magnesium levels.
I have known low magnesium to cause problems before.
Are you getting full-sized colonies, or even mini-colonies?
Those seem to be much more problematic than zoa frags, and much more prone to fungal and bacterial infections within 3 days after shipment.

Edited by Weetabix7, 04 June 2008 - 09:53 PM.


#13
organism

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I also noticed some flatworms on my tank's glass. Does anyone know if flatworms are known to prey on Zoas?



Flatworms don't eat zoanthids, but they can stress them as they crawl over the zoos and keep them closed to the point that they start to rot away. Also, high salinity can be a huge factor in zoanthids not doing well, they're really susceptible to salinity issues.
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#14
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Flatworms don't eat zoanthids, but they can stress them as they crawl over the zoos and keep them closed to the point that they start to rot away. Also, high salinity can be a huge factor in zoanthids not doing well, they're really susceptible to salinity issues.


Above what salinity level have you found that zoas don't do well?

#15
organism

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For zoos I try to keep it at 1.025, a big issue with nano-reefs is that the evaporation raises the salinity really quickly, and people that don't keep up with the water top-offs get salinity spikes at least a few times a week, which will slowly melt them away. I learned that one the hard way...
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#16
Weetabix7

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That's an interesting point, and something that most people probably don't often consider.
I keep my tanks at 1.025 as well, and they would all fit into either the nano or pico category with some of them being open top, but I also top-off 2-3 times a day since I'm almost always home.
Thanks for your input.

#17
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As you noted, I have personally had problems in the past with large amphipods eating palys in my tank.
Unfortunately, determining whether amphipods are a source of zoa problems is difficult.
While I am absolutely 100% certain that they DO sometimes eat zoas/palys, there are also plenty of situations where there is a sizeable pod population that doesn't harm zoas at all. From what I can tell, it is the larger amphipods that cause problems sometimes (not always).

I was suspecting them. Only the really large ones (larger than a large grain of rice) were on the zoas. They were always on them at night, and every night the colony of zoas looked smaller. I've also had a problem lately with GSP and Xenia disappearing. I'm really puzzled.

What is also unfortunately true is that the experience you are reporting with zoas is not uncommon. I can't tell you how many times I have heard from people that they have had zoas decline and disappear in a tank that is perfectly healthy and for reasons that they are unable to determine. I've had it happen to me before too. Zoas are weird that way, they either do really well or they don't, with no apparent middle ground.

That sucks, cause I really liked mine. They were going awesome, healthy as can be, and opened up fully every day, all day. They were just disappearing one by one.

It wouldn't hurt to check your magnesium levels.
I have known low magnesium to cause problems before.

I feel like such a noob. I've been using Distilled water ever since I set the tank up, and never do water changes because just buying 30g distilled a month adds up. A weekly 4g water change would make it more expensive. I am guessing that water changes will help with these trace levels?

Are you getting full-sized colonies, or even mini-colonies?
Those seem to be much more problematic than zoa frags, and much more prone to fungal and bacterial infections within 3 days after shipment.

I've always bought small colonies, like around 6-15 polyps each. I got one 6 polyp colony from Six about 4 months ago, and they disappeared. Later, I bought a 12 or so colony at my LFS and they were doing fine from the start, then disappeared.

I also had a large GSP colony disappear, which is almost indestructible. If it's possible that it's the Amphipods, is there a fish that loves to eat them, but doesn't jump (open top) and doesn't eat them as a their entire diet (mandarin dragonette)? Maybe if there was a fish to keep an eye on my corals, and eat any large amphipods off, the zoas might have a better chance.

Thanks for the help, Weetie! :)
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#18
Weetabix7

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Waitaminnit, how are you not doing WC's???
Like, EVER???
Dude, you gotta do WC's.
And yes, they would help with trace mineral levels.

IME, wrasses are the best fish for eating amphipods, but they are jumpers.
I had to convert my tank from an open-top when I added my Yellow Coris Wrasse, who is an excellent pod eater and a very cool fish.

#19
halfpint

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Waitaminnit, how are you not doing WC's???
Like, EVER???
Dude, you gotta do WC's.
And yes, they would help with trace mineral levels.

IME, wrasses are the best fish for eating amphipods, but they are jumpers.
I had to convert my tank from an open-top when I added my Yellow Coris Wrasse, who is an excellent pod eater and a very cool fish.

Haha, yeah I know. I should be doing weekly WC's, but I'm just too busy to take the time to do it. I'm saving for an RO unit, and thinking about putting a glass top on my 26bow and a chiller. I'm just afraid that if I put a glass top on it, my temps are going to go through the roof. I tried Eggcrate, but my Midas blenny decided to make it through the eggcrate, and lay himself neatly under the lamp. He was a strip of fish jerky by the time I found him. :(

Do they even make glass tops for 26 bow tanks?

EDIT: Forgot to add that since setting this tank up two or three years ago, I've only done three WC's, and only lost a couple fish since setting it up. All fish losses were due to jumping.

My 12G NC is even worse! I set it up in '04 (I think) and I have only done maybe half a dozen WC's on it! :lol: I am experimenting with natural filtration with my tanks, and they seem to be doing well. No crash yet in almost 5 years of reefing. :)

Edited by halfpint, 07 June 2008 - 08:44 AM.

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#20
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I have seen a lot of posts and questions lately about common zoa pests and diseases and what to do about them, and thought it was about time someone (who, me?) compiled some of this information together in one thread.

For pics of some commonly encountered zoa pests, including nudi's, see here:
http://www.zoaid.com...p;g2_itemId=384

Any new zoas that you get, especially colonies or larger pieces, need to be dipped to ensure none of these pests are present before placing them in your tank.
I have found a FW dip to be very helpful in removing pests. Here's the recipe I use:
-1 gal. FW, with PH and temp adjusted to match tank
-4 drops Lugol's iodine

I dip new arrivals in this solution for 3 minutes, swishing the heck out of them while in the dip in order to dislodge the pests.
Nudi eggs will not come off in a dip and need to be removed by hand. What works for me is to place a paper towel over my fingers and then hand pick them off. The eggs are slippery and resist things like tweezers, but will stick to a paper towel.
IME, zoa spiders also will not dislodge on their own in a dip and will need to be picked off with something like tweezers. Look VERY closely for spiders, they tend to blend in with the colors of the zoas they inhabit.

For most diseases in the earlier stages, the above dip works as well, although I usually dip in tankwater/SW instead of FW. I have personally found a FW dip to be mostly helpful with pests. For diseases, I use SW or tankwater in order to cause less stress to the zoas.
You can use other iodine based dips besides Lugol's. I have also used Kent Marine's concentrated iodine and Seachem's Reef Dip.
If the frag or colony is in REALLY bad shape, you can also paint the iodine solution onto the badly affected areas and let it sit out on a table or counter for 3-5 mins. Rinse well before returning to the tank.
I have found, especially with fungus, that it helps to place the affected colony or frag in high flow when returning it to the tank.
For zoa pox, a Furan-2 dip is extremely effective. For information on how to do this, see this article:
http://www.zoaid.com/articles004.php

BibleSue and I have also found that for frags or colonies that are unresponsive to an iodine based dip, sometimes Furan-2 works. Always make sure you rinse before returning to the tank.

We have also found that when we get new zoas in, they do better if we leave the lights off on the first day or only have actinics on.

I'm sure I will think of things that I forgot to include in this, and will add on as time and memory allows.
Anyone else with experience in this area, please feel free to chime in.

Just to add my .02 cents :)
Remember to wear gloves when playing with corals...I am a bartender and always have cuts and niks and was introducing a new colony and low and behold started feeling queasy and faint, my hand was tingly and shakey and I had to lay down for a good twenty minuets. Didnt really think it was possible but It really happens!

#21
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I have seen a lot of posts and questions lately about common zoa pests and diseases and what to do about them, and thought it was about time someone (who, me?) compiled some of this information together in one thread.

For pics of some commonly encountered zoa pests, including nudi's, see here:
http://www.zoaid.com...p;g2_itemId=384

Any new zoas that you get, especially colonies or larger pieces, need to be dipped to ensure none of these pests are present before placing them in your tank.
I have found a FW dip to be very helpful in removing pests. Here's the recipe I use:
-1 gal. FW, with PH and temp adjusted to match tank
-4 drops Lugol's iodine

I dip new arrivals in this solution for 3 minutes, swishing the heck out of them while in the dip in order to dislodge the pests.
Nudi eggs will not come off in a dip and need to be removed by hand. What works for me is to place a paper towel over my fingers and then hand pick them off. The eggs are slippery and resist things like tweezers, but will stick to a paper towel.
IME, zoa spiders also will not dislodge on their own in a dip and will need to be picked off with something like tweezers. Look VERY closely for spiders, they tend to blend in with the colors of the zoas they inhabit.

For most diseases in the earlier stages, the above dip works as well, although I usually dip in tankwater/SW instead of FW. I have personally found a FW dip to be mostly helpful with pests. For diseases, I use SW or tankwater in order to cause less stress to the zoas.
You can use other iodine based dips besides Lugol's. I have also used Kent Marine's concentrated iodine and Seachem's Reef Dip.
If the frag or colony is in REALLY bad shape, you can also paint the iodine solution onto the badly affected areas and let it sit out on a table or counter for 3-5 mins. Rinse well before returning to the tank.
I have found, especially with fungus, that it helps to place the affected colony or frag in high flow when returning it to the tank.
For zoa pox, a Furan-2 dip is extremely effective. For information on how to do this, see this article:
http://www.zoaid.com/articles004.php

BibleSue and I have also found that for frags or colonies that are unresponsive to an iodine based dip, sometimes Furan-2 works. Always make sure you rinse before returning to the tank.

We have also found that when we get new zoas in, they do better if we leave the lights off on the first day or only have actinics on.

I'm sure I will think of things that I forgot to include in this, and will add on as time and memory allows.
Anyone else with experience in this area, please feel free to chime in.

I think my zoa have the pox, I also noticed a white film over a group of them. I removed it but they don't look good. Should I use this furan 2?
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2 Koralia 2 600 gph each


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1 Pajama Cardinal
Yellow/Pink Anthias
Cocoa Worm
Feather Duster
Emerald Crab
1 Double Head of Duncan
















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#22
Weetabix7

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I think my zoa have the pox, I also noticed a white film over a group of them. I removed it but they don't look good. Should I use this furan 2?


For zoas with pox, use the Furan-2.
For zoas with a white film, try the lugol's iodine dip first and if you don't see a positive response to that, then try the Furan-2.
I think SeeDemTails has actually had some good results from using a mixed iodine/Furan 2 dip, we need to get her dip recipe on here.

#23
pismo_reefer

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I recently got a small zoa rock that was full of bristle worms! So i had a in shower soap an toothbrush holder that works amazingly well as a mini refugium i quickly put my zoas in there with a fish bag around the holes on the bottom to catch the lil worms. Since i didnt want the lil buggers to spread! An after 2 days i only had 4 worms. I tried the dip an mixed it around as well as let it sit a full 3 mi, but once i placed the zoas back into saltwater thats when the worms came back out? Was 3 min not long enough or should i try another way....Im getting slightly annoyed an wonderin are bristle worms that bad anyway? :huh: Open to any suggestions. :D
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#24
Weetabix7

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Bristleworms are perfectly good detrivores, not sure why you wanted to get rid of them.
Did you do a FW dip or a SW dip?
I wouldn't think they would survive a FW dip, but probably would a SW dip.

#25
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Bristleworms are perfectly good detrivores, not sure why you wanted to get rid of them.
Did you do a FW dip or a SW dip?
I wouldn't think they would survive a FW dip, but probably would a SW dip.

Damn it! I did a google search an everything that came up was negative an said they should be taken out instantly! But then i came on here after my bf told me to an was super confused. Thanx for the advice i did a quick freshwater dip an then a saltwater to rinse....im a noob so thanx for not ripin me a new one..lol...i hope i didnt hurt my new lil zoas! They still havent come back out its only been 4 hours so i'l have to wait an see :)
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