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Something is eating my Zoas.


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I went out of town and was gone about 36 hours and I came back Saturday night and a frag of about 6-8 zoas got completely eaten.


Thenlast night I moved a plug to the same spot, so my emerald crab would eat the algae off the plug and today I see that 8 zoas got almost completely eaten. Both plugs were in the same spot right next to a piece of live rock. I have 2 other plugs of zoas about 6-8 inches from there that have never been touched.


My sexy shrimp have picked at Zoas (I have 2 Sexies), but they never ate a whole entire head before.


What could be doing this?


Tank Inhabitants:

1 False Perc Clown

1 Tailspot Blenny

1 Emerald Crab

1 Pistol Shrimp

1 Peppermint Shrimp

1 Blue-Legged Hermit Crab

Assorted Snails (Cerith, Nassarius & Nerite)


All of the above have been with me for at least 2 months.

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First I would check for zoa eating pests then I would suspect the crab next.


I don't see any Nudis or Zoa Spiders on the plug. And could either devour that much in like 12-18 hours?

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What I normally do when is wait till the tank lights have been out for a while and just using room lighting or a weak flash light put food in that area and see what is lured out. Once you find where it is hiding set up a trap.

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cheryl jordan

Did anyone feed your tank while you were gone ?


IME peppermint shrimp will eat just about anything if no food is available for them, same for sexy shrimp.


With that said it could have been any of the other inverts, stanger things have happened.

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My pep has been a model citizen - but I feed the hell out of the tank he is in so I know he get's plenty. It's possible though.

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could they have fallen off the plug and got sucked into a filter or something?


this was my guess. a crab picking at the algae between polyps and popping them off

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this was my guess. a crab picking at the algae between polyps and popping them off


Peppermints will for sure eat zoas. I have seen them eat zoas, yellow polyps, zenia and most anything else.


Hitch hiking crabs will also do this. Earlier this year I had a large crab eating zoas in my system. I found him at night after the lights went out. What I did was get a red filter for a flash light (any piece of clear red plastic/film will do). Then I just watched the tank. Took all of 20 mins to find him.


The red light doesnt seem to bother them too much, but its still quite clear for us to see with.


Hope you solve your problems soon,




Paul @ Team VF.

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