HELP - Shrinking Zoas & not opening

Discussion in 'Aquarium Corals' started by brikeibur, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    Well guys its strange.

    If you recall I was having issues with my brown button polyps. They were closing up and looking like they were beating eaten or just were decomposing....shrinking away to nothing and then end up with holes in them and such.

    I did a freshwater dip on them and they appear to be doing better.

    I have a new colony of zoas and two small frags of zoas also. The new colony and one of the frags of zoas aren't doing very well. The frag rarely opens anymore and looks to be shrinking. The colony is opening, except the ones on the outer edges...these seem to be closing up and shrinking. The colony just doesn't look as full as it used to be and has several that just won't open.

    There are no white dots or anything on the zoas that would indicate zoa pox. I did a freshwater dip on them the other day, but it seems as there is no improvement in their condition. The second zoa frag is doing great, but the odd part is that it has one of the zoas from the other frag in it, and it is doing awesome, but one inch away the original frag is doing terrible. This leads me to believe it is not water conditions nor lighting since the same type of zoa is doing great and is located less than an inch away among another type of zoa frag.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to what I could do to prevent further deterioration of the zoas?

    I'll try and post some pics later...thanks all.
     
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  2. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    Here is the zoa colony before:

    [​IMG]

    And after, there are lots that have pretty much shriveled up already, and several are still not opening, so I think it will end up taking out the whole colony:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here is the healthy zoa frag before:

    [​IMG]

    And here it is a week ago:

    [​IMG]

    And now:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there is one zoa from the sick frag doing great amid the other frags...so I don't think it is current, water quality, or amount of light....

    Any suggestions is appreciated.

    I have heard a dose of vitamin-c may help...if anyone knows anything about this please let me know.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. cbrownfish

    cbrownfish New Member

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    Possible causes:

    1. Allelopathy.
    2. Zoa pest like: Sundial Snail, Nudibranch, Zoa Spider.
    3. Low nutrients (tank too clean).
    4. Contaminant in the tank.
    5. Skewed parameter: High Temperature, Low Salinity, High Alk, etc.

    Good link: Zoanthid Predators, Irritators, & Diseases
     
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  4. Varga

    Varga Well-Known Member

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    sorry I cant help but that is a sweet colony in the first pic. Eagle eye?
     
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  5. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    Not sure Varga, but thank you...I just hope I don't lose them.
     
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  6. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    Thanks cbrownfish.....I will check that link out and see what I can find out.

    I do not believe it is a pest, as I have did a freshwater dip on them which should have killed whatever was on them, not to mention I have observed them for quite a while now, and have seen no pests around them.

    Don't think its a contaminant, as surely all the zoas would have been affected.....same with parameter.

    I am leaning toward a nutrient deficiency. Perhaps some zoas are soaking up all the nutrients and the others are dying off? I dunno....I will read more and continue doing checks on the params. I am also going to purchase a vitamin C supplement, as I have heard that could help them.

    Thanks all.
     
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  7. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Biran & Stacey I wouldn't rule out any of the above options. Anything that affects ONE zoa may or may NOT affect another. Remember that our coral are collected from MANY different places around the world and something that wipes out one colony may not even touch another. Some are just more sensitive than others. Since it's fairly wide-spread and not just one colony I suspect cbrownfish is onto something with his suggestions.

    Either way I hope you get to the bottom of it SOON!! It's a shame to loss such nice looking Zoas.
     
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  8. yvr

    yvr New Member

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    Do you add iodine to your tank? I believe that zoanthids really benefit from iodine supplementation although some may disagree. From my experience, I think that they prefer a tank with elevated Iodine concentrations at approx. .06ppm. and I dose with TM Pro Coral Iodine. Also, I haven't personally done a freshwater bath on zoanthids or any coral for that matter. I have always been under the impression that because invertebrates have a poor ability to osmoregulate, a fresh water bath would be bad (thats why we do freshwater baths on fish to kill ich). I have traditionally done iodine baths using a lugol's solution like Pro Coral Cure.
     
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  9. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    I to like the IODINE dip. I dip all NEW coral and any coral that's been cut, hurt or seems to be unhealthy. It's like my First-Aide for the coral.
     
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  10. Blurp

    Blurp New Member

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    How new are they?

    It might take some time, if they are just newcommers, to settle. Also inspect for gammarus or other tiny animals going upon them (don't mean eating, just wandering) mine have proven to be very delicate to other inhabitants touching them.

    Moreover, inspect for asterines they tend to take the very same colour of the zoas they feed of.

    This does not mean that the beforesaid diseases are not present, but if it's that simple it could spare you many worries...

    Hope they get on well...they're just gorgeous.
     
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  11. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    Well the zoas are doing worse.

    We did a vitamin-C dip, but it did not seem to help at all. I think I need to see about getting an iodine dip for them.

    The reason I do not think it was parameters or pollutants is because some of the zoas are in fact the exact same and from the exact same place, and are sitting in the exact same area...maybe an inch from one another. If you notice in the pics of the frags (not the larger colony) in the frag of healthy zoas is a very healthy zoa from this sick zoa frag. They were sitting directly beside each other in my 24g, so one guy stuck in among the other frags...and to my point....he is doing perfect. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with him. The one polyp opens up, is large and has shown no problems...so that is why I think if it is a parameter issue that affects that type of zoa, that the polpyp sitting less than an inch away would also be affected (same if it were a contaminant or lighting issue).

    I'm not saying those are NOT the issues...i'm just saying that leads me to believe they aren't, but I could be wrong.

    We tested our water using every kit we had, and all the params looked great, so I am just at a loss.

    We have also monitored the zoas for quite a while and have noticed no pests either grazing, hanging out, or anything around the zoas. An occasional hermit crab crawling near them from time to time is all we have seen.

    I just don't know what the issue could be it's nuts. They are not new. I have had the frags for a few months now, and the colony for several weeks, so I think they have had plenty of time to adjust.

    I guess my next option is iodine dip and then I will supplement my tank regularly if that seems to help them, other than that I really don't know what else to do.....
     
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  12. cbrownfish

    cbrownfish New Member

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    Look at night for Nudibranch's with a flashlight. VERY carefully scan each polyp. As for Sundial snails, they often burrow inside a crevice or between polyps where they are very hard to see. Especially on an old coral skeleton that has tons of nooks and crannies. Large as a dime or as small as the zero on your keyboard.

    What corals are "upstream" from the zoas? Any large leathers? If there is a coral upstream that is looking particularly robust, consider it a suspect. Neighboring corals can release toxins and harmful particals that can damage their tank mates. I find it particularly difficult to grow a tight Zoa/Paly "garden" due to fighting between the polyp species......takes time, trial & error. Do you run GAC (carbon)? This can help remove harmful toxins and keep them from building up in the water column. If your tank is very new or you don't feed very often then you may have a nutrient deficiency.

    I have become patient over the years and tend to let nature take it's course a bit. Regardless of our respective patience/tolerance level, don't over react and stress the coral out more. Freshwater dips can be very rough on a coral and issues may not show up for sometime. I don't immediately freshwater dip every zoanthid I get anymore as I was losing too many to the process. Did anything come off the coral when you dipped?
     
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  13. brikeibur

    brikeibur New Member

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    The only thing that came off when we fresh water dipped it was some of the little copepods or amphipods or whatever that you typically see in a healthy tank.

    Nothing else came off. The tank is fairly new, as it is an upgraded tank...we went from a 24g to a 76g here recently, but all the liverock and sand came from fully cycled tanks. We used our existing liverock from our 24g and the liverock and sand from a 90g we purchased that had been up and running for a couple of years.

    A nutrient deficiency sounds possible. If you look on my tank forum I have some full tank shots, so you can somewhat see what is around the zoas and what all I have in my tank. The largest corals I have are some euphyllia corals, but I dont' think they are bothering anything, and they certainly aren't close enough to the zoas to be stinging them or anything.

    The link to my chronicle is here if you want to view my some tank shots:

    **Brian and Stacy's Reef Experience**

    Thanks for all the help and advice guys!

    Our LFS gave us a sample of Furan 2 to dip the zoas in and our other LFS gave us a coral dip, so we are going to try the coral dip tonight and watch them for a few days after and see if there is an improvement. He said that it would kill any parasites or bacteria infections the coral had, so we are going to try that.

    Later all!
     
    #13
  14. Lazylivin

    Lazylivin New Member

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    I know this is an old thread but new to me, just wanted to point out what may be a zoa spider in the 4th picture.
     
    #14
  15. alfaman

    alfaman New Member

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    Yep, I agree, that's a zoathid spider for sure.
     
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  16. redneckgearhead

    redneckgearhead Active Member

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    And it looks like an asterina (sp) star on the left side too?
     
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  17. catran

    catran New Member

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    Hope this guy fixed the problem after 3 years, lol! This post is from 2007! Lol!
    ;)
     
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