Photograph by Blane Perun

Blue Zoanthids

Blue zoanthids are one of the most difficult to work with compared to other colors in nature. The pink zoas are similarly challenging like the blue and the information here is geared to working with both.

Origin

In general, blue zoas are found in the Pacific ocean. It is not uncommon for them to be imported from the Caribbean, too. Both of these blue zoanthids have needs that are very specific and different from one another. The blue from the Caribbean fare better during propagation than colonies from the Pacific.

Infections

Aggressive fragmentation affects a very large percentage of Pacific variation. The dying tissue from the cuts don’t get enough water circulation to heal. You will have a much higher success rate propagating small colonies starting with at 20 polyps. You can accomplish this by breaking the rock into smaller sections.

Salinity

Another helpful tip is that blue zoanthids from the Caribbean handle high salinity better than Pacific blues, this was very apparent over a long period of time. I ended up separating the two variations and creating separate propagation systems for Caribbean blues and the Pacific blue zoanthids.

Lighting

The last thing to keep in mind when it comes to zoanthids husbandry is aquarium lighting; this could not be more critical with blue color variation. I have kept these zoanthids in under various lighting hardware. Including VHO, HO, PC, MH, MH and PX, also testing every combination of these bulbs possible. After these experiences it was obvious that the Pacific blue zoanthids did not hold their color as intensely under bright lights. On the other hand the Caribbean blues tend to become more intense under bright light. Overall, it is much easier to keep the Caribbean blue zoanthids healthy and growing, but the most intense coloration comes from the Pacific colonies.

Blane Perun

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Whale in Ocean