Zoanthid Propagation

Manual zoanthid propagation works well with the zoanthus due to its reproductive properties. The sea mat tissue will grow in one of two ways, either like spaghetti or else quite thick. Should it grow more like spaghetti it is possible to lift up a section towards the outskirts of the colony and then slowly and gently life the zoanthus from its rock.


There are a couple of options. You may want to cut some of the strips into sections and then mount them onto plugs using a plastic toothpick or else you may choose to use a zip tie to gently bound them. Using adhesive is helpful in many situations and I recommend it, however there are some polyps that do not react well.

Chemical Burns

An example of this is when I placed a bit of adhesive on a blue morph. Within a few days the tissue decayed and the entire colony disintegrated in time either as a direct result of the adhesive burn or because they decaying tissue created an environment for another infection. This might not be the rule, but it does happen so I use plastic toothpicks now to attach coral to a new substrate.

Splitting The Colony

The next method used is by chiseling small pieces off the colony. This is done by chipping at the rock underneath the colony. If you split the rock then you can use a sharp blade to cut the tissue. When you can’t break the rock then use a Dremel tool or small screwdriver. This will result in flat rock pieces covered in polyps that can easily be glued to a reef plug. You must be very careful when it comes to glue and always pay close attention to what you are gluing.


Superglue gel was used to adhere the two month old propagation to a plug. In little time the plug was covered with the colony. This became the perfect piece to cut to sell or trade. Now, the plug may be cut down into more. This is a great tip for zoanthid propagation and something you will certainly want to keep in mind if you will be involved in lots of zoanthids propagation. If you are a good student and pay attention to the information outlined here then you should have no problems that can’t be overcome with experience when it comes to zoanthid propagation.

Blane Perun

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