Zoanthids only opening half way...look pinched closed...Please help!!!

Discussion in 'Coral Health' started by offensetaken, Mar 25, 2009.

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  1. offensetaken

    offensetaken Montipora Digitata

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    Hello all at 3reef...I am a newbie to this site. I have been in the hobby for just over 2 years. I'll start with some of my specs. I have a 24 gal. nano cube with a 10 gal DIY fuge. (Mineral mud with 20% aragonite, chateomorph, many pods) I drilled the holes for my drain and return and eliminanted to lame 3-stage filtration that these tanks come with. My parameters are as follows: Temp 78-81 depending on time of day, PH 8.3, Alk. 3.4, Amaonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <5 ppm, Phos. <0.1, Cal. 380 ppm (this is a bit low, using BI-onic 2-part for cal and alk) will be starting a DIY kalk drip for top off soon. Lighting I'm not sure of...whatever the JBJ Nano cube's come with but I have replaced the bulbs 3 mos. ago Livestock: 1-TR clownfish, 1-yellow watchman, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 strawberry crab, many red-leg and blue knee hermits, 1 turbo snail, 2 trocus snails, 2 margarita snails, branching hammer, grn fuzzy shrooms, purlps shrooms, 1 watermellon shroom, 1 blue ricordea, grn and orange zo's, orange/pink zo's, purple/white zo's. All is well in my tank with the exception of all my zoathid colonies. I have been reading all over the web as to what this could be. They were all doing great until one day I noticed they were not opening up all the way. they seem to open up right when the lights come on but then they begin to close up most of the way. It looks like they are eating away on their own tentacles. I have looked with a magnifying glass many times at night and when the lights first come on...no sign of nudi's, spiders, aiptasia, spaghetti worms of any other common predator of zoanthids. I don't think this is any kind of predator because I borrowed a small zoa colonie from my friend and it opened up the first day in my tank and the second day it looked like my other colonies. My colonies seemed very happy in regards to lighting and waterflow prior to this issue!! Please respond if you have any ideas as to what this could be. Thanks and sorry for the long post!! Happy Reefing!!!8)
     
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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    stumped on this one to be honest

    I know peppermint shrimps eat Aipstasia nems - is it possible the shrimp is nibbling on these as they resemble these pest nems to some small degree

    I have seem similar reactions in Zoas, half closing , in reaction to the sweeper tentacles of a bubble coral that was close by in my tank - so is the hammer coral possibly a candidate

    sounds like a lot of stock in a 24 gallon tank - so maybe its chemical warfare going on with various species ( do you run carbon as if this is the case it will help)

    cant give you definite answer just hope the "bump" finds someone who can
     
  4. offensetaken

    offensetaken Montipora Digitata

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    Hey Steve, Thanks for the reply!

    Unless the pep. shrimp is only nipping at them at night...I haven't witnessed it and I have been watching for 10 mins or so almost every night since I saw the change in my zo's. I thought that it was maybe the hammer coral as well but only one of my colonies are maybe 5-6 inches away. The other colony is on the other side of my tank and is being affected in the same manner as the other colony. I did take chemical warfare or (allelopathy) into consideration but I do run carbon in my fuge so I"m stumped as well.

    all of my corals' are pretty small...zoa. colonies are only 20-30 polyps each, ricordea (2) about the size of a half dollar, (2) shroom colonies on pieces of LR with 8-10 shroomies each. My branching hammer coral has 3 med. sized heads on it.

    The funny thing is that I do notice there is new growth on both colonies but they have been acting "STRANGE" like this for 10 days now. No sign that either colony is near death!!

    I do a 15% water change every 10 days or three times a month and have prob. changed around 20% of my water since the "MYSTERY" happend. I use RO water and mix it with instant ocean Reef Crystals...

    Maybe just have to give em' time and hope they come out of the slump!
     
  5. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    You probably already checked this but is the carbon you are running 'activated carbon' and how often do you change it? It only lasts a few weeks in most cases.

    It sounds like chemical warfare to me too...
     
  6. offensetaken

    offensetaken Montipora Digitata

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    Thanks for your thoughts Peredhil!

    Yes it is activated carbon and I change it every month. I just changed it again when I noticed the zo's not doing well and I have read up on allelopathy and that is the only thing that makes sense. Every other thing that I can think of or other people suggest, I rule out as a possibility one way or another.

    What would be the best way to put a stop to this "allelopathy" if this is the case

    Although these colonies of zo's have been in my tank together for atleast 6 mos with no signs of chemical warfare! Would allelopathy develop out of no where like that?
     
  7. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    allelopath...

    this is something I only know what it means... not very versed in it...


    I would *guess* that *if* this is the case it would only be one of your corals doing it and my guess would be that it is either the last one you added *or* the last one you added is triggering some other one... but it is affecting many of them.


    if it is indeed what the problem is, the only solution I know of is to remove either the coral releasing it or the coral that is triggering the other...

    I have only really heard about this in context of plants though and not in corals so I'm just guessing here...

    I would probably think it's some trace element depletion though... your doing water changes which generally replenish these... :-/

    tough one dude. sorry and good luck!
     
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  9. stevebrooklyn

    stevebrooklyn Plankton

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    i had a problem with zoas not opening before, had the problem twice. The zoas was near the top 1/3 of tank with power compacts, things in the tank weren't looking so good after 8-9 months, so i changed light bulbs, then the zoas recovered started growing like crazy then after a few months the zoas weren't opening up as usual and the membranes looked like they were disolving and getting thinner, so i upgraded my lights to t-5 and now everything is back to normal, zoas opening and growing like crazy. i also dosed with vitamin c some posters had had some good results but i think in my tank the lights were the main issue. which is weird cuz i see some tank pictures with power compacts and the corals looked very nice but in my tank after a few months the corals started looking translucent, not bleached. i first attributed it to heat in the summer cuz i don't have a chiller but when it hits 90's outside my tank will be not far off, i have to get an a/c. turns out it was lights for now...i bought the ati t-5 back in feb so it has only been 2 months so it may or may not be the same story down the road.
     
  10. {Nano}Reefer

    {Nano}Reefer Dragon Wrasse

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    any chance of zoa eating nudis? are they damaged in any way?
     
  11. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    I'm saying either the peppermint is a camel, or the crab may be doing something. There's really not anything in there to be causing chemical warfare.
     
  12. offensetaken

    offensetaken Montipora Digitata

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    This post has been on idle for a while...thanks for chimming back in. I thought that it may be my lights as well. I just changed the bulbs last week. My zo's are still not opening up :( It seems like they try to open up just as the lights come on but an hour or two later they close up again. Before this issue my lights never seemed to be a problem. I'm sure they would do A LOT better with t5's but unfortunantly I have a JBJ nano cube. I'm thinking about getting a MH retrofit for my hood/canopy but they're almost $300.00 I have done 2 15% water changes since my last post on this subject and I don't really see an improvement in zo's. Since the lighting change the rest of my coral is looking better and opening fuller. I did have some brown pom-pom hydriods on one of the colonies that I didn't know what they were for a long time and the zo's still seemed to open with these (pom-poms) on the same rock growing in between the individual polyps. Maybe these pom-pom hydriods finally got the best of this colony before I manually removed them and in return the colony released toxins which had effect on the other colonies???