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Common Names: Zoanthids
Mat Coral
Sea Mat
Classification: Zoanthus
Description: A soft, colonial coral that forms a mat of small, circular polyps. These polyps look a bit like tiny anemones with radial tentacles and a small central mouth. Zoanthids normally appear in brown and green, but can be found in just about any color imaginable.
Environment: Found in nearly all tropical oceans.
Hardiness: A great beginner coral, most species are very hardy, and able to tolerate higher levels of nitrates and phosphates than most corals, though they should not intentionally be kept in such conditions.
Lighting: Low to high reef lighting.
Current: Medium to high flow.
22°C - 28°C
72°F - 82°F
Aggressiveness: Low, will be attacked and killed by most other corals. If kept with sps, it would be a good idea to surround sps with loose rocks, and remove when the zoanthids get too close. Due to their rate of growth, they can sometimes overwhelm such corals.
Feeding: Mainly zooxanthellate, light and dissolved nutrients is all that is needed for zoanthids to grow well.
Supplements: None necessary.
Position: Grow and spread most successfully on rock or skeletons of dead corals, however they can grow on sand and the glass walls of your tank too.
Reproduction: Asexual fragmentation can be acheived easily by placing rocks around the colony and cutting the mat with a razor and removing the rocks.
Comments: Great beginners coral that can accept a wide range of aquarium conditions. Also, many fish including some butterflys and angels constantly graze on zoanthids in the wild. Therefore, zoas are naturally one of the first to get eaten by any new additions to the tank.
Image Credit: mattyboombatty
Submitted By: mattyboombatty
Contributors: mattyboombatty
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