Common names: zoos, zoanthids,
button polyps (sometimes inconsistently given names like "fire and ice"
and "people eaters" based on phenotypic characteristics such as
coloration and size that may have little or nothing to do with actual
Natural origin: wide-ranging, Indo-pacific
Sensitivity (Level 1): Zoanthids are usually quite tolerant and easy to care for.
Appropriate food particle size depends on the size of the particular
coral's polyp mouth size. Though usually not necessary, some aquarists
target feed to encourage faster growth.
Lighting (Level 4 to 10): Though
more intense lighting is usually preferred, many zoanthids can adapt to
much lower light intensities. As with any zooxanthellate coral,
coloration can change in response to changing lighting conditions.
Water flow: These corals do well with moderate to high water flow.
not aggressive corals, they are fast growing when healthy and need
considerable space (like Xenia and star polyps, they can become a
nuisance in tanks with slower growing stony corals competing for space).
Polyps will close at night and when stressed. They may take a few days
(or even weeks) to open up in a new environment. WARNING: Zoanthids
secrete a slime that is highly toxic to humans. It's wise to use gloves
when touching these corals. Do not touch polyps if you have an open
wound. Do not touch eyes or mouth after touching polyps.