Extension assistance PLEASE!

JamesWilliamson

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Hi, My name is James. I have a 75 gallon reef tank been up for about 3 years. I'm struggling to keep zoanthids. I have some hammer corals and rose bubble tips, frog spawn but I can't achieve full extension from any of them. I found that part of my problem is my tank build, a 75gal (All in one) SeaClear System II. I water change every week and have only 3 fish. Water testing is difficult as I can only afford low end test equipment. May I have some good suggestions please?
 
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Peace River

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!!! If you have been running the tank for 3 years then it seems like you are doing some things right, but I'm sorry to hear about the struggles with your tank. Have the corals ever thrived in your tank? Why do you think your tank is part of the problem? Can you tell us more about what you do know about your water (what type of water do you use for water changes, how do you mix it, are you using any additives/chemicals, etc.). Is there a local fish store (LFS) or any other reefers in your area that may be able help you with a water test from time to time so you have an idea of your basic parameters? You may also want to post your question in the Coral Discussion section of this forum.
 

vetteguy53081

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Zoas are hardy yet can be tricky but with a 3 year tank - should be overly mature supporting most anything.
First to say, buying quality test kits are not just a must but should be a priority as it seems things go wrong on a Sunday night when all stores are closed and the first thing we do when issues arise is to test water. If it API kits you are using- there is a high likelihood you ARE GETTING FALSE READINGS. So lets skip the speech on water and talk about zoas. Zoas must have iodide, not iodine in their water and under moderate light and water flow. They seem to do best in the lower half to third of the tank in an area of low-medium to medium-high flow. Too much flow may make it hard for the polyps to open. You will know your zoanthids are ‘happy’ if they open up and are fully extended without seeming to stretch so far upright.. The majority of zoanthids have symbiotic photosynthetic zooxanthellae (I dare you to try and say that three times quickly) and are therefore best kept with at least moderate aquarium lighting as mentioned for production of zooxanthele.
Zoanthids require the standard water parameters that are good for keeping just about any of your corals healthy. You’re aiming for water temperature about 78 F, salinity somewhere around 1.025 specific gravity) and normal hardness 8-11 dKH) and a pH around 8.1-8.3.
However, if your polyps were previously open and have recently closed up, this should be taken as a serious sign of a water parameters issue. The first things I would check are ph and salinity. In my experience, zoas will close up if there are swings in salinity.
One disease that seems to disproportionately impacts these corals is something called zoa pox or zoanthid pox. Zoa pox is the name given to the zoanthid disease characterized by tiny growths on the side of the affected zoas. I’m not sure whether the growths/pustules themselves irritate the polyps and cause them to close up, or if the coral is otherwise sickly and closed up (therefore showing the zoa pox), but the bottom line is that if you see zoa pox, you have a sick coral.
Lastly, check for Super tiny spiders or nudibranchs which will take them down in No time. If you see these pests, start looking for eggs which are future pests to cause further problems. Hope this Helps !!!
 
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vetteguy53081

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Hydrored

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Welcome, you’ve received good advice so far, I agree on checking salinity. I have always found if salinity starts creeping in the wrong direction (especially low) coral tend not to extend. Good test kits are honestly a must in this hobby (quality) as takes much guess work out of it. Also can take a sample to a local trusted LFS.
 
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Fish Think Pink

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Hi, My name is James. I have a 75 gallon reef tank been up for about 3 years. I'm struggling to keep zoanthids. I have some hammer corals and rose bubble tips, frog spawn but I can't achieve full extension from any of them. I found that part of my problem is my tank build, a 75gal (All in one) SeaClear System II. I water change every week and have only 3 fish. Water testing is difficult as I can only afford low end test equipment. May I have some good suggestions please?
Welcome!
 
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Would you consider your tank to be balanced or lopsided when it comes to coral?

  • Balanced Mixed Reef

    Votes: 103 32.1%
  • Lopsided SPS

    Votes: 66 20.6%
  • Lopsided LPS

    Votes: 71 22.1%
  • Lopsided Zoanthids

    Votes: 21 6.5%
  • Lopdsided Soft Corals

    Votes: 47 14.6%
  • Lopsided NPS

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 12 3.7%
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