Idea for perfect zoa gardens

Oscaror

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Just wanted to share an idea that came to mind on how to create perfect zoa gardens. We all know some zoas obviously grow way faster than others and due to size differences can also overshadow their neighbors which can be a huge pain. I've come up with a solution to this that would allow perfect pre-planned zoa colony distribution and separation. This would involve fake live rock, or live rock rubble epoxied together, shaped like the diagram below:
Zoanthid Idea.png

I'm not sure if this has already been thought of, I got the idea from the many pics I've seen of frag tank zoa gardens. The zoas being separated by the plug would grow into these awesome mini colonies that were all so even in size and distribution. The fact that their growth is limited to the space provided by the plug is what results in this effect, so I thought of how to translate that onto live rock. The chasms that separate them end up being visually covered as the zoas extend from the rock with their "stems", but they can't spread further as they'd have to grow across and under the area with no light and minimal water flow. You just plop your frags down onto the individual sections of rock and let time run its course. Thoughts?
 
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Oscaror

Oscaror

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Additionally I think this could be used artistically, like creating streaks of certain zoas to make patterns or designs. It's a very versatile concept imo, could be used to great effect
 

Staghorn

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It could be very nice. I think you would have to definitely blast all the detritus out of those crevices every week or it could lead to some major algae problems. And along with that you may have to take some kind of tool and scrape between the crevices as well, I’m pretty sure the Zoe‘s will find a way to bridge the gap‘s. By scraping in there with a tool you could keep them from establishing bridges across
 

Benjammin

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Mine made it across this gap. Please excuse the algae lol.
You can still see the strand that made the bridge but it’s fading away.
 

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Oscaror

Oscaror

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I'd like to see this experiment undertaken. I like the creativity! The gaps might be a sanitation issue and sizing would seem to be critical.
I'd like to see this experiment undertaken. I like the creativity! The gaps might be a sanitation issue and sizing would seem to be critical.
Yeah I thought about that too, might need a lot of bristle worms... I'd think the "chasms" would only have to be 2 inches deep minimum to help prevent the spread of the zoas though, so I'm sure it could be managed somehow. I will definitely try this out myself some day, currently too focused on finances to participate this hobby :/
Mine made it across this gap. Please excuse the algae lol.
You can still see the strand that made the bridge but it’s fading away.
Interesting, guess some palys really ggive it their all. Still I'd imagine it would be easier to manually prevent palys from crossing a gap than spreading on flat rock.
 
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zoas don't cooperate.
my rastas grow under the ledge through darkness.
my pin wheels are now growing between the rastas.
zoas 122220B.jpg
zoas 051821.jpg
Lol dang, I don't know though, maybe making the space between have such a steep drop off could stop it? Like my idea isn't just that there is a dark space between them, I want to make it as inhospitable for them as possible so they cant grow. Basically a dead spot, which like some already said only detritus could manage to grow in. Idk, I'll experiment with his idea some day and show you all my results. Stay tuned like, idk 3 years from now I guess
Hi this is a very interesting idea! Has any one pulled this off?
I don't think it's been tried yet, so I put this out there for people to consider as I really would love to see zero maintenance zoa gardens be a thing
 
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I saw your idea and was thinking if I could get a dremel to carve up a rock like that. Detritus would be my issue and I thought what would stop a more "determined" zoa from growing into the canyons and out the other side?
 

sp1187

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Lol dang, I don't know though, maybe making the space between have such a steep drop off could stop it? Like my idea isn't just that there is a dark space between them, I want to make it as inhospitable for them as possible so they cant grow. Basically a dead spot, which like some already said only detritus could manage to grow in. Idk, I'll experiment with his idea some day and show you all my results. Stay tuned like, idk 3 years from now I guess

I don't think it's been tried yet, so I put this out there for people to consider as I really would love to see zero maintenance zoa gardens be a thing
it will work with some zoas/palys. I get height differences by leaving the plug stem on some and removing it on others when I glue it to the aquascape. some grow under and down the stem. others don't.
nice project. hope you can eventually try it out. don't wait too long. I'm an old guy. ;)
 

Alvaro_Spain

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Nice idea. I´d do it this way. Instead of carving I´d use a base flat rock and drill holes, then use some smaller rocks also drilled 'floating' over it attached by clear acrylic tubes.

This way on the one hand you deal with flow and waste accumulating, and on the other hand you could only cement the tubes to the bottom and therefore extract the top rocks if need to trim (like in plants xD) the ones growing too much.
 

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Lsuhunter

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What about just using a bunch of similar sized rocks and growing one zoa on each, then place the rocks close together. Rearrange whenever you want to show different color combos.
 

littlebigreef

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It's an interesting idea, I've had zoas grow across gaps and down underneath where there's no light. However, it might work well if you stuck with smaller polyped zoas like awesome blossoms, AOI, Pikachus, tweety birds, kedd's reds... those guys grow pretty dense but I doubt they'd have the same 'reach' or ability to bridge gaps like standard sized zoas.
 

Cook

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This type of idea might be a good 3D printed project. I made platforms for SPS colony grow out for my tank based on @Coral Euphoria 's technique. Zoa platforms would need various length rods to achieve the separation to keep them from crossing from one platform to another. @Alvaro_Spain 's idea of using rocks glued to acrylic rods might have a more natural look, that could also be emulated with a 3D print, but it wouldn't have that grown together look I think you want and I wouldn’t put it past zoanthids to try to grow down the rods. When they overgrow onto my egg crate they wrap all the way around.

7D2290A1-8B5D-4926-AD4D-9F4DD750E2BC.jpeg
 

Do you prefer rubble rock, larger rocks or no rock in your sump and why?

  • Rubble

    Votes: 92 35.1%
  • Larger Rock

    Votes: 73 27.9%
  • Nothing

    Votes: 67 25.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 30 11.5%
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