Like other coral aficionados, zoanthid lovers take special care to insure the happiness and well being of their beloved polyps. Finding the right combination of water flow and lighting, maintaining stable water parameters and allowing colonies be left alone are often enough to be rewarded by steady growth. While it can be debated whether or not zoanthids are an ideal beginner coral, given the above conditions, they tend to thrive and proliferate. Few can argue the vivid colors and seemingly endless variety make them one of the most popular reef additions. Like other corals though, zoanthids and palythoa aren't without their pests and diseases that aquarists must keep a vigilant eye for. An unfortunate ailment for zoanthid lovers is known rather unaffectionately as Zoa Pox. So how do you know whether a colony has Zoa Pox or not? Zoa Pox are small pimple-like pustules that will appear on the stalk and mat of zoanthids and palythoa (see figure 1). The pox tend to irritate the polyp and even in early stages the polyp will not fully open. At advanced stages, more pustules will form and eventually the afflicted polyps will remain closed. If left untreated, the colony will most likely parish and the disease can spread to other colonies. While the causes aren't completely understood, early detection and proper treatment can greatly improve chances for survival. (figure 1 From zoaid.com) Many reef aquarists have been left baffled and frustrated as they watch their beloved colonies suffer and die. Trying various coral dips, medicated treatments, etc. without much success. One treatment that has proven very successful though is API's Furan 2. This treatment has been successful for even advanced cases of Zoa Pox and to date seems to be the "go to" treatment that most prefer. A quick Google search will lead you to countless threads on the subject and provide proof of it's effectiveness, however, for the sake of this discussion the treatment is listed as follows. But first a word of caution. Quarantining any coral or fish afflicted with an ailment is always the safest way to insure no other organisms are negatively affected by the ailment itself or the treatment. If you're not able to quarantine, take special care to observe all other colonies in your aquarium to ensure none become infected. Treatment 1. Mix a fresh batch of saltwater. It is preferable to use freshly mixed saltwater as apposed to water from your tank to ensure anything that may be causing the ailment in the first place isn't included in treatment. Take special care to match the temperature, salinity and PH of the aquarium that the colony is kept in during treatment. 2. Take one cup of fresh saltwater and mix one packet of Furan 2. Use a container small enough to insure that the colony is completely submerged. Larger colonies will require more water for the treatment so keep the ration of water : Furan 2 the same. Keep an additional container of untreated saltmix on hand for rinsing. 3. Place your colony in the mix and let soak for 15-20 minutes. Do not exceed 30 minutes. 4. After the dip, rinse the colony in the second container of untreated saltwater and place back into the aquarium (again a separate quarantine tank is suggested). 5. Let the colony rest for 24 hours and repeat steps 1-4 for two more days. After the third treatment it is advised to let the colony rest for 1 week and monitor its condition. If you feel that the condition hasn't improved, another round of treatments should continue as per above. As with all diseases and infections, unfortunately there will most likely never be a 100% success rate, however, thanks to those that found this treatment our chances are greatly improved. Best of luck to all who have to deal with this unfortunate disease, and happy reefing.