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Creating a beautiful zoa garden can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you want to create something that stands out and is eye-catching.
There are a lot of different varieties and color combinations of zoanthids.
How do you know what types to pick to create your desired zoa garden?
Well, there are several things you need to consider before you start purchasing zoa frags. Creating a zoanthid garden should not be a difficult task.
Here are some tips on what to look for when selecting zoas and how to arrange them to create your dream zoa garden.
Tip 1: Protect Yourself
You shouldn’t make a zoa garden or even buy a zoanthid before educating yourself of the danger these corals possess. It’s surprising how many people in this hobby are unaware that these corals may contain a potent neurotoxin.
Zoanthids can contain a highly toxic substance called palytoxin. Not all zoas have it, but you should always presume that palytoxin is present in all of them. Here are some precautions you should take when handling zoanthids.
Wear protective eyewear and gloves
You should never touch your corals bare hand. Always wear gloves! Wearing eyewear is also recommended, especially if you are fragging the zoas.
Reduce handling the zoanthids to a minimum
If you are just a hobbyist and not working in the saltwater aquarium industry, keep contact with the zoanthids to a minimum.
Avoid any maintenance that can produce aerosols, such as breaking or boiling a live rock.
Tip 2: Keep Stable Water Parameters
Zoanthids are considered easy corals to keep, but that doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from stable water parameters.
Like any other type of coral, the zoas also thrive in an environment where water parameters don’t fluctuate significantly.
Keep your temperature, salinity, and pH stable, and you will see your zoas grow like no time before. Make sure your reef tank is nutrient-rich because zoanthids will struggle in a low nutrient system.
Tip 3: Choose Appropriate Supplies
To make a zoa garden, you will need a well-structured rock, several different varieties of zoa frags, super glue, protective eyewear, and gloves.
If you want to see better and faster results, make sure the rock is smooth. It will be easier for the polyps to grow and faster populate the rock.
Tip 4: Dip the Zoanthids
Zoanthids live in very dirty waters and often come with many different pests. Dip your zoas before you start making the garden.
You don’t want to introduce organisms into your display tank that are hard to get rid of later. Check out our article if you want to learn more about the zoa eating nudibranch (one of the most common zoanthid pests).
Tip 5: Visualize the Zoa Garden
Visualize how you want the zoa garden to look. Be an artist. Create a masterpiece.
Have fun with it! It’s all in your hands.
Choose complementary colors if you want your zoa garden to really pop up.
Tip 6: Choose the Perfect Placement
Finding a suitable placement is one of those things that make or break your zoa garden. Strategically place your zoas by leaving place between the frags. Let them grow and fill the entire surface area of the rock.
Tip 7: Be Careful with Fast-Growing Zoas
Keep in mind that different varieties of zoanthids have different growth rates. Some zoas might grow faster than others and quickly overshadow the rest.
The best practice is to place zoas with similar growth rates next to each other. That way, you won’t need to be afraid that one variety will overgrow the others and ruin your zoa garden.
Creating a beautiful zoa garden can be challenging, but it’s totally worth it. Who doesn’t want to look at a colorful and vibrant coral garden that takes everybody’s breath away?
Just make sure that you follow the tips mentioned above and be careful when handling zoanthids. Now, I’d like to know. Do you have any suggestions for growing a zoanthid garden?
Let me know in the comment section below.