For you Zoa collectors

NYreefNoob

Skimmer Freak
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Ok first off i will start off that i am active on RC on the zoa forum, mucho keeps dragging me back there lol even after i told him i sold most of mine off. When i first started the hobby this is basically my first love of corals, All the pretty colors and designs and so on. Plus you could buy colonies fairly cheap, well after years of buying them, and going through different issue's and so forth brings me to this post. I had read a very interesting thread on RC and one of them was from Dr Mac so i asked him at the swap if it was ok to post this. this is from that thread


{{{I have been to the Solomons and collected zoos there along side native collectors.

The area where they come from is in one relatively small location just a few feet from the beach in an area where raw sewage can enter the water. They are found everywhere in this location covering the rocks for miles in every direction and are only a few inches to no more than a few feet below the surface, as a matter of fact in this area there are very few found below about 5-10 feet. Large sections can be left out of the water at low tide and waves crash on the colonies constantly. The rocks in this area are covered in hair algae and other macro algae--those that get these colonies direct from the Solomons will often see the colonies are covered in silt and algae. Algae blennies are common in the area, other corals growing in this area are Acropora and Pocillopora, both not so colorful in this area.

When the zoo colonies are cut from the rock often the new exposed rock on the base is black with anaerobic bacteria and all types of worms and other critters. These colonies are held for a relatively short period prior to shipment to the US. The colonies are held in shallow tubs under diffused natural sunlight with minimal water flow.

Upon arrival in the US I always dip them in freshwater for about 10 minutes and then saltwater with Tropic Marin Pro Coral Cure. Usually on a weekly to monthly basis I will import 50-100 4-6 inch colonies. Unlike zoos colledted from other parts of the world, these colonies are sort of shaved off the rocks rather than whole chucks of rock with some zoos on it such as those shipped from Fiji or Bali. Most colonies have an assortment of pests and hitchhikers that fall off in the dips. I then keep them in a shallow vat with intense direct water flow and lots of large Turbo and other assorted snails for 1-2 weeks before doing anything further with them. This works very well in preventing fungal infections and other common problems with these zoos.

Overall, I think the Solomon Island zoos are collected and handled well and the native folks work hard to get us some awesome corals and overall do a great job. They handle lots of different types of corals in volumes, so individual care for each individual colony is not practical, but overall they do a excellent job. Having attempted collecting them myself I can tell you it is difficult. The variety of colors is incredible and blues, reds, and pinks found regularly in this area with most colonies having a mix of colors, multi colored colonies with tightly packed polyps are typical for Solomon zoos.

So, the area where Solomon zoos we get in this country are collected from is a specific shallow tidal pool with intense tropical sunlight, very intense regular wave water flow, high nutrient murky water, the colonies can often be covered in algae and there are relatively few fish in the area so some pests can be allowed to flourish in these colonies growing with tightly packed polyps. I was diving in many other areas in the Solomons and never found zoos in any other areas this leads one to believe that they do need these specific conditions to thrive in the wild.

Growing in this environment explains how hardy these corals can be, but also may explain why some don't do well in certain captive conditions. In my facility I have one SPS system and one soft coral system, the water in the SPS system is more pristine and the zoos definitely do not do as well in that system. This is an observation based upon several years and many hundreds of colonies, not specific individual pieces, ie. these corals are quite adaptable and individual colonies can do exceptionally well under a wide variety of conditions. Someone here will likely say they have some thriving zoos in their SPS dominated tank, but this may not be the general rule for these corals. Colors will fade without intense lighting IME. IMO the most ideal captive environment for these corals is a less heavily skimmed tank that is fed well regularly with very intense lighting and water flow. Definitely most of these corals are sold under the idea that they do well under less lighting and water flow, some colonies can adapt, buy IME to thrive in terms of maximum genetic potential growth and color they will not do their best under low flow and light and too pristine water quality.}}}


ok to help people gather more information and idea's on the growth, color, loss's and so forth please feel free to add to this thread, i will add some after a little while myself
 

NYreefNoob

Skimmer Freak
Rating - 100%
165   0   0
Location
poughquag, ny
that im not sure. funny how most people know where fish come from, sps and certain other corals labeled as from certain region but really never on zoa's. let me see what i can dig up or find out
 
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