HELP!!! My zoas are Disappering!!

KathyC

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The 2 most likely culprits are either zoa eating nudi's (that is the only thing they eat, so they would not be responsible for your leather issue), or the Asterina starfish.


If you see 10 asterinas on your glass, then I guarantee you, there are 50 more on the underside of your rocks where you can't see them.


Until you develop an eye for seeing nudi's (they take on the color of the zoa they are eating and are extremely good at blending in), though you may get lucky and find them on your zoas..or on the tank glass if you surprise them and turn on the lights while it is dark. No, leaving your blue LED's on at night won't help with any other critters you suspect).
Oddly, zoa eating nudi's do not eat all types/colors of zoas..I have no idea why and unfortunately, they do seem to like the more expensive ones...


You can use just about any coral dip (I like diluted Lugol's Solution), and leave the frag in the solution for about 5 minutes, then swish it around in there to see what falls off. You must ALSO check for EGGS, as they will not fall off OR die from ANY dip. They look like little tiny white spots in a swirl pattern and are typically found on the side of a polyp. You would need to cut off that polyp (IMO no sense in trying to scrape them off, it you miss one, you're screwed, better to sacrifice a polyp..)


You would need to dip EVERY one of your zoas (you won't find them on other corals) and you need to do this once a week for about 3 weeks to make sure they are all gone.


IF your asterina stars have ANY color to them aside from being TOTALLY beige (front & back), then they are the type that eat zoas and you need to get rid of them. I would not bother with tearing your tank apart..better to get a Harlequin shrimp. The downside to a Harley is that once they eat all of the asterina's you HAVE to feed them star-fish or they will die (they eat nothing else). People who keep them typically feed them a chocolate chip star once every 3 or so weeks to keep them alive.


I would also suggest that unless you have a reason to have those emerald crabs in there..you should rehome them. They are likely not your issue, but why take the chance? I do doubt it is them since your zoas are clearly - and systematically getting mowed down and we know you definitely have asterinas in there.


To catch the emeralds..use the beer glass trick..take a clean full sized beer glass..tie a little piece of shrimp to a piece of rock rubble and place it in the bottom of the glass. Prop the glass against your rock-work - use something to stabilize it there - and leave it there over night. The crab will fall in trying to get the food and won't be able to climb back out. Please re-home them if you catch them..plenty of people here with bubble algae who could use them :)


As far as zoa eating pods..very not likely. I've only seen one documented case and the pods were enormous!. Most pods will climb all over your corals at night, but they are only eating algae..so unless they are beyond gigantic, forget that as far as your tank is concerned.
 

Rob&Gab

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The 2 most likely culprits are either zoa eating nudi's (that is the only thing they eat, so they would not be responsible for your leather issue), or the Asterina starfish.


If you see 10 asterinas on your glass, then I guarantee you, there are 50 more on the underside of your rocks where you can't see them.


Until you develop an eye for seeing nudi's (they take on the color of the zoa they are eating and are extremely good at blending in), though you may get lucky and find them on your zoas..or on the tank glass if you surprise them and turn on the lights while it is dark. No, leaving your blue LED's on at night won't help with any other critters you suspect).
Oddly, zoa eating nudi's do not eat all types/colors of zoas..I have no idea why and unfortunately, they do seem to like the more expensive ones...


You can use just about any coral dip (I like diluted Lugol's Solution), and leave the frag in the solution for about 5 minutes, then swish it around in there to see what falls off. You must ALSO check for EGGS, as they will not fall off OR die from ANY dip. They look like little tiny white spots in a swirl pattern and are typically found on the side of a polyp. You would need to cut off that polyp (IMO no sense in trying to scrape them off, it you miss one, you're screwed, better to sacrifice a polyp..)


You would need to dip EVERY one of your zoas (you won't find them on other corals) and you need to do this once a week for about 3 weeks to make sure they are all gone.


IF your asterina stars have ANY color to them aside from being TOTALLY beige (front & back), then they are the type that eat zoas and you need to get rid of them. I would not bother with tearing your tank apart..better to get a Harlequin shrimp. The downside to a Harley is that once they eat all of the asterina's you HAVE to feed them star-fish or they will die (they eat nothing else). People who keep them typically feed them a chocolate chip star once every 3 or so weeks to keep them alive.


I would also suggest that unless you have a reason to have those emerald crabs in there..you should rehome them. They are likely not your issue, but why take the chance? I do doubt it is them since your zoas are clearly - and systematically getting mowed down and we know you definitely have asterinas in there.


To catch the emeralds..use the beer glass trick..take a clean full sized beer glass..tie a little piece of shrimp to a piece of rock rubble and place it in the bottom of the glass. Prop the glass against your rock-work - use something to stabilize it there - and leave it there over night. The crab will fall in trying to get the food and won't be able to climb back out. Please re-home them if you catch them..plenty of people here with bubble algae who could use them :)


As far as zoa eating pods..very not likely. I've only seen one documented case and the pods were enormous!. Most pods will climb all over your corals at night, but they are only eating algae..so unless they are beyond gigantic, forget that as far as your tank is concerned.

very well said, my girl feeds her harley ever week or 2weeks. i think its his asternia starfish as well, i didnt know in the beginning he had any but now that i read he does. i am sure of it that its them.
 

SirReefalot

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Hey ms Kathy! Thank you for taking the time to reply I really appreciate it! Also thank you to everyone that has responded and is trying to help me through this.

I just got done ripping my tank apart trying to find the sunny D's that went missing today and found nothing but I only moved the side they were on.

I do have a lot of stars most are all tan but there are a few that have tan edges and a black center. Are they the bad ones? Last night I maybe pulled out 40-50 of them again most all tan but maybe 15 or 20 of them had a black inside. I have also seen them on my polyps and I take them off right away. Can they eat 10 polyps in one night? Do they eat that fast? Do they also eat glue? I have been thinking of getting a Harley once I seen them in there but I have 2 sand sifters and I didn't want to get rid of them and I feel bad feeding them a live star fish lol. Guess that might be the only way now.

Most of the frag plugs that had my zoos on them are wiped clean! No trace of anything. The little piece of rock they are on is completely gone that's why I thought it was the crabs. I put the crabs in to help with bubble and hair algae. I have pulled most of the crabs out now. There is still one emerald and I have seen 2 different types of crabs that must have hitched hiked there way in on my rock not sure what kind they are.

As far as the nudis, I have only pulled one out from my DT it was a nice sized one on a colony that has had nothing disappear but since then I haven't seen one. From my 34 gallon I know I have a nudi problem I have pulled out maybe 15 of them big and small. But nothing in that tank seems to be disappearing at all. So just now I took all my zoos out of my DT and put them in my 34. Fingers crossed they don't get eaten in there. I'm going to buy some more dip tomorrow and dip them all again.

I'm considering taking my tank down and restarting. drying out all my rock, new sand in a new tank this way I know for sure I will have no pests. Wish I wasn't such a noob lol and did that fr the start. so I may need advice with that soon. Hope I don't need to go that far.
 

Rob&Gab

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I hope all pulls threw for you bud. keep an eye out on those nudis cause your introing new frags to your tank with a bunch of them. so make sure. merry christmas bud. Good luck with everything. Keep me posted!
 

SirReefalot

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Oh yes! Merry Christmas!! I will keep my eagle eye on them! Get it eagle eye? Hahaha lol. I have been like a hawk with them plucking them right out. Thanx for the help rob I appreciate it maybe one day when my zoos get back on track and stop getting eaten I will be able to frag you some :)
 

SirReefalot

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BUMP! UPDATE: i have all my polyps back in my DT on a frag rack and everything is doing well.... as they did before i moved them onto my rocks.... i spoke with a fellow reefer yesterday and explained my situation. maybe i can explain it better in person then on here..... As they are just frag plugs with a few polyps and a few mini colony's he agreed with maybe the crabs as the culprits (got most of the ones i put in out. still trying to catch the 2 hitch hikers that i cant identify) but he also suggested maybe my big snails! was just wondering how a few others felt about that as i do have some very large snails and hermit crabs... i was thinking of removing them and wondering if i remove my big snails and hermit crabs should i replace them at a 2:1 ratio? so if i take out one large snail should i put back 2 small ones? thanx in advanced for the help! :)
 

SirReefalot

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Hopefully my tank is crab free now!! Going to leave the tank how it is for a few days and keep an eye out. If everything is fine i will glue everything back together. Thanx for fixing the pic lol
 

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