The Captain America Palythoa are cool to look at, they grow fast, they are easy, and everyone loves a super hero…unless you are a super villain. If you are into comic books and reef tanks you have to get a Captain America Paly for your collection. Captain America Paly's have a red and blue pattern similar to the comic book character’s colors. The coral resembles Captain America’s famous red, white, and blue shield. Due to varying lighting conditions and water parameters in the aquarium, colors in this cnidarian may change from blue to green while the typically red hue may change to pink. Unlike some of our political candidates over the years, the Captain America Palythoa, like a true superhero, will keep it’s color pattern. You do not have to be a superhero to keep these corals either. They thrive in just about any environment you throw at them. They do well in fast to slow current and can be acclimated to a wide range of lighting conditios. Though they are named after Captain America, they are not invulnerable to problems.
Keeping your parameters at the standard level will help these corals stay happy. Set your salinity between 1.024 and 1.026. Your pH should range around 8.3 and your temperature should stay between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Palythoas in general require minimal lighting, but the Captain America Palys seem to like stronger lighting. The flow rate is not important, but their tentacles extend differently in various types of flow. They can sting other corals so leaving space around them is a good idea. They generally do not bother other Palythoa species but can outgrow or be outgrown by faster growing species.
They are a semi aggressive coral. They can sting other corals so leaving space around them is a good idea.
They do well in fast to slow water flow.
Palythoas in general require minimal lighting, but the Captain America Palys seem to like stronger lighting. They require a moderate level of lighting in order to take full advantage of the zooxanthellae’s photosynthesis.
Palythoa's may be placed anywhere which provides the required water flow and lighting level.
Diet and Feeding
Palythoas are the Venus Fly Trap of the sea. They happily accept mysis shrimp, tiny pcs. of squid, or any other chopped up meaty foods. They will also accept smaller foods like plankton. The more you feed them the faster they will grow. How do they know they are being fed? They contain a nerve net that senses vibration and things that come into contact with them. This often triggers them to close up as a defense mechanism or for consuming prey.
At night time Palythoa corals are usually closed unless you have a bright moonlight on or even if the room light is on. Any trace of light can keep them open all night. This may cause them to be stressed, but that is unlikely. The hardiness and growth rate of these corals make great propagators. You can take a frag of 8 polyps and turn it into 8 frags of 3 polyps within a couple months, thus making more than your money back.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the zoanthids is also one of the most deadly. Palythoas secrete a poison through their mucus known as palytoxin. Palytoxin is extremely dangerous, and it affects humans in a very adverse way. What this toxin does is mess with the cells of the heart, destroying their ion regulatory systems. The toxin enters the system via open wounds, ingestion, and injection. If there is no open wound, the skin becomes very irritated. Because of the lack of treatment, what is highly recommended with these creatures is to wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, and to use tongs which will help distance the creature from any contact with the skin.