Fire and Ice Zoas (Zoanthus sp.) are a beautiful species of Zoanthid that are sought after for their brilliant blue and red coloration. Skirted with fiery red lashes and base colors of dark blue/purple, finally turning into an explosion of light blue and white, sometimes with a tinge of red. Aquacultered Fire and Ice Zoas tend to do best in the aquarium environment, as many wild caught specimens are from deeper locations on the reef. Like all of our polyps they are aquacultured specimens, many generations removed from the original wild starter colonies.
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.
Fire and Ice Colony Polyps will continue to spread or colonize nearby rocks, they can be separated from other coral species by providing gaps between the rock aqua-scaping, in order to create a boundary to limit the carpeting or horizontal growth of the Polyps. Proper placement is important when keeping Polyps with other corals, as Polyps will crowd out other corals by stinging them repeatedly as they grown in and around them.
They require moderate to strong water flow in order to allow their symbiotic algae zooxanthellae to thrive and produce food for the coral. .
They require medium to strong lighting (PAR 100-250) to maintain their color. T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow Zoanthids and Palythoa when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
The environment of deep reef species is often difficult to completely reproduce in the aquarium environment. In the case of Fire and Ice Zoas many hobbyists have had good success by placing them lower in the aquarium in a location that receives strong but filtered lighting. Given time and gradual adjustments, hobbyists should be able to identify the ideal location in which to keep Fire and Ice Zoas in their reef aquarium.
Diet and Feeding
Fire and Ice Zoas receive the vast majority of their nutrition through the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae contained within the coral. They receive other nutrients from dissolved minerals that they filter from the water currents. They will also benefit from the addition of reef supplements containing calcium, magnesium, iodine and trace elements. They can also be periodically offered meaty foods like micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp and other similar items.
Well established reef aquariums with populations of phyto-plankton work best for all varieties of filter feeders, as they are able to supplement their diet with foods filtered from the water column. The addition of reef additives like: calcium, strontium, iodine and trace elements along with occasional feedings of micro-plankton and similar foodstuffs should allow for the best possible growth rate.
Some Zoanthid's secrete a poison through their mucus known as palytoxin. Palytoxin is extremely dangerous, and it affects humans in a very adverse way. The toxin enters the system via open wounds, ingestion, and injection. What is highly recommended with these Zoanthids and Palythoa when handling, is to wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, and to use tongs or tweezers to avoid any contact with skin.