Zooanthid ID help...

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LauraL

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Jan 1, 2009
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Got this little frag at a (different) LFS yesterday. (The store has some fantastic corals, btw!) I asked for an easy starter coral. I'm pretty sure it's a zooanthid.

Started reading about zoos, and now I'm concerned about the toxicity issue. Apparently some are more poisonous than others. I don't want something that will kill my fish or make me ill if I need to handle it.

This store has unbelievable tanks and stock, and they've got fish in with these, so I'm thinking it's probably okay, but just want to make sure. Can't imagine they'd sell a newbie something dangerous but... Can anyone help me ID?

It's super tiny (it's in a turbo shell). If it's a problem, better to find out now before it gets any bigger.

zooanthidID.jpg

zooanthidID.jpg
 

SubRosa

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Jul 3, 2009
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That's definitely a Palythoa, which is where palytoxin gets its name from. Are those specific ones toxic? I don't know, and I wouldn't bite one to find out. In practicality, just wash your hands after handling it, and DEFINITELY before you rub your eyes, suck your thumb, whatever. The stuff is exceedingly toxic if present, but whether or not it gets someplace you don't want it to is 100% up to you.
 

greech

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That's actually a species of palythoa. While it would require you trying to kill the paly in an environment that would expose you to the toxin (Not just putting your hand in a tank with palys), paly toxins are actually more likely to hurt you that any of your other tank inhabitants. If you decide to ever frag that coral, proper eye and hand protection should be used. If you don't wear gloves, at least wash your hands good after handling them.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blo...-personal-experience-with-palytoxin-poisoning
 

LauraL

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Well, that doesn't make me terribly happy, but as long as handwashing will cover it, I'm okay with that. I don't intend to frag it, though. Are there other zoanthids that are more user-friendly?

Also - the folks at this place really seem to know their stuff. Their tanks are absolutely phenomenal - fantastic, enormous corals. I'm pretty surprised the guy who sold it to me didn't mention it. Maybe I'll call them and see if we can arrange a trade for a mushroom or leather frag.
 
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Khemul

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Oct 14, 2010
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The informing thing has been a debate for a while.

But in general take the proper precautions and you should be fine; don't lick them, don't boil them and don't eat them.
 

greech

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Lots of people keep zoas and palys. Just use care when handling them and as khemul said, just don't lick them :).
 

Ptrick125

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Many corals and saltwater creatures have some sort of chemical defense mechanism, with or without palytoxins, it is always a good idea to wash your arms and hands after being in the tank. Who likes salty hands and arms anyways? (Only my dog appreciates them)


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LauraL

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Is it possible for the paly to have killed our emerald crab? He was on it Monday. I don't know if he was eating the coral or the algae around it. But this AM he appears to be dead. (Unless he's just molting - I don't know. Do they turn white when they molt?)
 
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greech

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They can but you may actually be looking at a molt (which would definitely be white"ish" in color).

Seriously doubt the paly has any effect on the emerald.
 
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