Frequently Asked Questions

About this site

What is this site about?

A – Zoanthids!  and Fun! This is all in good fun! Remember that! This is a consolidated place to put pics w/ names of Zoanthids.

What is this site NOT about?


A – Marketing Hype!  There’s a good article Anthony Calfo wrote on reefkeeping which addresses Marketing Hype. Feel free to read about it here: Reefkeeping 2005-02 – Reef Trendy? by Anthony Calfo

I’m not here to impose my beliefs on you, but my take is: Do you like the zoa and/or price? Get it! Do you NOT like the zoa and/or price? Don’t get it! Pretty simple, eh? Again, this is how I roll – to each their own of course! But this site is NOT about marketing hype!


A – Cause I havn’t seen anything like it! Often times on various reef boards the question is asked: What does ______ zoanthid look like? Or, is this a ___________ zoanthid? Well, now we’ll have a place to guide those references too easily! w00t!and/or price? Get it! Do you NOT like the zoa and/or price? Don’t get it! Pretty simple, eh? Again, this is how I roll – to each their own of course! But this site is NOT about marketing hype!


Who decides what the zoas are named?

Good question… Everybody I suppose? Most of the zoas that started this site off had names that were ‘generally accepted’ on the zoanthid forums. We’ll see where it goes from there!

What happens when there are multiple names for a zoanthid?

I’ll list the ‘primary’ name first, and then ‘aka’ names afterward. I need your help though… This is all being done by my own personal research atm! If you see a discrepency and can point to a source to back it up, please let me know!!! There is a link to Contact Us on the left-hand menu.


What happens when people name --------- and it really isn't a ----------?

I think this is gonna be the hardest part of the site… Let’s take the famed PPE as an example. I think we’ll have a PPE gallery and then a PPE Lookalike gallery… I’m open to ideas, there is a link to Contact Us on the left-hand menu.

Remember two things:

  • Juliet said – That which we call a _____ Zoanthid By any other name would look as sweet.
  • It’s a pretty dang big Ocean… The odds of Someone having identicle pieces even though they didn’t get it from ________ is pretty good! Likewise, the odds that they aren’t the same because they didn’t get them from ________ are pretty good too. Furthermore, the odds of finding a zoanthid looking VERY close to a ________ zoanthid are… well… probably 100%!

Can I use your picture o­n my (site|banner|club|brochure|advertisement|fl yer|etc.)?

You’ll have to ask the individual photographer that question!’s photos are submitted by Zoanthid photographers from all around the world. has been granted permission to post these pics by each photographer. However, permission was NOT granted to allow reproduction.

In my experience, just dropping the photographer a line requesting use of their shots is generally all it takes for non-profit type organizations as long as credit is given to the shutterbug. (Reef clubs come to mind!) But again, that’s up to each photographer.

By clicking o­n the thumbnails of the pictures, the photographer’s name will be displayed beneath the pic. Usually this is a ReefCentral or ZoosRUs handle name. Your best bet is to hit the photographer up via that information and seek permission.


Why is this site so anti-eBay?

It’s not – in fact, that’s one of the many ways to get some Zoanthids!

What is against is the exploitation of this site to create hype, demand, drive up cost, or drive up the market for Zoanthids. Come on guys, this site is a showcase of all types of Zoanthids. It takes no more than a simple request and a couple of shots to add a Zoanthid to this site. (Use the ‘Submit a Zoa’ link on the right-hand menu.) If someone tells you that their Zoanthid is “uber rare because it’s on ZoaID”, then that is simply not true. Buyer beware of the seller perpetrating their ‘must have rare ZoaID zoanthid’ or using pics off this site that they do not have permission to do so with.

Bottom line: Like the zoanthid? Bid on it! Don’t like it? Don’t bid on it! But please don’t allow people who are exploiting this site to trick you out of more money.


How do you take a good shot of your Zoas?


Complicated question…

However, I can simply a few basic tricks that will turn your mediocre and blurry pics into clear and good pics!

Give these a shot. If you do them, your shots will come out MUCH better no matter what the quality of your camera!

  1. Use a tripod! Don’t have one? Use a stack of boxes, some books on a TV tray, anything BUT your hands! We’ll be putting the camera in a mode in the next step that requires ZERO shake. Don’t overlook this, it’ll make a HUGE difference!
  2. Put your camera in ‘macro’ mode when taking a pic of an individual colony. All cameras have them these days. Even your 4 year old digital camera will have it. It’s the button that looks like a little Flower. When it’s in macro mode, a little flower icon generally appears on the lcd of your camera. This tells the camera you’re going to take a close up shot and adjusts the internal settings accordingly.
  3. Shoot perpendicular to the tank – both vertically and horizontally! You know how when you are looking at your tank and then you look at a hard angle down the tank and it gets blurry? Well, cameras pick up on this to the extreme. ANY angles not perpendicular to the tank will produce blurriness. This is called the ‘prism effect’. Shoot 100% perpendicular to the tank both vertically and horizontally, and you’ll get no blur!
  4. Use your camera’s timer feature. This goes hand in hand w/ the first tip. Zero shake = Zero blurriness. The timer looks like a round circle w/ a second hand pointing at ‘noon’. A small clock looking thing. Even your 4 year old camera will have this. You hit that button, then when you push your shutter down, it’ll beep or blink for 10 seconds before taking the shot. This gives you 10 seconds or whatever to get your hands off the camera so there is Zero shake!
  5. Turn off your pumps/flow. Just for a minute or two while you shoot your shots. Although corals don’t really ‘move’ (compared to fish at least), they will sway in the current. If you turn off your current, there will be NO movement. No movement = No blurriness!
  6. Clean your glass hours before you shoot. This way particles have time to settle and if you cause a zoanthid to close up due to agitation, it’ll be open again.

Give these simple and free tips a shot (pun intended). By ‘free’ I mean that anyone can do these tips w/out having to purchase additional equipment. Give it a try, your shots will come out that much better!

There are other things you can do w/ Av mode and of course higher end equipment. But it gets a bit more complicated, so I’ll stop here. I guarantee that if you follow these steps, your shots will come out AWESOME!

Also, melev has spent some time putting together a more extensive tutorial that you can check out here: melev’s ‘how to take great pictures!’

Predators, Irritaters, & Diseases

What is a Zoanthid Predator?

A Zoanthid Predator is something which will directly eat, destroy, or kill a Zoanthid. Examples are: Zoanthid eating Nudibranchs, Sun Dial Snails, or most larger Angel fish.

What is a Zoanthid Irritaters?


A Zoanthid Irritater is something that can irritate a Zoanthid for long periods of time, causing it to close, and eventually kill the Zoanthid. I’m not talking about a Hermit crab that crawls across a Zoanthid colony. No worries, he’s in and out in a minute. Or a fish that swims by – again, they’ll open and close fairly quickly. An example is something with sweeping tentacles that don’t eat Zoanthids, but will rest their tentacles o­n a Zoanthid for long periods of time causing it to remain closed and eventually kill it. Some of these critters have stinging tentacles as well which compound to the problem. It should be noted that not all Irritaters effect all Zoanthids! Some seem immune while others fall victim…

What is a Zoanthid Disease?

The dictionary defines disease as:

A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.

It is debatable to call some of the ‘diseases’ defined here on ZoaID as ‘predators’, however ‘diseases’ on is being defined as general illnesses not attacking the zoa by another animals coral appetite. I.e. not a zoanthid eating nudibranch, but more so the dreaded ‘zoanthid fungus’.

How do I remove nudi branches in my tank with out physically picking them off? Is there a dose that can be purchased to remove nudi branches? I have lost 3 Zoos at the same rate the same symptom the coral is being eaten all the way down to the base of the rock or branch. Can worms eat Zoos like this or is it something else?


As of this date, 2008.05.24, there is nothing known that can be added to the tank to eradicate Zoanthid-eating Nudi Branches that would not harm the rest of the tank. Freshwater dips work best, and others have experienced good results in high-dosages of Salifert Flatworm Exit. Although SFE is considered reef safe, the concentration necessary to eradicate the Nudi’s is higher than anyone has ever dosed an entire tank with. Nudi’s do not typically eat Zoanthids to the base like that. Perhaps you have a Zoanthid eating fish in the tank? Even reef-safe fish can turn on Zoanthids which would better describe them being eaten down to the base of the branch.

Misc. questions on

Why do some pictures show camera information beneath them and others do not?

What you are seeing beneath some pictures is called ‘EXIF Data’. An example is here: Armageddon with EXIF Data intact

Notice that beneath the picture, you can tell that the camera used was a Canon, the flash was off, and the focal length was 100mm. (Plus much more information.)

Most digital cameras tack o­n this EXIF Data directly to the picture (.jpg, .raw). When an advanced application such as ‘Gallery’ used o­n this site sees that data, it extracts it and presents it to the user.

Each camera manufacture can choose what data is included. As an example, some will show the camera model, others just the make, some neither, some both.

However, some applications will strip this data when cropping/altering the image to save space. The EXIF data takes up space (albeit a very minute amount) and some applications strive to shave off every little bit that the picture can spare.

For example, in PS 7 and greater, if you ‘save as for web’, that EXIF data will be stripped out as by default, this mechanism strives to make the pictures as small as possible resulting in faster downloads. If you do a simple ‘Save As’ instead, the EXIF data will remain intact by default.

Thus, in the PS 7+ example, I recommend using the ‘Save As’ mechanism to preserve EXIF Data. Especially in the day of broadband where a couple extra bits of data won’t matter!

Submission Questions

Why does it take so long for my submission to get posted?


The main reason is that this is all done in our free time!

You’ll see a week or so of no submissions and then typically a bunch of submission or email replies all at once! We wait for a bunch to build up and then upload them all at once. It’s easier to do a bunch at once than one here – one there.

On **rare** occasion we’ll miss a submission for whatever reason. But if you’ve made a submission, give us 10 days or so before worrying about it not making the site! If there’s an issue with the submission (i.e. no flash shot submitted or it appears the same as a previous submission), then you’ll hear back from us within those ~10 days as well.

Why was I asked to include a flash shot or to retake a flash shot for the reason "Flash shot does not exemplify zoanthid adequately"?

One of the major points of is to demonstrate the true colors of a zoanthid in the best way possible. It is accepted in the zoanthid community that a bright flash-shot is the means to this end. Each picture submitted to goes through human evaluation to determine if the shot best demonstrates the zoanthid’s true colors. If a flash shot was not submitted, we’ll kindly ask you to include one. Similarly, if we feel that an included flash shot does not, then we kindly ask for the flash shot to be retaken. There are several reasons that one may be asked to retake a flash shot. For example, perhaps the flash was on too bright, or too dim. Perhaps there was too much reflection off the glass or water surface. Or the coral still appears as though it is under heavy actinics or blue light even with the flash. There are other reasons as well, but these tend to be the typical ones. Upon the submission of another flash shot, will be happy to reevaluate the submission of the zoanthid to the site!


What does the term "Similar Morph" mean?

As continued to grow, Zoas were being submitted that looked very similar to one another. Sometimes it’s due to morphing (more on morphing in our articles section!) and other times it is just a submission that is obviously not identical to another named zoa — but very close. In an effort to keep the site consisting of unique Zoanthids and not have 20 names for *extremely* similar zoanthids, we adopted the notion ‘Similar Morph’. Bare in mind that this decision was based upon feedback from the Zoanthid community requesting duplicate submissions and very similar submissions to be labeled as one. You asked, we listened! (Thank you RC and CZ!)

Perhaps it is best to describe pictorially. Let’s look at an example!

Here we see “Fire and Ice”:

And here we see “Similar Morph to Fire and Ice”:

Both of these Zoanthids were in Superfishy’s tank. (Thanks Superfishy!!) We can clearly see that they are not the same Zoanthid, yet we can clearly see an extreme similarity. Thus, the second submission was given the name “Fire and Ice – Similar Morph” rather than a unique name.

The problem with this system is that it is of course subjective – it is based upon looks! As we know, Zoanthids morph from tank-to-tank as well.’s council will do their best to objectively identify Zoanthids that are considered a “Similar Morph” to another. The council will always let the original submitter know of a “Similar Morph” decision and it is of course always an option to the submitter to discuss the decision further and/or decline the submission. We’re always happy to discuss the possibility of a unique name and ask everyone to remember that we are deriving these conclusions by pictures submitted to us, not by being able to stare at your beautiful Zoanthid in person!

Why can't I submit my name in the Zoanthid name?

Please note that if you are being directed to this question, it is **NOT** an accusation of bad intentions. This is merely an explanation behind the reasoning of this rule.

In attempts to ensure is not used as a marketing tool, the council came to the difficult decision of no longer allowing names such as “Jeremy’s Nifty Wigwams” or “Local Fish Store Name’s Nifty Wigwams”. Too many Zoanthids were being submitted with a store name or vendor name in their title that we felt it best to draw a clear line in the matter.

Previous Zoanthids already in the system with a name in their title are grandfathered in.

And again, this is in place for the few, not the many. There are several reputable vendors who we buy from all the time that have submitted Zoanthids with their name in the title. But getting into gray areas of who can and who cannot do this is not in the true spirit of what is all about.

Thank you for understanding!


What does the term "Identical Morph" mean?

Similar to the term “Similar Morph” above, we use the term “Identical Morph” to describe morphs that we believe are identical but do not have lineage to the original. Here is an example:

It’s a big ocean and obviously pieces will be spread throughout the world that were collected from the same coral. As these submissions and morphs come up, we do our best at ZoaID/CoralPedia to categorize them.

What does the term "Extreme 20K" mean?

Some submissions come in that are accepted, however clearly under VERY 20K lighting. Most of the time, we will kindly request another shot to be taken. But if it is an acceptable shot, and a flash shot is submitted as well, we may opt to label the photo as an “Extreme 20K” shot. This indicates that there appears to be extra saturation or blueness in the photo then what we feel will best represent the coral in real life. A lot of times, these are older and grandfathered-in submissions.