Reef tanks and integrating coral into regular saltwater tanks is becoming increasingly popular with zoanthid being one of the more popular options, especially if you are specifically looking for yellow coal.
With zoa (zoanthid) coral being so popular right now, there has also been an increase in the number of people reaching out and asking for advice on treating zoa pox (zoanthid pox).
With so many people, especially those new to keeping coral gravitating towards zoa corals and zoa pox being such a pain, we have decided to publish this article going over how you are able to treat zoa pox in your own tank.
Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers who keep corals in their saltwater tanks as possible and help you treat your zoa corals as quickly as possible.
We see a number of different questions relating to zoa pox asked each month with all of them being relevant and offering information that anyone who is having issues with zoa pox should know.
This is why we have decided to cover as many of the commonly asked questions as possible and we have added a table of contents to the article below to try and make it as easy as possible to navigate our article.
What Is Zoa Pox?
Zoa pox is a disease that specifically targets zoanthid corals. There are a number of common causes of zoa pox but thankfully, if you catch it early enough you are generally able to cure it without any further problems in your tank.
Although some people theorise that zoa pox is a number of different diseases that all have similar symptoms but slightly different causes, the general consensus is that zoa pox is all the same type of disease.
Different zoanthids just have a higher chance of getting zoa pox in different situations.
Due to some of the rarer zoa morphs being expensive as far as zoanthids go, it is good to know what to look out for in the early stages of zoa pox to increase the chances of you being able to treat it breakout.
Even if you catch the zoa pox breakout a little late, there is still a good chance that your zoanthid can be saved.
What Does Zoa Pox Look Like?
In the early stages, zoa pox looks like small white pimple-like bumps on your zoanthid. From there you will see that the polyps on your zoa start to close and in the later stage of zoa pox the coral will actually start to die and show obvious signs such as its color fading rapidly.
Depending on the exact type of zoanthid that you keep, there may be an additional early stage of zoa pox that is easy to look for as a very thin white film can develop on some zoanthids.
This does tend to be very rare though with the general symptoms of zoa pox being as described above.
If you do miss the signs of the earlier white pimple stage of zoa pox then you can often catch it at the stage where the polyps start to close as it is easier to see that something is wrong.
Even at this slightly more developed stage, you still have a good chance of treating zoa pox with something like Furan 2.
What Causes Zoa Pox?
Zoa pox has a number of different causes ranging from poor water parameters to your zoanthids getting too much light to the nutrient levels in your tank being too high.
Less common causes of zoa pox can also include the water temperature being too high, disturbance of the sandbed, and direct infection from a new zoa to the tank that already had zoa pox.
Thankfully, the majority of the causes of zoa pox are easy to avoid if you take care when you are working on your aquarium and regularly check your water parameters with a decent water test kit.
If you are planning to add a new zoanthid to your tank, some people will quarantine it for up to a week in a spare tank to see if the symptoms of zoa pox develop on it prior to adding it to their main aquarium.
Due to there being so many causes of zoa pox, the specific causes can be controversial when discussed in reef keeping communities.
Some people will say that one thing caused the zoa pox in their tank while another will say something else caused it in there’s but both could actually be correct.
The Best Zoa Pox Treatment!
The best zoa pox treatment is Furan 2 dip as it has a very high success rate of successfully treating zoa pox provided that you catch it early enough.
Even if the zoa pox has had time to develop and has really set in on your zoanthid to a level where its polyps are closing, you can usually use Furan 2 with a high success rate of treating the issue.
Unlike some of the alternative treatments for zoa pox, Furan 2 is very budget friendly offering a quick, easy, and cheap way to treat the zoa pox breakout in your tank.
Due to it being the best treatment for zoa pox, it also has an excellent reputation amongst the community as it has such a high success rate.
There are a number of different ways that you are able to use Furan 2 to treat your zoa pox breakout too depending on your specific situation.
These range from a Furan 2 dip for the infected zoanthid to you trying to move your zoanthid to a quarantine tank if possible to treat all of the water in the tank.
Treating Zoa Pox With Hydrogen Peroxide!
Treating zoa pox with hydrogen peroxide can work and a number of people do successfully use it to treat the zoa pox breakout but there are risks to the treatment if you get the ratios incorrect.
On top of this, most people only report their successes on social media so you tend not to see many of the people talking about treating their zoa pox with hydrogen peroxide going wrong but it is common.
This is why we, and so many other people always recommend Furan 2 as your zoa treatment of choice.
There is no need to choose the correct strength hydrogen peroxide and then workout the exact ratio that you require for your water volume, zoanthid size, and development stage of the zoa pox.
You simply choose to do a Furan 2 dip or quarantine the zoanthid with zoa pox (highly recommended) and add the Furan 2 to the quarantine tank’s water as instructed on the label of the Furan 2 relative to your water volume.
For the majority of our readers, it will definitely be the better option, especially with its lower price tag.
Can Zoa Pox Spread?
Zoa pox can spread and although it is not highly contagious, it can start to spread amongst multiple zoanthid clusters in your tank over time.
This is why we recommend that you try your best to quarantine any zoanthids that you see zoa pox on if possible to try and reduce the spread rate.
We know that some tank setups will make it very difficult to quarantine your zoanthid though so some people will treat the current tank that their zoa is in.
Depending on the stage of the zoa pox this can be the better option anyway if you have other zoanthids in the tank as they may be at the very early stages of zoa pox anyway.
If you do have a tank that is prone to zoa pox breakouts then trying to separate the zoanthids in your tank from each other can help to reduce the spread rate of the zoa pox.
The majority of the time though, it will only slow the spread and spacing your zoanthids out will not totally prevent the spread.
That brings our article going over zoa pox and how you are able to treat it to an end. Although many people who keep corals panic the first time that they notice zoa pox in their tanks, there is generally no need to and it is a relatively common condition that is thankfully easy to treat. The better treatment options tend to be very easy to use too making them very beginner-friendly.