Zoanthids? Go or No Go?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Green_Tree, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

    Nov 15, 2009
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    Was looking at these and noticing that a large amount look really cool and cool add some really nice color to a tank. But I've also noticed that they do have a toxin.

    So I suppose the question is this:

    a) Are the zoanthids going to be hardy enough to stand the octo crawling over them?


    b)Do the zoanthids pose a threat to the octo?

    Was just curious because i looked around the forums and only found one relevant thread and it didn't seem to have a definite answer. :confused: Would love to be able to put these in here but wanted to make sure they were octo-safe.
  2. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Oct 2, 2009
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    The problem with Zoanthids is they spread and some spread like crazy. In the ocean an octopus could avoid them but in the aquarium they have no choice but to live with them. I would say stick to xenias or even some mushrooms. There are plenty of peaceful animals that can live in the aquarium just keep searching.
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Sep 16, 2005
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    Pittsburgh, PA
    Some kinds of zoanthids (palythoa) can sting humans, so I would be careful about the kind I put in a cephalopod tanks. Mushrooms would be ok.
  4. spinycheek

    spinycheek GPO Registered

    Mar 20, 2009
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    Some zoanthids and palys are very toxic and others are hardly toxic. It seems to vary by the individual colony more than species, likely due to individual differences in adjacent organisms. The worst toxins however are sequestered in their body tissue and not in the stinging cells, meaning that a zoanthid is relatively harmless until it's body tissue is torn open which can then release a load of toxins, which can be fatal if it gets into an open cut.

    So unless your octo is munching on the zoanthids, then they probably won't cause any problems for it. They aren't the powerful stingers like anemones and hydroids are.

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