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Nuclear Death Palys
(Zoanthus gigantus)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Waterflow: Medium to Strong
Placement: Middle to Top
Lighting: Moderate to High
Color Form: Purple, Green, White
Supplements: Magnesium, Iodine, Trace Elements
Water Conditions: 72-79° F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Zoanthidae
Species: Polyp Corals
Species Information
Nuclear Death Palythoas (Zoanthus gigantus) are a popular morph produced by combining Purple Death and Nuclear Green Palys. The strong demand amongst reef hobbyists for this color morph has fueled coral farmers to begin producing them in larger numbers, which is helping to increase their availability within the hobby. Hobbyists, collectors and vendors have found that the standard scientific naming convention lacked the detail necessary to describe many of the new zoa color morphs, thus the new generation of catchy named zoas was born.
The distinctive features of this species include: its large polyp size, alternating green and purple striped skirt, purple ring with iridescent red coloration, green middle, purple lips and white mouth which all combine to define what is now grouped as the "Nuclear Death" color variant.
Aquarium Care
Nuclear Death Palythoas are similar to other Palys in that they are relatively easy to care for and can be successfully housed in a variety of reef aquarium setups. They require medium to strong lighting and moderate to strong water flow in order to allow their symbiotic algae zooxanthellae to thrive and produce food for the coral. While most Nuclear Death Palythoas morphs acquire the majority of their nutrition from photosynthesis and do not require supplemental feeding; some individuals have acquired higher growth rates through supplemental feeding of very fine foods intended for filter feeding invertebrates.
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. Nuclear Death Palythoas kept under proper aquarium conditions will spread or colonize nearby rocks and hard surfaces.
In order to keep them separated from other coral species the hobbyist should provide 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.
Hobbyists are recommended to start their Nuclear Death Palythoas in a lower position on the reef and move them up the reef after they have had a chance to acclimate to the aquarium.
Feeding & Nutrition
Nuclear Death Palythoas 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 fare.
Additional Photos