Purple Monster Zoa Care: Placement, Lighting, & Flow

As John Steinbeck once said, “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents” and so he was right because you can be parents to the mesmerizing Purple Monster Zoanthid!

Purple Monster Zoanthids (Zoas) are a popular soft coral also known as colony-forming anemones, from the Zoanthid family. These particular Zoas are highly desirable because of their large polyps and epic coloration morphs. Purple Monster Zoanthids have deep purple oral discs with neon green tentacles that look like eyelashes, making them stand out from neighboring corals.

Purple Monster Zoas are also very popular because they are easy to care for, making them a great choice if you are a beginner hobbyist, or maybe you are an experienced coral keeper simply looking for a new coral to add to your collection!

Summary:

  • Common Name: Purple Monster Zoa
  • Family: Zoanthidae
  • Origin: Indo-Pacific
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Lighting: Low to moderate (PAR 100 – 250)
  • Water Flow: Moderate
  • Placement: Lower Region

Purple Monster Zoa Care

Purple Monster Zoas are easy to keep. Whether you are a beginner or experienced aquarium hobbyist, this Zoanthid coral will make a great addition to your reef aquarium.

Zoanthids can tolerate small changes in their environment, however, it is always recommended keeping their water conditions within the following ranges. 

Ideal Water Conditions

  • Temperature: 75° – 80 °F
  • pH: 8.1 – 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.024 – 1.026
  • Alkalinity: 8 – 9.5 dKH
  • Nitrates: <10 ppm
  • Phosphates: <10 ppm
  • Calcium: 420 – 440 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1260 – 1350

Once your Purple Monster Zoa has settled into your aquarium and the water conditions are stable, you can expect it to multiply quickly. Purple Monster Zoas multiply via asexual reproduction – this means your Zoa coral can reproduce all by itself! Once they have reproduced, the offspring chooses to stay connected to the original polyp for the rest of its life. Similar to children that grow up and decide to never leave their parents’ house. 

In addition to caring for your Purple Monster Zoa, you must also care for yourself. Some Zoanthid and Palythoa corals contain a harmful neurotoxin called palytoxin. 

This nasty toxin can be very harmful to humans. Once it gets into contact with your bloodstream it can be deadly, so remember to always cover any open wounds and take extra care when handling your Purple Monster Zoa. 

Feeding

Although your Purple Monster Zoa contains symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae which supply your Zoa with most of its nutritional requirements, Zoanthids also can catch prey. So, Zoanthids like your Purple Monster Zoa will benefit from supplemental feedings. 

A combination of Oyster-Feast, Roti-Feast, amino acids, and other organic proteins, in addition to correct lighting for the zooxanthellae to undergo photosynthesis, will provide your Purple Monster Zoa with enough energy to thrive! 

When feeding Purple Monster Zoas it is recommended to switch off the water flow to minimize food waste and allow your coral to catch as much food as they can. 

Purple Monster Zoa Placement

As with any coral, placement for your Zoanthid is key. Purple Monster Zoas do best in the bottom area of the aquarium, fixed to an exposed rock, where they can receive direct water flow and enough lighting. To secure your coral, you can use reef-safe IC gel glue or putty.

If you do not want your Purple Monster to dominate your main aquascape, you can create a Zoanthid island in the middle of the aquarium on the sandy patch. This is also a good idea to reduce aggression among corals if you also have a mix of LPS (large polyp stony) and SPS (small polyp stony) corals.

Purple Monster Zoa Water Flow

Water flow is important to maintain optimum health for soft corals. For your Purple Monster, a moderate water flow will be sufficient to keep detritus from settling on them and circulate enough nutrients for growth without damaging their polyps. 

Purple Monster Zoa Lighting & PAR

Your Purple Monster Zoa requires low to moderate lighting with a PAR range between 100 and 250 to maintain its beautiful green and purple coloration. 

Lighting from T5’s Metal Halides, and LED’s all grow Zoanthid corals successfully if the right PAR levels are met, however, new generation LED’s with a blue spectrum will really make your Purple Monster’s colors pop! Whichever lighting fixture you decide to use, for best coloration, it is recommended your color spectrum is 18-20K. 

Conclusion

Purple Monster Zoanthids are one of the most colorful soft corals to add to reef aquariums. They are easy to care for and can tolerate small water changes, making them perfect if you are a beginner or one to add to the collection if you are an experienced coral keeper. 

Zoanthid corals like the Purple Monster are known as “flowers of the reef”, creating underwater gardens in no time with their rapid growth, which is why they are one of our favorites!

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  • Roy Lee

    I have an unhealthy obsession with reef keeping and maintaining successful tanks. If you haven't noticed from the website, I love everything related to saltwater tanks like coral, fish, and everything else in between.

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