Some zoanthids and palythoas seem to like eating meaty foods, so feeding them only makes them happier and often, multiply more quickly. I have been amazed to see the growth of some palythoas and zoanthids that are target fed regularly. Now what I mean by regularly is 2-3 times a week. I know of some hobbyists that feed daily, but that seems like a lot to me. Especially if you are feeding with pellets and trying to target feed each zoanthid or palythoa polyp one by one.
My favorite method of feeding is with cyclop eez. The zoanthids and palythoas seem to love it and they are small enough for even the smallest zoanthids to catch and eat. People have mentioned better color, but I am unsure about that. Now growth on the other hand seems to be directly affected with feeding. Now I do know there are plenty of tanks with zoanthids that are never directly fed anything, but most often the zoanthids are getting some food when the fish are being fed. Also when the fish excrete waste into the tank, the zoanthids, palythoas, and other corals will end up eating what they can catch.
I also like feeding my palythoas and if the zoanthids will take it, Formula 1 pellets. I have used both the medium and small pellets. The medium ones are somewhat large in my opinion, so don’t get those if your palythoas or zoanthids are not quite large. There has been a lot of excitement about the growth of palythoas such as Nuclear Green palythoas and others that have phenomenal growth when fed.
Now there are some problems that you may find when feeding your zoanthids and palys, most often when you are target feeding them. Once your fish or inverts catch on to how easy it can be to steal a meal, they will pick at them to retrieve the pellets. Sometimes this can lead to your fish picking at them throughout the day curious to see if there is any food. As you can imagine this is never fun to see your favorite zoanthids being picked at and closed throughout the day.
I have a friend whose favorite method of feeding is turning off all the lights and pumps and putting cylcop eez into the system. This has been a great method for him, but be sure to turn your pumps back on after 30min – 1hr. He has had great results and seen amazing growth.
With any of these methods I would recommend a good skimmer. Some individuals think that zoanthids prefer dirty, dingy, nutrient filled water. This may be so, but the other corals you have won’t.
**RECOMMENDATION: Another item that has produced top notch results of growth and overall health is adding a phosphate reactor. Removing phosphates is very important. When I first started in the hobby, I had a tuff time getting my zoanthids to grow. I think that this was due to a lack of removing phosphates.
Feeding can be very rewarding especially to see how much faster your zoanthids and palythoas are able to grow.