Zoanthids and Palythoa are the most well known and highly collected soft coral species. They are often chosen as ‘beginner corals’ because certain common varieties are known to thrive in ‘less than ideal’ conditions. Zoas and Palys make up some of the most colourful and bright corals in a reef aquarium hobby. They spread by forming a leathery ‘mat’ sort of base, where the polyps protrude from. Their polyps can have highly contrasted colours and/or detailed patterns on their skirt (outer tentacles), oral disc (middle section) or in the eye (mouth/center area).

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