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Button Polyps (Zoanthids)

Known as some of the easiest corals to keep, button polyps provide visual magic without the need for complicated care. These corals are beautiful and come in a range of stunning colors. They are highly recommended for beginners.

Care level: Easy


Button polyps feed on bacteria, dissolved organic matter, and algae. They can also be fed small amounts of coral food like brine shrimp or zooplankton, but this is usually not required. Some button polyps require zooxanthellae for energy, which means they need bright light to help supply this type of nourishment.

Green Button Polyps I think

Aquarium Care

Button polyps need good water flow to bring them food in a typical reef environment as well as some fish to produce organic matter. They live well with marine algae, and most types need moderate to strong light. Watch out for filamentous algae as they can smother button polyps.

Possible Issues

Some button polyps can produce a deadly toxin called palytoxin. This can be harmful to humans, causing muscle, neurological, and breathing problems. To avoid this, make sure you always handle button polyps underwater since its slime coating only produces the toxin when it is exposed to air.


The best tank mates for button polyps are fish and invertebrates. They live well with most other corals but should be kept away from mushroom anemones, which constitute a threat to them.

Fun Facts

Button Polyps are asexual, which means they reproduce without exchanging genetic information with another organism through sex. However, their offspring don’t ever move away. All of them stay connected to the original polyp forever.

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