What an odd name for a Zoanthid, but I’ve heard some weird ones in my years. Maybe Tony was watching some Animal Planet when he got the inspiration for these beauties. As recently mentioned, RR USA Koala Eyes were originally founded by Tony, owner of Reef Raft USA. Tony’s specialty at the time was importing the sought after Reef Raft Asia acroporas, but would occasionally dabble with a few other corals as well. This polyp was one of the few RR USA zoanthid pieces that Tony released, along with the more well known RR USA Pink Diamonds.
Tony’s facility was based in Southern California, so he would attend Reefapalooza CA every year as a vendor. Luckily for me, I also am California based and would run into him at this event. One year (I’d like to guess around 2015), I saw at his booth a pastel purple zoanthid with unique rainbow lashes. This zoanthid I noticed ended up being his Koala Eyes. Unfortunately the coloration of the body for this zoanthid wasn’t show stopping, but those rainbow lashes kept calling me. I knew that I sometimes gravitated towards oddball zoanthids, and assumed I was doing the same thing again. I unfortunately passed on what would become a rarity in the hobby.
Eventually, the people who did purchase them were able to color them up in their systems and took gorgeous macro photos. Once reefers online started to see the unique colors this zoanthid had, its popularity began to rise.
Seeing photos of those beautiful skirts, with each lash exhibiting a myriad of colors, it’s easy to see why some reefers fall in love with them. The coloration in the center of the body ranges from a soft purple-lilac to sometimes a more pink hue. You can see the different shades of colors in the photo provided of them.
I haven’t had the opportunity to own this morph very long, but Alexander over at Coralicious Frags has had the pleasure to grow them into multiple colonies. I’ve reached out to him for his experience and his input. He currently keeps them under a T5 Unit (ATI Blue+ bulbs) with supplemental ReefBrite XHO LED units. Under higher PAR (275) they exhibit a puffier and more pastel coloration. Under slight shade and lower light (roughly 175 PAR), they become darker in coloration with more prominent rainbow lashes. They adore high flow, with Maxspect Gyres flowing right above them. They do not take to fragging well, and longer to recover compared to other zoanthids. This zoanthid tends to lose its colors quickly once fragged. The colors will develop again once it grows into a more established colony. Over time, their color and shape will regain their original form. These zoanthids would do best in a very stable system in order to flourish. In a relatively new and unstable system, RR USA Koala Eyes will have stunted growth and can melt rather easily. I would only recommend this zoanthid if you’ve had a few years of reefing under your belt, or can commit to keeping stable parameters. If kept in good conditions, RR USA Koala Eyes will flourish and grow rather quickly!
Aside from its unique colors, part of its popularity had to do with its availability, as it is rather hard to find a frag for sale. Finding this Zoanthid morph has proven to be a bit tricky, with Tony originally being the only source before slowing down his operation. Eye Catching Corals, a wholesaler who also fortunately has a strong focus on aquaculturing, was able to procure a piece and grow them to the point of offering a few frags nationwide to stores and vendors. Unfortunately they have been sold out of them for quite some time and hopefully the few frags that were sold went to coral collectors who are able to grow them. Aside from these two vendors, RR USA Koala Eyes do pop up for sale time to time from private collectors. The increase in demand along with a limited stock meant the prices for them stayed rather high. If this zoanthid ends up on your bucket list, be sure to grab one when you see one for sale as it’s rather elusive!
RR USA Koala Eyes Zoanthids 1p, WYSIWYG
Reef Raft USA
Best tried after you've had success with a few other easier corals first and have an understanding of basic reef chemistry such as keeping salinity, alkalinity, calicium, and magnesium levels consistent. The coral itself is very easy to care for if you test for your parameters often and have created a consistent maintanence routine for your reef!
A slow grower at first. Once established with a few polyps, the growth speed will increase. Increased growth with feeding such as Benepets.
Prefers to be kept in lower to medium light.
Currently kept under Kessil A360X units. Mounting height 24" above water line. 12:00PM - 10:00PM at 100% blue intensity.
We recommend starting smaller zoanthid frags in lower flow until it reaches a small colony size. Once established, increase the flow level to avoid any detritus building up in between the mat. If detritus builds up inside the matting of the zoanthid, it can cause bacterial issues.
Currently kept with Maxspect Gyre 350s Pumps.
Brightwell's Amino Acids, Lugols, Replenish, Restor, Potassion, KoralColor.
Benepets Coral Food.