Best Corals for a Stunning Reef Tank

best coral for reef tank
Underwater photo from a scuba dive in the Indian ocean.


Picking the Perfect Corals for Your Reef Aquarium

You’ve spent countless hours tending to your reef tank, providing the ideal conditions for colorful corals to thrive. Now that your tank is established, you’re ready to take your aquascaping to the next level with rare, eye-catching corals. In this guide, we’ll explore little-known corals beyond the basics and showcase the most stunning specimens to elevate your tank. From intricate branching structures to neon hues, we’ll highlight corals that will transform your tank into a mesmerizing underwater oasis. Whether you’re seeking statement pieces or rare oddities, you’ll discover the most exceptional corals to make your tank the envy of fellow hobbyists. Let us be your guide to sourcing prized corals and crafting a reefscape brimming with exotic beauty. The time has come to showcase your mastery – read on for our recommendations to take your tank to dazzling new heights to get the best coral for reef tank.

10 Stunning and Hardy Corals for Beginner Reef Tanks

When selecting corals for your reef tank, choose specimens that will thrive under the conditions you can provide. Some of the most rewarding options include:

– **Small Polyp Stony (SPS) corals** like Acropora and Montipora spp. These corals feature intricatebranching structures and vibrant colors. However, they require intense lighting, strong water flow, and pristine water quality. Only add SPS corals if you have a mature tank and experience caring for demanding corals.

– **Large Polyp Stony (LPS) corals** such as Euphyllia and Trachyphyllia spp. are easier to care for but still striking. They need moderate lighting and water flow but are more forgiving of fluctuations in tank parameters. LPS corals expand and retract their polyps, giving your tank a dynamic appearance.

– **Soft corals** such as leather corals (Sarcophyton spp.) and finger corals (Sinularia spp.) sway gently in the current, adding texture and interest to your reefscape. Most soft corals have minimal lighting and flow requirements, making them ideal for beginners. However, they can be more difficult to frag and propagate compared to stony corals.

– **Photosynthetic corals** like Tubastrea spp. and Dendronephthya spp.are colorful, tree-like corals that primarily rely on photosynthesis instead of feeding. They are relatively easy to care for but grow slowly. Photosynthetic corals add height and an artistic shape to your aquarium.

By choosing corals suited to your level of experience and resources, you’ll have a thriving and sustainable reef tank to enjoy for years to come. With regular maintenance and care, your corals will prosper and multiply, allowing you to share fragments with fellow hobbyists.

Best Coral for Reef Tank FAQ: Your Top Questions Answered

To create a thriving reef tank, you’ll need to select corals that are not only visually striking but also hardy and easy to care for. As a beginner, focus on the following options:

– **Pulsing Xenia:** This soft coral pulsates to circulate water and nutrients. It comes in purple, pink and red and spreads easily, so place in an isolated area of your tank. Provide medium lighting and flow.

– **Green Star Polyps:** Another hardy soft coral with fleshy polyps that emerge from a mat-like base. It’s an iridescent green color and spreads rapidly, so also isolate it. It requires medium to high light and moderate water flow.

– **Duncanopsammia axifuga:** This large-polyped stony coral has a spiky, rounded shape and comes in red, orange, green and blue. It’s easy to care for but can sting neighboring corals, so give it adequate space. Provide medium to high light and place in an area of moderate water flow.

– **Caulastrea furcata:** This stony coral has fleshy polyps that hide its calcareous skeleton. Polyps come in fluorescent green, red and yellow and retract at night or when disturbed. It requires medium to high light and moderate water flow. Place on rocks or the tank bottom.

– **Favia favus:** This stony coral has ridges of valleys and grooves that make an interesting texture. Polyps are usually brown, green or red. It requires medium light and moderate water flow. Mount on rocks for the best display.

With the right mix of light, water flow and supplemental feeding, these colorful and hardy corals will thrive in your reef tank, giving you a stunning underwater garden to enjoy for years to come.


Jessie Wade

Choosing the Best Coral for Your Reef Tank

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