6 Must Have Corals!

Every reefer dreams to have their aquarium filled with their favorite corals. But, sometimes it gets quite tough to decide which corals can you actually put in your tank considering your expertise level. With numerous options available, the decision-making process could be both fun and confusing. 

So, to help you with this decision, here is the list of the 6 corals that every reefer should have in their tank at least once:

1. Zoas

Zoas are incredibly popular corals, and mostly the first coral of every reefer. But not every Zoa is that easy to keep, generic Zoas can look pretty dull under white lights, and also often the first coral you will get bored off. 

But, if you choose the Zoa carefully, you will end up with a great beginner centerpiece coral. The most commonly available with reasonable price tags are:

  • Utter Chaos Zoas: Purple and orange
  • Rasta Zoas: Green with multi-colored eye
  • Sunny D: Larger green-purple and orange polyp

Each of these coral's polyp will cost you about $20 and will spread quickly enough to become a nice size colony in no time. They are suitable for tanks of any size and will tolerate a fairly wide range of conditions. Most importantly, you will not get bored of it.

2. Scolymia

It is hard to believe that a coral as spectacular as this is also easy to keep. The most common color available is red and blue, and bleeding apple which is green with streaks of red.

The price will depend on its markings, and you can easily spend north of a thousand dollars on a particularly saucy specimen. But, for the common one, you will end up spending about $200. 

They are happy in low-to-medium light and make a great candidate for a spot lower down in your aquarium. It should also stay healthy as long you maintain stable alkalinity and calcium by dosing.

3. Acans

The great thing about Acans is the variety of colors available. It's another coral that will be happy in low-to-medium light and low-to-medium flow. So, you don't need to spend a fortune on equipment to be able to keep these, and while those with rainbow colors can be on the pricey side, you can easily build an Acan garden consisting of complementary color Acans without breading the band.

These are also pretty hardy and easy to take care of, so they are another great opinion if you are new to the hobby.

4. Plating Montipora

While these aren't suitable for beginners, they are absolutely the first SPS corals you should be thinking about as you grow into the hobby. They are as easy to keep as SPS can, as long as you maintain stable calcium and alkalinity.

They grow quickly which means they will make your tank look mature and established sooner than most SPS corals, and there are loads of variety from the common red and green through to the beautiful multi-colored specimen.

Because they grow so quickly they should be cheap to buy and when they grow out, you will be able to sell frags back to your local fish shop for store credit. They will appreciate stronger light and flow, but they are not as demanding as some SPS, therefore are a great way to dip your tow into the water of stony corals.

5. Cyphastrea

It is a stunning encrusted coral with bright contrasting colors. Favorite include the Bizarro which has a blue base and red polyp and Jingle Bell which as the name suggests having the textbook Christmas colors.

They do good in low light, which makes them a good option for the far corners of your rock escape, and they are readily available so getting hold of them is usually as simple as searching online.

Because they are an encrusting coral you need to be aware that they can take over your rockwork but also because they encrust so tightly to the rock, if that happens, it actually looks pretty cool.

6. Acropora

Most Acrapors are not particularly beginner-friendly so this is a coral to aspire to if you are new to the hobby. But they are the pinnacle of the stony corals and are as rewarding as they are challenging. The variety of their colors is endless and while you can spend several hundred on a one-inch frag there is an Acropora to suit every budget.

Stag Horn Acropora is an easy to keep Acro, and they are lightning-fast growers. They have thick branches that grow in a loose branching form and will need plenty of space to grow. Then there's the like of a group of leaders which is a beautiful purple and green corals that is another easy-to-keep Acor. Although even easy-to-keep Acros will require an established tank with stable water chemistry, good lighting, and strong flow.

But keeping Acropora opened you to the world of perfecting your water qualities as you will see a difference in the corals depending upon your lighting, flow, nutrients, and levels of trace element, and while that's far from easy it's the exact sort of challenge that makes our amazing hobby so fascinating and addictive.

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