Top 10 Easy to Keep Corals by Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter's Reef goes over his Top 10 Picks for Easy to Keep Corals. The focus here will be on corals that can stay with in the suggest parameters of a reef tank. Some established tanks may not have the recommended parameters, and these corals may still do well in their tanks. Having the suggested parameters and stable parameters is the goal for a reef tank. The list will offer a mix reef environment with Soft corals, Long Polyp Stony (LPS) corals, and Short Polyp Stony (SPS) corals. Here is the list

10 - The Florida Ricordea Mushrooms

Florida Ricordea Mushrooms are soft corals with no skeleton structure, they are in the mushroom family and prefer low to medium flow and moderate lighting. The reason it made our top 10 list is due to the variety of colors that they come in makes then amazing to look at in your aquarium. Most Ricordea colors are very bright, and they usually have several colors variations which make then stand out in your tank.


9 - The Pavona Coral

The Pavona coral is also known as the Cactus Coral or the Potato Chip Coral, which refers to its growth pattern on the Pavona. Comes in a couple of different colors the blue is the most stunning one but green is the most commonly seen in the hobby. It does well in moderate to high flow as well as moderate to high lighting. The Pavona is an SPS coral, but this one is exceptionally hardy SPS coral and very forgiving. A great coral to choose for a beginner SPS reefer and it usually is relatively inexpensive.


8 - The Hammer Coral

One of Mad Hatter's favorite coral that he recently acquired in 2018 after being in the hobby for over 12 years. They are beautiful and easy to keep coral that prefers a moderate indirect flow. If you start to see the base or the flesh looks like it is starting to come off, it is too much flow and should be reduced or moved to a different spot. Not enough flow could cause the coral to get a slime build-up or a gelly build-up that will kill the coral. Hammer corals also like medium lighting.


7 - The Blastomussa Coral

The Blastomussa commonly referred to as a Blasto looks similar to a mushroom coral, but they have a skeleton structure. The skeleton makes this coral easier to frag if you are interested in propagating corals. They come in a variety of interesting corals from deep reds, purples, and greens. They enjoy medium to low flow, and they typically should be placed in the bottom of a tank, and they enjoy moderate lighting. They are relatively inexpensive from $10-15 per head, which is great for an LPS coral.


6 - The Pom Pom Xenia Coral

The Pom Pom Xenia is possibly the most loved and hated coral in the reef keeping hobby. A new hobbyist walking into a Local Fish Store (LFS) and seeing the pulsing action that the Pom Pom Xenia do especially in low flow tanks is mind-blowing. Most new hobbyist will get in a coral frenzy and will have to have it. If you have been in the hobby for a length of time, then you probably despise this coral. All that aside, this is one of the hardiest corals available to us in the hobby. The Pom Pom Xenia is a Soft coral that prefers low to moderate flow and low to moderate lighting and can be placed just about anywhere in the tank. Word of caution, this coral can grow aggressively and take over areas of the tank, so be cautious where you place this coral. This is one of the reasons why most established reefers dislike this coral. The hardest of the coral and the movement it provides is the reason it made the list.


5 - The Zoanthids

Zoanthids are commonly referred to as Zoas, and they are one of the hardiest corals in the hobby. It comes in a thousand different morphs and a thousand different colorations. It is an extremely hardy coral that can grow in just about any type of flow or lighting conditions. Pricing for this coral is all over the place from $5 for a rock covered in polyps to hundreds of dollars per polyp. This is a coral for all levels of the hobby and extremely resilient and easy to keep coral, and that is why it is number 5 on the list.


4 - The Pocillopora Coral

Another SPS coral made the list the Pocillopora is so easy to keep. It comes in many different color options, including green, yellow, and even rainbow color variations. The Pocillopora prefers strong, steady flow as many different SPS corals do and are typically placed in the middle or top portion of the reef. Frags of this coral range from $15 and up depending on the species usually the green ones are more common and less expensive. The other color variations can be rather costly and harder to find.


3 - The Toadstool Mushroom Leather

This soft coral prefers moderate to strong lighting with medium flow and can be placed anywhere in the tank. One thing to consider when placing a Toadstool Leather is that they can get really big, so keep that mind. They are extremely hardy coral, especially the ones with the green polyps. If you have a large area that would want to add a beautiful coral too, this should be a strong contender.


2 - The Scolymia Coral

The Scolymia coral is normally referred to as a Scoly and is an easy to keep LPS coral. They can be aggressive towards other corals, and they prefer moderate flow and lighting. Typically placed on the bottom of the tank on the sand bed. Many people may be surprised to see it on the list due to the typical price tag of this coral. This coral is not propagated by hobbyist and is only harvested from the wild. The size color and rarity will determine the price fo the coral. Mad Hatter just got a Scoly added to his reef tank, and he will never have a reef tank without a Scoly.


1 - The Duncan Coral

This LPS coral is an excellent addition to any reef tank. Duncans prefer low to moderate lighting and do well in the lower or middle part of the tank, and it will not bother any of the coral around it. This is a coral that took me a long time to warm up to it. I did not have much of an interest in it during the first 5-8 years into the hobby. They have great color, and movement. They do not take up much space and have a nice growth pattern. They have few requirements, and they are an easy coral to frag, and they are at a decent price point. This is an awesome and easy coral to keep, and that is why it's my number one pick.

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