Top 10 Hardest to Keep Corals by Mad Hatter

So this top 10 list focuses on Mad Hatter's hard to keep corals. Some are hard to keep, and others have been extremely hard for Mad Hatter to keep. The key to maintaining corals is to understand the coral's needs and then see if you can provide those needs to the coral. If you cant, then it will be hard for you to keep the coral alive. Try to avoid impulse buys at your Local Fish Store (LFS), research before you buy the coral. The list is not intended to scare people from these corals, instead to give you an idea of requirements for these corals before buying them.


10 The Yellow Finger Gorgonian Sea Fan

The non photosynthetic variety of Sea Fans are tough to keep. While the photosynthetic species are easy to maintain and they also make a reef tank look more natural. It is possible to keep the non photosynthetic version in a reef tank. It means regularly target feeding them and a proper maintenance schedule to keep up with the nutrients.


9 The Goniopora Coral

The Goniopora coral is known in the hobby as a coral that is hard to keep. It has become a little easier with the introduction of new species but still a problematic coral overall. It prefers strong flow and strong lighting and should be placed in the middle to bottom of the tank. Because of the location where they do best in the tank sometime, it is difficult to get the proper amount of light and flow to the Goniopora.


8 The Pagoda Cup Coral

While many people claim that this is an easy to keep coral Mad Hatter has had no luck with this coral in any of his tanks so far. He has tried to feed it in many different ways to see if it would help and nope, nothing. Keeping this coral has been a personal challenge and as of today, a coral that has not survived.


7 The Walking Dendro

This is an interesting coral that seeks out a worm, and once it finds one, it attaches itself to the worm. As the worm moved around the coral moves around with it. The Walking Dendro may be one of the more hardier versions of Dendro's they are still very finicky and do not always do their best in an aquarium. This is a coral that also requires frequent feedings.


6 The Ruffled Ridge Coral

The Ruffled Ridge Coral prefers medium lighting and flow and can be placed anywhere in the tank. Make sure to give it plenty of room to grow, if you get one that does well in an aquarium setting they can grow quickly. The skeleton of this coral is very thin and can break easily so also keep that in mind when considering tank mates for this coral. Fish crashing into will break peace off of it easily. This coral is related to the Pagoda Cup coral, which is my #8 hard to keep coral. For the most part, most of the hobby believe this is hard to keep coral or that at least certain specimens of this coral are hard to maintain.


5 Acropora Corals

Listing Acropora, in general, should not keep people from buying Acropora. They are a coral that needs a stable environment and does not like a swing in water parameters, so you need to keep up with your maintenance and contantly test your water parameters. They are beautiful corals, but if the water quality goes wrong, many of these corals can die off quickly.


4 The Sun Coral

The Sun Coral is another non photosynthetic corals while doing well this coral is beautiful. The Sun Coral is peaceful, and you do not have to worry about them stinging another coral. They should not be kept next to other aggressive corals that could hurt them. It requires low lighting and medium to strong flow, ideally in a cave or overhand to keep it out of direct light. Some people suggest that this coral should be target feed once a day, with that type of feeding schedule water quality, could degrade quickly. It's also challenging to be away while going on vacation how it has to be feed daily.


3 The Chili Coral

The Chili Coral is a soft coral that is non photosynthetic, needs low light, and needs to be feed every day like the Sun Coral. The food it requires is a bit different. The Chili Coral requires a much smaller particulate food like rotifers, baby Brine shrimp, and other types of mikrofona that stay suspended in the water.


2 The Carnation Tree Coral

The Carnation Tree Coral has very similar care requirements as the Chili Coral, and it is also a non photosynthetic coral. It will require you to feed it. Some hobbyist suggests hanging the coral upside down and dosing amino acids before feeding to be more successful with this coral potentially. Its one of the most beautiful soft corals and I hope that one day I could keep one in my tank.


1 The Pectinia Coral

The Pectinia Coral has mixed reviews online from hobbyist and has been around a long time. It seems like the people who do best with this coral are the people who feed it regularly. With in the last several years, several different color variations have popped up making it even more appealing to the hobbyist. One of the more popular species is the Space Invaders. While not everyone will agree that this is the number 1 hardest to keep coral and it had to do with the lack of information about this species.


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