If you are a beginner and want to start keeping corals, it can be difficult to decide on which ones to choose.
With so much information available and so many varieties to consider, it can be confusing to select the right ones best suited for your saltwater tank.
It’s a good idea to start with easier to keep and less demanding corals if your tank is not well established or if you are keeping corals for the first time.
Many LPS corals are suitable to start with and are more forgiving with respect to water parameters, lighting requirements, and water movement than some other corals.
Here are 11 of the best LPS corals for beginners.
- Candy cane
- Bubble coral
All of these corals are suitable to keep in saltwater tanks with low to medium lighting and water flow. They can handle less than perfect water conditions and are easier to keep healthy.
Although they may have different behavior patterns and some are more aggressive than others.
Water parameters for LPS corals
The LPS corals mentioned here are all similar with respect to water parameters and tank conditions.
Here are the normal water levels for keeping LPS corals.
- Temperature: 75 – 79F
- PH: 8.1 – 8.4
- Salinity: 1.023 – 1.025
- Calcium: 400 – 450 ppm
- Alkalinity: 8 – 11 dkh
- Magnesium: 1250 – 1350 ppm
- Phosphate: 0 – <0.5
- Lighting: Low to medium – PAR levels between 30 – 50 (Low) and 50 – 150 (Medium)
- Water movement: Low to medium varied flow patterns
#1. Frogspawn coral
The Frogspawn is one of the most popular LPS corals to keep for beginners and advanced hobbyists. They are very colorful and are not picky about pristine water conditions, lighting, and water flow.
These corals tend to grow fairly quickly and smaller frags can grow into larger colonies. Frogspawn corals are one of the easier corals to frag so if they grow into multiple heads, you can frag them if you like.
#2. Hammer coral
Similar to the Frogspawn, the hammer coral is a member of Euphyllia corals. They are easily recognizable as their polyps are shaped like anvils or hammers.
Hammer corals can start out as a smaller frag and grow into a 10” colony quite fast. They are sometimes sold as a Wall Hammer coral.
All Euphyllia corals have long sweeper tentacles so it’s possible for them to be aggressive and sting other corals nearby.
#3. Torch coral
Another member of Euphyilla, the Torch coral is more aggressive than the others. Torches have very long sweeper tentacles that can extend up to 10” long.
They can easily sting other corals if placed nearby. Providing there is plenty of space between corals, you won’t have a problem. Torch coral love to reach into the water flow for food and light.
They are a stunning coral available in many different colors and are easy to keep. If you are just starting out with corals, consider the Torch coral as one of your top choices.
#4. Acan coral
One of the many great things about Acan corals is they are available in a variety of types and colors. You won’t have a problem finding ones to suit your tank.
They are an easy coral to care for and grow fast. Acans can be spot fed through tangent feeding which will allow them to have better colors and growth rates.
They are not the easiest coral to frag but it can be done.
#5. Candy cane coral
Candy canes are often referred to as trumpet corals and are common coral kept by beginners. These corals are not aggressive and can be placed near other corals that will not sting them.
The Candy cane is one coral that does not like high lighting, so if you notice their polyps retract or the coral losing color, try reducing the lighting and/or move them to a better location in the tank.
They are a forgiving coral with respect to water quality, they should do quite well in less than ideal conditions.
#6. Duncan coral
Another great choice for a beginner coral is the Duncan coral. This coral has long fleshy polyps with a calcified skeleton base.
Duncan corals are available in many colors including blue, brown, green, pink, and white. Although the Duncan coral is easy to care for, it will show better coloration if you maintain constant parameters.
Calcium is important as it’s stony skeleton uses it up over time. These corals also grow fast so don’t be surprised to see single heads split into two easily.
#7. Blasto coral
Blasto corals are a great choice if you are using light that is more towards the low spectrum of 30-50 PAR. If you are using higher lighting, they can acclimate to it over time but it’s crucial to take it slow and let them get used to PAR above 50 – 150.
The Blasto coral has long sweeper tentacles but are not aggressive. They usually don’t bother other corals in the tank.
It is not necessary to feed Blast corals but they will appreciate the occasional feeding.
#8. Bubble coral
If you are looking for a hardy coral that has stunning colors, check out the Bubble coral. This coral has a hard rigid skeleton that can be seen with its polyps closed.
When opened, the polyps cover the entire skeleton. Bubble corals do have sweeper tentacles and can be aggressive towards others.
It’s important to keep water flow in the tank set from low to medium as higher water movement will cause their polyps to stay closed and not open properly.
#9. Octospawn coral
Another member of Eupyllia, the Octospawn is very similar to the Frogspawn coral. It’s very hardy and forgiving to less than ideal water parameters.
They tend to be a bit more aggressive as they have long sweeper tentacles. The Octospawn coral tends to be lighter in color than the Frogspawn, although not always the case and has an abundance of polyp tips.
Both the Frogspawn and Octospawn are great options as a beginner coral.
#10. Brain coral
The Brain coral is often called the Honeycomb coral and has a very unique brain shape. These are normally available in green, yellow, and orange colors and can be purchased in various sizes.
The Brain coral is an easy coral to keep but they are considered to be aggressive. It’s common for them to extend their sweeper tentacles at night stinging other corals around it.
They can be placed either on the sandbed or on rock formations that will give them the best lighting and water flow conditions.
#11. Favia coral
One of the most common corals in the world is the Favia. They are normally kept in both beginner and expert tanks as so many people love keeping them.
The most common color of Favia corals is green and red. Similar to the brain coral, they are also aggressive and have long sweeper tentacles.
The Favia should be kept in light more towards the medium range. They don’t do as well with low or high lighting and somewhere in between 50 – 100 PAR is ideal.
Are LPS corals easy to keep?
LPS corals are generally easier to keep when compared to SPS corals. They are not as demanding with respect to water quality, lighting, and water movement.
They are easier to care for than some other coral types and require less maintenance.
Do LPS corals need dosing?
Like all corals, LPS require that the water parameters in the tank stay within limits and consistent. Over time, certain trace elements will deplete as it gets used up by the corals which need to be replaced in order for the coral to stay healthy.
Dosing is an option for replacing and maintaining proper trace element levels in the tank. Water changes are also effective in doing this.
Providing your water parameters are within the normal range, there will not be a need for dosing LPS corals.
There are many different types of LPS corals that are suitable for beginners. If you are just starting out with corals, the above-mentioned corals are all great options.
As mentioned, LPS corals are easy to keep providing the water parameters and other tank conditions are met. Of course, you don’t want to add all these coral into your tank at the same time.
But slowly over time, you can add them as your tank matures and is stable enough to handle them.