There are so many awesome corals that you can keep in your reef tank. From soft corals to LPS and SPS, there is an abundance to choose from. Some of my favorite corals to keep are LPS. They are most commonly kept by beginners as they are not as demanding to keep.
If your tank is not fully mature and ready for SPS, you still might want to introduce a few easy to keep corals. LPS corals are the way to go.
- Candy Cane
What are LPS Corals?
LPS are Long Polyp Stony corals which is a term given to corals and refers to the size of their polyp or polyps. They are Calcareous corals that have large fleshy polyps and hard skeletons. In the saltwater aquarium hobby, LPS corals are often mentioned as easy or beginner corals as compared to SPS corals.
LPS Coral requirements
Long Polyp Stony corals or LPS require stable water parameters to stay healthy. This is similar to all corals, but LPS are more forgiving and can handle less than a pristine tank. If you are keeping LPS corals, stability is key. Fluctuations in water conditions are never a good thing for corals. Once you have your tank stable and doing well, you will have no problems keeping LPS corals.
Some items to LPS corals need:
- Stable salinity. If your salinity is constant at 1.024 sg, keep an eye on your water evaporation and don’t let it fluctuate up and down. An auto top off is very helpful in maintaining salinity.
- Steady temperature. Prevent your water temperature from fluctuating by having a good quality heater and controller.
- Water movement. LPS corals like low-medium flow. Unlike SPS which requires high flow rates. Make sure you have a good quality wavemaker that is reliable.
- Lighting. LPS corals don’t require high-intensity lighting like some of the demanding SPS, but it’s still important to choose the lighting that is suited for the corals and tank size.
- Feeding. LPS corals will show their colors and have better growth if you provide them with coral foods.
- Water quality and nutrients. LPS corals will appreciate low Nitrate and Phosphate levels. It’s important to keep the Calcium, Magnesium, and Alkalinity at the proper levels for LPS.
#1. Frogspawn Coral
The Frogspawn coral has several multi tipped tentacles that look like frog eggs. Hence the name frogspawn. It is a very popular coral and many people love how they can sway with the water movement. Frogspawn corals are commonly found in colors of yellow, green, and brown, and may have bright tentacle tips of pink, white, lavender, or cream color.
They are common to find and are not expensive to purchase. They don’t require high lighting or water movement although they will extend more with a medium flow rate. Like most Euphyllia corals, if the flow rate is too high, the corals won’t extend.
#2. Hammer Coral
The Hammer Coral is another Euphyllia which is similar to the Frogspawn in requirements. Hammer Corals derive their name from their hammer-shaped tentacles. They are sometimes more expensive but generally still affordable and available. They are great to form together side by side to create a wall as these corals won’t sting each other.
They like moderate water flow and low to medium lighting. The hammer coral doesn’t grow as fast as the branching LPS, but they make a stunning addition to your tank and are easy to maintain.
#3. Candy Cane Coral
The Candy Cane Coral or Trumpet coral is one of those unique corals as when you see one, you know what it is right away. The striped pattern that is found on its polyps gives it away. These stripes can come in a variety of different color combinations including brown, green, and cream with white stripes.
The Candy Cane is considered to be very mild-mannered and only has short tentacles. They do well in tanks with other corals, even when placed close by. They don’t sting others. They are very affordable as well and many hobbyists will start out with Candy Canes as they are very hardy and easy to keep.
#4. Bubble Coral
The Bubble is a very soft coral that might look very tame, but be aware that they can bother other corals. They have long extending tentacles that can sting others. So the placement of these corals is important. The Bubble coral is very hardy and will do well in a beginner tank. They don’t like high flow or high lighting and prefer to be in a bottom area of the tank close to rock formations.
The Bubble is not as common as some others on this list but is generally available from your local saltwater fish store. If not, they may be able to order one for you. I have always had great success with Bubble Corals and are one of my favorites.
#5. Acan Coral
The Acan is probably the most colorful coral on the list. They are available in a variety of colors such as purple, red, green, blue, orange, brown, rust or pale tan to pale grey. They can be purchased as a single head or a full colony.
Acans love to grow on a sand bed or on rocks. They are one of the easiest and fastest-growing corals as well. If you plan on learning to frag corals, these are great for fragging. Acans are very acceptable to low or moderate water flow. They are not overly picky. The same goes for lighting. They love to be fed and it’s fun to watch them eat. Acans are an easy coral to keep and are a great choice for beginners as well.
#6. Favia Corals
The Favia coral is commonly called the Moon, Brain, or Honeycomb coral. They are not the most exciting coral in the world but they do have amazing colors and are easy to keep. The Favia coral can extend its sweeping tentacles at night and sting other corals.
It’s important to be careful where you place the coral in your tank due to them being somewhat aggressive. I listed this coral as easy to keep due to the fact that once you find a nice spot for them in your tank, you should have no problems.
They will adapt to a low to moderate lighting and water movement. They are very forgiving with respect to water quality so as long as everything is stable, they will do fine.
#7. Torch Coral.
If you would like to have a coral with lots of movement, check out a Torch coral. Another member of Eupyllia, they have long Polyps that will sway with the water movement and really makes a nice showpiece in your tank.
The Torch is available in many colors and sizes and tends to grow quite fast. It will do best with moderate flow and lighting and can be placed at the bottom or top of your tank depending on flow and lighting.
Like other corals, they can sting so you need to be cautious where you place it. It’s best to give plenty of space between the Torch and the nearest coral. They do have long sweeper tentacles that can and will sting. But they are still considered an amazing coral that are easy to keep. They do cost more than the other Euphyllia, but are readily available and commonly kept in home aquariums.