In this article, I will show you 7 LPS corals that like high light.
For most LPS corals, you don’t require high lighting for them to thrive. Corals that are members of the LPS family will stay healthy and grow under low to medium lighting conditions.
LPS or long polyp stony corals, is the name given based on the size of their polyps. They are generally the better choice of corals for beginners although many advanced hobbyists keep them as well.
If you have a saltwater reef tank that has higher lighting, you can still enjoy some LPS corals. Even though most LPS corals are best suited for low to medium light, there are some that can live with high lighting conditions as well.
LPS corals that like high lighting include:
- Candy Cane
Now before you toss in these LPS corals into high lighting, it’s important to make sure you introduce them to the light properly. If you don’t give these corals time to adjust and get used to the lighting, chances are they will end up bleaching and die.
How to acclimate corals to high light
When corals are not introduced properly to a change in light, they can become stressed causing them to lose color. When corals are stressed, they will lose their symbiotic zooxanthellae which give them color. This will result in a pale or white color known as bleaching.
Once corals begin to bleach, it doesn’t take long for them to die.
If you take your time and slowly allow your LPS corals to get used to higher light, chances of them adapting well and thriving in your tank are very good. Low or medium-light corals can adapt to higher lighting when done correctly.
A few important steps to take when acclimating your corals to higher light:
1. Raise your lighting higher above the tank
If you have hanging lights or brackets that allow you to adjust the height, consider raising them higher above the tank. Then over a period of time, slightly lower the lights to allow the corals time to get used to the increased intensity. You should do this over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.
2. Reduce the photoperiod
Most coral tanks will run with 10-12 hrs of lighting per day. When introducing LPS corals to higher lighting, you should consider reducing the length of time by a few hours and run 7 or 8 hours per day for the first week. This will limit the amount of time each day that the corals are subject to the higher light. Limiting the white daylight hours is more important than the actinic lights.
3. Reduce the light intensity
Most lighting on the market today have controllability features so you can adjust the intensity of light over a period of time. It’s a good idea to reduce the intensity of light over the acclimation period and slowly increase the intensity over time. Over a period of 3 to 4 weeks, you can slowly increase the intensity each day by a small percentage. This will allow for your LPS corals to get used to the higher intensity of light without stress.
As you acclimate your LPS corals to a higher intensity light, keep an eye on them to see how they are adapting. If you notice them starting to lose color or becoming stressed, you should slow down the rate of acclimation and adjust your lighting accordingly.
If your corals are on the bottom section of your tank and you wish to bring them to the top, do this slowly over time. The higher they are in the tank, the closer they will be to the light and be subject to a higher intensity.
What is considered low, medium, high lighting?
Depending on who you talk to, these numbers might be different. There is no set rule for the PAR rating of low, medium, and high lighting. But here is a guide for you to use. I have always used these figures to go by when determining lighting levels for corals. Of course, not all corals will be the same so use this as a guide only.
Low light – Under 100 PAR
Medium light – 101 – 250 PAR
High light – anything above 251 PAR
Chalice corals are an LPS coral that is normally kept under low to medium lighting in reef tanks. They are one of the most commonly kept LPS corals due to their amazing colors and shapes.
The Chalice is one coral that can adapt to any type of lighting providing they are acclimated properly. They are a semi-aggressive coral with sweeper tentacles so it’s important to provide plenty of space for them.
They are known to actively feed at night and although spot feeding them is not required, they can be fed a mix of meaty foods like brine shrimp and Mysis which will increase their growth rate.
Chalice corals that will live under high lighting include the Hollywood Stunner and Miami Hurricane.
Miami Hurricane Chalice
Favia corals are an excellent coral for beginners or advanced reef keepers. They are a hardy coral and can adapt to a variety of conditions providing they are within limits. Lighting in the high PAR range can be accepted by most Favia corals.
Favia corals are also aggressive and will extend large sweeper tentacles at night. They will feed at night similar to the Chalice coral.
Common Favia corals that can live under high lighting include the Dragon Soul and Rainbow.
Blasomussa corals are a unique LPS coral that is great for beginners. They are a very hardy coral that will adapt to your tank and can handle minor parameter swings. It has large fleshy polyps and sweeper tentacles but unlike the Favia coral, they are not aggressive and generally don’t bother other corals.
They are a coral where spot feeding is not required. They will get their food source from photosynthesis through the zooxanthella within its tissue. They will appreciate an occasional feeding of phytoplankton and Mysis shrimp.
If you are lucky enough to have a multi-head colony of Blasto corals, you will love how they blend together and their colors are stunning. Although considered a low to medium light coral, you can acclimate them over a period of time and they will adjust to high light levels and thrive in your tank.
A few other LPS corals that like high include:
- Candy Cane
Out of this list, the one that is more sensitive to high lighting is the Candy Cane coral. They are not a high light coral but can be kept under medium to high lighting if slowly acclimated over time. They will need to be watched closely for stress and moved if necessary out of the higher lighting.
How much light do LPS corals need?
I mentioned in the article corals not growing find out why, that lighting is one of the most important factors for coral growth. LPS corals will require low to medium lighting to grow and as mentioned, some will live in higher light.
What are some LPS corals for beginners?
If you are new to keeping corals in your tank, you should consider starting with soft corals and LPS. Most SPS corals require very specific water conditions and will stay healthy in a mature saltwater tank. Here are a few beginner corals:
- Hammer corals