Corals impart diversity, movement, and infinite beauty to your reef tank with their vibrant colors and enticing patterns. But the mere thought of adding new corals can be overwhelming, and even avid reef aquarists would agree. Different opinions, endless choices, and unique practices make this lovely hobby a bit confusing. We are here to take the load off your mind with this brief guide about the Top 5 Beginner-Friendly Corals that is incredibly beautiful and easy to keep!
Whether you are a novice aquarist or a coral fanatic, you’ll find this blog equally amusing and informative. The article highlights the Top 5 beginner-friendly corals that are extremely beautiful, have minimum requirements, and are more forgiving. So, let’s dive in:
With 2000+ available corals, how do you select the perfect one for your reef tank? Confused? Let’s make it easy for you. For an enjoyable first-time experience, always opt for corals that are filter-feeding and less sensitive to light and water quality changes. Here is a list of the 5 beginner-friendly corals that we consider true standouts for their splendor, vividness, and overall ease. So, let’s start.
Talking about the beginner-friendly corals, the #1 on the list is my absolute favorite, Blastomussa. You may easily find it in a coral shop with common names like Blasto or Pineapple Corals. For those obsessed with Vibrant greens under blue lights, Blastomussa is just the coral you might be looking for. Furthermore, their fleshy polyps gently sway in water, which is fascinating to watch.
The best thing is they are meek and play well with the other inhabitants. Though they have tentacles to capture prey, they never attack other corals. Instead, they help clean the debris in your tank and thrive with beginner-level care.
Blastomussa is an admirable candidate for nano reef tanks as they perform well in mild lighting and water flow. Once they have acclimatized to your reef conditions, they require minimal effort and are super friendly with the reef inhabitants. Moreover, these corals don’t demand regular feeding and are strictly non-invasive. It means they won’t occupy all the space and hence leave room for other coral species in the future.
In the quest to find the best corals, Candy Cane Corals are the 2nd on the list. These are LPS corals, also known as Trumpet or Torch Corals. They offer a fresh vibe to your reef tank with their stunning colors and glorious branching patterns. Moreover, these corals are my all-time favorite as they thrive incredibly well in nano reef tanks without requiring any extra effort.
Candy Cane corals are super beginner-friendly as they require low lighting, no supplementary feeding, and medium water flow. An important fact is, that they have short tentacles that they use to catch small prey and keep your tank clean. Though the corals perform well with supplementary feeding, they don’t necessarily require it. In addition, these corals can synthesize their food via photosynthesis, so feeding should be your least concern.
The best thing is Candy Cane corals are very well-mannered to the inhabitants of your rank and cause no harm. A pro tip to getting the best outcome is considering supplementary feeding twice or thrice a week. Doing so yields better colors and growth in Candy Corals Colonies. The good thing is that the standard colors are striking and are not overly pricey.
Next on the beginner-friendly corals’ list are the extremely popular corals, “Zoanthids.” Their big claim to fame is the brilliant color display. Think of any beautiful color theme for your reef tank, and you will find a Zoa in that color for sure. Though they are photosynthetic, some species tend to catch their prey. So, supplemental feeding entirely depends upon the species you want to introduce into your tank.
Zoanthids require a medium water flow to thrive. The best place for setting these corals is anywhere in the tank where water flow is not so high and adequate light is present. However, if the water flow gets significantly high, the corals might face trouble opening the polyps. For the impressive view, you always wanted to have in your tank, be sure that the water flow and specific gravity remain constant. Zoanthids are sensitive to these two conditions; other than that, they are pretty hardy.
Note: An expert hack to ensure the best growing conditions is using high-quality salt. The tip always works and sets everything perfectly.
4. Pulsing Xenia
You might have already heard about Pulsing Xenia, the least aggressive corals with the most beautiful celestite glow. These are the most popular and easy to frag fast-growing corals. Pulsing Xenia gets its name due to its polyps’ rhythmic pulsing movement that looks like hands’ opening and closing action. In addition, the amazingly seamless action makes this beautiful coral endearing.
The coral grows well in moderate to high motion water and good light. However, if you already have SPS corals in your tank, it might not be a good idea to go with Pulsing Xenia. The main reason is that Pulsing Xenia thrives better in nitrate-containing water where SPS can’t withstand nitrates at all.
The coral grows blazing fast and is super accommodating and peaceful. Furthermore, it’s surprisingly low demanding, hardy, and more forgiving. When it comes to other important parameters, the coral adjusts to anything you throw at it. So, if you are looking for a more sustainable coral for your nano-tank, Pulsing Xenia always wins.
5. Leather Corals
Last but not least in the list of beginner-friendly corals are Sinularia or Leather corals. The genus Sinularia has 150+ species that vary widely in size, patterns, and colors. These corals have a shiny surface that gives a leather-like feeling, hence earning Leather Corals’ name. Furthermore, these corals are so popular that you can easily buy them from anywhere at a highly reasonable price.
Just like other SPS corals, they also adjust to diverse water parameters. In addition, they require minimal care and maintenance. They perform really well in moderate light and water flow. Besides, they don’t need feeding as they get necessary nutrients from the water. While setting leather corals in your tank, make sure that there is plenty of space in the surroundings as they significantly spread while growing. Once you’ve properly set up your tank and have all the essential parameters set, that’s it; they thrive incredibly.
Note: If you see your leather corals developing a wax-like coating, don’t panic. It’s pretty normal as they undergo a physiological phenomenon. Your leather coral may act timid with the polyps retracted in this stage. The coating will shed naturally in a few days, and your coral will be back to its normal state.
Corals are a beautiful gift of nature. Seeing your corals thrive is something so exciting and yet so satisfying that you can’t describe it in words. This 5-minutes read walks you through the best beginner-friendly corals and everything a novice aquarist needs to know. Surely, there’s a first time for everything and now is your “Perfect Time” to create a magical little world of corals. Keep on learning, exploring, and developing as an aquarist enthusiast.
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I am the founder of J. Louis, a digital marketing agency focused on providing innovative solutions and strategies built on a foundation of creative design and technology. A family man who loves travel and reef tanks, I’ve been coined as a jack of all trades, master of a few of them, most specifically website and sales funnel design, monetization and growth strategies, and viral marketing. I began pursuing my passions for business by cutting my neighbor’s lawns when I was just 8 years old and never looked back. Over the past 20 years, I have amassed significant experience providing consulting, design and development services for Fortune 500 companies, government, retail, private individuals, and A-list celebrities.