Choosing the Right Corals for Your Reef Tank
With so many dazzling corals to choose from, selecting the right varieties for your first reef tank can feel overwhelming. But having the proper knowledge in hand will make the process far less daunting. In this beginner’s guide, you’ll discover the 10 hardiest, most vibrant corals that are ideal for novice aquarists. From low-maintenance mushrooms and leathers to showstoppers like the torch coral, you’ll learn which types thrive in standard tank conditions. Dive into the biology behind what makes these corals such accessible starter specimens. With the right information and preparation, you’ll be able to curate a stunning underwater oasis, even as a first-time reefkeeper. Let your reef journey begin for best coral for reef tank.
The Top 5 Best Beginner Corals for a Reef Tank
For beginners, some corals are easier to care for than others. When selecting corals for your first reef tank, consider the following:
Lighting and flow requirements
– Choose corals with moderate lighting needs, such as soft corals like leather corals and mushroom anemones. More intense light-loving stony corals like acropora can be difficult for beginners.
– Select corals that don’t require strong water flow, such as zoanthids, palythoa, and trumpet corals. They fare better in tanks with lower flow rates.
– Start with slow-growing corals like brain corals, maze corals or bubble corals. Fast-growing corals can quickly take over your tank and require more maintenance to keep in check.
– Opt for hardy corals that can tolerate small fluctuations in water conditions like water soft corals, mushroom anemones, and zoanthids. Delicate stony corals are more prone to bleaching or tissue damage and require very stable conditions.
By choosing corals suited to your level of experience and available equipment, you’ll set your reef tank up for success. Start with a few easy, hardy corals and once you’ve mastered the basics, you can add more demanding varieties. With time and practice, you’ll gain the skills to keep a thriving reef tank filled with a variety of beautiful corals.
Caring for Your New Corals: Lighting, Flow, and Feeding Requirements
To start your reef tank off right, choose corals that are easy to care for and hardy. The following varieties are excellent options for beginner reefkeepers:
1. Mushroom Corals
Mushroom corals, also known as disc anemones, are very hardy and easy to care for. They come in a variety of colors like red, green and purple. Provide medium lighting and flow, and stable water conditions with a pH between 8 to 8.4.
2. Kenya Tree Coral
The Kenya tree coral with its intricate branches is a popular choice. It is tolerant of a range of water conditions and lighting levels. Feed it once a week with reef food to promote growth. This coral can be fragged and propagated easily.
3. Candy Cane Coral
The candy cane coral, or trumpet coral, features long polyps in colors of red, green and orange. It requires moderate lighting and water flow and weekly feeding. This coral multiplies quickly, so it is a great option if you want to fill your tank with coral.
4. Torch Coral
The torch coral, or lobophyllia coral, opens up like a flower during the day and at night. It comes in a variety of bright colors and requires moderate lighting and water flow. Feed it once a week to maintain its health. This coral can live for many years if cared for properly.
Zoanthids, also known as zoas or button polyps, are very hardy and come in a rainbow of colors. They only require low to moderate lighting and flow. Zoanthids multiply and spread over rocks and substrate, providing an attractive display. Feed them once a week with meaty foods to keep them colorful and healthy.