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Hardy Aquarium Corals for the Beginning Reef Aquarist


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Top Coral Picks for the Beginner - Big Polyp Green Trumpet Coral
Top Coral Picks for the Beginner - Toadstool Mushroom Coral
Top Coral Picks for the Beginner - Candy Cane Coral
Top Coral Picks for the Beginner - Cabbage Leather Coral
Stocking your new reef aquarium with coral can seem a daunting task to the first time hobbyist. But once you've got the tools you need to succeed, caring for your coral isn't as hard as it seems.

While no coral is truly "easy" to care for, there are some species that are less aggressive and have proven themselves to be hardy in the home aquarium.

On our LiveAquaria.com website, corals that fit the "Easy" care level and "Peaceful" temperament parameters, such as Sarcophyton sp., Caulastrea sp., and Lobophytum sp., all make excellent corals for the first time reef hobbyist. These coral types are considered relatively hardy and peaceful (won't compete aggressively for space). Like all coral, they still require good water parameters in addition to iodine, strontium, and other trace element supplementation.

Sarcophyton sp. corals are often referred to as Mushroom, Leather, Toadstool, or Trough Corals. They benefit from additional food such as microplankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.

The Candy Cane Coral (Caulstrea furcata) and Trumpet Coral (Caulastrea curvata) are large polyp stony (LPS) coral. Some species of Caulastrea can be sensitive to metal halide lighting, so take time in acclimating these corals to this type of lighting. They benefit from additional food fed weekly in the form of chopped meaty items, baby brine shrimp or zooplankton.

The Devil's Hand Leather Coral (Lobophytum sp.) is also referred to as Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral, or Lobed Leather Coral. Symbiotic algae hosted within its body provide the majority of its nutritional needs from the light-driven process of photosynthesis, but it benefits from additional food such as microplankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.

Saltwater Fish and Invertebrates for the Beginner
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