Coral Buying Guide for Beginners


If you are a beginner in reef keeping or this is your first marine tank in a new genre of coral propagation then this is the article for you. It is important to realize that when you 1st walk into your local fish store in search of live corals for sale you must remain conservative. Although there are many different species of coral, most can be grouped into 1 of 3 categories, And each category has its own specific requirements needed to properly thrive in a reef tank. Just because a coral is beautiful you shouldn’t simply buy it before fully considering if you should be putting it in your tank. Things you absolutely need to consider are your tank size. This means the total volume of water running through your tank whether this involves a separate refugium or if you’re running an interconnected dual tank system. As a beginner, I imagine you wouldn’t have the latter of those 2 but you may not be a first-time marine tank owner but this is your 1st reef tank. The 2nd thing you need to consider is your type and amount of lighting. Are you running LEDs or VHO fluorescents or perhaps you’re running metal halides. Lastly, you will need to consider the flow of your tank. Do you have wavemakers or are you simply running a circulation pump? All of these factors will dictate what type of corals you can keep in your tank.

Soft Corals

Soft corals are known as beginner corals due to their Hardy nature. They do not require as high parameters as stony corals when considering calcium and alkalinity. Also, they are capable of taking higher swings in their levels of parameters such as nitrates nitrites calcium alkalinity temperature salinity and ph. Because of this reason if you are going to keep a nano tank of 20 gallons or less these are the only quarrels you should put in your tank. The associated risk of various parameter swings would dictate that most of the intermediate to expert level corals would have a hard time surviving under even normal conditions, Meaning conditions where you make no mistakes. They also require less flow and lower levels of lighting meaning that your initial investment in your system would be less than if you were trying to host many stony corals. If you were to search your local fish store for live corals for sale

You would be sure to find tons of these at affordable prices. Several examples of good soft corals for beginners are as follows:






Green Star Polyps

Stony Corals

This group consists of 2 of the 3 main John retyped large polyp stony corals and small polyp stony corals. Small polyp stony corals are nearly all expert level corals that need near-perfect water parameters as well as highlighting in high flow, therefore, it is not recommended to purchase any of this John rock as a beginner reef keeper. While there are some species like pavonine that could be reasonably kept by a beginner it is still recommended to leave this genre alone entirely. There are several large polyp stony corals that could be kept by a beginner with a reasonably mature system. This means the system must be running for approximately 8 months to a year in order to stabilize and get out of that new tank syndrome. Once the tank has built up a good amount of beneficial bacteria in the rocks and the reef keeper has developed a maintenance schedule allowing for the export of nutrients Bendy following list consists of possible LPS corals for beginner reef keepers.

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