fbpx
For beginners: great starter LPS corals

For Beginners: Great Starter LPS Corals

LPS or Large Polyp Stony corals are the next step up from soft corals in their demands. These species come in a variety of forms, colors, and growth patterns. LPS tend to prefer slightly more flow and light than soft corals, but not nearly as much as SPS corals. LPS may be the most diverse family of corals, so you will likely find a selection of species and colorations that you will want to add to your reef. Below is just a small sampling of the types of starter LPS corals that make a great selection for a beginner reef tank.

Acanthastrea (Acans)

Starter LPS Corals: Acan Coral Colony
Acan Coral Colony

Acans are available in numerous colors and growth patterns and are some of the best starter LPS corals. Most acans prefer moderate to low light and minimal flow. For the best results, place them in a location mimicking their previous environment as they can be sensitive to light intensity changes. Acans will significantly benefit from weekly spot-feeding.

Starter LPS Corals: Acan Polyp & Its Sweeper Tentacles
Acan Polyp & Its Sweeper Tentacles
  • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
  • Temperature: 72-78 degrees
  • Salinity: 1.023-1.025
  • Nitrates: 1-10 ppm
  • Phosphates: 0.01-0.04 ppm
  • Recommended Lighting: Moderate
  • Recommended Flow: Low
  • Recommended Tank Placement: Low to mid areas
  • Direct Feeding: Strongly recommend
  • Available Colors: Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Estimated Cost: $30-$300+ per head
Pros of Keeping AcansCons of Keeping Acans
Available in many different sizes, colors, and varietiesSensitive to changes in light intensity and should be acclimated to higher light levels slowly
Do not require large amounts of light or flow to keep them happyConsistent maintenance is vital for Acans as they can be susceptible to excess nutrients
Acan’s will not sting each otherSome species can be costly depending on their coloration
Easily spot-fed
Short sweeper (stinging) tentacles that are not able to reach very far
Pros and cons of keeping Acan’s

Blastomussa (Blasto’s)

Starter LPS Corals: Blastomussa Coral
Blastomussa Coral

Blastomussa is similar in its care requirements to Acans. Blasto’s prefer to be at the bottom of your aquarium in medium to low-light environments with minimal flow. Blastomussa’s also enjoy weekly spot-feeding.

Starter LPS Corals: Blastomussa Coral
Blastomussa Coral
  • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
  • Temperature: 72-78 degrees
  • Salinity: 1.023-1.025
  • Nitrates: 1-10 ppm
  • Phosphates: 0.01-0.04 ppm
  • Recommended Lighting: Low to Moderate
  • Recommended Flow: Low
  • Recommended Tank Placement: Low areas
  • Direct Feeding: Recommend, but not required
  • Available Colors: Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Estimated Cost: $35 and up depending on the size of the frag
Pros of Keeping BlastomussaCons of Keeping Blastomussa
Not demanding when it comes to light or flowRelatively slow-growing
Come in a variety of colors that pop under actinic blue lightDifficult to frag
Easy to feedMore colorful varieties are expensive
Easy to find
Short sweeper (stinging) tentacles that are not able to reach very far
Pros and cons of keeping Blastomussa

Duncans

Duncan Coral Head
Duncan Coral Head

Duncans are another one of the starter LPS corals that prefer to be towards the bottom half of the aquarium as they like both low light and low flow. Unlike many other LPS species, Duncans do not have stinging sweeper tentacles, so they will not attack other corals. Duncans greatly appreciate an occasional squirt of food when you’re feeding your fish.

Duncan Coral Colony
Duncan Coral Colony
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Temperature: 72-80 degrees
  • Salinity: 1.023-1.025 ppm
  • Nitrates: 1-10 ppm
  • Phosphates: 0.01-0.04 ppm
  • Recommended Lighting: Moderate
  • Recommended Flow: Moderate
  • Recommended Tank Placement: Low to mid areas
  • Direct Feeding: Required
  • Available Colors: Green, purple, pink, and cream
  • Estimated Cost: $35-$50 per head
Pros of Keeping Duncans Cons of Keeping Duncans
Do not require large amounts of light or flowLittle color diversity
Unique looking without being challenging to keepGrow slowly
Have short sweeper tentacles, so it is difficult for them to sting other coralsEssential to feed them at least once per week
Pros and Cons of Keeping Duncans

Choosing Starter LPS Corals for Your Tank

We hope this guide has opened your eyes to just a tiny portion of the LPS corals that make an excellent choice for beginner reef aquariums. Check back again for future additions to our “For Beginner’s” series.

If you have any questions about how to proceed with your reef aquarium, or if you are on the hunt for an LPS recommendation, feel free to contact our reefing experts here at Simplicity Aquatics.

Like this article? Share it here:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Subscribe to our Blog
Get in Touch
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.