Selecting your first ever Coral is an exciting, but daunting thing. How do you know which coral to choose? I have written an article about how to select your first fish here >>> you can use the same principles as this article, but apply the theory to corals rather than fish. Here is a breakdown of my Top 5, beginner friendly saltwater fish.
To make this list these fish must be:
- Considered hardy
- Not prone to disease
- Suitable for a mixed reef tank
- Colourful & fun to watch
5. The Euphyllia
The Hammer, Torch & Frogspawn corals are amongst my favourite corals. They are middle of the road price wise, but offer a burst of colour and movement to your tank.
Euphyllia are classed as an LPS coral, but this shouldn’t put you off as a beginner. These corals require adequate lighting and flow (species specific), a bit of calcium to grow their hard skeleton and stable water parameters. They don’t require feeding, but will feed if given the opportunity.
They are relatively easy to care for, colourful and interesting to watch. They don’t make it higher on this list for one reason… Growth rate. They are slow growers and as a beginner you want to see progress in your tank.
Care should be taken when placing these in your tank as they are classed as an aggressive coral and will need plenty of space.
4. The Acanthastrea (Acan)
Acans come in pretty much any colour combination you can imagine. They are fast growing, colourful and reasonably easy to care for.
Due to their desirable colours, some of the more collectable specimens can be quite pricey, but there are plenty of colours available at a more reasonable price-point.
These corals do best when fed, which is why they don’t make it higher on this list. Feeding these corals is interesting to watch, but you do need to remember to feed them every few days to see them thrive. This in-turn means you can end up over feeding your tank as you try to ensure all the inhabitants are fed.
They are a great coral to have in your tank, but do require a little bit of extra care. They can also be a bit fussy with lighting and flow, and can be aggressive so will require plenty of space.
3. The Toadstool Coral (Mushroom Leather)
The mushroom leather is an attractive and easy to care for coral. It is available in a good variety of colours and requires only the basic “saltwater tank parameters” to thrive.
This hardy coral will tolerate a few beginner boo boo’s and a small frag will quickly grow into a sizeable show piece within your aquarium.
These corals tick all the boxes for a beginner friendly coral.
2. The Zoanthid
Zoanthid’s come in a wide range of colours, such variety is unrivalled. Any colour combination you can think of, there is a Zoa in that colour.
Once they are established in your tank the majority of them will grow quickly, and some of them will fetch a pretty penny as a one polyp frag. Don’t worry though, not all of them are expensive, some of the more common colour combinations are very easy to get hold of and are a very reasonable price.
Zoa’s don’t quite make the top spot in this list, even though they are one of the most highly recommended corals for new saltwater keepers, they don’t always do well in young tanks. Some specimens also have a toxin, palytoxin, which can be quite dangerous. Care should always be taken when handling any coral, but be especially careful with Zoanthids.
1. The Blastomussa
The Blastomussa takes the number one spot on this list. It’s large fleshy polyps sway gently with the current and they require very little to thrive. Low flow & low light requirements mean they don’t need the best of the best equipment to flourish.
They don’t require any feeding, but they will feed if given the opportunity, which is fun to watch as a beginner. Feeding high quality foods will likely aid the speed of growth in these relatively slow growers.
They are available in a reasonable selection of colours, and if like me, you are obsessed with the “toxic green” colour under blue lights, these corals will not disappoint.
The common colours are not overly expensive and I suspect once you have one in your tank, you will be looking for the perfect spot for another, maybe a more expensive example.