What makes a reef aquarium stand apart from a standard saltwater fish tank is the live coral. Nothing can compare to the natural movement colors and beauty that live coral can bring to an aquarium. While there have been recent advances in the reef aquarium hobby that make keeping corals alive easier not all of them are as easy to keep and some are almost impossible and left to the advanced hobbiest. There are however some very popular good beginner aquarium corals that are not only easy to care for and hardy but that will provide both beauty and enjoyment to your reef tank.
Good Beginner Aquarium Corals
Mushrooms- This is by far the easiest to keep and care for and the most long lived of any of the beginner corals. They come in a wide variety of colors and will thrive in lower light conditions so a large expensive lighting system is not needed. They will often grow very fast and can cover a patch of your tank quickly.
Bubble Corals- This is a large polyped stony coral or LPS as it is referred to in the hobby. It is easy to care for, will eat solid foods and will tolerate lower light levels. Do not place this coral in to high flow of an area or it may never fully open. They come in white, tan and green. The LPS family is also full of many other aquarium corals that are easy to care for and beautiful.
Zoanthids- This family is full of some very fast growing and easy corals to care for they are great for the new reef keeper and provide slow rhythmic movement to your reef aquarium. Most will thrive in medium light setting s so power compacts will usually be fine they are also very tolerant of water conditions.
Green Star Polyps- These are beautiful neon green polyps that thrive in virtually any system. They do need good water flow in order to keep dirt and debris off of them. Other then that they grow well under medium light and grow fast. They grow so fast that they often spread to the back of aquarium walls further adding to the tank’s beauty.