LPS for Beginners
Representing an important step up in difficulty from soft corals, LPS are super beginner friendly, if you know which ones to look for.
These beautiful little pieces are sometimes called whisker coral, due to their long flowing tentacles. They can be found in Australia. There are few color morphs and I have noticed the tentacles will increase in length if given more flow. Duncan’s also exhibit a super obvious feeding response. Go ahead. Cut the flow and drop some Mysis on them.
If you love flowing pieces, here’s another one for you. Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, hammers don’t lack on style.
A cousin to the hammer, this euphyllia is a quintessential beginner coral. A master level move is combining hammers and frogspawns in a Euphyllia garden. In my experience, these 2 will not sting each other — Torches however, will kill both–. No only will you be able to mix colors, but textures as well. Best of all, they are tolerant of medium to low flow, but I wouldn’t recommend SPS level flow as you could blow off tissue if its too intense.
#4 Favias and Brains
Easy to keep, flow tolerant — lower is probably better– and deliver an obvious feeding response. No special light requirement. I tend to keep these low in the tank. You need to be mindful of their sweeper tentacles. These are deployed to kill anything encroaching its territory. Careful with War Coral. These can grow too quickly and their sting packs a punch. Favia and brain coral come in a rainbow of colors and healthy pieces can withstand the abuse when you’re just figuring things out.
Torches are in the Euphyllia family, but they far from ordinary. My favorite aspect is their resilience to high flow. I keep mine in our SPS system and they enjoy the whipping waves. Careful though. If they touch hammers or frogspawn, kiss the former good bye! They pack a punch. However, they should be fine touching one another. In my experience they grow moderately. Not super fast, but 3x over the course of a year. The hardiest variety for me has been the dragon soul.