Our Top 10 LPS Corals For Your Aquarium
Our Top 10 LPS Corals For Your Aquarium
There is nothing more exciting than setting up your first saltwater aquarium, yet, knowing which corals to add to a reef tank can be challenging as there are so many to choose from and they have some funky nicknames online. But do not worry, because at Reefco Aquariums we have our top 10 LPS corals to create that mini-ocean look you have always dreamed of!
Before we dive into which LPS corals we love, it is important to understand what type of coral they are.
What Are LPS Corals?
Large polyp stony (LPS) corals are the perfect addition to any saltwater aquarium. Their diverse group comes in a variety of mesmerizing colors and shapes, providing your aquarium with a “wow” factor everyone will be talking about.
What makes LPS corals so striking is their large fleshy polyps, which add lots of movement, as they gently wave with the water flow. Beneath their fleshy polyps is a calcium carbonate skeleton, primarily responsible for building coral reefs in the ocean, and how they get their infamous name.
Now you know what LPS corals are, let’s get onto the exciting part!
Top 10 LPS Corals
Once your saltwater aquarium is cycled and ready for some inhabitants, it’s time to visit the coral candy store. So here you have it, in no specific order, here are our top 10 LPS corals, perfect for both beginner aquarium hobbyists and coral experts alike.
#1: Candy Cane Coral (Caulastrea furcata)
The Candy Cane Coral, or Trumpet Coral, is one of the most common LPS corals found both online and in your local fish store (LFS). Their popularity comes from their hardy nature, yet while they are not bulletproof, the Candy Cane will survive the odd “oops” moment if you are a beginner reefer.
What’s more, the Candy Cane Coral is a fast grower that reproduces via fission. Fission is when each polyp grows an additional mouth and then splits into two polyps. So, if you are looking for an easy LPS coral that will quickly populate your reef tank, look no further!
#2: Frogspawn Coral (Euphyllia paradivisa)
Frogspawn Corals are a staple in saltwater aquariums. Their long, tipped tentacles, that resemble a cluster of frog eggs (hence the name) sway flawlessly in the current. Frogspawn Corals are also known for their vibrant two-tone color schemes that burst under heavy actinic lighting.
But, we can’t stop there… The Frogspawn is one of our favorites as they show off their tentacles 24/7. Yes, that is right. Unlike most LPS corals that retract their polyps during the day, Frogspawn Corals are quite the show-off!
#3: Acan Brain Coral (Acanthastrea echinata)
Often underestimated is the round and puffy Acan Brain Coral. You can’t miss their teal, orange, and red contrasting polyps, adding excitement to the lower regions of reef aquariums.
What else? If you are a fragging wizard, the Acan makes a perfect candidate because of its distinctive corallites, adaptability to different lighting conditions, and rapid growth.
#4: Blasto Coral (Blastomussa wellsi)
Three, two, one, and blast off! The Blasto Coral has impressive polyps that grow into dome-shaped clusters, which is why you have likely heard it be called the Pineapple Coral. Their polyps come in every color imaginable, so you will have no trouble finding a perfect morph match for your aquarium.
As long as you keep in mind the lighting, water, placement, and feeding requirements, Blasto Corals are relatively simple to care for.
#5: Hammer Coral (Euphyllia ancora)
The Hammer Coral, also known as the Anchor Coral, gets its name from its hammer or anchor-shaped tentacles. They are usually green or tan with yellow or green tips, which glow during the day and night under actinic lighting.
Hammer corals are slightly more challenging, but with stable water conditions, the Hammer Coral thrives in any aquarium. Part of the challenge is the Hammer Corals aggressive nature. When your lights are turned off, keep an eye out for the Hammer’s sweeper tentacles that can extend up to six inches. To prevent chemical warfare, give these LPS corals plenty of space between their coral neighbors.
#6: Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens)
Torch Corals (also known as Pompom Corals) are one of the most popular LPS corals to add to saltwater aquariums because of their impressive long, thick, flowing, fleshy polyps resembling a torch.
The Torch Coral will also make a great addition to your aquarium because of its medium care level. However, it is often aggressive towards neighboring corals, so placement is critical.
#7: Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa)
Bubble Coral has to be one of the most beautiful, exotic, and bubbly LPS corals. Not only did we fall in love with the Bubble Coral because of its unique appearance, but its fast growth and ability to adapt to aquarium conditions is what ranks the Bubble Coral into our top 10.
The Bubble Coral typically comes in pink/white, but green and yellow color morphs are also available.
#8: Plate Coral (Fungia spp.)
The Fungia Plate or Disk Coral is one of the hardiest LPS corals, but it has a personality of its own, often seen moving around the sand bed or onto the rocks. Yes, you read that right. The Plate Coral can freely move like Mushroom Corals, using the water flow to relocate where they feel most comfortable.
They are easily identifiable from other LPS corals because they are flat, like a saucer, with shorter tentacles. The Plate Coral’s green or purple morph creates an attractive display, but their color capabilities do not end there. If you are looking for a specific color morph, you should have no issue finding one online or at your LFS.
#9: Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia spp.)
Often referred to as the Lobed or Carpet Coral, Open Brain Corals are known for their fleshy polyps that hide inside their calcareous skeleton. The Brain Coral is found in many textures and colors, some smooth or carpet-like, while others are more pimply-looking.
Brain Corals are fantastic for beginner reefers because they are easy to maintain, but remember to provide plenty of space between other corals, or the Brain Coral will take a swipe at anything that gets too close!
#10: Duncan Coral (Duncanopsammia axifuga)
Often confused with Zoanthids because of their large, fleshy polyps, the Duncan Coral is, in fact, a disc-shaped LPS coral. Their polyp heads range from brown to vibrant green, often seen displaying pink, purple, or red tentacles that beautifully decorate their base.
Duncan Corals grow well and are easy to keep in saltwater aquariums. Therefore, they are the perfect choice if you are after an LPS coral to add a splash of color in lower-light areas of your aquarium.
Large polyp stony (LPS) corals are some of the most diverse and colorful corals you can get your reef-keeping hands on. With so many to choose from, there is an LPS coral for everyone!
If you have any questions regarding maintenance help, reefing supplies, or your next coral, do not hesitate to contact the Reefco team.