What’s going on Salt Nation?! Jeff Hesketh Here and today I wanted to give you the Top 10 LPS corals available on the market today. Before we get into that I wanted to tell you about an article I wrote titled LPS corals, it covers everything you need to know about LPS corals so if you are interested in learning more about Large poly stony (LPS) corals, check it out. Also if you’re new to Mad Hatter’s Reef and/or saltwater aquariums, I recommend you visit our Start Here page.
What is LPS Coral?
Large Polyp Stony Corals consist of a rigid skeleton with large fleshy polyps. LPS usually require moderate to high light levels and moderate flow rates. They are a bit more forgiving with water quality compared to SPS corals.
Growth rates and patterns vary dramatically from one species to another. Shopping for corals becomes easier when you know the coral’s care requirements. Based upon my own personal experience in the hobby, choosing the right corals for your aquarium plays a huge role in your success.
Top 10 LPS Corals:
#10 of the Top LPS Corals
Bubble Corals Plerogyra Bubble Corals get their name from their distinctive bubble tentacles that inflate with water. They have a slight translucent appearance and can grow to a very large size when provided optimal conditions. They are a fairly hardy large polyp stony coral and can be kept in mixed reefs as well as coral systems designed specially for LPS corals.
The Bubble Coral requires a moderate level of lighting combined with low to moderate water movement in the aquarium. Too much water flow may impede the coral from fully expanding. The fleshy polyps of Bubble Corals are very fragile and will puncture easily.
#9 of the Top LPS Corals
Pagoda Cup Corals are large polyp stony (LPS) coral usually grows in a cup or bowl shape while living on the reef. It may also be found in the form of cups, ruffled ridges, plates, vases, or scrolls. It may grow horizontally or vertically. Although the pagoda corals can be bright yellow, green, brown, gray, or cream, they are most often green. A number of species may extend their polyps during the day or night while in an aquarium.
It is a peaceful reef inhabitant and does not bother other corals that are placed in close proximity to it. However, it should still be provided with ample space away from other corals because it does grow quickly. It will require moderate lighting combined with moderate water movement within the aquarium. For its continued good health, it will also require the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the water
#8 of the Top LPS Corals
Frogspawn Coral Euphyllia Frogspawns have been a fixture in reef aquariums seemingly since the hobby began. Frogspawn corals have long multi tipped tentacles resembling a mass of frog eggs. This LPS coral is one of the most popular stony corals in the hobby because if the way it sways in the current. It is very similar in growth and care requirements to it Euphyllia cousins, the Hammer coral and the Torch coral.
During the evenings, its sweeper tentacles can extend up to six inches beyond its base into the reef aquarium surroundings. It will sting other neighboring corals in the reef aquarium, therefore, it is best to leave plenty of room between itself and other types of corals
#7 of the Top LPS Corals
Candy Cane Corals Caulastrea or candy cane corals are a great beginner coral. They tend to be some of the most hardy large polyp stony (LPS) corals and grow into large colonies relatively quickly. The size of the individual polyps remain consistent, but they divide and separate as the colonies grow
They are hardy and a relatively peaceful reef inhabitant, with very short sweeper tentacles. It requires moderate lighting and moderate water movement, along with the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the water.
#8 of the Top LPS Corals
Hammer Corals Hammer corals are an iconic LPS coral hat has been a staple in the hobby for generations. They are found all throughout the Pacific reefs and come in a variety of colors and growth forms. Hammer corals sometimes grow in a wall formation while other hammers grow in a branching formation. Either variety makes an excellent show piece coral for a reef aquarium.
It’s good to keep in mind that the branching varieties of hammer corals tend to grow more quickly if that is something you are looking for.
#5 of the Top LPS Corals
Blastomussa Corals Blastomussa (Blastos for short) are a great addition for coral reef enthusiasts looking to add a low light large polyp stony coral (LPS) to their reef tank. The first time I saw them, I thought they looked like a corallimorph mushroom but they had a skeleton. Blastos are an uncommon coral in the reef aquarium hobby, but are found for sale more often now as a result of propagation.
Blastomussa Corals do well in an established saltwater aquarium being a moderately hardy coral. A low water current combined with a moderate light level will make a wonderful home for this coral. Generally, it is considered a peaceful coral, not moving in on tank mates that are located in close proximity to it.
#4 of the Top LPS Corals
Favia and Favites Corals When it comes to diversity, it is hard to think of a more visually diverse group of corals than Favia and Favites. They come in a large variety of corals and growth partners. Some Favia are slow growing while others double in size quickly. Regardless of what type of Favia you encounter, be sure to keep a watchful eye out for sweeper tentacles that can reach out and sting nearby corals.
They require moderate lighting combined with moderate water movement within the aquarium. They are also considered one of the most prolific corals in the world.
#3 of the Top LPS Corals
Acan Corals: Acanthastrea (or Acans for short) are a colorful and popular coral imported mainly from Australia and Indonesia. There are three common species of Acanthastrea commonly seen in our hobby, Acanthastrea lordhowensis, Acanthastrea echinata, and Acanthastrea bowerbanki.
In the reef aquarium, Acanthastrea are incredibly hardy and fast growing, tolerating a wide variety of conditions including both low and moderate lighting and moderate water currents. They make ideal candidates for fragging at home since they have very distinct corallites.
#2 of the Top LPS Corals
Scolys: Scolymia (also known as Doughnut Corals, Disk Corals, or Button Corals) are a hot item in the reef aquarium hobby ever since specimens of this Genus started being imported from Australia. The Aussie Scolymia are intensely colored corals that make for a hardy addition to just about any coral reef aquarium.
While it is not an aggressive coral, it should be provided with adequate spacing between itself and other corals because it can expand to twice its size. It is easy to maintain in the reef aquarium and makes an excellent choice for both the beginner or advanced reef aquarist.
#1 of the Top LPS Corals
Chalice Corals Chalice corals represent a large group of wildly disparate corals that share little in common past their flat, plate-forming appearance. There are over ten Genera of corals that are all described as Chalices. Because of this, care requirements for chalice corals are all over the place. Having said that, Chalice corals are possibly the most popular “rare” coral amongst coral collectors in the saltwater aquarium hobby.
Typically, a slow growing coral, the species is known to exhibit both an encrusting habit when placed near aquarium glass as well as a plating habit when housed in open areas.
Buying Aqua-cultured LPS Corals.
I strongly encourage all hobbyist to consider buying aqua-cultured LPS corals. The aquaculture of marine life will not only protect the saltwater aquarium hobby but it will save the wild reefs from over collection and eventually government enforced collection shut downs. In the end, aquaculture of marine life is a win win for everyone and by supporting those who aquaculture fish, corals and invertebrates we will be helping preserve the environment, and strengthening our communities with local jobs.
My challenge to you, as you grow as a hobbyist is to simply inform yourself, educate others, buy aqua-cultured marine life when possible and by doing so will become a proactive representative for responsible reef keeping.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at: Jeff@madhattersreef.com
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