When you make the decision to build a home reef tank, it’s common for aspiring hobbyists to purchase just any corals they think are beautiful. However, corals come in various different species—each with its own specifications and needs for survival. As such, it’s only natural that some of these organisms will be better for a beginner build than others. These are a few characteristics of good beginner corals and why choosing them first will be the key to success.
Durable and Tolerant of Environment Changes
First and foremost, beginner corals are considered to be very durable and are able to handle frequent changes in their environment’s parameters. This is very helpful for when they’re being shipped to your home, being handled and, ultimately, acclimated into your tank. In fact, it’s this feature that makes LPS and SPS coral species different from one another. While SPS corals are easier to break apart and sensitive to water fluctuations, LPS varieties can withstand most moving stressors. This makes LPS typically the better choice to start out.
Commonly Found in Nature
You also want to pick a type of coral that can be easily found in the wild or in an aquaculture facility. Rarer coral species are often much harder to take care of, and, therefore, not the best choice for environments that are prone to parameter changes. In the end, you want a tank ecosystem that can, for the most part, sustain itself. So, you’re taking a larger risk of incompatibility the more uncommon of a coral you decide on.
Accommodating of Other Species
Another important characteristic of good beginner coral is the ability to get along with other types of organisms in your tank. Whether you will be keeping fish, invertebrates, or a full collection of other coral species, harmony is vital to creating a lasting environment. If you happen to purchase corals that might harm your other marine life, it can trigger a reaction where the ecosystem is no longer balanced. For this reason, you should always make sure that your corals don’t release a stinging enzyme before putting them in your aquarium with certain kinds of fish.
Easy To Feed and Care for
When all is said and done though, beginner corals are easy to manage over a long period of time. Some corals, while durable enough to survive the beginning stages, take a lot of additional work to maintain and keep healthy for the following months and years. This is crucial because, as a beginner to the craft, you may not be sure of how to meet some of these needs. As such, you want to double-check that you’re not just getting a strong coral, but one that you can reasonably care for as well.