In this article you will learn what type of coral is best for your reef tank. You will be given several examples of different types of reef tanks and the corals which would work in each one. Not all corals can be put inside. Fundamentally you can put any coral in your reef tank and under the right conditions it will not only survive but thrive.
However, different criteria of your reef tank starting from the size and ending in the equipment used to maintain your parameters will determine the corals which would suit your system best. Some corals require a very high flow within the tank while others would be damaged by such a high flow. Likewise some corals will require extremely high lighting while the same lighting would actually damage some corals.
Therefore while all corals can fit into the same fundamental niche their practical niches are different in certain. This article will touch on the practicality of each reef tank and the possibilities that they possess.
SPS Dominated Tanks
Small polyp stony corals are basically the holy Grail of experienced reef keeping. Purchasers of small polyp stony corals simply do not go into their local pet store looking for live corals for sale.
To begin with you need a medium to large sized tank with extremely good filtration and lighting to house these corals. In general small polyp stony corals are very reliant on stable water parameters including temperature,salinity alkalinity, nitrates, and nitrites.
The main reason that you need a large tank to handle these corals is that the larger the water volume of your tank is the less a swing in these parameters will affect your corals. Also you need a lot of pumps and wave makers in order to create a high turnover rate of water also known as current.
This small stony part polyp corals thrive in coral reefs with turbulent waves and we need to replicate this in our tank in order for them to thrive. Generally a reef tank of approximately 60 or more gallons is necessary.
Soft Coral Tank
If there was such a thing as a beginners reef tank this one would be it. Most soft corals are considered quite hardy. Likewise if you went to your local fish store in search of live corals for sale you would most definitely find a few species of these to choose from.
There are quite a few species of soft corals which not only grow fast but can take higher levels of pollutants such as nitrates and nitrites. Likewise they have the ability to take larger swings in temperature and salinity but still survive.
In other words a tank of soft corals can be smaller than expected of tanks with hard corals. Likewise a soft coral tank does not need as good of lighting or as high flow therefore they are much more affordable and attainable to maintain. They will also survive many beginner mistakes that more exotic and expensive hard corals could.
The next reef tank is a tank which consists of different mixes of soft large polyp stony and soft polyp stony corals. This case and expert level refer to maintain. Everything including the aqua scape needs to be well-thought-out before ever purchasing a coral.
You need to put rocks in that are custom cut and chiseled in order to create overhangs caves dead spots and high flow areas. Likewise you need to create locations where corals can be close to the lighting and others where the corals can be shaded.
If you begin with an easy tank and upgrade over the years you can effectively keep your techniques which work and equipment which lasts on to the next level of each reef you intend to keep. In general acquiring equipment over time as well as practicing this art form will make you a better reef keeper and allow you to propagate your corals effectively