Saltwater Reef Tank Corals

Today we will highlight some of the corals that you can get for your saltwater aquarium while also giving some information about placement, lighting and flow. Many of you have found great homes for your corals simply by testing and moving. One of the best methods of coral placement is to start out as low as possible in the aquarium, when your corals are shipped they have ~24 hours of total darkness. So, they might be a little stunned to go from no light to a full 16 watts immediately.

Many of your tanks have zoanthids, long polyp toadstools, green polyp toadstools, pulsing xenia, or finger leathers. Many of these corals can adapt to a wide variety of lighting and flow but the optimal parameters will be a little different.

One of the best methods of coral placement is to start out as low as possible in the aquarium, when your corals are shipped they have ~24 hours of total darkness. So, they might be a little stunned to go from no light to a full 16 Watts immediately (if you have any lighting questions please check out our lighting blog post). Many of your tanks have zoanthids, long polyp toadstools, green polyp toadstools, pulsing xenia, or finger leathers. Many of these corals can adapt to a wide variety of lighting and flow but the optimal parameters will be a little different.

Blue Zoanthids

Zoanthids:

Zoanthids were chosen for these kits because they are a staple beginner coral. They come in many assorted sizes, colors, and species bringing a multitude of options for your first coral. Zoanthids enjoy lower light in the aquarium. Many people have had success placing these corals either on the sand bed or on low rock structures away from the main rock.

These corals thrive in lower light scenarios because their round disc shape allows them to absorb as much light as possible soaking in the energy produced by their zooxanthellae (plankton within its tissue). The zoanthids also have small tentacles surrounding their disks to catch nutrients within the water column which means they should have a low to medium flow across those disks.

Long Polyp and Green polyp leathers:

These sarcophyton leathers were chosen for your aquarium because of their extreme hardy nature. They have the ability to close up and cover their body is a sleek waxy cuticle to protect themselves from hazardous situations. This may include parameter changes (light, salinity, temperature) as well as a fish bumping into it or small invert crawling on it. These corals should be placed higher up within your aquarium.

Both the green polyp and long polyp leather enjoy higher lighting and you should notice within 24 hours if they are happy in that spot, tentacles should be open and waving within hours. The long polyp leather seems to enjoy higher flowrates to really extend those polyps out in every direction. Higher flow also aids in shedding that waxy cuticle when they are no longer stressed.

Ultra Green Polyp Toadstool Leather

Pulsing Xenia:

Pulsing xenia is a particularly interesting coral. These were chosen for the aquarium because of their ability to grow quickly as well as helping your aquarium with excess nitrates. These corals have a great ability to absorb and use some of the waste from your fish. Pulsing Xenia is always a customer favorite for its ability to open and close looking almost like small hands or flowers. Pulsing Xenia should be placed in the mid to low level of your aquarium. They can handle medium to low levels of light and flow.

We suggest placing this coral away from the main rock structure of your tank due to its ability to grow and cover surfaces. Typically, they are less likely to branch out from a hard rock surface onto a sand bed, but if this does occur you can place it elsewhere in your aquarium or give some frags to your friends or local fish store.

Neon Finger leather:

This coral was offered as a bonus to many of our Indiegogo customers. This bright neon green coral is very well known in the hobby because it is a sought-after coral from Palau. There have been linages of this coral in the US for upwards of 30 years but now only aquacultured specimens can be imported. This coral can find a home almost anywhere in your tank but keep in mind they typically grow upward. This coral can be placed on the sand bed or rock with a low to medium amount of flow. These corals can soon be purchased at our Ocean Oddities store.

Hopefully this blog post will help with placing your corals in your tank. These are just some helpful guidelines and if your corals are all happy and healthy where they currently are in your aquarium its best not to move them. Every coral is different and has different requirements, but if your coral has been closed since being placed in your aquarium feel free to try some of these options. If you have any questions about these corals, other corals, general coral information check out this article about how coral is formed in the education section of our website. 

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