Here you will find the easiest to keep corals that are great for beginners in the reef keeping hobby. Generally, most soft corals commonly referred to as softies are very easy to keep. They are tolerant of less than ideal water conditions and often thrive is nutrient rich, elevated levels and even neglected aquariums. They are thought of as ‘dirty animals’ that can thrive is clean water or dirtier water which is common with new tanks.
For many new hobbyists the dream of simply keeping corals alive is the goal, and these corals chosen by our staff with over 50 years of combined reef keeping experience will allow to realize that dream. Later as the tank matures and you become more confident in keeping coral you can branch out into different LPS and SPS ( hard coral) species that require a little more care. These corals however have little to no special care requirement and no special feeding needs. And because they are soft corals they generally do not consume calcium, alkalinity and magnesium the way most corals do. Their lack of a calcium structure means they grow rapidly without any concerns for dosing or chemical additions to your water. They thrive in all type of lighting e.g. LED, T5 , Halide and do well in a variety of flow and lighting conditions.
Beginner corals are usually on the cheaper end of corals ! They don’t cost a fortune, are fun to grow and most are easy to frag adding a new and fun aspect to the hobby.
These colorful small rapidly going coral are sometimes calls zoas, zoos, palys or polyps. They resemble amazing underwater flowers and grow in tight clusters with many individuals heads that connected by an underlying may of tissue that holds them all together. Zoas are almost an entire hobby on their own and hobbyists often try to collect them. There are hundreds of different colors and types each with individual trade names. They do well under high or low lighting conditions, and high or low flow conditions. They are very adaptable and tolerant of different water parameters, they can thrive in both clean and dirty water making them ideal candidates for almost any reef tank. They grow rapidly and cover the rocks they are placed on. They also won’t sting one another or other corals so they are reef safe.
2. Kenya Tree
The Kenya Tree Coral is in our opinion the easiest coral to keep and one of the best for new reef keeping hobbyists. It gets its name from tree like appearance and adds lots of height and elegant beauty to any aquarium. It is so tolerant of so many different conditions, it is near impossible to kill this coral. Its growth can be classified explosives as small frags quickly become big colonies. Its not invasive though, and is easily fragged with a pair of scissors or even with your hands. It is truly one of the hardiest coral species of all the types we keep in reef tanks.
The toadstool is a type of leather coral, and these softies are some of the most beautiful and easy to keep. Its not uncommon to see hobbisyts fill entire aquariums with just leather coral because of their hardiness creating a virtually maintenance free aquarium. The photo above feature the tyree toadstool leather which has the most vibrant green of all the leathers. They prefer lower to medium and lower to medium flow. They grow rapidly and are easy to trim back with scissors
When it comes to growth speed, xenia coral takes the gold medal, especially the pulsing xenia. They come in a few color varieties, blue being the rarest (and most expensive). The pulsing variety is captivating and hypnotic to watch pulsate. Its of the only corals that actively moves on its own without flow, it literally pulses every few seconds, its magical to watch and they add tons of life and movement to your aquarium. This coral grows so rapidly though it should be glue or placed on a rock that is easy to move in case you want to trim back one day. Once it starts growing like most corals there is no off switch.
5. Green Star Polyps (GSP)
Green star polyp is one of the most abundant corals within the reef keeping hobby. It grows rapidly in aquaria and is rarely imported due to easy of aquaculture. GSP is a good coral for beginners as it is incredibly hardy and tolerant of sub-par normal reef conditions. It is virtually indestructible and one of the easiest corals to keep of all time. Like xenia though its growth is prolific and it should be isolated to easy to move rocks or even on its on island.
Euphyllia is the latin name for a few species of coral including hammers, frogspawn, octospawn and torch corals to name a few. These are arguably the most popular in the hobby because of their striking color and movement. They are generally easy to keep and if you are looking to keep one in a new aquarium opt for a hammer or frogspawn. They are part of the LPS family of corals ( large polyp stony ) and have a calcifying base with tentacles that extend from it. Many of them glow and look unreal under led actinic lighting. They lots of movement and lie to any aquarium and grow relatively quickly. Their sway in the current is simpy magical. They do have a sting though and can not touch other corals. They can touch each other for example like the photo shown above.
One of our personal favorite LPS corals here at Fragbox and one of the most beautiful and easy to keep. They are very forgiving lps corals that like higher flower. They branch out like sps coral and create the most amazing tree like structures with large flowing polyps growing from every end. There is really no other coral like duncan coral. They grow relatively quickly and love to eat.
This is one of the most unique and easy to keep LPS corals. There is no other coral that even closely resembles this one. They have no special care requirements and don’t need to be fed but they can be and its really fun to do so ! Their branching structure makes them ideal candidates for fragging. They grow with remarkable speed, customers of ours often buy 1 or 2 heads of this coral and are trading them back as full colonies in under 6 months. They do well in medium lightening and medium flow.
Saving one of the easiest to keep corals for last on the list. Mushroom corals! They come in the most remarkable striking arrays of colors and patterns. Every year for the past 15 years we are constantly being surprised with new varieties. These hardy, virtually indesctriuble fast growing soft coral prefer lower light and lower flow and do best closer to the bottom of your aquarium. There are many different species of mushrooms, the easiest being Discosoma (flat smooth apperance) and Florida Ricordea.
One of our personal favorites for easy to keep LPS. Acan Corals come in a wide range of colors and are very easy to keep. Acans prefer to be in low light with low flow, so we recommend placing them at the bottom of the tank or in caves. They are not the fastest growing but can be placed next to one another to form the most amazing colorful acan gardens.
Our friendly, knowledge and honest staff here at Fragbox has over 50 years combined reef keeping knowledge ! We were all novices at one point when we started in this hobby and nothing brings us greater joy than helping new hobbyists with hardware and coral selection. Our coral reef store is open 7 days a week for walk ins or you can reach us during normal business hours by phone or email.