Choosing Coral for your Reef Aquarium

Posted by jared burbank on

Frags are fragments from a coral colony and it is a great way to add life to your reef aquarium without spending an arm and a leg for a full size colony.  The Coral Frags are babies that will grown into full size colonies if you do the give them the right love a care. 


When picking out new frags, pick ones that are well healed and show signs of new growth after fragging.  You don’t want something that was fragged yesterday and is stressed.  Depending on the coral itself you should start seeing growth within two weeks to a month after fragging.


First you want to choose coral that will be suitable for your system.  For example SPS (small polyp stony) coral require high lighting and high flow, while most LPS (large polyp stony) coral prefer less lighting and flow.  It is best to read up on coral types to match your system.  You will also need to research your fish and invertebrates as some feed on specific types of coral.


For beginners I usually suggest nice low maintenance corals such as Zoanthids and Ricordias to start with.  These types of coral are more tolerant to water parameters in a new system.  As time progresses you can get into more advanced corals like a Birdsnest or an Acan. 


Different corals will have different requirements.  Stony coral will remove calcium from the water to build their stony skeleton so it is best to read up on specific requirements for the many different corals you are considering.  I always suggest a proper water maintenance routine including weekly water changes to give the best environment for your coral.


When placing new coral in your aquarium be sure to give them plenty of room to grow.  Coral can fight for territory with other coral in your aquarium so it’s best to leave some space between each coral.  A good example is galaxia coral, they can send out sweeper tentacles up to five inches long so ample space will need to be given for corals like this.  Most corals will not need as much space so reading up on them is highly advised.


Most coral use photosynthesis for growth but many will benefit from supplemental feedings.  Some will feed off of food that you are already feeding your fish while others will do better with special foods designed specifically for coral such as oyster eggs.  It is easy to overfeed your tank so always work under the assumption less is more.


A reef aquarium can be a very rewarding experience and choosing the right coral frags will make it more enjoyable.