Which corals are best for beginners?


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A reader asks what corals he should use for his reef set-up, Jeremy Gay advises.

Q: Please can you recommend a couple of good LPS coral choices for a 90 l nano reef set-up? I’d prefer to start with frags if possible. Is there anything I should definitely avoid? I’m a beginner with marines but have kept community fish for three years.


A: Jeremy replies: The first LPS I recommend you try is Duncan’s coral, Duncanopsammia axifuga. You can buy it by the single head on a frag plug and it’s cheap, hardy and widely available. If you can keep Duncan’s you know you’re doing okay with LPS. Next, I would try acans, Acanthastrea spp. They are colourful, collectable and again fairly easy to keep. Both Duncan’s and acans will appreciate occasional feeds, either with frozen fish food or pellets aimed at LPS corals. They aren’t very aggressive either, so can be placed near to other corals and they won’t sting them. If your budget allows, try a branching Hammer too, which are lovely. They don’t need direct feeding. Avoid Goniopora which are a bit more tricky to keep.