Beginner coral, where to start

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Fishboy&crazycatfishlady, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    Hey all!

    This is my first rodeo with saltwater, so far so good! We’ve been taking our time, moving slow and being patient. Tank has fully cycled. Established a pod population, have two happy Darwin Clowns, and adding to the livestock tmr! But I am READY for some corals in my tank! The tank is about 2 months old now, parameters are all in check and where I’d like them to be.

    So my question is, could I start adding corals yet? If so which would be a good start.

    Orbit Marine IC PRO LED 48”
    (2) EFLUX Loop wave makers (660)
    Reef Octopus 100 HOB skimmer
    Cascade 1000 Elite canister filter

    55 gallon tank
     

  2. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones The Gif-A-Nator R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'd start off with either some soft corals or a hardy lps coral. Duncan coral is a good first choice. Otherwise green star polyps or pulsing xenia, just make sure you isolate them as they can take over a tank quickly. Mushrooms, zoas, toadstools are all great beginner corals :) Then come the SPS!! :):)
     
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  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    The best first corals are the cheap corals!

    And what do you like? Is next.

    Hardiness is the next concern (young tank swings).

    Most softies , even easy sps like montis and some birds nest.
     
  4. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I would start with a leather coral that you think looks neat, something like green nephthea, giant clove polyps, or toadstools :) keep in mind that some soft corals are considered very aggressive in terms of how fast they grow, corals like xenia and green star polyps should be kept in a relatively isolated space such as a rock island at the base of the tank.
     
  5. ReefSapper

    ReefSapper Member

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    I second the mushrooms, they are as hardy as they come and can really add some neat color to your tank. Some types will spread like wildfire as well but i started my first tank with mushrooms 3 years ago and still have all of them, some zoa's and acans have come and gone as i learned but the shrooms stayed strong and are beautiful!
     
  6. Alejandro palomares

    Alejandro palomares Member

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    I would start with some beginner coral such as leather coral, Xenia or duncan. Typically you want to start with some soft coral and then some lps, and work yourself to SPS coral.
     
  7. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    Thanks everyone!
    So I’m assuming my tank isn’t too young to begin adding then! I know some corals, it’s recommended to wait until the tank matures. I purposely built an island for GSP, really like it’s looks. Maybe I’ll just start there. Thanks for the help!
     
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  8. O'l Salty

    O'l Salty Active Member

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    I waited about 4 months before adding a couple hardy corals. Your tank will go through some ugly phases and it's sucks watching corals die. That being said green star polyps and pom pom corals are indestructible. lol
     
  9. Big G

    Big G Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    + 1 on Duncans. Classic look and feel for a saltwater aquarium. Gorgonians that are photosynthetic are pretty easy and gives your tank some instant height with that "cactus" kinda look. Enjoy your new tank! Cheers!
     
  10. zuri

    zuri Active Member

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    aqua sd is finishing up an auction get some cheap stuff for starters
     
  11. Instigate

    Instigate Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree with above but one thing to consider that I wish I did when I was buying my first few frags was the colors. When you first start to buy corals they're all extremely interesting. But once you see some "ultra grade" and "rainbow" stuff you get more picky. I wish that I had made an effort to get less corals that are just one color as well as not getting so many green corals. Green is the most common color you will find. That said, my green duncan is the fastest grower in my tank and I love it. Went from 3 heads to 8 heads in just a few months.

    /Also wish I read more about how aggressive each coral might be and how they grow out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  12. Luna

    Luna Active Member

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    My first coral was a favia, I bought it just to try out corals and it was only $5. Well 3yrs later I still have it out of all the other corals I tried
     
  13. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    Good info!! Cause “I’m easily amused” in this hobby still lol
     
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  14. Instigate

    Instigate Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So am I, I'm only seven months in. My favorite coral is whichever one I bought last. lol
     
  15. S.O.MLemos

    S.O.MLemos Active Member

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    Duncan’s are always a great starter and pretty hardy/fast growing. Basically any frag under 20$ that you like would be a great starter IMO. Just be careful of the pest corals that everyone regrets eventually(Xenia, Kenya tree, GSP- which I actually like on my back wall, yellow polyps)unless they are given their own space. I bought all of these mentioned when I started and then couldn’t even give them away lol
     
  16. S.O.MLemos

    S.O.MLemos Active Member

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    I thought Gorgonians were kinda of difficult to keep? If that’s incorrect I’d love to get some especially some sort of purple
     
  17. Big G

    Big G Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    The non-photosynthetic types are hard to keep going. As long as your tank is stable and you have good lighting, I find the photosynthetic kinda easy to keep. Sometimes you need to give them a brushing with a soft toothbrush to keep algae off of them. It causes tissue recession. And they prefer higher flows for absorbing nutrients. KP Aquatics has some very nice gorgonians.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  18. S.O.MLemos

    S.O.MLemos Active Member

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    Good to know. For some reason I thought they were soft like macro algae too. Welp new mission lol
     
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  19. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    What are some gorgonians that are photosynthetic?
     
  20. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    This might not be the thread I need to be asking this on, but could someone also enlighten me “dipping” corals, and any other QT’ing of them
     
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