Best soft coral for bare bottom tank?

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staylor1490

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I'm looking for a hardy soft coral too populate the bottom of my bare bottom tank with live rock and palys and zoas. Right now I'm thinking of mushrooms, zoas/palys, and green star polyps, but I'm interested in hearing everyone's suggestions. What is everyone's thoughts on my choices? I also want a coral that spreads fast but won't smother the zoas growing on my rocks. Is it possible to keep GSP growing getting on the rock work? Thanks in advance.
 
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AnotherReefHobbyist

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In bare bottom tanks, won't the mushrooms stick up to the light and reveal the glass bottom?
If you have enough light they should stay fairly flat.

They will only reach for light if there isn’t enough of it.
 

Woodyman

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If you want movement on the bottom fuzzy mushrooms, GSP, Ang clove polyp would be nice. Zoa's give a little movement as well, but not as much as the others above.

If you want less movement mushrooms and zoa's.

Or a mix of all!
 
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Woodyman

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As cool as I think a bare bottom covered in a multi colored sea of ricordeas would be, I don't think I'd have the patience to let it grow out. BUT, if I did I think that would make a pretty cool garden.
 

Woodyman

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I heard GSP was very hard to control? My fear is that it will crawl up my rocks and smother my zoas.
Eventually if you leave it to grow uncontrolled it will.

A razor blade or scalpel to trim the growth anytime it gets near the rocks will work. Same for the sides if you don't want it to go up the side/back walls. Just be careful with blades and your seams.
 

mfinn

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I heard GSP was very hard to control? My fear is that it will crawl up my rocks and smother my zoas.
It's pretty easy to control. It doesn't move very fast. If you see it getting close to something you don't want it on, simply scrape it back. It only gets out of control if you let it.
 
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Woodyman

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It's pretty easy to control. It doesn't move very fast. If you see it getting close to something you don't want it on, simply scrape it back. It only gets out of control if you let it.

Don't let cutting it with a blade intimidate you, it slices like butter.
 

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I heard GSP was very hard to control? My fear is that it will crawl up my rocks and smother my zoas.
I had a disk of GSP. I put them between green striped mushrooms and button palys. I was hoping maybe GSP would get a foothold. The GSP would grow this wall toward the palys, never able to advance.

The mushrooms just shaded the whole disk. I moved it before they took over the disk, but either that experience or something else made the GSP die later.
 
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staylor1490

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Thanks for all the replies. If my rock is already covered in zoas, will the GSP be able to smother them then and get a foothold? I plan on pruning my GSP carpet with a razor until the zoas are entrenched if they are able to hold off the GSP.
 

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Paleozoic_reefer

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GSP is great for ground cover for a BB tank but you must keep in mind that nothing will stop it. It will cover all other corals including palys and zoas. My GSP is on the floor and is manageable as I trim it back every 3-4 weeks and sell the pieces locally. It does require a bit of maintenance depending on how fast your GSP grows. Here are some pics of my BB tank.
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38522CFF-6540-4073-AD18-204B9F821634.jpeg
 
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