Good beginner corals?

James_O

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Hope I got this in the right place... I’m looking for some good beginner corals for my 29g nano! I saw on the recent “daily question” thread, that GSP was a good beginner, but I also hear it’s invasive??

I’m wanting some that look good, that clownfish will host in, and are easy to care for.

Thanks in advance!
 
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James_O

James_O

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Pulsing xenia, Kenya tree, ricordea fla. very easy, my starters
I really like the Pulsing xenia!!


I wouldn’t worry about getting your clowns to host just yet. Maybe start out with a Duncan, it’s a great starter coral, cheap, and a fast grower.
Will they be ok with a fake one for now? (I don’t have them yet, I’m just planning this for the future)


Power heads work well for clownfish to host in. For easy and something they may want, leather corals and toadstools. GSP should be isolated or it will grow on everything.
I do like the leather as well!

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For some reason, I’m thinking coral needs to be fed something... is that correct? Or will they just grow with the light?

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So GSP is a bad coral?
 
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vabben

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Will they be ok with a fake one for now? (I don’t have them yet, I’m just planning this for the future)
Fake what? Clowns don’t need an anemone in the tank to thrive. My clowns don’t host anything, they literally just lay down on the sand bed at night to sleep.
For some reason, I’m thinking coral needs to be fed something... is that correct? Or will they just grow with the light?
Coral will catch extra food while you feed your fish. If you’d like you can spot or broadcast feed your coral every once in awhile. I personally spot feed a combination of AB+, mysis, and reef chili once a week to my LPS and dose AcroPower for my SPS.

I’d suggest looking for a local frag swap. That is a great place to get great deals and knowledge on frags for your setup.
 

MaxTremors

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I would start out with some leathers (Sarcophyton, Sinularia, Nepthea), cheap Mushrooms (Discosoma, Rhodactis, Ricordea), cheap Zoanthids/Palythoas, Clavularia, Xenia, and/or GSP (Pachyclavularia/Briareum).

Once you’ve got some of those going and stable, try some lps like Duncans (Duncanopsammia), Euphylias (Hammers, Torches, Frogspawn), Favia, Blastomussa, or Micromussa/Acans.

Then once you get some LPS stable and growing, try some of the easier SPS (assuming you’ve got appropriate lighting) like Montipora (Capricornis and Digitata), Pavona, Birdsnest (Seriatopora), or Stylophora.

I wouldn’t worry too much about corals like GSP or Xenia taking over your tank. So long as you place them appropriately and prune them back as necessary, they’re not a problem. I think they’re both pretty and there’s no reason not to keep them, they’re not going to take over your tank over night.

You need to take placement into consideration for all corals, not just for lighting and flow, but you need to make sure they have room to grow and also that they won’t touch other corals (some can touch, a lot of soft corals don’t mind touching other softies, but most stony corals, and especially LPS will sting and kill other corals).

As far as feeding your corals, for the most
part, the corals we keep are all photosynthetic and derive most of their nutrients from the zooxanthellae living in their tissues. They also absorb nutrients from the water column (nitrate and phosphates). Most corals will also eat things out of the water column, but it’s not absolutely necessary to feed them. Bigger LPS corals can be spot fed mysis shrimp or sometimes larger shrimp/fish, but everything else you can just broadcast feed with some prepared coral food and/or oyster eggs.

Just take it slow, do tons of research, and ask questions, check out books from the library (but keep in mind, things change really fast in this hobby, so buy the time something is published it might already be out of date or inaccurate). But I think learning from other reefers what works for them is the most direct route to success in this hobby.

Also make sure to acclimate corals to your light (start on the sand bed and slowly move them up, unless you know that they were under lighting that was more intense than yours), but once you’ve acclimated them, either mount them or set them where you want them, and then try to leave them alone. Corals like stability, they don’t like being constantly moved (for the most part they’ve evolved to grow in one place and stay there their entire lives).
 

BostonReefer300

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Someone else has a very similar thread going that I just posted to. I'll repeat here that I'd recommend against xenia, GSP, or any of the other soft corals that are widely considered pests. You'll love them for several months and think you're doing a great job at keeping coral, then you'll start panicking in a year that they're growing out of control and smothering the more expensive coral you had finally put in the tank. There are so many SPS corals that are beautiful, hardy, and relatively cheap that I'd go that route---and of course looking at Palys and Zoas.
 

jeffchapok

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I agree that clownfish don't *need* anything to host in, but they do seem happier with something. Although I do have a couple of BTAs (we call them their wubbies!), they will occasionally nestle into my hairy mushrooms. And hairy mushrooms are extremely easy to keep.
 
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