What makes certain corals more difficult?

BRS

Ocean’s Piece

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I really don’t understand. Maybe because I just have soft corals right now but I don’t understand what makes certain corals more difficult than another coral (softies are easier than LPS, LPS are easier than SPS, etc). I don’t do anything for those corals besides providing their lighting, flow, and parameter needs and they grow. And I’m not talking about those corals that have high feeding or parameter demand or have low survival rate. Is there something about LPS and SPS that makes it any more difficult than taking care of my softies if I provide them the right conditions?
 
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MaxTremors

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In general LPS and SPS are less tolerant of nutrients in the water (they like a little bit, but won’t tolerate the levels that a lot of softies will thrive in), require more stable parameters, and with stony corals you have to maintain calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium (along with other trace elements). An SPS dominant tank in general requires greater attention to water chemistry, higher lighting, and higher flow. LPS and mixed reef tanks are kind of in the middle, and soft coral tanks are the most forgiving in terms of chemistry, lighting, and flow. But the main fundamental difference between stony and soft corals is in the name, to form a stony skeleton, stony corals require stable and adequate alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium, soft corals don’t (they still use these elements to a certain extent, but they’re far less important).

One other thing to note, and one of the main reasons why people say SPS are more difficult (though not the only reason) is that maintaining the proper parameters is very different and the methods by which you achieve it are very different when you go from soft to stony corals. A large grown out SPS dominant reef can be very difficult to maintain alkalinity and calcium levels, whereas with a softie or even mixed reef, a simple two part will often keep levels stable.
 
BRS

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