SPS or Small Polyp Stony corals can be demanding to keep and it is wise for new reef keepers to start off with soft and/or Large Polyp Stony (LPS) corals. The move up to SPS can be made once sustained success is achieved with softies and LPS.

 

However, those who graduate to SPS should not jump in too quickly and spend hundreds of dollars on more demanding SPS frags. The smart path is to begin with hardy and forgiving SPS. With that said, here is my list of Top 5 Beginner SPS Corals!

1) Birdsnest Corals

Birdnests come in a variety of colors, including neon green and pink. Once they get going they can grow like weeds, quickly over growing other corals. There are two types of Pink Birdsnests, with one sporting sharp tips and the other rounded tips. If you like bright, solid colors then give this one a try.

 

Neon Pink Birds Nest Coral

2) Stylophoras

Stylos also come in a variety of colors, with green, pink and purple the most common….I love the bright pink morph! They too can grow big so it is a good idea to give them space to grow. If you MUST have a designer coral, then pick up a Tyree Rainbow Stylo.

 

Purple Stylophora

3) Montipora Digitatas

Digis can be orange, green or purple….yes, there is a definite theme here regarding beginner corals coming in multiple colors. Same goes for the next coral on the list, Monti Caps. As for Digis, they have delicate branches and can encrust on the rockwork. The ATL Forest Fire Digitata and the Tubbs Stellata Montipora are easy to keep designer versions of this coral.

 

ATL Forest Fire Digi

4) Montipora Caps

This scrolling, plating coral needs a lot of real estate to grow. A mature colony adds a naturalistic look to a reef tank. Try placing different colored frags together to generate interesting color patterns.

 

Orange Capricornis

5) Green Bali Slimer

Finally, a beginner coral on this list that only comes in one color, unless you count the Purple Slimer 🙁 Nonethess, the Green Bali Slimer, a branching coral, is a beautiful bright green and is a fast grower. I actually had one that started to grow out of the tank!

 


So there you have it, my Top 5 Beginner SPS Corals.

 

 

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If you are looking for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my book, A ReefBum’s Guide To Keeping an SPS Reef Tank: A Blueprint For Success. Additionally, you can see all of my reef tank videos online now as well as my Live HD Webcam. And if you are interested in purchasing affordable SPS frags that are pest-free and homegrown, you can visit my SPS Frag store.

 

Happy reef keeping!