LPS Coral – 10 Easy to Care Corals for Beginners (Updated)

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So you have seen the incredible tanks posted on forums, seen your friend’s tank, or just have been inspired by seeing ocean life and now looking to get your own. Reef tanks can be pretty intimating for a newcomer and we have written articles about tank selection and easy saltwater fish to keep. But what about corals?

I wrote an article later on about soft corals, but I want to talk today about the LPS Coral. These corals are the big show stoppers in the tank with their colors and their varieties, but not all LPS corals are created equally. Some of these corals are difficult to keep, but we have a list of corals here that you can safely pick from if you are looking to get into coral keeping.

Before we get started, let’s talk about requirements of LPS corals. What makes corals “difficult” in the hobby is stability. Corals like stability. They don’t want temperature swings, they suffer from salinity changes, and hate high nitrates. The good thing is that technology and best practices from experienced hobbyist have made it easier to keep LPS corals than ever before (Quick Note – this post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through my link).

  • A solid RODI system or buy RODI water from your fish store
  • Make your biological filter natural with dry rock or live rock – consider slowly removing “nitrate factories” such as bio-balls
  • Get a serious protein skimmer to filter your tank
  • Get a quality reef light that has proven PAR and spectrum for your corals
  • Monitor your nutrient levels with test kits
  • Change your water on a set schedule at least twice a month. Use a quality reef salt mix.
  • Consider supplementation if you have a heavy LPS or SPS population – for many newcomers water changes will take care of this if you are a frequent water changer. We recommend two part from B-Ionic and dosing to your saltwater mix

The Easy LPS Corals for Beginners

Below is our list from the easiest to care LPS corals readily available in the market. While there could be many others on this list, we felt these were the best candidates based on their beauty, ease of care, and uniqueness. Feel free to comment if your favorite has been left off the list.

PictureNameBest ForLink
Editor’s Choice!
Frogspawn
Frogspawn

Middle to Top

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Hammer Coral Hammer Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Acan Coral Acan Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Duncan Coral Duncan Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Pagoda Cup Coral Pagoda Cup Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Tongue Coral Tongue Coral

Bottom

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Blasto Coral Blasto Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Brain Coral Brain Coral

All

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Trumpet Coral Trumpet Coral

Bottom to Middle

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Candy Cane Coral Candy Cane Coral

All

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The 10 Best LPS Corals For Beginners

Let’s go into detail and see why each LPS Coral is great for beginners.

#1 Frogspawn

Best LPS Coral
Frogspawn

Editor's Choice

A readily available, hardy, and beautiful LPS coral. Great for beginners and forgiving

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This is the one of the more aggressive corals on the list, but it is readily available and very popular. The main thing with the frogspawn is giving it adequate space as they are known to stretch 6″ beyond their base at night and will sting other corals nearby. They can be mixed with hammer corals as they both will not sting each other. There is also a variant called an Octospawn, which is less common, more expensive, and offers more color variety.

Key Frogspawn Coral Stats:

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Moderate
  • Placement: Middle to Top

#2 Hammer Coral

Anemone Look-Alike
Hammer Coral

A great anemone lookalike coral. Easy to care for. Look for branching types vs wall type

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Hammers are a great beginner LPS coral that adds a lot of moment. It is relatively easy to care for with the major issue being its aggressiveness. Also note that the branching hammers are a lot easier to take care of over the wall types. They come in a lot of different colors with yellow and orange being the most expense. These are fairly easy to find online, but the more exotic hammers tend to be only sold through coral vendors while the cheaper variety tend to be found locally or through coral vendors selling on EBay.

Key Hammer Coral Stats:

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low to Medium
  • Placement: Bottom to Mid

#3 Acan Brain Coral

Multiple Colors Available!
Acans

The best LPS coral if you are looking for a variety of colors. Easy to care for and fun to feed

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Acans are great coral additions as long as you place them correctly. They need to placed a few inches away from other corals as they are known for attacking other corals by extending their stomachs out! They are widely available in many colors and patterns. Acan lords tend to be on the less aggressive side versus other Acans. Reds are the most common color but they come in many colors.

Key Acan Coral Stats:

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Placement: Bottom to Middle

#4 Duncan Coral

Easy To Propagate
Duncan Coral

A quick growing and easy to care for LPS coral. Known for being easy to frag

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If you are looking for a coral like looks like an anemone, this is a great candidate. Well a Torch coral can pull off the look as well, some Torch corals can be pretty finicky, but most Ducan corals are pretty tough. This is a fairly easy LPS coral and a fun one to feed as it will readily consume food. They offer a lot of movement in the aquarium and can get quite large if you let them. They tend to also be fast growing and easy to frag.

Duncan Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lighting: Low to Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low to Moderate
  • Placement: Bottom to Middle

#5 Pagoda Cup Coral

Pagoda Cup Coral

One of the most peaceful LPS corals that you can buy. Easy to keep and a fast grower

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Pagoda Cup Corals do vary in the amount of care they require. You will want to avoid such species with thin plates or convoluted shapes. Pagodas like the one picture above are the ones we are looking for. They make excellent additions to a reef tank being very peaceful and easy to keep. The only thing with these corals is that it growth fast.

Pagoda Cup Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Placement: Bottom to Middle

#6 Tongue Coral (Fungia Repanda)

Tongue Coral

A unique looking coral that is best placed at the bottom of your reef tank. Easy to care for

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This is a very hardy coral that will add color to the bottom of your tank. It prefers to live on a fine sandy substrate and known for being easy to care for.

Tongue Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow:Low to Medium
  • Placement: Bottom

#7 Blasto Coral

Blasto Coral

An affordable and easy to care for LPS coral. They are a great way to get reds in your reef tank

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A Blasto coral is a pretty tough LPS coral that adds a lot of color in the reef tank. While it can be more on the aggressive side, they make up for it with their variety of colors and more tend to be fairly affordable. It’s a pretty low risk LPS coral to start with and a joy to feed.

Blasto Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Low
  • Water Flow: Moderate
  • Placement: Bottom to middle

#8 Brain Coral – Favia Species

Brain Coral

A hardy coral that can be placed anywhere in the reef aquarium

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A hardy coral that can be placed anywhere in the aquarium. They are on the aggressive side so care must be taken when placing. They are plentiful in the wild and available from local fraggers and shops. The favia brain coral overall is a great coral for beginners.

Brain Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low
  • Placement: All

#9 Trumpet Coral

Trumpet Coral

A hardy and peaceful LPS coral. Comes in multiple colors and reasonably priced. Also great for small tanks

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An excellent LPS coral for a beginner. This is a hardy and peaceful coral with very short sweeper tentacles.  They are a number of colors available and they are not overly expensive. They stay small enough to be good candidates for smaller tanks.

Trumpet Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low
  • Placement: Bottom to Middle

#10 Candy Cane Coral

Candy Cane Coral

A peaceful and easy to care for LPS coral. It is one of the best choices for beginners

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The number one LPS coral on our list hits all the checkmarks. A peaceful coral than can be placed anywhere in the aquarium and needs moderate flow and lighting. It’s short sweeper tentacles allow it to be placed in close proximity to other corals and it is a generally hard coral.

Candy Care Coral Key Stats:

  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Placement: All

Feeding LPS Corals

Discussing LPS corals wouldn’t be complete without talking about feeding them. After all, feeding LPS corals is really what makes many reefers enjoy them being seeing them actively feed gives that anemone like appearance and behavior. The other great thing with being able to feed LPS corals is it is a great way to help a coral that is struggle or going south. In fact, some of these corals like Acans, do much better with feedings once or twice a week. So what is the best food for them?

Great For LPS Corals
Reef-Roids

My Recommendation

Feeding your LPS corals will promote good health and growth. Reef Roids is the best in the business for coral food

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We recommend feeding your LPS corals with Polyp Lab’s Reef Roids. Reef roids is readily accepted by LPS corals and it’s too small to be eaten by fish, which can be an issue in a reef tank once fish figure out that when corals are feed. Big meaty food like Mysis is great as well, but it is big enough for fish and shrimp to get a hold of and can cause some harassment when then shrimp or fish pull the food out of the coral’s mouth.

Just mix up the roids in a cup of tank water, use a turkey baster too grabbed the mixture, and directly feed the LPS corals while the pumps are off. Feeding 1 to 2 times a week and as always always test your water to make sure you aren’t spiking your phosphates and nitrate levels with too much food.

Closing Thoughts

We will note that your tank must be setup with a healthy system before you begin placing corals in your aquarium. All corals require careful observation while they are establishing in your tank. Check for signs of stress like lack of opening up, discoloration, or damage to other corals. Stay patient and make adjustments as necessary. Once you have your first set of corals established you will be on your way to a successful and enjoyable reefing experience!

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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