5 Beautiful Beginner Corals

Few things add as much color, beauty, and intrigue to a saltwater aquarium than corals – but some are MUCH harder to care for than others.  These 5 beginner corals are fairly easy to care for. They can be incredibly vibrant and colorful. And are sure to capture anyone’s eye.

All in all, they can make for an enjoyable reef tank addition for beginners and experts alike.

5 Eye-Catching Beginner Corals for Most Any Reef Tank:

1.  Favites

Favites are a type of ‘brain coral’ that go by many names in the aquarium hobby – including moon coral and worm coral. Favites come in a dazzling array of colors from blues and reds to orange and neon green. While there are a few varieties than can be difficult to care for, most are quiet easy to keep. In fact, they are one of few aggressive coral species that is widely recommended for beginners.

Favite coral - a great beginners coral
Photo credit: Red and green brain (Favites sp.) under blues (license)

This Home Aquarium article gives a very quick, fantastic little write-up with details on their care and placement in your saltwater aquarium.


2. Blastomussa

Blastomussas – also known as Branched Cup or Pineapple coral – are easy to care for because they require low flow and VERY low light. This means that can easily be grown in a beginner’s reef tank set up without any expensive, high-output light fixtures. In fact, a beginner aquarist who puts one in his or her tank without doing a little research first is far more likely to expose them to TOO much light rather than light starve them.

They are extremely peaceful corals and can be found in some very of rich, amazing colors.

Photo credit: Superman Blastomussa (license)

There is a fantastic video of Blastomussa corals feeding on SaltwaterSmarts.com – I highly recommend you check it out.


3. Toadstool Coral (Sarcophyton)

One of my personal favorites, it also known as a mushroom leather coral. It can be quite hardy and varieties can be found in many colors ranging from dull brown, tan, and green to dazzling yellows and neon green.

Toadstool leather
Photo credit: Leather Coral (Sarcophyton sp.) via photopin (license)

If you think you’d like to give one a try, you check full details on their care, placement, and behavior in this article by SuccessfulReefKeeping.com.


4.  Bird’s Nest Coral (Seriatopora Stellata)

Bird’s Nest coral is the perfect for the beginner aquarist looking to try his hand at SPS (short-polyp stony coral).  It is much hardier than the more mainstream yet demanding Acropora family of SPS corals. Seriatopora come in a variety of colors from pink to blue-green to a yellowish-rainbow with purple polyps.

Seriatopora 'birds nest' coral
Photo credit: Green Birdnest Coral via photopin (license)

SaltwaterSmarts.com has an excellent article and video on Bird’s Nest corals.


5.  Zoanthids

And last but not least there are Zoanthids – quite possibly one of the most popular soft corals in the hobby today.

Photo credit: ZOAS, (license)

The mix and variety of colors they come in is almost endless. Many are even given ‘designer’ names and can run as much as $100 or more per polyp. No need to worry though, there are quite literally dozens upon dozens of unbelievable color combinations that can be had for just a few dollars – you can get a glimpse of the many colors and pricing of ‘zoas’ over at SaltCritters.com.