LPS or Large Polyp Stony Corals are a great option for creating a vibrant and thriving reef tank. However, like all corals, they require some attention to keep them healthy and beautiful.
Depending on the species you choose, they will have specific lighting, flow and nutrient requirements. This means that it is important to research and learn about their specific needs so you can get them placed in your aquarium correctly.
Light is a huge factor in keeping your SPS LPS and Soft Corals happy. It is important that you provide them with a high quality aquarium lighting to promote their health and growth.
The most common type of lighting for SPS and clam tanks are fluorescent tubes. There are many different color spectrum options, including full spectrum, actinic and 50/50 (which is a combination of the two).
When choosing lights for your SPS LPS or Soft Coral tank, consider what the corals will need to grow. For SPS, it is best to use 14,000K or 20,000K lamps. These lamps will penetrate the water better than a 10,000K lamp.
For LPS, you will want to go with a light that provides moderate to strong flow. This is because most LPS are solitary and colonial and they can become clogged with detritus quickly if the water flow isn’t adequate.
Flow is important for corals because they are sedentary and cannot move around to capture food, nutrients, or structural elements from the surrounding water. Without a constant stream of water, these resources would soon deplete and the coral would stop growing.
In a reef tank, this means that a flow pump is needed to create a constant stream of water in the display. A minimum of 5000lph flow is recommended for soft and LPS corals, while SPS corals can tolerate much higher flows.
Another factor is the type of coral you are keeping, as SPS corals like Acropora require turbid internal flow patterns and a high turnover rate to thrive. However, this isn’t recommended for soft corals like Euphyllia (Torch, Hammer, Frogspawn), Duncans, Elegances, Leathers and other meat corals.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20 times turnover for soft and LPS corals, and 50x turnover for SPS corals. This will help keep the aquarium water pristine and ensure that any new corals you add can adjust quickly to their environment.
In order to keep your SPS LPS and Soft Corals healthy you need to ensure they have the right food. This will help them thrive while also providing nourishment for other organisms in the tank.
SPS and LPS corals need a high water flow to move nutrients throughout the tank. This helps them gain essential nutrients that will assist in their growth and coloration.
They also need a good source of light to provide them with the energy they need for photosynthesis. This is important because SPS corals need a lot of light to produce the vibrant colors they are known for.
Nutramar Ova is an excellent choice for these corals. This product is made from all natural prawn eggs that are highly nutritious and an ideal size for feeding corals. It can be broadcast with high water flow or target fed using a syringe.
One of the most important things you can do for your SPS LPS and Soft Corals is to keep up with water changes. These are necessary to replace lost elements (mainly KH, Ca and Mg) and remove nutrients such as phosphate and nitrate.
To start, decide on a regular water changing schedule that you can stick to, and test the levels of calcium and alkalinity on a daily basis. Keeping these values above or below the listed ranges will ensure the health of your tank’s corals.
Next, choose a few easy species and keep them first to get them used to your tank conditions and lighting. Bubble coral (Plerogyra), Anchor coral, Frogspawn and Hammer coral are all good choices.