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SoCal Reefer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok whats the difference between:
LPS coral
SPS coral
soft coral
i understand mushrooms and polyps: can someone cover what needs what, additives, lighting. basically i want to know as a beginner what should i keep.
 

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LPS- large polyp stony corals (torch, hammer, frogspawn etc)
SPS- small polyp stony corals (acropora, montipora, etc.)
softies- mushrooms, leathers, any other coral without a skeleton.

you probably can't get too much light over your tank for any of these (compared to the sun) but sps, lps, softies (most to least light in that order)

sps- a lot of flow
lps- low to med-high flow (mine prefer med)
softies low to medium (mine prefer low-med)

good luck;)
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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Softies are all the soft corals without a skeleton...

LPS are part skeleton, part soft coral.. (Frogspawn, Torch, Hammer, etc...)

SPS are pretty much skeleton through and through... They have high requirements in lighting and calcium.... They pretty much require a pristine tank to thrive...
 

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LPS - Large Polyped Stony
SPS - Small Polyped Stony


For a beginner you could start off with Xenia or some mushrooms. Get good lighting at first so that you dont have to upgrade in the future. Save money in the long run doing it that way. Also dont skimp out and buy cheap items (skimmer, lights, heaters, ect.) because it will hurt your wallet in the long run also. Personaly I dont use tons of additives. Right now all I am using is some liquid calcium just for my LR. Other then that nothing, personaly the less chemicals the better. Also make sure your tank readings are good before you add anything into it. Well my $0.02....

-Paul
 

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LPS - Large Polyp Stony coral. These corals have a hard calcium skeleton with large fleshy polyps. Reguire medium to strong light, high/stable calcium levels and gentle to moderate current. eg Hammer, Frogspawn, Fox, Candy Cane, Maze, Bubble corals to name a few.

SPS - Small Polyp Stony corals. Cacium skeleton/small polyps. Most require strong light, high stable calcium levels, and stron random currents. Water conditions must be and remain top notch. eg Acropora, Montipora, Pocilliapora, Pavona, Turbina, etc.

Soft Coals are non-reef building corals, lacking a calcium skeleton. Most are hardy and can survive in less than perfect conditions and are therefor great begginer corals. Low to medium light and current. eg Leather, Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Colt, etc.

This is of course a very general description, each coral will have its own prime conditions and those may vary from group to group. Not all SPS corals are hard to keep and not all soft corals are easy to keep. Its best to do your research before you buy or attempt keeping these animals. A good book will help. Corals: A Quick Reference Guide by Julian Sprung and Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman are great books to get you started.

HTH
 
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