LPS Coral Care
Large polyp stony corals (LPS corals), are an extraordinary group of corals with bright vivid colors, often coming in rainbow coloration. They vary dramatically in textures and shape as well as hardiness, and are a fantastic addition to a saltwater aquarium.
LPS corals are moderately easy to care for, while each species has its own requirements. For the most part, LPS corals are best kept in an LPS specific tank, as it is easier to meet their needs. Keeping LPS corals in a mixed reef with SPS corals is more difficult.
Most large polyp stony corals prefer medium to low light. If you are unsure about where to place your coral, first try putting half in the shade and half in the light. If they start to turn a neon color, they are beginning to bleach; in opposition, if they turn brown they usually need more light.
If you choose the half and half approach, make sure to keep an eye on your corals until you start seeing a change. Once you do, you have a few options: move the coral farther away from the light, dim the lights, or reduce the photoperiod – how long the lights stay on.
Large polyp stony corals also like to eat. Many of them love being fed mysis and other large meaty food, or pellet foods. LPS corals are typically big fleshy polyps with large mouths. When you feed these corals their tentacles will come out waiting for dinner.
Other LPS corals with smaller mouths like chalices, gonioporas, and pavonas, can be fed powdered food or liquid food. You can mix powdered foods together with some of your aquarium water and feed them directly with a pipet.
As for flow requirements, LPS corals enjoy a medium current. If you have corals with long tentacles like Euphyllias, they should be extended out and look full. Whenever a coral does not look happy and healthy try moving it in another area of your tank.
Additionally be sure that you do not have any predators picking on your corals. This includes pests and fish; any fish that is reef safe can be the abnormality and eat your corals. LPS corals particularly are a favorite of many fish, especially angelfish and even some blennies.
A word of caution with large LPS corals, as these large fleshy corals have been known to eat fish!
Large polyp stony corals are generally hardy and a fantastic beginner coral group. If you are looking to broaden the coral diversity in your tank give large polyp stonies a try and you will not be disappointed.