Over the last 15 years aquarium corals have gone from simple brownish or greenish shades to ostentatious colors which would have seemed unimaginable in the early days of reefkeeping. With all the progress that we’ve made it’s hard to imagine that any given year could reveal so much diversity of new coral colors and strains, but that’s exactly what happened again in 2017.
Unlike the new species of fish which are dominated by gobies and wrasse species, this year’s most exciting corals included a wide range of coral groups. From shrooms to zoanthids, SPS to LPS, this past year we were treated to an incredible new smorgasbord of corals to make our hearts race.
As crazy as chalices and scolies have been in the past decade, this year we saw a couple specimens including a $6000 Scolie and new mini-scolies from ‘crocodile island’ that were even more unbelievable. Corallimorphs aka Shrooms also made a mark in this last calendar year with one of the wildest jawbreaker-style strains called the Purple Monster which is sure to be in uber high demand for years to come due to their slower growth rates.
The Splatoon Chalice we came across at our LFS really raised the bar for how wild and crazy the rainbow chalices can be, and oddball Echinorphas continued to trickle out in very novel colors. Of course the SPS especially the Acros continued to wow with the Homewrecker Acro starting to become more widely available – yet still very expensive – and the stunning new Blueberry Shortcake showing us something new from a classic coral species.
The dark horse corals that really left an impression this year had to be the St. Patrick’s snake polyps which single-handedly put Isaurus on the map, and the first bicolored strain of Anacropora also brought this genus of corals into the spotlight. No matter what kind of coral you are into, the last 12 months have produced some unforgettable corals and no doubt the hard working coral farmers and collectors will wow us with more awesome sauce in 2018.