Do you want to start keeping SPS corals but not sure you're ready to jump into the deep end with them? There are more forgiving SPS corals out there which make a great start point. This blog post lists off some options for you if you find yourself getting the 'SPS bug'.

SPS do come with more demanding care requirements as a whole but there are certainly more forgiving SPS corals to choose from. Easier to keep SPS don't have to be boring either, in fact, I think that some of the old and bold more robust SPS corals are still some of the nicer ones to keep. What I mean to say is that although there is a big demand for rainbow type tenuis which do tend to be difficult, you don't need them to have an awesome SPS reef tank.

Before you get into SPS et large, make sure your system is ready. Even beginner SPS won't survive big swings in parameters or a system that is not yet matured. Check out the blog linked below about Parameters to make sure you've got what you need in check before jumping into the world of SPS.

CLICK HERE FOR THE PARAMETERS BLOGS

STYLOPHORA

Stylophora is a relatively hardy SPS coral which grows branches which then spur off to form new branches. Along the branches are many small polyps which when fully extended give the coral a sort of fluffy look. I particularly like this coral for this reason, it's all about the small details! Stylophora comes in three main colours; purple, green and metallic green/yellow. It is a fast grower in the right conditions too so it's a rewarding coral to keep. They like strong light and strong indirect flow. Weak flow will often make the branches grow outwards whereas strong flow causes the colony to grow more tightly grouped. 

 

MONTIPORA

In this blog there are two types of Montipora, the first we'll look at is Plating Montipora which is roughly grouped and named as Montipora Cap. Exact taxonomy at this point doesn't really matter too much but there are a few different types of plating Monti and their differences are very subtle. Anyway, Plating Montipora is a SPS coral which encrusts onto a rock and then grows outwards in a plate like form. These plates can form spirals in some circumstances and layer on top of each other as they get bigger and bigger. They can be another fast growing type of coral and are one of the main reef building corals you will find if you go scuba diving on the reef. They come in a few different colours, the most well known and relatively hardy ones are the Red and Green and also Purple to an extent. There are also other's such as the Chili Pepper Montipora which has a green base and red polyps but if you want to stick to hardy and easier to keep then the three previously mentioned are a great starting point. They like strong indirect flow to stop detritus settling on them and also good quality lighting. The light doesn't have to be strong per say which is why you often see them at the mid point or lower on many hobbyists rockwork. Beware though that as they grow they will cast a shadow below them and as such, eventually block light to the corals below so consider where you place them.