For this episode, we traveled to Plant City, Florida to speak to our friend Chris Meckley of ACI Aquaculture about one of our favorite LPS coral, the Elegance Coral. From survival rates, tips, origins and what to look for and about aquaculturing them, we covered...
There are a number of beginner-friendly LPS coral speciesThroughout my years as an aquarium enthusiast, I have followed all the advice from all the books I could get my hands on since there were no other hobbyists with the same interest as I in my circle of friends growing up. My aquatic progression took the following path: 5-gallon slate & stainless-steel-framed fancy guppy tank from my grandfather Goldfish won at the carnival Betta bowl 10-gallon freshwater tropical tank 29-gallon cichlid-specific tanks (bred angelfish and convicts) Brackish-water tank 55-gallon saltwater FOWLR tank Saltwater FOWLR carnivorous tank Saltwater soft corals & anemones Saltwater large-polyp stony corals (LPS) Saltwater small-polyp stony corals (SPS) The reason I went through all these stages was the lack of technology and information that exist today. I could not keep any corals well at all back in the 1980s because the efficiency of the power protein skimmer did not exist (still used wooden airstones), the lighting was still just T12 fluorescents, and the filtration was not very good at exporting nutrients (canister filters, undergravel filters, wet/dry trickle filters). If you did not do regular water changes, chances are the livestock would all eventually die. The carnivorous fish were the easiest to keep while the omnivores tended to die out due to malnutrition because the foods available at the time didn’t provide adequate nutrition.My 90-gallon LPS system These days, with the help of current technologies, you can more or less jump straight to any stage without the experience of prior stages. Thanks to the vast experiential knowledge base accumulated by hobbyists around the world these last few decades, we now have references and starting points good enough to help just about anyone succeed with the correct coaching. The key is to do your research and consider the source of information from the standpoints of relevance and accuracy. Therefore, in this article, I’m going to jump right to the large-polyp stony corals
Stop, it’s hammer time. Cheesy throwbacks to the 80s aside, the hammer coral is a staple in many reef tanks much like MC Hammer’s song was a permanent fixture in many a Sony Walkman. Getting past all of this nostalgia, hammer corals offer the best of both worlds for corals. On one hand, they have a hard skeleton, but on the other they are adorned with flowy, fleshy tissue that draws in those seeking a little more movement in the water.
Feast your eyes on this, the holy grail of favias. This stunning piece from Sexy Corals, called the Dr. Evil Favia, has every color imagineable. We spy green, blue, orange, red, purple, and even yellow. I don’t think I’ve seen a more true rainbow coral than this.
We’ve all heard of corals morphing under different lighting. That piece that looks great in your buddy’s tank looks dull and washed out in yours. Or, you get that coral that does a complete 180. You see it at the store and it looks good, but once established in your aquarium, it turns into a gem. Well, we as a community do talk about coral color changes quite a bit, and we think we have found one of the most extreme examples of such an event