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Corals for Your Saltwater Aquarium: A Photo Guide

Corals for Your Saltwater Aquarium: A Photo Guide

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While many people will admire your saltwater fish, a marine aquarium need not have any fish at all. Some of the most dramatic animals that can be housed in a saltwater tank are corals, and there are many from which to choose. All corals are not alike, however—from diet to placement in the tank, each coral has its own specific needs. In this guide you will learn everything you need to know to pick the right coral for your environment.

Hexacorallia

Generally speaking, hexacorals have hard skeletons and have tentacles in multiples of six. All true stony corals are hexacorals, as are sea anemones, zoanthids and mushrooms.

Mushroom Corals (Actinodiscus)

Mushroom, Mushroom Anemone, Disc Anemone

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Mushroom (Actinodiscus). Also known as Mushroom Anemone, Disc Anemone
Blue-Green-Mushroom Blue-Mushroom-Flat Blue-Mushroom-Fold Blue-Mushroom-Oval Blue-Mushroom Blue-Spot-Mushroom Green-Mushroom Green-Striped-Mushroom Mint-Chocolate-Mushroom Neon-Blue-Striped-Mushroom Neon-Green-Spot-Mushroom Red-Mushroom-Bumpy Red-Mushroom Red-Mushroom-Smooth Red-Spot-Mushroom Tonga-Green-Mushroom Tonga-Purple-Pimple Tonga-Red-Mushroom White-Stripe-Mushroom

Mushroom Corals (Rhodactis)

Hairy Mushroom, Mushroom Anemone, Disc Anemone

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Low-Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Bali, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Mushroom (Rhodactis). Also known as Hairy Mushroom, Mushroom Andmone, Disc Anemone
Green-Frilly-Mushroom-Close Green-Frilly-Mushroom Green-Frilly-Mushroom-Rock Green-Hairy-Mushroom Purple-Bullseye-Mushroom Red-Bullseye Red-Bullseye

Mushroom Corals (Ricordea)

Ricordea, Coral Anemone, Stubby Anemone

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Low-Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Caribbean
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Mushroom (Ricordea). Also known as Ricordea, Coral Anemone, Stubby Anemone
Orange-Center-Ricordea-Yuma Ricordia-Florida-Green-Big Ricordia-Florida-Green-Clos Ricordia-Florida-Green Ricordia-Florida-Orange-Clo Ricordia-Florida-Orange-Dar Ricordia-Florida-Orange-Man Ricordia-Florida-Orange Ricordia-Yuma-Green Ricordia-Yuma-Green Ricordia-Yuma-Orange-Spot Ricordia-Yuma-Orange-Spot Ricordia-Yuma-Org-Spot-Big Ricordia-Yuma-Purple Ricordia-Yuma-Rain-Close Ricordia-Yuma-Rain-Full Ricordia-Yuma-Rain-Many Ricordia-Yuma-Rain-Pink Ricordia-Yuma-Rainbow-Polyp Ricordia-Yuma-Rainbow Ricordia-Yuma-Red

Sea Anemones (Condylactis)

Coral Anemone, Stubby Anemone

  • Reef Compatible: With Caution
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Mature Size: 8 Inches
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Western Atlantic, Caribbean
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Sea Anemones (Condylactis). Also known as Condy, Coral Anemone, Stubby Anemone
Haitian-Reef-Anemone Haitian-Reef-Anmeone Purple-Condi

Sea Anemones (Entacmaea)

Bubble Anemone, Bubble Tip Anemone, Bulb Tip Anemone, Four Color Anemone, BTA

  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Mature Size: 12 Inches
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Indo-Pacific, Fiji, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Sea Anemones (Entacmaea). Also known as Bubble Anemone, Bubble Tip Anemone, Bulb Tip Anemone, Four Color Anemone, BTA
Bubble-Anemone Bubble-Tip-Green

Sea Anemones (Heteractis)

Sebae Anemone, Leather Anemone

  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Care Level: Expert-Only
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Mature Size: 20 Inches
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: High
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Indo-Pacific, Cook Islands, Fiji
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Sea Anemone (Heteractis). Also known as Ritteri Anemone, Sebae Anemone, Leather Anemone, Zebra Anemone
Ritteri-Dive Ritteri-Dive2 Ritteri-Dive3 Sebae-Anemone Zebra-Flat-Anemone

Sea Anemones (Macrodactyla)

Long Tentacle Anemone, Corkscrew Anemone, Sand Anemone, Red Base Anemone, Red Tentacle Base Anemone

  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Mature Size: 20 Inches
  • Placement in Tank: Low
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Moderate
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Indo-Pacific, Jakarta, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Sea Anemones (Macrodactyla). Also known as Long Tentacle Anemone, Corkscrew Anemone, Sand Anemone, Red Base Anemone, Red Tentacle Base Anemone
Long-Tentacle-Anemone-Purple LTA

Sea Anemones (Stichodactyla)

Saddle Anemone, Haddon’s Carpet Anemone, Haddon’s Sea Anemone, Sand Anemone

  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Care Level: Expert-Only
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Minimum Tank Size: 50 Gallons
  • Mature Size: 20 Inches
  • Placement in Tank: Sand
  • Light Level: High
  • Water Flow: Medium
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Indo-Pacific, Jakarta, Fiji
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Sea Anemone (Stichodactyla). Also known as Saddle Anemone, Haddon’s Carpet Anemone, Haddon’s Sea Anemone, Sand Anemone
Carpet-Anemone-Red Carpet-Blue Saddle-Anemone Saddle-Lime

Stony Corals (Acanthastrea)

Closed Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Acanthastrea). Also known as Closed Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral
Acan-Lord-Red-N-Green Acan-Spp-Orange

Stony Corals (Acropora)

Plating Acropora

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Fiji, Jakarta, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Acropora). Also known as Plating Acropora
Acropora-Millepora-Pink Acropora-Spp-Blue Acropora-Spp-Color-Tip Acropora-Spp-Green-Polyps Acropora-Spp-Green Acropora-Spp-Pink Acropora-Spp-Purple Acropora-Spp-Staghorn-Brown Acropora-Spp-Table-Brown Acropora-Spp-Turquoise Acropora-Spp-Yellow Acropora-Valida-Tricolor

Stony Corals (Alveopora)

Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral, Branching Flowerpot Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Alveopora). Also known as Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral, Branching Flowerpot Coral
Daisy

Stony Corals (Blastomussa)

Branching Blastomussa Pineapple Coral, Branching Swollen Brain Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Blastomussa). Also known as Branching Blastomussa Pineapple Coral, Branching Swollen Brain Coral
Blastomussa-Wellsi-Many Blastomussa-Wellsi-Red

Stony Corals (Catalaphyllia)

Elegance Coral, Ridge Coral, Wonder Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Catalaphyllia). Also known as Elegance Coral, Ridge Coral, Wonder Coral
Elegance-Pink-Tip Elegance

Stony Corals (Caulastrea)

Trumpet Coral, Torch Coral, Candy Coral, Bullseye Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Caulastrea). Also known as Trumpet Coral, Torch Coral, Candy Coral, Bullseye Coral
Furcata-Candy-Cane

Stony Corals (Cynarina)

Tooth Coral, Cat’s Eye Coral, Doughnut Coral, Teary Eye Coral, Meat Coral, Acanthophyllia, Scolymia

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Sand-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Cynarina). Also known as Tooth Coral, Cat’s Eye Coral, Doughnut Coral, Teary Eye Coral, Meat Coral, Acanthophyllia, Scolymia
Deshayesiana-Tooth-Multi Deshayesiana-Tooth-Orange Lacrymalis-Modern-Coral-Red Lacrymalis-Modern-Green

Stony Corals (Diploastrea)

Moon Brain Coral, Closed Brain Coral, Dimple Brain Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Diploastrea). Also known as Moon Brain Coral, Closed Brain Coral, Dimple Brain Coral
heliopora-Multicolor

Stony Corals (Duncanopsammia)

Whisker Coral, Duncan Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Low-Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Australia, China Sea
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Duncanopsammia). Also known as Whisker Coral, Duncan Coral

Stony Corals (Echinophyllia)

Vase Coral, Scroll Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Solomon, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Coral (Echinophyllia). Also known as Vase Coral, Scroll Coral
Spp-Echinophyllia-Purple

Stony Corals (Euphyllia)

Hammer Coral, Anchor Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Jakarta, Solomon, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Euphyllia). Also known as Hammer Coral, Anchor Coral
Ancora-Hammer-Wall-Green-Black Ancora-Hammer-Wall-Green Cristata-Grape-Coral Cristata-Grape-Green Divisa-Frogspawn-Wall-Green Divisa-Frogspawn-Wall-Metallic-Green Divisa-Frogspawn-Wall Glabresens-Green-Tip-Torch Glabresens-Torch-Metallic-Green Glabresens-Torch-Yellow Paradivisa-Frogspawn-Branch-Green Paradivisa-Frogspawn-Branch-Metallic Paradivisa-Frogspawn-Branch Parancora-Hammer-Branch-Green Parancora-Hammer-Branch-Metallic

Stony Corals (Favia)

Pineapple Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral, Pineapple Coral, Closed Brain Coral, Star Coral, Worm Coral, Honeycomb Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Jakarta, Tonga, Bali, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Favia). Also known as Pineapple Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral, Pineapple Coral, Closed Brain Coral, Star Coral, Worm Coral, Honeycomb Coral
Favia-Pineapple-Red-On-Red favia-pineapple-red

Stony Corals (Favites)

Closed Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral, Pineapple Coral, Star Coral, Worm Coral, Honeycomb Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Jakarta, Tonga, Bali, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Favites). Also known as Closed Brain Coral, Moon Brain Coral, Pineapple Coral, Star Coral, Worm Coral, Honeycomb Coral
Favites-Closed-Multicolor

Stony Corals (Fungia)

Plate Coral, Disk Coral, Chinaman Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Sand
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Jakarta, Bali, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Fungia). Also known as Plate Coral, Disk Coral, Chinaman Coral
Spp-Plate-Purple-Rim

Stony Corals (Galaxea)

Galaxy Coral, Tooth Coral, Crystal Coral, Star Coral, Starburst Coral, Brittle Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Jakarta, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Galaxea). Also known as Galaxy Coral, Tooth Coral, Crystal Coral, Star Coral, Starburst Coral, Brittle Coral

Stony Corals (Goniopora)

Flower Pot Coral, Ball Coral, Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Sand-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Bali, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Goniopora). Also known as Flower Pot Coral, Ball Coral, Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral
Flower-Pot-Red Flowerpot-Green Goniopora-Encrusting-Green Goniopora-Encrusting-Red

Stony Corals (Heliofungia)

Flower Pot Coral, Ball Coral, Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Sand
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Bali, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Heliofungia). Also kown as Flower Pot Coral, Ball Coral, Daisy Coral, Sunflower Coral
Actiniformis-LTP-Pink Actiniformis-LTP

Stony Corals (Lobophyllia)

Carpet Brain Coral, Lobed Brain Coral, Flat Brain Coral, Open Brain Coral, Meat Coral, Modern Coral, Large Flower Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Fiji, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Lobophyllia). Also known as Carpet Brain Coral, Lobed Brain Coral, Flat Brain Coral, Open Brain Coral, Meat Coral, Modern Coral, Large Flower Coral
Hemprichii-Carpet-Multicolor Hemprichii-Carpet-Red Spp-Carpet-Brain-Pink Spp-Orange-Center-Lobo

Stony Corals (Lobophytum)

Crown Leather, Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Devil’s Hand Leather Coral, Rabbit Ear Leather

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Fiji, Bali, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Lobophytum). Also known as Crown Leather, Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Devil’s Hand Leather Coral, Rabbit Ear Leather
Devils-Hand Rabbit-Ear

Stony Corals (Merulina)

Ruffled Ridge Coral, Lettuce Coral, Cabbage Coral, Ridge Coral, Ruffled Coral

  • Care Level: Expert Only
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Fiji, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Merulina). Also known as Ruffled Ridge Coral, Lettuce Coral, Cabbage Coral, Ridge Coral, Ruffled Coral
Amplicata-Ruffled-Ridge

Stony Corals (Montipora)

Montipora Scrolling, Leaf Plate Coral, Vase Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Solomon, Jakarta, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Montipora). Also known as Montipora Scrolling, Leaf Plate Coral, Vase Coral
Capricornis-Scrolling-Brown Capricornis-Scrolling-Green Capricornis-Scrolling-Orange Capricornis-Scrolling-Pink Capricornis-Scrolling-Purple-Rim Nodosus-Encrusting-Green Nodosus-Encrusting-Purple Spp-Danae Spp-Encrusting-Blue-Polyp Spp-Encrusting-Green-Goblin Spp-Encrusting-Hulk

Stony Corals (Pavona)

Lettuce Coral, Cactus Coral, Potato Chip Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Pavona). Also known as Lettuce Coral, Cactus Coral, Potato Chip Coral

Stony Corals (Physogyra)

Bubble Coral, Grape Coral, Small Bubble Coral, Octobubble Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Solomon, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Physogyra). Also known as Bubble Coral, Grape Coral, Small Bubble Coral, Octobubble Coral

Stony Corals (Platygyra)

Maze Brain Coral, Worm Brain Coral, Closed Brain Coral, Bowl Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Solomon, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Platygyra). Also known as Maze Brain Coral, Worm Brain Coral, closed Brain Coral, Bowl Coral
Spp-Close-Maze Spp-Maze

Stony Corals (Polyphyllia)

Tongue Coral, Slipper Coral, Mole Coral, Hairy Tongue Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Sand
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Low-Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Solomon, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Polyphyllia). Also known as Tongue Coral, Slipper Coral, Mole Coral, Hairy Tongue Coral

Stony Corals (Scolymia)

Button Coral, Doughnut Coral, Artichoke Coral, Disk Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Scolymia). Also known as Button Coral, Doughnut Coral, Artichoke Coral, Disk Coral

Stony Corals (Symphyllia)

Symphyllia Brain Coral, Closed Lobophyllia, Maze Brain Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Fiji
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Symphyllia). Also known as Symphyllia Brain Coral, Closed Lobophyllia, Maze Brain Coral
Spp-Symphyllia-Red

Stony Corals (Trachyphyllia)

Open Brain Coral, Folded Brain Coral, Crater Coral, Round Brain Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Sand
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Trachyphyllia). Also known as Open Brain Coral, Folded Brain Coral, Crater Coral, Round Brain Coral
Geoffroyi-Open-Red Radiata-Green Radiata-Metallic-Green Radiata-Red

Stony Corals (Tubastrea)

Sun Polyp Coral, Orange Cup Coral, Tube Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Sand-Low
  • Light Level: Non-Photosynthetic
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Tubastrea). Also known as Sun Polyp Coral, Orange Cup Coral, Tube Coral

Stony Corals (Turbinaria)

Cup Coral, Pagoda Coral, Turban Coral, Vase Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Tonga, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Turbinaria). Also known as Cup Coral, Pagoda Coral, Turban Coral, Vase Coral
Reniformis-Cup-Lettuce Spp-Cup-Pagoda-Green

Zoanthids (Parazoanthus)

Yellow Polyps, Encrusting Polyps

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
  • Supplements: Iodine
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Parazoanthus). Also known as Yellow Polyps, Encrusting Polyps

Zoanthids (Protopalythoa)

Button Polyps, Moon Polyps, Encrusting Anemones, Sea Mat

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Protopalythoa). Also known as Button Polyps, Moon Polyps, Encrusting Anemones, Sea Mat
Button-Polyp-Green Button-Polyp Electric-Blue-Paly Halloween-Zoo

Zoanthids (Zoanthus)

Zoanthids, Zoas, Sea Mats, Button Polyps, Colony Rock

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Stony Corals (Zoanthus). Also known as Zoanthids, Zoas, Sea Mats, Button Polyps, Colony Rock
Assorted-Fiji-Zoa-Red Assorted-Jakarta-Zoanthids Assorted-Solomon-Zoa Assorted-Tonga-Zoanthids Blue-Zoa Fiji-Super-Green Fiji-Super-Orange Green-Clover-Zoos Metallic-Pink-Zoa Pink-Bullseye-Zoa Ultra-Color-Zoanthids-Vietnam Yellow-Center-Zoa Zombie-Eye-Zoa

Octocorallia

Generally speaking, octocorals lack hard skeletons and have eight tentacles. Soft corals, mat polyps, and Gorgonians are the most common octocorals used in aquaria, although there are others.

Blue Corals (Heliopora)

Blue Coral, Ridge Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Range: Indo-Pacific
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Blue Corals (Heliiopora). Also known as Blue Coral, Ridge Coral

Gorgonians (Diodogorgia)

Finger Gorgonian, Tree Gorgonian

  • Care Level: Expert Only
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Non-Photosynthetic
  • Water Flow: Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Caribbean
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Gorgonians (Diodogorgia). Also known as Finger Gorgonian, Tree Gorgonian

Gorgonians (Muriceopsis)

Rough Sea Plume Gorgonian, Feather Gorgonian, Lamarck’s Gorgonian, Bush Gorgonian, Brush Gorgonian

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Caribbean
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Gorgonians (Muriceopsis). Also known as Rough Sea Plume Gorgonian, Feather Gorgonian, Lamarck’s Gorgonian, Bush Gorgonian, Brush Gorgonian

Mat Polyps (Clavularia)

Clove Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps, Encrusting Polyps

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: Moderate
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Jakarta, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Mat Polyps (Clavularia). Also known as Clove Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps, Encrusting Polyps
Clove-Polyp

Mat Polyps (Pachyclavularia)

Star Polyps, Starburst Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps, Mat Polyps, Daisy Polyps

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Middle-High
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Solomon, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Mat Polyps (Pachyclavularia). Also known as Star Polyps, Starburst Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps, Mat Polyps, Daisy Polyps
Green-Star-Polyps-2 Green-Star-Polyps-3 Green-Star-Polyps

Mat Polyps (Tubipora)

Organ Pipe Coral, Pipe Organ Coral, Daisy Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: mat Polyps (Tubipora). Also known as Organ Pipe Coral, Pipe Organ Coral, Daisy Coral
Organ-Pipe

Soft Corals (Anthelia)

Encrusting Anthelia, Glove Coral, Xenia

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder
  • Range: Jakarta, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Anthelia). Also known as Encrusting Anthelia, Glove Coral, Xenia

Soft Corals (Cladiella)

Young Soft Coral, Blushing Finger Leather, Cladiella Finger Leather, Cauliflower Coral, Colt Coral

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Bali
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Cladiella). Also known as Young Soft Coral, Blushing Finger Leather, Cladiella Finger Leather, Cauliflower Coral, Colt Coral
Colt Colt-Small Young-Soft

Soft Corals (Dendronephthya)

Carnation Coral

  • Care Level: Expert Only
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Non-Photosynthetic
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Filter Feeder, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Bali, Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Dendronephthya). Also known as Carnation Coral
Carnation-Red

Soft Corals (Lobophytum)

Crown Leather, Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Devil’s Hand Leather Coral, Rabbit Ear Leather

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Bali, Jakarta, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Lobophytum). Also known as Crown Leather, Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Devil’s Hand Leather Coral, Rabbit Ear Leather
Crown-Close Crown Devils-Hand-Close Devils-Hand-Dark Devils-Hand-Large Devils-Hand Rabbit-Ear-Big Rabbit-Ear-Close Rabbit-Ear

Soft Corals (Sarcophyton)

Umbrella Leather Coral, Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral, Trough Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Fiji, Bali, Jakarta, Tonga
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Sarcophyton). Also known as Umbrella Leather Coral, Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral, Trough Coral
Umbrella-Close Umbrella-Full Umbrella-Green Umbrella-Green Umbrella Umbrella-Tan Yellow Yellow

Soft Corals (Sinularia)

Finger Leather Coral, Finger Soft Coral

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Disposition: Semi-Aggressive
  • Placement in Tank: Any
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta, Tonga, Fiji
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Sinularia). Also known as Finger Leather Coral, Finger Soft Coral
Flower Flower Spaghetti-Green

Soft Corals (Xenia)

Pom Pom Xenia, Waving Hand Coral, Pumping Xenia

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Disposition: Peaceful
  • Placement in Tank: Low-Middle
  • Light Level: Moderate-High
  • Water Flow: Medium-Strong Intermittent
  • Diet: Carnivore, Zooplankton
  • Range: Jakarta
Corals for Saltwater Aquariums: Soft Corals (Xenia). Also known as Pom Pom Xenia, Waving Hand Coral, Pumping Xenia
Pom-Pom-Xenia Pumping-Xenia-Close Pumping-Xenia Pumping-Xenia-Rock

For the beginning aquarist, it is often best to stick with one “type” of coral at the outset—either hard, stony corals or soft, leather corals, zoanthids, and polyps. for more great information on creatures for your saltwater aquarium, check out Plants for Your Saltwater Aquarium: A Photo Guide and Damselfishes and Clownfishes for Your Saltwater Aquarium: A Photo Guide. Have fun!

From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saltwater Aquariums by Mark W. Martin and Ret Talbot