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Soft Corals -Build Your Dream Reef Tank

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Mike

 

I recently purchased four corals which came quickly and were well packaged. Communication was great and all the corals once established appear healthy and beautiful. This company was recommended to me and have no problem recommending It to others!

Karen

I personally went to visit Pablo's establishment and his corals are absolutely beautiful and are of decent sizes. His tanks are clean and pest free. Very approachable guy!
Highly recommend his corals, especially if you are seeking those soft corals!

Ray Terranella

Pablo, is a  first class coral retailer with great service and impossible to find corals. I am already planning my next order.

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Soft Corals

Soft corals are widely popular for reef tanks due to their unique shapes and colors. They are known as ‘soft’ because they lack any hard calcium carbonate skeletons. True soft coral is ideally suited for beginners because it doesn’t need a regular supply of calcium carbonate which is required for other soft coral and hard corals. Besides, it will not require strong lighting like hard corals. These corals are soft and fleshy and have more vibrant colors. Most of them have tiny organisms, growing within them, called zooxanthellae that provide energy to them. They make ideal beginner corals for many reasons

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Types of Soft Corals

There are many different types of soft corals. Some of the most commonly seen varieties in home reef aquariums and tanks are as follows:

  • Clavularia

  • Cladiella

  • Sarcophyton

  • Pachyclavularia

  • Capnella

  • Alcyonium

  • Nepthea

  • Lobophytum

  • Xenia

  • Sinularia

  • Anthelia

  • Stereonepthya

If you are going to add multiple soft corals to your saltwater aquariums, make sure you understand the difference between soft coral. 

Why Choose Soft Corals for Your Reef Aquariums?

Soft corals are available in various shapes and colors, which makes them excellent additions to your saltwater aquariums. Many of them have the unique property of constantly changing form through expansion and deflation. Many can extend and retract their polyps. This helps you make a dynamic, aesthetic addition to your reef tanks.

There are many more reasons why soft aquarium corals are so popular.

1. Photosynthetic

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time feeding and taking care of your corals, you should choose cultured soft corals that are photosynthetic. They do not need to be fed, making them easier to maintain. They require minimal dissolved nutrients and proper lighting and water to thrive for years in your home or office saltwater aquariums.

2. Fragmentation

Soft corals primarily reproduce through cloning. This is more commonly referred to as budding. This fragmentation method involves removing a fragment of the coral and using it to create a new colony. This makes it easier for you to grow new colonies of corals. 

Even if you plan to farm these corals, you will have lots of flexibility. All it requires is cutting fragments and planting them, followed by very little time spent on tending. 

3. Robust

Their softness is not an indication of how hardy these corals can be. Many soft coral species are capable of surviving a wide range of stress. This makes them more suited for surviving in reef tanks. This makes them suitable for both beginners and experienced growers alike.

Some of the key advantages in this regard include:

  • Faster healing times

  • High growth rate

4. Shipping Advantages

Soft corals are known for their high value per unit weight. This makes them more cost-effective to ship, even for long distances. Another related benefit is that very few of their species have been listed as endangered species under CITES. This means that you will not have to obtain permits for most of the species. Other types of corals will mostly require permits and inspections.

Growing Soft Corals Faster

If you want to grow soft corals in your home or office aquarium, there are simple ways to achieve faster growth for them. All you need is to follow these simple tips:

  • Increase the light quality at a gradual rate

  • Feed the tank a few times per week

  • Use different types of foods including baby brine shrimp, rotifers, reef roids, and freeze-dried Cyclops

Types of Coral Care Requirements

While most soft corals are capable of thriving with minimal coral care, you will still do good by providing them basic care. Some of the things you can do to get the best results for your aquariums are as follows:

i. Test & Check Aquarium Water Chemistry

It is recommended to regularly check the pH, nitrates, and salinity. The recommended water parameters are as follows:

  • Keep track of nitrite and ammonia

  • Check the temperatures regularly and ensure they are stable and around 78°F

  • The ideal pH level should be around 8.2

  • The specific gravity should be around 1.025

Using a high-quality salt mix should make it easier for you to maintain these water parameters. There are test kits that can make it easier for you to check these factors for your aquarium life. Besides, you should also learn about water movements for optimal growth.

ii. Proper Feeding

While most soft corals are photosynthetic, feeding them properly can help them grow faster and better. You have to keep in mind that these creatures are still animals and they need food. Begin by providing an excellent source of light that helps grow the reef. Proper feeding can also help you see better results with the colors.

Various species including cabbage leather coral and toadstool mushroom leather coral have polyps that can capture prey. Especially if you have coral species that capture prey, you should feed them. 

On the other hand, if you have species that are non-photosynthetic, you should feed them regularly. Carnation is an excellent example of such soft corals and is recommended for aquarists with at least some experience. 

Keep the following points in mind when feeding such soft corals:

  • Choose food that is the perfect particle size for your specific soft coral species

  • Many species absorb nutrients from the aquarium water

  • Many other species will feed on bacterioplankton and nanoplankton

iii. Supplementation

With most soft corals, you will not have to manage the complex system of supplementation. However, if you have trouble maintaining the alkalinity and calcium, you may want to use a 2-part additive. Most of the time, you may not require additional dosing to maintain these corals.

iv. Fragging

When you grow soft corals, you can take advantage of the fragging process to grow your reef. This is a simple and straightforward practice. All you will have to do is to cut a piece of the coral and fix it to a piece of frag plug or live rock.

Some species such as the green star polyps are more productive for fragging. They can encrust any rock within their reach. All you will have to do is separate the new rock colony from the original one. And when it comes to cutting them, soft corals are easy to work with. You can readily cut them using scissors or razor blades. 

Species Requiring Less Soft Coral Care

If you want species that require less soft coral care, there are a number of true soft, tree coral, polyp stony, and other corals that fall into the category of beginner corals.

  • Finger leather coral is an excellent option if you need a species that requires less soft coral care. They are great beginner corals for a number of reasons. These corals require moderate water movements along with a high direct lighting and water with moderate care. This true soft coral is not as sensitive, especially when corals reproduce.

  • If you prefer corals with polyp stony options, chalice corals may be right for you. Interestingly, they are among the most sought after large stony coral in the industry. They require just as much care as a typical soft coral care. However, creating the right aquarium life conditions will require some initial experimentation.

  • Also known as mushroom corals or mushroom leather, toadstool mushroom leather coral is available in different shades of green, brown, and tan, with individual polyps colors in gold or white. Different species of Toadstool mushroom corals are difficult to differentiate because they all look like a mushroom or toadstool. They require strong water movements, space from other soft corals in aquarium life, and thrive in medium to high lighting and water conditions. It is also easy to practice coral frag with toadstool mushroom leather coral.

If you need more information about adding soft corals to your reef tank, it is recommended to visit the Marine Farmers’ online store. You may also contact us to discuss your requirements and all the options

we offer. If you have any queries, write to us and we will be pleased to clear your doubts and help you

to make the rimake the right choice. we offer. If you have any queries, write to us and we will be pleased to clear your doubts and help you make the right choice.