Green Stylophora

Top 5 Beginner SPS Corals

SPS or Small Polyp Stony corals can be demanding to keep and it is wise for new reef keepers to start off with soft and/or Large Polyp Stony (LPS) corals. The move up to SPS can be made once sustained success is achieved with softies and LPS. However, those who graduate to SPS should not jump in too quickly and spend hundreds of dollars on more demanding SPS frags. The smart path is to begin with hardy and forgiving SPS. With that said, here is my list of Top 5 Beginner SPS Corals!

1) Birdsnest Corals

Birdnests come in a variety of colors, including neon green and pink. Once they get going they can grow like weeds, quickly over growing other corals. There are two types of Pink Birdsnests, with one sporting sharp tips and the other rounded tips. If you like bright, solid colors then give this one a try.

pink birdsnest coral

2) Stylophoras

Stylos also come in a variety of colors, with green, pink and purple the most common….I love the bright pink morph! They too can grow big so it is a good idea to give them space to grow. If you MUST have a designer coral, then pick up a Tyree Rainbow Stylo.

purple stylophora

3) Montipora Digitatas

Digis can be orange, green or purple….yes, there is a definite theme here regarding beginner corals coming in multiple colors. Same goes for the next coral on the list, Monti Caps. As for Digis, they have delicate branches and can encrust on the rock work. The ATL Forest Fire Digitata and the Tubbs Stellata Montipora are easy to keep designer versions of this coral.

atl forest fire digitatas

4) Montipora Caps

This scrolling, plating coral needs a lot of real estate to grow. A mature colony adds a naturalistic look to a reef tank. Try placing different colored frags together to generate interesting color patterns.

cupping montipora

5) Green Bali Slimer

Finally, a beginner coral on this list that only comes in one color, unless you count the Purple Slimer 🙁 Nonethess, the Green Bali Slimer, a branching coral, is a beautiful bright green and is a fast grower. I actually had one that started to grow out of the tank!

green bali slimer


So there you have it, my Top 5 Beginner SPS Corals.

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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