Coral

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Acropora sp. tables in the wild (Mana Island, Fiji)
Fungiidae member, possibly Cycloseris sp.
Tubipora musica, Organ Pipe Coral
Catalaphyllia jardinei, Elegance Coral
Xenia sp.

Introduction

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Coral Colour

Coral Fluorescence

Resources

Coral Care

Coral Care Table - a quick reference guide to make it easier for new reefers to be able to identify, choose and care for the corals in their reef systems.

Feeding Corals - a quick guide to help maintain coral health, by providing nutrition through physical feeding

Resources

Classification

What is a Coral?

There appears to be some confusion among hobbyists as to what organisms are corals and which ones aren't. While marine biologists don't always agree what should be included as a "coral" (see below) there is little disagreement on which cnidarians are not corals (e.g. anemones, zoanthids and corallimorphs).

The following are considered by most biologists to be corals:

For further discussion on this topic, see What is a Coral.

SPS and LPS

The terms SPS and LPS are abbreviations for Small Polyp Stony and Large Polyp Stony, or some variation of those. So it only applies to the stony corals, members of the Scleractinia order. This classification is simply based on the size of the polyp of the coral, nothing at all to do with the care and requirements of the corals themselves. Typical corals grouped into SPS are Acropora and Pocillopora, and into LPS are Euphyllia and Catalaphyllia.

Scleractinia

Typically referred to as "hard corals".

Alcyonacea

Typically referred to as "soft corals".

Gorgonacea

Typically referred to as "gorgonians".

Non Scleractinian

Looking for Zoanthids or Corallimorphs? These are not technically corals and are placed in the Other Invertebrates section.

Resources

References