Top 5 Recommended Sustainable Soft Corals for Any Nano Reef Aquarium


Hi everyone, I’m Ike from Current-USA and today we’re going to go over our top 5 recommended sustainable soft corals for any nano-reef aquarium. Many entry-level aquarists keep marine fish and live rock in their aquarium and they want to keep corals but they’re a little concerned about the tough learning curve they may have ahead of them.

Soft corals are a fantastic coral for beginners to start with. They’re easy to keep water quality tolerant and will get you through that learning curve of keeping corals. They come in a wide variety of shapes, dazzling colors and they’re going to add amazing movement to any aquarium. One of the great things about softies is most all of them are aquacultured, either on a farm or maybe even in your local aquarium store. In today’s video, we’re going to show you our top five, easiest soft corals to keep in your nano-reef aquarium.

Xenia Polyps are one of the easiest corals for anyone to start with. They do well in almost any aquarium, including a nano-reef aquarium. Available in a few different species, Xenia Polyps will add movement to any nano-reef aquarium. Pom Pom, or pulsing Xenia Polyps are one of the most favorite aquacultured species, as the heads of the coral continually rise and pulse and they can be absolutely mesmerizing to watch. Requiring only minimal light levels and water current, Xenia do well if fed microplankton or other filter feeding diets and they also like a little bit of iodine and trace elements added to the water. Xenia Polyps easily multiply in any aquarium and they’re one of the first soft corals recommended for hobbyists who want to learn how to frag through cutting.

Aquacultured Zoanthid Polyps are another easy to keep, hardy, colorful coral that we recommend for anyone’s nano-reef. Available in a multitude of colors, they will also easily reproduce in an aquarium and often cover your substrate and rocks very quickly. Like Xenia Polyps, Zoanthid Polyps require minimal light levels and water current and will do best if fed microplankton and have a little bit of iodine and trace elements added to the water.

Green Star Polyps or Sunburst Polyps are an encrusting soft coral that will grow over not only your rocks and substrate, but oftentimes on the wall of your aquarium. Most species of Starbursts have a brilliant electric green colored polyp with a purple matte base. It’s an extremely easy species to cultivate, as the encrusting purple base can simply be cut and glued to other rocks or hard substrates. It can grow extremely fast and eventually will overtake and grow over almost any type of hard surface in your aquarium. This is one of the best choices for an entry-level aquarist as it’s extremely hardy and grows extremely quickly in virtually any aquarium.

Toadstool and Leather Corals grow in the shape of a mushroom and they are a great indicator for any nano-reef aquarium. The Toadstool variety has a brown base with whiter colored polyps, where many of the Leather Corals might feature bright green polyps that look absolutely amazing under actinic blue lighting. When Toadstools and Leather Corals are happy, the long, thin polyps will extend out from their surface and it’s a good indicator that things are going well in your aquarium. They can grow extremely large in a short amount of time and they do well in virtually any location in your nano-reef.

Clove Polyps are fast-growing, easy to keep, aquacultured soft coral. For what Clove Polyps lack in color, they make up for in movement. Their long beautiful tentacles wave in the water current and will easily grow and encrust on other rocks. Because of their long polyps they can easily get stung by other corals, so it’s important to give them a little bit of space. Like Xenia Polyps and Zoanthid Polyps, these corals do really well in aquariums where you’re routinely feeding them microplankton diets and dosing your tank with iodine and other trace elements.

Thanks so much for joining us and we hope this video inspires you to take the plunge into soft corals with your nano reef aquarium. For more aquarium tips like this, don’t forget to click that subscribe button.