SPS Corals

Small polyp stony corals (SPS) are the crown jewels of the coral kingdom, captivating both novice and experienced hobbyists alike. At Extreme Corals, we offer an exceptional selection of SPS corals, including popular varieties such as Acropora, Montipora, Stylophora, and birdsnest. These stunning corals boast vibrant colors and intricate growth patterns, creating mesmerizing underwater landscapes in reef aquariums.

Understanding SPS Corals

SPS corals are hard corals characterized by their small polyps and remarkable growth rates. They are the builders of calcium carbonate reef structures found in the wild, and they thrive in environments with high light and water flow. To ensure optimal growth and health, it's essential to provide SPS corals with clean water and routine access to magnesium, calcium, and alkalinity.

Tips for Establishing a Flourishing SPS Dominant System

Creating a flourishing SPS dominant system requires careful consideration and preparation. Here are some essential tips to help you succeed:

Tank Establishment: Prioritize establishing a stable and mature aquarium before introducing SPS corals. Allow sufficient time for the tank to cycle and ensure stable water parameters.
Lighting: Invest in high-quality reef lighting systems that offer the appropriate spectrum, intensity, and duration for SPS corals.
Water Flow: SPS corals benefit from strong and variable water flow. Install multiple powerheads or circulation pumps strategically to ensure adequate turbulence.
Water Quality: Maintain pristine water quality by regularly testing and adjusting parameters like calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.
Nutrient Control: Implement a proper nutrient control strategy to ensure low nutrient levels, which are essential for SPS coral growth.
Regular Monitoring: Dedicate time for regular monitoring of your SPS dominant system to identify any issues promptly.
Patience and Persistence: Cultivating a flourishing SPS dominant system takes time and persistence. Avoid rushing the process and give your corals the necessary time to acclimate and adapt.

Explore our top 10 popular SPS corals, each with unique care instructions, and pros and cons:

Encrusting Montipora
Care Instructions: Thrives in high flow areas, needs ample space to grow, requires medium to high lighting.
Pros: Available in numerous color combinations, tolerant of water parameters, unique growth pattern, non-stinging to other corals.
Cons: Requires strong flow to prevent debris accumulation.

Acropora Latistella (Bali Shortcake)
Care Instructions: Requires well-lit areas with strong flow, ample space for unique growth pattern, prefers high lighting and flow.
Pros: Grows in a plating form, beautiful colors, aquacultured options available.
Cons: Slow-growing, demands specific lighting and flow.

Montipora Digitata
Care Instructions: Relatively easy to keep, favored by hobbyists with SPS-dominant reefs, prefers strong flow.
Pros: Available in various color combinations, peaceful temperament towards other corals, easy to frag.
Cons: Can grow quickly, careful placement needed to prevent overgrowth.

Acropora Tenuis
Care Instructions: Requires stable water parameters and low nutrient levels, high lighting and flow.
Pros: Brilliant color range, aquacultured options available, can be a centerpiece in an SPS system.
Cons: Expensive, demands specific lighting and flow, challenging for beginners.

Acropora Carduus (Red Dragon Acro)
Care Instructions: Prefers powerful light, delicate branches, fast growth rate.
Pros: Unique thin branches, available in different colors, less demanding regarding flow.
Cons: Sensitive to water quality, fragile due to thin branches.

Stylophora Milka
Care Instructions: Requires high lighting and moderate to strong flow, vibrant colors, fast-growing.
Pros: Unique branching structure, relatively fast-growing.
Cons: Demands high lighting and flow, careful placement needed.

Seriatopora Hystrix (Bird's Nest Coral)
Care Instructions: Requires high lighting and moderate flow, thin, branching stems.
Pros: Unique branching structure, multiple color options, good growth rate.
Cons: May struggle with sudden changes in water parameters.

Pocillopora Damicornis
Care Instructions: Prefers moderate lighting and flow, compact growth pattern, hardy and adaptable.
Pros: Hardy and adaptable, various color choices.
Cons: Growth rate can be slower, moderate lighting and flow required.

Acropora Millepora
Care Instructions: Needs high lighting and strong flow, extensive color range, delicate branching.
Pros: Delicate and intricate structure, vibrant growth.
Cons: Requires high lighting and flow, sensitivity to water quality fluctuations.

Acropora Hyacinthus
Care Instructions: Demands high lighting and strong flow, unique form and bright colors.
Pros: Eye-catching appearance, available in various color options.
Cons: Fragile, requires specific lighting and flow conditions.
Pros and Cons of SPS Corals

Consider the following pros and cons when adding SPS corals to your aquarium:

Vibrant Colors
Variety in Growth Formations
Minimal Feeding Requirements
Reduced Sting Potential
Ease of Fragmentation

Sensitivity to Parameters
Need for a Stable and Mature Aquarium
Intense Lighting and Water Flow Requirements
Higher Price Point

SPS corals are truly the crown jewels of the coral kingdom, offering unparalleled beauty and diversity. With proper care and attention, you can create a stunning SPS dominant system that showcases the vibrant colors and intricate structures of these remarkable corals. Explore our selection of SPS corals at Extreme Corals and embark on an unforgettable journey into the fascinating world of reef keeping. Check out our category Scott's Handpicked Corals for some of the best SPS coral colonies you can find!
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