Stylophora: Achieve that SPS Aesthetic with Less-Demanding Corals

Stylophora are branching small-polyp stony corals from the Family Pocilloporidae. Stylophora shares that family with Pocillopora and Seriatopora, and the three together are the only genera in the family. As a result of their close relationship to one another, all three of these genera share quite a lot in common. What is immediately obvious is … [Read More]

An Ultra-Low-Nutrient System for Acropora and other SPS

Welcome to the next level of coral care. By now I am assuming you have at least understood all the key general practices to maintain some of the hardier corals, from soft corals to large-polyp stony (LPS) corals to some of the more rugged small-polyp stony (SPS) corals. Each category of livestock can be classified … [Read More]

The Best Beginner Small-Polyp Stony Corals

Upon entering the world of small polyp stony corals (or SPS), many people ask the magic question, “Which types are best for beginners?” In my opinion the most beginner-friendly choices are found in the genera Montipora, Pocillopora, Seriatopora, and Stylophora. Most of the corals I’ll discuss here are commonly available, so there should be a … [Read More]

Pocillopora Corals: Hardy, Adaptable Reef Architects

You may not be aware, but Pocillopora, despite being among the less popular stony corals in the reef aquarium hobby, are second only to Acropora in reef-building productivity in the wild. Their skeletons make up a huge portion of the reef’s structure in the ocean. Pocillopora are also among the most adaptable SPS corals in … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: SPS and LPS Defined

It’s been far too long since I last attempted to dissect the dizzying “alphabet soup” of acronyms we marine aquarium hobbyists use to simplify our terminology. So, for today’s post, I’d like to clarify two particular acronyms that arise early and often in every newcomer’s journey to the salty side—SPS and LPS. What do they … [Read More]

So Much to Dig about Montipora digitata!

As I grew to love SPS corals, one in particular stood out and caught my eye: Montipora digitata. I have found M. digitata to be a fast-growing, hardy SPS coral that, once established in a well-balanced reef tank, can really take off in growth. This coral also has very unique growth patterns and comes in … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Joe Garza’s SPS-dominate Reef Savvy Rimless Aquarium

The blue thumb behind this beautiful reef, Joe Garza, is a U.S. Navy veteran who spent years traveling the oceans, exploring the globe, and admiring the beauty of the aquatic world. He kept aquariums filled with all sorts of colorful fish for 17 years before deciding it was time for another challenge, which just so … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Marco Pardun’s 104-gallon Room Divider Triton Reef

When I first came across this aquarium, it caught my eyes for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was the variety of color in its inhabitants. Next is the fact that it is a room divider (something I’ve always wanted to build) and the whole setup is really sleek, very clean, and well executed. … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Brian Babcock’s SPS-dominated Reef

With towering pillars of small-polyp stony corals framed against a spotless blue background, this aquarium makes me feel as though I’ve been plopped down smack dab in the middle of a coral reef, peering into the blue abyss beyond. Being a landlocked scuba diver, it’s easy to imagine the ocean dreams this reef elicits for … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Roy Seine’s Alluring 312-Gallon Reef

When I came across a full-tank shot of this large aquarium, I knew I had to learn more about the system and its owner. Great profiles, large coral colonies, showcase-size specimens, and a clean bare-bottom layout all collaborate to catch the eye of many an aquarist, including myself. So let’s dive in…just try not to … [Read More]