LPS Corals – Large Polyp Stony Corals
Hard corals can be broken down into 2 categories; SPS – small polyp corals and LPS – large polyp stony corals. LPS corals will generally be larger calcareous corals and their polyps will be much larger and fleshy than those found in the SPS range.
Many of these LPS corals are considered quite hardy and many are fast growing. LPS corals are generally regarded as being much easier to care for than SPS corals as they generally have fewer specific requirements when it comes to lighting, flow and nutrition.
The Elegance Coral
Both LPS and SPS corals will lay down calcium on hard skeletons via their polyps. This is where the name hard corals or stony corals come from. This then means that they require appropriate levels of calcium in order to grow and thrive. In general, it is recommended to keep a level above 400 ppm. Many experienced hobbyists have even recommended 430-480 ppm of calcium for these corals. Some other elements important to them are iodine, strontium and trace elements. Many species can even be fed small pieces of seafood like fish, squid, crustaceans and shellfish. However, they do derive most of their nutrition from zooxanthellae found in their tissue, so feeding manually isn’t normally necessary.
Corals such as these will propagate by either spawning or “budding”, a term given to the process where small corals are grown from parent corals that have separated or even when parent corals will simply break off into multiple individual corals.
Many LPS corals will have long sweeper tentacles that have the ability to sting in order to catch prey, ward off predators and even kill other competing corals. Ensure they are given plenty of room in your tank.
The natural reef is a remarkable, stunning and complex environment that is built by both LPS and SPS corals. Coral reef is built by hard corals that produce skeletons made of calcium carbonate, giving the foundations and continuous growth patterns of coral reefs.
LPS corals incorporate a large group of species of which come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Corals are put into these 2 categories dependent on the size of their polyps, which went inspected makes it very clear which group they belong too. LPS corals will have much larger polyps than SPS species. This can almost always be guaranteed as a means of identification; however there are a few corals that don’t fit so well with their polyps being slightly bigger or smaller.