5 bulletproof soft corals for the beginner saltwater tank

5 Best soft corals for beginners (in a reef tank)

Looking for an easy-to-grow coral species to add to your new reef tank? Here are the 5 best soft corals for beginners that are hardy, tolerant, and will even help keep those problem algae from being as much of a problem in your tank.

Toadstool coral – one of the best soft corals for beginners

The toadstool coral is a great soft coral for the beginner saltwater tank. They are hardy and can grow quite large, becoming an impressive specimen over the years as the tank matures.

Toadstool coral is a great beginner coral



Zoanthids are available in a mind-numbing array of color forms–you can pick whatever psychedelic color combination you want, assuming you have the cash to shell out for it. They are hardy corals that will multiply and grow on their own as long as you meet their basic care needs.




Mushroom coral

It’s hard to get more bulletproof than mushroom corals. They grow readily in almost any saltwater tank and can be easily fragged. They are the first coral I started out with–and would be a great coral for you to start out with, too.

mushroom coral


Colt coral

The Kenya tree coral, colt coral, or any of the several different species of very similar branching, tree-like corals kept in the hobby today are another great, bulletproof soft corals for a beginner saltwater tank. They grow very rapidly. Before you know it, that tiny five or ten-dollar frag you bought will have grown into a full ‘tree’ and will be dropping branches (sending out tiny little clones) to populate your entire tank.

colt coral


Green star polyps–one of my favorite soft corals for beginners

Electric green polyps on a bright purple mat are hard to resist. The green star polyps are the ultimate bulletproof soft corals for a beginner saltwater tank–they may actually be able to survive a wound like that–although I don’t recommend that experiment for a variety of reasons. It is just a metaphor. Green star polyps thrive in the average beginner saltwater tank and will grow on just about any surface.

Green star polyps in reef tank



Looking for a soft coral species that you can easily add to a beginner saltwater tank without dramatically increasing the complexity of keeping everything healthy and thriving? The 5 bulletproof soft corals listed in this article are a great place to start. I’ve had a lot of success with each of them over the years and still have many of them in my tank today.

5 bulletproof soft corals for the beginner saltwater tank

Want to learn more?

If you want to dive deeper into the world of keeping corals and fish in a reef tank, there are a few places you should go next to dive deeper.

Watch this short video to learn what it takes to care for soft corals for beginners.

What has your experience been with these corals?

Please leave a comment below about your experiences with the corals listed above or share a species you think is a bulletproof soft coral.

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