Please help me decide on the suitability of these corals for my tank.


Hi everyone, I am planning to do a softies only tank with only the easiest and low maintenance corals for my first reef tank. My tank is 105 gallons and a 4 foot by 2 foot by almost 2 foot tank (120cm by 60cm by 55cm). After some looking around on the internet and on LA, I have created what I feel could be a general stocking plan of the corals I want. I am thinking maybe only doing Mushroom and Leather corals. I have thought about GSP and Pom Pom Xenia, while I like them, I am worried about how fast they can grow and take over other corals.

Before I list the species of corals I’m interested in, I would like advice on how many frags to initially put in, the gap between adding new frags, and how many frags in total would be suitable for a tank of my dimensions. Fish wise I plan for 11-13 fish. Mostly small fish (4” and below) with 1 or 2 larger fish (6” and above). A must have fish for me is the Marine Betta.

These are the species I’m looking into (1 frag of each):

1. Discosoma Mushroom coral (Semi-Aggressive)
(low or medium flow)

2. Devil’s Hand Leather Coral (Peaceful) (medium or strong flow)

3. Cabbage Leather Coral (Semi-Aggressive) (medium or strong)

4. Toadstool Leather Coral (Peaceful) (Medium flow)

5. Rhodactis Mushroom Coral (Semi-Aggressive) (Low flow)

6. Finger Leather Coral (Semi-Aggressive) (Medium to strong flow)

7. Actinodiscus Mushroom Coral (Semi-Aggressive) (Low to medium flow)

8. Ricordea Mushroom Coral (Semi-Aggressive) (Moderate to high)

I also want to know which ones should go in first. I know a lot less about corals than fish, so I’d really appreciate help.
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Now, if I do get GSPs and Pom Pom Xenia, maybe isolating them towards the four corners of the tank would help?


New member
Unlike fish corals you can add whenever your system is ready. Xenia you need to watch it will take over your tank in no time. That happen to my 150 gallons years ago


Reef gardener
Separate Xenia from the main rocks unless you want it to overtake everything. Those corals on your list are all very easy to keep. Make sure you learn about proper 2 part dosing/running kalkwasser and lighting requirements to ensure your corals are healthy and are growing. I always give a few inches around any frags to ensure that they can encrust and to also let them eventually expand into a colony.

The best thing to remember with a reef tank is that your are running a marathon, not a 100yd dash....get enough frags that will eventually grow into colonies, and be sure to pace yourself on new introductions. You’ll get more show pieces that way and can easily fill in any blank spots when needed. It can take months for a reef tank to become stable as it becomes properly cycled and matures biologically. Your patience becomes rewarded in this hobby by having a healthy ecosystem for your fish, corals, or any other creatures.

If you have leathers in the tank, always run carbon. Otherwise they can release toxins should they decide to have a bad day. And always dip new corals before they go into the display.

FWIW - A marine betta is typically not a good reef dweller since they will eat most small fish.


Thanks for all the replies. I’ve decided to start with six small frags, a mix of theee Leather corals (Devil’s Hand, Toadstool, and Cabbage Leather) and 3 Mushroom frags (Discosoma, Actinodiscus, and Rhodactis).

I contacted Bob Fenner from WWM and he said I can keep a trio of Stripeys in a tank of my size without any problems. He thinks it’ll be fine. These fish I can collect in very shallow water on the southeastern coastal of China where I live. The Marine Betta from everything I’ve seen rarely ever bothers anything in the tank. I’ve only read one or two posts that said people had their Cleaner wrasses and small Blennies or Gobies (like Cleaner gobies) eaten but other than that I haven’t read any more accounts of people having their fish eaten by the Betta.

As you can see from my stocking list this time I don’t plan to keep a Cleaner Wrasse at all and I don’t plan to keep a Goby either.

x1 Marine Betta

x2 Ocellaris Clowns

x3 Stripeys

x2 Flame Hawksfish

x3 PJ Cardinalfish
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Interesting how Stripeys are rarely imported into the West but where I live I can collect them myself down at the coast. The good news is I may be able to do a 5 foot tank that’s 165 gallons. More swimming space is always good.