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Color and pattern variations are what make coral reefs unique, but finding the exact WYSIWYG coral frag that perfectly matches your reef tank and aquatic life is a feeling unlike any other. Whether you're a beginner hobbyist or an experienced veteran, WYSIWYG coral is a great way to brighten up your tank, bring a new piece of the ocean into your home and show off your aquarium-keeping skills. In this article, we'll detail some of the types of WYSIWYG coral for sale at Pacific East Aquaculture and give you some tips and tricks for setting your tank up for success to make your aquarium experience the best it can be.

The Five Most Common Types of WYSIWYG Coral

Live corals are marine animals that consist of individual polyps used to form colonies. What makes coral reefs unique, and why do we as reef aquarists love their presence in our tanks so much? Well, corals are ancient animals bursting with color and beauty that we can't help but love. Unique corals can be found in deep waters, temperate depths, shallow tropical oceans, and, now, many aquariums worldwide. There are many different types of WYSIWYG coral to choose from for your tank. Let's go over these unique corals and what separates them from one another.

1. SPS Corals (Small Polyp Stony)

SPS corals are unique corals characterized by a stony skeleton of calcium carbonate and smaller polyps (as their name implies). On the natural coral reefs of the ocean, they're considered to be reef builders because of how quickly they grow. They pull calcium and other elements from the ocean water and turn it into the stony structure that comprises their exciting skeletons.

SPS are considered one of the most demanding types of WYSIWYG coral and requires absolute precision with water parameters. That means these unique corals aren't exactly beginner-friendly. Most hobbyists tend to work their way up to SPS corals once they've had some experience.

2. Soft Corals

When you compare soft corals to SPS corals, you'll realize that they don’t have a proper calcium skeleton. Many reef aquarists start with softies as their first WYSIWYG frags, as many of the most common types are easier to take care of relative to other species. But always do your research; that doesn't mean it goes for all of them.

3. LPS Corals (Large Polyp Stony)

Suppose you were to attempt to make a unique coral that combines the soft fleshy polyps of softies with the stony calcium carbonate skeleton of SPS corals. In that case, you'd probably get something a lot like LPS WYSIWYG frags. These are some of the most popular WYSIWYG coral in the hobby because they combine the best of both worlds – the calming sway of fleshy polyps in the underwater current with calcium-enriched skeletons. Several different growth forms exist, but some hobbyist favorites include the massive Favia species and the single-polyped Scolymia or Acanthophyllia.

4. Zoanthids

When it comes to this live coral, WYSIWYG is the only way to buy. Zoanthids are an extensive and diverse category of WYSIWYG corals that take beauty and color to new heights. There are so many highly desirable color morphs to choose from, which makes Zoanthids some of the most sought-after WYSIWYG coral for sale.

5. Mushrooms (Corallimorphs)

Unlike the other unique corals we've talked about, mushroom corals contain no stony, calcium carbonate skeletal components. Instead, these WYSIWYG frags grow to have large, disc-shaped individual polyps. Commonly, mushrooms are thought of as some of the easiest (and least interesting) WYSIWYG corals to have in your saltwater tank.

How to Set Up Your WYSIWYG Corals For Success

As you may already know, caring for your WYSIWYG frags isn't always the easiest. If you want them to thrive and develop into full-fledged colonies; you can begin to frag yourself. This means selecting WYSIWYG coral for your reef tank all comes down to your experience level. The time, care and patience that goes into helping your WYSIWYG frags remain healthy are what makes coral reefs unique — and what draws many hobbyists into the world of coral. While we can't go into the full, minute details about each type of WYSIWYG coral, we can give you a general overview of the care it takes to raise your WYSIWYG frag in a healthy environment.

Water Quality

Regardless of the type of aquarium you've prepared for your WYSIWYG coral, maintaining water quality is essential for its survival. This includes paying particular attention to the salinity, temperature, alkalinity, alkalinity, calcium and magnesium. When helping WYSIWYG frags thrive and grow, you must keep your water close enough to natural seawater and mimic the conditions they would have in the ocean. Simply mixing up synthetic sea salt and water isn't sufficient. Reef hobbyists devote countless hours to perfecting these conditions.

Corals are sensitive to changes in water quality. Unhealthy ammonia levels are a common killer of corals, while live nitrifying bacteria will give them a chance of survival. Frequently testing your water and keeping an eye on these levels for your specific WYSIWYG coral is the best practice for keeping your water level up to standard.


Every WYSIWYG coral for sale to hobbyists will require higher-quality lighting with more levels of intensity than fish-only tanks require. However, the amount of light you need depends on what species of WYSIWYG coral you choose to keep in your reef tank.

Most WYSIWYG corals are known as "zooxanthellate," meaning they contain photosynthetic organisms called Zooxanthellae. These organisms live inside coral tissues and require intense lighting to function. For example, SPS and LPS coral need more light than softies – which helps you figure out where to place them in your tank.

Circulation/Water Flow

All corals are animals and thus require oxygen to stay alive. Unlike fishes and other aquatic creatures you may have in your tank, they lack gills or blood and rely purely on their ability to absorb oxygen directly from the water. This means your WYSIWYG coral will need a constant supply of oxygenated seawater brought to them by currents. They also rely on water flow to bring them food, keep sediment from settling on their structure, smothering them, and blow off the waste they may give off. Water movement may be one of the most essential features of a healthy saltwater reef aquarium.

As with all other features of caring for your WYSIWYG frag, different species require more or less intense water flow levels. Researching these levels will help you know how many pumps you should purchase and where you should place them.


Most zooxanthellate WYSIWYG corals gain the nutrients they need from lighting, while others occasionally catch a bit of fish food or some sparse plankton commonly used to feed the other creatures in your tank. Some hobbyists find this suitable for their coral, but providing specific food formulated for corals can undoubtedly improve your chances of keeping them alive and healthy.

Pacific East Aquaculture is Your Destination for WYSIWYG Coral

At Pacific East Aquaculture, we're proud to offer the most diverse selection of WYSIWYG corals for sale to hobbyists, reef clubs, wholesalers and anyone with a passion for the beauty the ocean has to offer. And remember, when it comes to our live coral: WYSIWYG. That's why Pacific East Aquaculture is the best place to shop for coral online. Our certified and licensed coral aquaculture facility is located in Maryland and run by Dr. Mac, our owner and board-certified veterinary pathologist committed to sustainable coral propagation, reef keeping and aquaculture. Check out our full selection of WYSIWYG frags, and find the best coral for your tank today.