The Difference between LPS and SPS Corals
LPS corals are large calcareous corals that possess large fleshy polyps. The head of an LPS coral can be larger, and they are recognizable by the hard skeleton underneath.
However, the SPS coral possesses small polyps that are connected to a hard stony skeleton base.
SPS corals need intense light levels compared to lps corals. If you don’t have sufficient light, it is a challenge to get SPS corals to grow properly. LPS corals don’t require as much light as SPS corals do. LPS corals will do fine with medium to high-intensity light.
Corals have aggressive tendencies. LPS corals have a propensity to sting, and they will do so to their neighbors if given the chance.
Many LPS corals have sweeping tentacles that they can use to remove neighboring corals. SPS corals are not as aggressive.
However, they will use their tentacles to keep other corals away. In a battle between the two types of corals, the LPS corals usually will win.
LPS corals require good water quality. However, they can tolerate poorer water quality than SPS corals can.
A strong water current can cause the LPS corals to sway. They will retract if they are too agitated by the water.
SPS corals need high water quality with a strong current. They do not sway with the current. SPS corals do not tolerate water with nitrates in it because it interferes with the development of their skeleton.
Both kinds of corals produce their skeleton from calcium
This entails that they will need a significant amount of calcium to flourish. Typically speaking, you will need a level above 400 ppm. Many of these corals can be given small pieces of seafood to consume. However, you will not usually need to feed them at all because they get a lot of their food from their own tissue.
The budding referred to above involves the parent growing small corals that disconnect from them. Sometimes, the parent will actually separate into multiple corals.
A lot of these corals possess stinging tentacles that halt the growth of competing corals in their location. As a result of this, you will need to give them a lot of their own space.
These corals can be either solitary or colonial. The colonies can be very sizable. They are made up of a large number of individual polyps.
Stony corals are members of the class Anthozoa. As with other individuals in the group, they do not have a medusa stage in their life cycle. The individual organisms are called polyps. They possess a cylindrical body topped by an oral disc surrounded by tentacles.
The base of the polyp secretes the hard substance from which the skeleton grows. The mouth is at the center of the oral disc.
The polyp can retract into the corallite, the cup in which it is located.
The skeleton of the polyp is known as the corallite. It is secreted by the epidermis of the lower part of the body. The inside of the cup contains septa (plates) that project upward from the base.
All modern scleractinian skeletons are made up of calcium carbonate. They are light and porous, not solid.
In colonial corals, growth comes about as the result of budding new polyps. Solitary corals do not bud.
Stony corals occur in all of the oceans of the world. There are two different groups of them. Hermatypic corals are usually colonial corals. They usually occur in clear, shallow tropical waters. They are the primary reef builders around the globe.
Ahermatypic corals are either colonial or solitary. They do not develop reefs. Some live in tropical waters.
Stony corals can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Some species have separate sexes, while others are hermaphroditic. The majority are hermaphroditic.
There is not much evidence about the origin of scleractinians.
A lot is known about modern species, though. The fossil specimens first appeared on the record in the Middle Triassic period.
This was about 240 million years ago. Around 25 million years later, they developed into important reef builders.
Nine of the sub-orders were around by the end of the Triassic, and three more appeared by the Jurassic period. This was 200 million years ago. A further suborder appeared in the Middle Cretaceous period. This was 100 million years ago.
The early scleractinians were not reef builders. They lived as solitary individuals. Scleractinian corals had their greatest diversity in the Jurassic. They almost were extinguished in the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Only about 18 out of 67 genera survived.