LPS corals are also referred to as stony corals, and are members of the order Scleractinia. LPS Corals can be differentiated from other types of corals by their calcium skeleton or base.
LPS corals need like SPS corals too, excellent water conditions, adequate lighting, and space within the reef aquarium. LPS corals are use a mechanism called a nematocyst to deliver a sting to ward off predators, or maintain their space on the reef from other species of competing corals. Some species of LPS have sweeper tentacles that can reach several inches long at night. These tentacles will sting adjacent and neighboring corals causing extensive damage to some species. Avoid contact with LPS corals when cleaning the aquarium. Many aquarists suffer mild allergic reactions to the stinging cells of some corals. Do not handle hard corals by their fleshy polyps, as damage to the coral will usually occur.
Hard corals reproduce both sexually by releasing eggs and sperm into the water, and also asexually by producing buds generated from the parent. The most common form of reproduction in an aquarium is budding.
Most of the LPS corals obtain nutrients from the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae contained within their bodies. Corals and algae have a special relationship. Coral receives nutrients and oxygen from algae, and the algae receives carbon dioxide and nutrients from the coral. Hard corals benefit from the addition of supplements such as calcium and Strontium to promote growth and maintain the health of the animal.