Best fake coral

Artificial coral are considered by many for a number of reasons.   Perhaps you only want fish to feed in your tank, not worry about what corals need to thrive or maybe you’re on a strict budget.  Whatever the reason, fake coral can look pretty much like the real thing in a saltwater tank, if you choose wisely.  Below I’ve listed my top 3 best fake coral.

Great looking artificial coral can sometimes be a bit hit and miss.  With so many that truly do look cheap and a bit nasty if I’m honest, I’ve narrowed it down to the most realistic looking coral that will look great in any tank.  And, these won’t break the bank.

For more information, why not take a look at this article on the pros and cons of using fake coral in your saltwater tank. 


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My Top Picks for the Best Fake Coral for Reef Tanks

Bestseller No. 1
Danmu 1Pc of Polyresin Coral Fish Tank Aquarium Decoration, Coral Ornaments, Aquarium Coral Decor 8" x 7" x 11"
  • 🐟Made of Eco-friendly polyresin material, nontoxic and durable. Do no harm to your fish
  • 🐠This Danmu coral simulates a fantastic sea world view, adding unique landscape and vitality to your fish tank
  • 🐟Vibrant color, adds life to your aquarium. Decorate your aquarium all the time with minimum maintenance. Safe for fish and suitable for fresh or salt water environments
Bestseller No. 2
Mallofusa Artificial Aquarium Fish Tank Decoration Silicone Sea Anemone Artificial Fish Tank Ornament Decoration (White)
  • Suitable for: Aquarium, Tank; Material: soft silicone; Size:5.1"x5.1"x4"; Weight: 3.5oz
  • Beautify your aquarium while providing provide place for your fish or other creatures to hide and play
  • Cause no polution and do no harm to your aquatic creatures.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Mimorou 12 Pieces Fake Coral Plant Aquarium Decorations Fish Tank Ornament Decor Artificial Polyresin Colorful Coral Reef Decoration Accessories for Betta Fish Tank Aquarium Landscape (Lovely Style)
  • You will get: the package contains 12 pieces of imitation coral decorations, including corals and starfishes in a variety of shapes, sufficient quantity can meet your decorative needs
  • Quality material: made of quality polyresin material, the coral reef decor is reliable and safe to use, friendly to your fish and shrimp, not easy to fade or fray
  • Suitable size: various sizes of simulated coral plants decorations with different vibrant colors are suitable for decorating your fish tank or aquarium

What to look for in fake coral

You wouldn’t want to put anything in your tank that could harm any of it’s inhabitants so it’s important to check what the coral is made from.  Resin is the most popular substance used to manufacture more rigid artificial coral whereas silicone is used to make the softer, wavy corals.  

Never buy handmade coral that is made of plaster of paris or anything that has flaking paint.  

Particular corals, like fans, aren’t going to be easy to clean so I’d definitely go for ones that you can get a soft toothbrush into.  (See our instructions here on how to clean fake coral.)  Yes, it can be a bit of a pain having to clean artificial coral but a lot of work goes into looking after and maintaining real coral too.

Before adding fake coral to your saltwater tank

Just like when adding dry rock to your reef aquarium, artificial coral should be soaked in RO water before insertion.  This will remove any dust, loose debris or contaminants so they do not end up in your tank.  

How to attach coral to rock

Artificial coral can be attached to rock in your fish tank by using any type of cyanacrylate glue like Loctite Superglue Gel.  I even use this for my gluing my live coral frags to their frag plugs and I certainly wouldn’t be doing that unless it was completely safe.   

You don’t need to spend a fortune so don’t be misled by fancy reef glues and silicones to attach your coral to your reef. 

So there you have it!

There are of course a lot more expensive artificial coral for saltwater aquariums out there.  Reef inserts have been around for a while.  They come with coral built on the rock and you place the entire lot straight into the tank.  The only downside is that they can be expensive.  So, if you enjoy the ease of this type of coral over real coral perhaps start saving now!  

Best Fake Coral for Saltwater Tanks: My Top 3
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