Class Anthozoa -> Subclass Octocorallia -> Order Alcyonacea -> Suborder Alcyoniina
The defining characteristics of soft corals are their 8-fold symmetry and a body comprised of calcite spicules. 8-fold symmetry means the coral has eight tentacles or tentacles in multiples of eight. Soft corals are distinguished from other groups of corals by their fleshy bodies that seemingly lack any form of skeleton. The vast majority are good candidates for beginning aquarists. This is because they are more tolerant of higher nutrient systems and do not require strict adherence to chemical parameters such as calcium and alkalinity like stony corals.