This Acropora originates from Micronesia, of course. This region includes the islands of Guam, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau, and others. It is located north of Papua New Guinea. While this coral originates from that area, the frags sold here are aquacultured by ORA. This means that they are grown on land in aquariums instead of being collected from the ocean. Aquacultured corals have lots of benefits that we will discuss below.
This Acropora is mostly a deep green color, thought the coloration can vary, as is common for Acropora. Acropora are not the easiest coral to keep. In fact, they are often regarded as one of the most difficult corals to keep and even more difficult to achieve good colors. Despite this, Acropora are also one of the most popular coral in the marine aquariums hobby and many hobbyists keep them successfully.
Acropora are light loving corals. Most high output lights are designed with growing Acropora in mind. These corals require medium to high light, though you should give them high light. We’re talking the 200-300 micromoles of PAR range. Some benefit from even higher light than that. That’s a lot of light, so make sure you acclimate the coral to this light slowly. Do this by starting the coral low on your aquascape and slowly moving it up.
Along with needing high light, Acropora also need lots of flow. It takes a lot to give these corals too much flow. You are much more likely to give too little than too much. Make sure the flow is irregular and random.
As for water chemistry, you need to have high levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium, but even more important, the levels need to be stable. Fluctuations in these levels can be terrible for Acropora. Your other parameters need to be stable as well. Keep your temperature at 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Your nitrates should be 1-5 ppm and your phosphates should be just barely detectable but not 0.
As for feeding, you can feed Acropora but it is not required. Like most common corals in the hobby, Acropora contain a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. However, feeding can promote better coloration and faster growth. If you want to feed your Acropora, make sure the food particle size is small enough for the polyps to consume. As an alternative, you can dose phytoplankton, which will feed your coral without making your water dirty.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top
Lighting: Medium to high
Flow: Moderate to strong
Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
So, what are the benefits to aquacultured corals over those collected from the wild? First, because aquacultured corals are grown in aquariums, they are well adapted for aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry. They are also hardier in general. This means they are much more likely to survive and do well in your aquarium. Also, aquacultured corals are far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip them. The other great thing about aquacultured coral is that they are more sustainable!