The Red & Green Acropora Tenuis from ORA is a maricultured in the Marshall Islands. This coral originates from the Indo-Pacific, but is not collected from the wild. Instead it is grown in aquariums or off shore in controlled area separate from real reefs. This comes with benefits that we will discuss later.
Acropora are not easy to keep corals. Some even say they are one of the most difficult to keep corals. For this reason, this coral genus is usually left for the more experienced hobbyists or those who have at least had success growing easier corals. In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Acropora, we’ll go over the basic care requirements so you can decide if this coral is right for you and your aquarium.
To start, let’s talk about lighting. Acropora are very demanding corals in terms of light. Some species receive upwards of 700 micromoles of PAR in the wild. In an aquarium, you should shoot for 200-300 micromoles of PAR or higher if you know what you’re doing. It is crucial that you acclimate your Acropora before placing them under high light. Do this by starting the coral in dimmer light and gradually moving the coral into higher light during a month or longer. Not doing this can result in bleaching and color loss. The color of Acropora can change a lot under good conditions, so you definitely don’t want to lose color to overexposure.
Next, let’s talk about flow. Acropora also have high flow demands. You should provide your Acropora with strong flow that is also somewhat irregular and random. It is best if the flow is also indirect as well. Water movement is important because it keeps the coral clean and provides the needed nutrients and essential elements to grow.
Regarding water chemistry, Acropora require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that are also stable. Keeping stable water chemistry, especially between alkalinity and calcium, can be difficult, which is part of the reason Acropora are best for more experienced hobbyists. If you have lots of fast growing stony corals, maintaining these levels usually requires the use of a calcium reactor, dosing system, or kalkwasser. While these methods work great, it is easy to cause dangerous swings if you’re inexperienced.
As for other parameters, keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0.
Lastly, let’s talk about feeding. Acropora are considered photosynthetic corals because of the zooxanthellae within them. This algae provides the coral with nutrition using photosynthesis. For this reason, feeding is not required, but it can still be beneficial. Feeding your Acropora can encourage better coloration, faster growth, and greater overall coral health. You can feed your Acropora meaty foods or powdered foods as long as the particles are small enough and you don’t over do it. For a method that won’t cause nutrient spikes, dose your aquarium with live phytoplankton and amino acids.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top.
Lighting: Medium to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong.
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
Because this coral is maricultured by ORA, it is hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from real reefs. Purchasing these corals is also more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Do your part to decrease the impact our hobby has on the ocean by choosing aquacultured and mariculture.