Acropora are found all over the Indo-Pacific and in other regions of the world as well. They are one of the most common corals and are essential for reef building and providing habitats for marine organisms. The Skinny Miami Acropora is aquacultured by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, this coral is grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to awesome hobbyists such as yourself.
The Skinny Miami Acropora is a staghorn Acropora with branches that are more slender than typical stags. It has a mostly orange coloration with hints of yellow and purple-white growth tips. The exact coloration can vary a lot depending on the lighting, water chemistry, and stress levels. Don’t be alarmed if the colors don’t match the picture.
Acropora are not easy to keep corals. They are usually left for well-established aquariums with proper equipment. Let’s go over the care requirements so you can decide if this coral is right for you.
Acropora require intense lighting. Most species need a minimum of 200 micromoles of PAR, but many do best with 300 micromoles of PAR or more. Ideally, you should provide Acropora with full spectrum lighting, which is lighting that includes every wavelength of light from 400 nm to 700 nm. To avoid bleaching and color loss, you need to acclimate Acropora to intense light. Do this by starting the coral in low or moderate light and gradually moving it into higher light during a month or a few months. This gives the Acropora a chance to adjust to higher light.
Strong flow is recommended to keep this coral happy. It would be difficult to provide Acropora with too much flow with common aquarium equipment. However, moderate flow is okay as long as the coral is clean of detritus. Ideally, the flow you should be irregular and random to promote proper growth and to avoid dead spots. Flow is important because it delivers needed nutrients and base elements to the coral while also keeping it clean.
Speaking of base elements, let’s talk about water chemistry. Acropora require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that are also stable. Acropora are sensitive to fluctuations with these parameters, so you need to be able to keep the levels elevated while also maintaining as much stability as possible. This often requires experience and knowledge with calcium reactors, dosing, kalkwasser, or all of the above.
As for nutrient levels, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some will recommend ultra-low nutrient levels as close to 0 as possible. Others will say you can have nitrates up to 10 ppm. A good range to shoot for is 1-5 ppm of nitrates and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. This is not a rule, but just a guideline. Regarding temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Lastly, let’s talk about feeding Acropora. Despite being regarded as photosynthetic, Acropora can benefit from both spot feeding and broadcast feeding. It is important to ensure that the food is small enough for the polyps to consume and to feed in moderation. Feeding too much can cause nutrient spikes. You can also dose phytoplankton and amino acids if you want a method that will please your corals without causing nutrient spikes.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
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
Aquacultured corals such as this Skinny Miami Acropora from ORA are better adapted to aquarium life and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from the ocean. They are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases. On top of all that, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.