Acropora are found all over the Indo-Pacific. In fact, they are one of the most prominent corals in the world. This particular 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 hobbyists such as yourself.
Typically, Acropora are sensitive, demanding corals that are left for experienced hobbyists. However, the Green Velvet Acropora is easier to keep than other Acropora. It is beautiful too with a rich green coloration and thick, irregular branches. The corallites are usually long and tubular, and the polyps tend to stay retracted, giving the coral a pleasant smooth appearance. Acropora are usually light demanding corals, but this particular Acropora can be placed in low to high light. You can place it in lower light, but it will likely display better coloration in higher light. If you want to place this coral in higher light, make sure to acclimate it first to avoid bleaching and color loss. Do this by starting the coral in lower light and slowly moving it into to higher light during a month or even several months. It is almost always better to provide too little light than too much.
As for flow, provide moderate to strong flow. It would take a lot to give this coral too much flow. You are much more likely to provide too little flow than too much. However, it is best that the flow is irregular and random to avoid dead spots and to promote proper growth. Water flow is important because it prevents detritus buildup, and it gives the coral access to needed nutrients and elements.
It is important to maintain consistent levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium to keep your Acropora healthy. Rapid fluctuations with these levels can devastate this coral. Keep the nitrates at 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 as possible but not 0. This will ensure there are enough nutrients to keep the coral healthy without risking lots of algae growth or causing direct problems to the coral.
Acropora are considered photosynthetic. The coral itself isn’t photosynthetic but the algae, called zooxanthellae, within it is. This algae provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs, but you can still feed your Acropora for better coloration and faster growth. Make sure the food particle size is small enough for the polyps to consume and make sure not to overdo it. As an alternative to prepared coral foods that won’t cause your nutrient levels to go up, you can feed phytoplankton.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere in your aquarium as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
Lighting: Low 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
Because this coral is aquacultured by ORA, it is better adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry, and it is overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. Aquacultured corals are much more likely to survive and flourish in your aquarium. Along with that, they are far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. On top of all that, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.