Acropora are one of the most common corals found in the ocean. They are found mostly in the Indo-Pacific. The Miami Orchid Acropora, on the other hand, is aquacultured by ORA. This means that instead of being collected from the ocean, this coral is grown in aquariums. Aquacultured corals have lots of benefits that we will discuss below.
The Miami Orchid is a staghorn Acropora, which means it grows long branches that taper towards the end. This acro has a tan and brown base that turns magenta at the tips of the branches. Despite being common in the ocean, Acropora are one of the most difficult coral to keep in an aquariums, but many hobbyists keep them with great success. Let’s go over some basic care requirements just in case you need some knowledge to get you started. Acropora are light loving coral. Unlike many LPS which typically prefer low light, Acropora require high light. We’re talking the 200-300 micromoles of PAR range. Some Acropora benefit from even higher lighting. For this reason, this coral should be placed high on your aquascape. Before you put it at the top of your aquascape, you need to acclimate it to the light first. Do this by starting the coral low and moving it up gradually. Do this over a long period to avoid bleaching. This coral also prefers strong flow. It is possible to give too much flow, but it would take a lot. You are much more likely to give too little flow than too much. It is best that the flow is irregular and random.
Along with intense lighting and strong flow, Acropora also require stable water chemistry. You need to be able to maintain elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium to keep this coral successfully. Sudden decreases or increases in these levels can be bad news for this coral. As for your other parameters, 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. Acropora can benefit from feeding, though they do not need to be fed. Acropora, like most common aquariums corals, contain an algae called zooxanthellae which provides the coral with most of nutritional needs via photosynthesis. However, if you want to feed this coral, make sure the food particle size is small enough for the polyps to consume. You can dose phytoplankton instead if you want something to feed your corals without making your water dirty. Feeding can encourage better coloration and faster growth.
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, why should you buy aquacultured coral over those collected from the wild? Well, because aquacultured corals are grown in aquariums, they are well adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry. They are also overall hardier. This means that aquacultured corals have a much higher chance to survive and do well in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip them just in case. What’s more is that they are more sustainable, making our hobby more environmentally friendly.