Acropora are found all over the Indo-Pacific. In fact, they are one of the most common corals found on the reef and are essential for reef building. Most Acropora in the hobby come from the Indo-Pacific, but there is Acropora found off the coast of all but one of the continents. The Acropora frags sold here are aquaculture by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, these corals are grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to hobbyists such as yourself. There are many benefits that come with aquacultured corals, which we will discuss later. Acropora are considered difficult to keep corals. Despite this, many hobbyists keep them with fantastic success. In case you are unfamiliar with keeping Acropora, let’s go over the basic care requirements. To start, we’ll go over lighting. Acropora are notorious for needing intense lighting. Generally, you should provide Acropora with 200-300 micromoles of PAR, though some species benefit from even higher lighting. Lighting is essential because it plays a huge role in determining the coloration and vibrancy of an Acropora. Regardless of where you end up putting your Purple Acropora, you need to acclimate it to the light first by starting it in lower light and gradually moving it into higher light during a month or even a few months. Next, let’s talk about flow. Acropora need very strong flow. It would take a lot to provide too much flow, if it is even possible with most of the equipment available to the hobby. Water movement keeps Acropora clean while also providing access to nutrients and base elements. Ideally, the flow should be irregular and random to avoid dead spots and to promote proper growth. Possibly the most intimidating aspect of keeping Acropora is water chemistry. Acropora require high levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium with as little fluctuation as possible. What makes this difficult is that it can’t easily be adjusted and it often requires careful application of a dosing system, calcium reactor, kalkwasser, or a combination of those methods. Regarding other parameters, keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. You should aim to keep your nitrates around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. Finally, let’s talk about feeding Acropora. Because they contain photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, Acropora do not require feeding. However, feeding can promote faster growth and better coloration. If you want to feed your Acropora make sure the food particle size is small enough, and don’t overdo it. It’s better not to feed at all than to feed too much. You can also dose or spot feed phytoplankton if you want a method that is great for feeding coral without causing nutrient spikes.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its flow and lighting needs are met.
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
Because this coral is aquacultured, it is better adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry. Aquacultured corals such as this Micronesian Purple Acropora from ORA are also overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. These coral are much more likely to survive and flourish in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine to be safe. If that isn’t enough, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly!