Acropora are one of the most common corals in the ocean. They are found worldwide but are most abundant in the Indo-Pacific. This particular Acropora is maricultured by ORA in the Marshall Islands. Instead of being collected from fragile reefs, this coral is grown in aquariums on land or in controlled areas offshore, separate from natural reefs. Maricultured corals come with several benefits that we will discuss later.
The Pink & Green Acropora has a green base with pink corallites. The corallites extend far from the base, forming points. Keep in mind that your frag may look different from the picture. Acropora colors change depending on lighting conditions and water quality. The pink coloration will be more prominent under more intense light, while more moderate lighting will highlight the green coloration.
Acropora require intense lighting. If you use an LED fixture, you must use full spectrum lighting to bring out the best color. Acropora generally do best under 200-300 micromoles of PAR, but they can be acclimated to even higher light. Speaking of acclimation, before placing your Acropora frag under high light, you need to adjust it first. Please do this by starting the coral in more moderate light and gradually moving it into higher light. Acclimation takes time and patience, but the reduced risk of bleaching and color loss is well worth it. Some LED light fixtures allow you to set an acclimation period that gradually increases the lighting intensity automatically.
Acropora also require strong flow. Flow is important because it keeps the coral clean while providing nutrients and essential elements. Moderate flow is acceptable while the coral is small, but you will need to provide more as it grows into a proper colony. The flow should be irregular and random to promote proper growth and avoid dead spots.
Acropora need elevated calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium levels that are also stable. When you have many fast-growing corals, such as Acropora, you must supplement these levels using a calcium reactor, two-part dosing, or kalkwasser. These methods work great, but take extra caution to avoid overdosing. Dosing too much can cause large swings in your parameters, which are especially harmful to Acropora.
Aim for nitrates around 1-5 ppm and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. While this is a safe range, many hobbyists have had success outside of this range. So, please don’t take it as law. For temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Although Acropora do not need feeding because they are considered photosynthetic, they can benefit from feeding. The key to feeding Acropora is small foods. Mysis shrimp is out of the question, even if it is cut up small. It is best to provide copepods or other zooplankton instead. If you feed powdered foods, be sure to practice moderation. Too much feeding can result in nutrient spikes. Alternatively, you can dose live phytoplankton and amino acids. This method works great for feeding your corals without causing nutrient spikes. Periodically adding copepods to your system helps to feed your corals too!
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere if you meet its lighting and flow needs.
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
Benefits of Aquacultured
Aquacultured corals are hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping than coral collected from actual reefs. They are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly.