Although Acropora are found all over the Indo-Pacific and in other regions of the world, the Purple & Green Acro is maricultured by ORA. Instead of being taken from real reefs, these corals are grown in aquariums or offshore in controlled areas separate from real reefs. This comes with benefits that we will discuss later.
The Purple & Green Acro has a dark green base with violet or royal blue growth tips and emerald green polyps. Of course, the coloration can vary depending on the specific conditions of your aquarium. Part of the fun of Acropora is getting them to display the ideal coloration.
In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Acropora, let’s go over the basic care requirements to help you determine if this coral is right for you. Acropora are not beginner friendly corals. They are best for people that have been in the hobby for a bit and have had success growing other corals. That’s not to say it’s impossible for beginners to keep Acropora successfully, but the sensitivity and difficulty of the coral may make a beginner feel discouraged.
Acropora require high lighting. Medium lighting is acceptable, but the coloration will likely be mediocre. It is best to provide Acropora with 200-300 micromoles of PAR. This will allow the coral to display brighter coloration and grow faster. When you first add this coral to your aquarium, start it in dimmer light, and gradually move it to the ideal placement over a month or two. This acclimation process is vital for preventing bleaching and color loss.
Moving on, let’s talk about flow next. Acropora are flow loving corals. In most cases, the more flow the better. Water movement is especially important for densely growing Acropora such as this Purple & Green Acro because detritus gets easily trapped among the branches. Without enough flow, the coral may buildup waste, resulting in die-off and potentially the collapse of the whole colony. Water movement is also important because it provides the coral with needed nutrients and base elements. Not enough flow could potentially starve the coral.
Speaking of base elements, Acropora are particularly sensitive to unstable water chemistry. Keeping fast growing SPS corals often requires the use of a calcium reactor, dosing system, or kalkwasser, all of which are methods that need experience and knowledge to be used correctly. Improper use of these methods can cause catastrophic fluctuations. Keeping Acropora requires the utmost stable levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.
Next let’s talk about feeding. Acropora rely on their zooxanthellae for most of their nutritional needs. However, they can benefit from additional feeding as long as the food particles are small enough for the polyps to consume. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much feeding can cause dangerous nutrient spikes. Alternatively, you can feed live phytoplankton and amino acids if you want something that won’t dirty up your water.
What nutrient levels should you be aiming for? There’s no specific number because it depends on how your aquarium is set up and what you are keeping in your aquarium. However, a safe range to shoot for is 1-5 ppm of nitrates and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible. This is just a recommendation, as hobbyists have had great success with much lower and much higher levels.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top.
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
Because this coral is maricultured, it is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than corals collected from real reefs. It is also overall hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping. Mariculture is great because it offers these benefits while also providing jobs for locals of the Marshall Islands.