The Purple Plasma Acropora is most known for having a purple base and green polyps and corallites. However, as with most Acropora, the color can change greatly from tank to tank. Don’t be surprised if yours looks different. Some specimens will have a more reddish base with yellow polyps and corallites. Others will have little green or be fully green. When happy, this coral will extend out its polyps, giving it that “shaggy” acro look. It grows long, thin branches with white or ice blue growth tips.
Acropora are one of the most common, if not the most common coral found in the ocean. They are mostly found in the Indo-Pacific, but some species can be found in other parts of the world as well. The Purple Plasma Acropora is aquacultured by ORA. These corals are grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to hobbyists such as yourself, which comes with benefits we will talk about later.
Acropora are usually only recommended for well-established tanks and experienced hobbyists. Whether that applies to you or not, here we’ll go over the basics of keeping Acropora in case you’re new.
To start, let’s talk about lighting. Having proper lighting is crucial for keeping Acropora. The type of light and the output intensity greatly determines the coloration of the coral. Acropora prefer strong, full spectrum lighting. Ideally, you should give this coral 200-300 micromoles of PAR. Some hobbyists give their Acropora even stronger light, but that should only be done with care and knowing there is risk involved. Giving corals too much light too fast is one of the best ways to quickly bleach and kill them. For this reason, you should start your frags in dimmer light and gradually move them into higher light. It is almost always better to give corals too little light than too much. Acropora can take months and months to have their colors come back after bleaching, so be careful!
Next, let’s discuss flow. Acropora require strong, intense flow. If you can only provide moderate flow, that is sometimes okay when the coral is small. As the frag develops into a colony, it will need more flow. To avoid dead spots and promote proper growth, you should make the flow irregular and random if possible. Water movement is important because it gives the coral access to needed nutrients and base elements while keeping it clean.
One of the most intimidating aspects and easiest thing to get wrong with keeping Acropora is water chemistry. Stony corals use elements in the water to build their skeletons. These elements need to be replenished to allow the coral to grow and be healthy. If you only have a few small stony corals, this can be done with water changes. With lots of stony corals, you will need to replenish your calcium, alkalinity, and sometimes your magnesium frequently. This can be done with a calcium reactor, dosing, or kalkwasser, but these methods require knowledge and experience. Large fluctuations with these levels, up or down, can be detrimental for Acropora.
For other parameters, keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Farhenheit and stable. Keep your nitrates at 1-5 ppm and your phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0.
Lastly, let’s talk about feeding. Acropora can greatly benefit from feeding as long as the food particle size is small enough. If you are going to feed dry or frozen foods, do so in moderation as these foods can cause harmful nutrient spikes. Alternatively, you can dose amino acids and live phytoplankton, which will feed your corals just as well (if not better) without causing nutrient spikes.
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
Aquacultured corals such as this Purple Plasma Acropora from ORA are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. These corals are also better adapted to aquarium life and far less likely to carry pests or disease. However, you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe!
There are no reviews yet.