The Raspberry Acropora starts in a sort of ball or clump shape but develops a tabling from as it grows. It has smooth, dense growing branches with minimal amounts of polyps extension. The exact coloration depends on lighting and water quality, but this coral tends to have a delicate, almost creamy, purple and pink coloration under higher light with more moderate lighting bringing out a rich green coloration.
Acropora are most commonly found in the Indo-Pacific, though they can be found in several other regions in the world as well. They are one of the most common coral found on reefs and are essential for reef building and providing habitats for a wide variety of marine fauna. The Raspberry Acropora Granulosa is maricultured by ORA in the Marshall Islands. Instead of being collected from real reefs, this coral is grown in aquariums or offshore in controlled area separate from real reefs. This comes with benefits that will be discussed below.
Acropora can be intimidating to keep if you’ve never kept them before. In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping this coral, let’s go over the basic care requirements. To start, let’s discuss lighting. Acropora require intense lighting around 200-300 micromoles of PAR, or even higher for certain species. To avoid bleaching, start this coral in low or medium light and slowly move it into higher light during a month or a few months.
Acropora require strong, irregular flow to keep them happy. It would take a lot to give Acropora too much flow, if it’s even possible with common aquarium equipment, so keep that in mind. If you can only provide moderate flow, that is okay as long as it is still on the strong side. Flow is important because it keeps the coral clean and provides it with needed nutrients and base elements.
Speaking of base elements, you need to be able to maintain elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. Acropora are sensitive to large and frequent fluctuations, so keep these levels as stable as possible. Keeping lots of stony corals, especially fast growing ones such as Acropora usually requires implementation of a calcium reactor, kalkwasser, or dosing. It requires experience or at least a deep understanding of these methods to use them without causing large swings.
Hobbyists will disagree about the ideal nutrient levels for Acropora. Some will say ultra nutrient levels are a must, while others say Acropora handle nitrate levels up to 10 ppm. Unfortunately, it’s not a one-solution-fits-all sort of thing. However, a good in-between would be 1-5 ppm of nitrates and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. As for temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Lastly, let’s discuss feeding. Acropora, like most corals, contain zooxanthellae, which is an algae that provides corals with their nutritional needs via photosynthesis. However, Acropora can benefit from feeding, as long as it is done in moderation. Spot feeding or just dosing phytoplankton is great because it feeds the coral without causing nutrient spikes.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
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
Maricultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Choosing maricultured and aquacultured corals, fish, and inverts is vital to decrease the impact the hobby has on the ocean. Avoiding further negative impact on the ocean and Earth as a whole is incredibly important. In case that isn’t a good selling point for you (though it mostly certainly should be), maricultured corals are also better able to handle the stress of shipping and better able to adapt to aquarium life. They are also overall hardier than corals collected from real reefs.