Acropora are often regarded as one of the most difficult corals to keep. They require lots of equipment and stable water parameters. However, many hobbyists keep them with great success. In case you are unfamiliar with Acropora and its care requirements, we’ll go over the basics here. Acropora are found all over the Indo-Pacific. In fact, they are one of the most common corals in the ocean. These particular frags are aquacultured 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 lots of benefits that come with these kinds of corals, which we will discuss below.
Acropora are notorious for their high lighting demands. These corals typically prefer 200-300 micromoles of PAR. Some can even benefit from lighter higher than that. The coloration of Acropora largely depends on the lighting. The Skyline Granulosa Acropora is mostly green with purple or blue tips. However, the coloration of Acropora can vary greatly. Some specimens will appear white with brown tips under certain lighting. Others will appear dark green. Providing enough light under the proper spectrum will ensure the best coloration. Blue lighting is best to bring out the green, blue, and purple in this coral. Regardless of where this coral ends up in your aquarium, you need to acclimate it to the light first to avoid bleaching. Do this by starting the coral low on your aquascape and slowly moving it up during a month or even several months. Just as this coral prefers high lighting, it also prefers strong flow. It would be difficult to give Acropora too much flow in an aquarium. No wave maker or power head can compare to the water movement found where these corals originate from. Make sure the flow is irregular and random to avoid dead spots and to promote proper growth.
Acropora require pristine water chemistry. “Pristine” means close to parameters found in the ocean and stable. Keep a close eye on your calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium, and make sure those levels don’t fluctuate even a moderate amount. Your temperature should be between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep your nitrates at 1-5 ppm and your phosphates just barely detectable but not 0. Regarding feeding, Acropora can be fed and benefit from feeding as long as the food particle size is small enough for the polyps. Feeding can promote better coloration and faster growth, however is not required. Acropora contain a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. You can dose or spot feed phytoplankton instead of using prepared corals food if you want a method that will feed your corals without causing an increase in nutrient levels.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top.
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 by ORA, it is better adapted to aquarium life and is overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. Aquacultured corals are much more likely to survive and do well in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pests or diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. On top of all that, they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly!
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