Acropora are found in several regions in the Indo-Pacific. In fact, they are one of the most common corals found in the ocean and are essential for reef building. These particular frags of Acropora 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. The Yellow Tip Stag Acropora is mostly a rich, emerald green with cream-yellow growth tips and purple-blue polyps on the tips. The exact coloration can vary greatly depending on aquarium conditions. This is a branching Acropora that grows out in every direction. Acropora can be intimidating for those who have little to no experience keeping them. Some hobbyists would say they are the most demanding photosynthetic corals to keep. However, many hobbyists keep them with mind-blowing results, and you can too with some knowledge.
In case you’re new to keeping acros, let’s go over some of the basics. To start, we’ll talk about lighting. Acropora are notorious for being lighting demanding corals. The quality and vibrancy of the colors greatly depends on the lighting. Acropora require medium to high light. Ideally, they should be provided with 200-300 micromoles of PAR. Some Acropora display better coloration under even more intense lighting. Nevertheless, you should start your Acropora in lower light and gradually move them into higher light to acclimate them. Doing this greatly decreases the chance of bleaching, at least where lighting is concerned. Next, let’s discuss flow. Acropora are flow loving corals. It would take a lot to give Acropora too much flow, if it is even possible with the equipment available to the hobby. You are certainly more likely to give too little flow than too much. Although, it is best that the flow is irregular and random to avoid dead spots and to promote proper growth. Being stony corals, Acropora require consistent levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. Sudden fluctuations within these levels can be devastating for Acropora, so you need to be able to keep them stable. This tends to require experience with a calcium reactor, dosing, kalkwasser, or all of these methods. Acropora also prefer relatively clean water. Nitrates of 1-5 ppm and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm but not 0 is a good range too shoot for. This is not a rule but rather a recommendation, as some hobbyists will claim they’ve had better success with lower or higher nutrient levels. Keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, let’s briefly talk about feeding. Acropora contain a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. However, Acropora can benefit from feeding as long as the food particle size is small enough and the feeding is done in moderation. You can also dose or spot feed phytoplankton as an alternative to prepared coral foods that won’t increase your nutrient levels.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere in your aquarium as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
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
Aquacultured corals such as this Yellow Tip Stag Acropora from ORA are better adapted to aquarium life and are overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. These corals are more likely to survive and flourish in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip to be safe. On top of all that, they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Do your part to decrease the hobby’s impact on the ocean while keeping your aquarium free of pests!