Acropora are one of the most common coral found in the ocean. They are essential for reef building and providing a habitat for a huge array of organisms. Acropora are found all over the world but are mostly found in the Indo-Pacific. This particular strain of Acropora is maricultured by ORA in the Marshall Islands. This comes with several benefits that we will discuss later.
Acropora are also one of the most popular corals in the aquarium hobby. However, this is not a beginner friendly coral. While a beginner could keep Acropora successfully, it will likely result in the beginner feeling frustrated and discouraged. In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Acropora, we’ll go over the basic care requirements to help you decide if this coral is right for you.
To start, let’s talk about lighting. Acropora require strong lighting to display the best coloration. This coral can change its coloration depending on the lighting conditions. Under less intense lighting, the coral may appear dull. It is recommended that you provide Acropora around 200-300 micromoles of PAR. However, you can provide more light if you are experienced with keeping this coral. It is incredibly important to acclimate your Acropora before placing it under high light. Do this by starting the coral in a dimmer spot in the aquarium and gradually moving it up into higher light. This process should take months. Certain lighting fixtures make this easier by allowing you to set an acclimation schedule.
Next, let’s talk about flow. Acropora require strong flow. Moderate flow might be acceptable when the coral is smaller, but as it grows, it will need stronger flow. Water movement is important because it keeps the coral clean while providing it with needed nutrients and calcifying elements. Hypothetically, it is possible to provide Acropora with too much flow, but you are much more likely to provide too little flow than too much.
Acropora can benefit from feeding as long as it is done in moderation and the food particle size is small enough. Feeding too much can cause nutrient spikes, which is counterproductive. A safe way to feed your corals is by dosing live phytoplankton and amino acids. While feeding can promote better coloration, faster growth, and greater overall coral health, it is not required because of the zooxanthellae within the coral.
Moving on, let’s talk about water chemistry. Being a fast growing stony coral, Acropora require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that are also stable. If you have lots of stony corals, maintaining these levels often requires the use of a calcium reactor, dosing system, or kalkwasser. For beginners, this is likely the most difficult part. If you aren’t careful, you can easily overdose your system, causing large swings and awful reactions from your corals. Stability is essential.
As for other parameters, keep the temperature around 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0.
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 such as this Imperial Acropora are grown in controlled areas offshore, separate from real reefs. These corals tend to be hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping. They are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Do your part to decrease the impact our hobby has on the ocean by choosing maricultured and aquacultured corals, fish, and inverts.