The Pearlberry Acropora has delicate, slender branches with pronounced corallites, giving it a pleasant bumpy texture. The branches are a pearlescent green with rich purple tips and deep green corallites and polyps. However, the exact coloration can vary a lot from tank to tank. Don’t be surprised if your frag doesn’t look exactly like the picture.
Acropora are one of the most well-loved corals in the hobby. Reefers love them for their color, fast growth, and the challenge that comes with them. Keep Acropora alive is not easy, but getting them to display the best coloration is something else. It’s a challenge that many hobbyists find extremely addicting. Acropora are one of the most common corals in the ocean, mostly found in the Indo-Pacific but also found in other regions of the world as well. This particular Acropora is aquacultured by ORA, which comes with benefits that will be discussed below.
In case you’re new or unfamiliar with keeping Acropora, we’ll go over the basic care requirements.
To start, let’s talk about lighting. Acropora are one of the most light loving corals. Most species do best under 200-300 micromoles of PAR, though some benefit from even higher lighting. It is important to provide quality, full-spectrum lighting to encourage the best coloration. This can be achieved with T-5s, high-quality LED lights, and metal halides, if that’s your thing. It is crucial that you acclimate your coral to intense light to reduce the risk of bleaching. Start the coral in dimmer light and gradually move it into higher light. You don’t want to lose the amazing colors of this coral!
Moving on, let’s discuss flow. Acropora require strong water movement. This is important because it keeps the coral clean while also giving it access to needed nutrients and base elements. It would take a lot to give this coral too much flow, more than what most common aquarium equipment can provide. Ideally, the flow should be irregular and random to avoid dead spots and to promote proper growth.
Acropora are fast growing corals, and because of this they consume a lot of base elements. It is important that you can maintain elevated and stable levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. This often requires a calcium reactor, dosing, or kalkwasser, which take experience and knowledge to use properly. Large fluctuations can be devastating for Acropora.
For nutrient levels, keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. This is not a strict range but instead just a general guideline. Keep the temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Finally, let’s discuss feeding. Acropora, like most corals, receive most of their nutritional needs via the zooxanthellae within them. However, Acropora greatly benefit from feeding, both spot feeding and broadcasting feeding. If you want to feed powdered or frozen corals foods, make sure that the food particle size is small enough and do not over do it. Feeding live phytoplankton and amino acids will always be appreciated by all of your corals.
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 Pearlberry Acropora from ORA or more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They are also better adapted to aquarium life and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from the ocean. Along with that, these corals are far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe.