Species group: Corals and Polyps
Other common names: Antler coral, Staghorn coral, Branching coral, Table coral
Scientific name: Acropora sp.
“Acro” is a common beginner’s small polyp stony (SPS) coral , with vigorous growth and a relatively hardy constitution. There are a large number of sub-species at more than 350, and they are common in reefs over the Indo-Pacific. They come in a variety of striking colours and are one of the most widely available SPS corals. You must ensure you have a proper setup before you attempt any SPS or LPS corals as they are a lot harder to keep than other livestock.
SPS corals need the highest output lighting like metal halides.It is important to have good water flow as this is how the coral eats and breathes. The biggest risks to your Acro coral’s health are rapid tissue necrosis, where the coral polyps will die off, caused by low water flow letting debris settle on the coral and poor water quality. Supplementing Acroporas with coral foods a couple times a week yeilds the best growth and health.
Keeping the water free of phosphates and nitrates, and monitoring the pH and calcium levels (430 - 480 ppm) is the key to successfully keeping SPS corals such as the Acro.
Acros come in a wide variety of colors and have a branching growth pattern to them. Under high light the branches will be tightly packed and close together. Under moderate light the branches will be long and spread out as the coral attempts to get closer to the light.
1 inch - 12+ inches
Acropora corals vary in aggressiveness from mildy aggressive to aggressive. Most Acropora have short polyps that won't harm other corals and leave them vulnerable to attack, while some like the "Green Slimer" produces a thick slimey mucous to protect itself and ward off encrouching corals.
Acros need very high lighting no matter the size of tank they are in. Given thier moderate growth rate they need a minimum of 20 gallons to allow branch growth. They also need high flow for optimum health.
1.024 - 1.028 SG
dedicated SPS tank, coral polyps, advanced aquarist, coral structure
constant water conditions, tank parameters, strangled growth pattern, high light needs, beginner, stress
high quality lights, metal halides
Very intense, uses a lot of energy
Metal halides were the go-to lighting fixtures in reef-keeping. They are very bright but give off a lot of heat and require a big ballast to start up. I've had over 15 reef tanks that used MH bulbs. Some aquarists with really deep reef tanks use them but most hobbyists go with modern LED reef lighting. You have to replace them every year because the light quality (spectrum) declines over time. Reef LED fixtures provide enough intensity and the right color spectrum for stony corals. LED lighting uses a fraction of the energy and runs much cooler..
From James 540 days ago