Acroporas are a small polyped stony (SPS) coral genus in the Acroporidae family, commonly known as staghorn, elkhorn or cluster corals. They are highly valued by experienced aquarists because of their fast growth rate and impressive range of shapes and color. Acroporas are found in vibrant hues that can dramatically change when their environment is altered. Multiple growth forms exist including branching, tabling, or plating with bushy, cluster or delicate finger formations. The Acropora “tip” polyps form new pale or white growth before zooxanthellae algae color appears. Acropora aspera, or staghorn, is a branching coral with thick or low clumps.
Acropora are ocean’s most important reef builders with species found primarily in the Pacific ocean in shallow upper reefs where the light is bright and current is strong. They are subject to numerous management efforts around the world as many species are threatened due to the rise in ocean temperatures and damage from human interaction. Cultured species are readily available and are promoted as a sustainable option for aquariums.
Growing Acropora requires more precision than other corals - a stable aquarium environment is a must with high lighting and water flow. Supplemental feeding of phyto and zooplankton is beneficial to ensure adequate nutrition.
This Acropora echinata comes from ORA's sustainable aquaculture farm in Fort Pierce, Florida. The short branching "Hawkins Blue" coral is very delicate and comes in a variety of blue hues from turquoise to aquamarine. Under intense lighting, the tips of this coral can turn ultraviolet purple giving it a bold coloration effect.
CARE LEVEL: Difficult
LIGHTING: High Light
WATERFLOW: Strong Flow
TANK POSITION: Top of Tank