Blue Millepora Coral (Acropora millepora) presents an illustrious cool blue exterior, making this shallow water coral unique and highly sought after.
The Acropora Coral (Acropora suharsonoi) is a genus of small polyp stony coral found within the phylum Cnidaria family. Some of its most popular varieties of this coral include; the Table Coral, Elkhorn Coral, and Staghorn Coral. The number of different Acropora Coral species is debatable, some experts put the number as low as 149 unique species, while others put the number as high as 350 unique species. These corals are ones that are the most responsible for building the immense calcium carbonate substructure that supports the thin living skin of a reef.
Depending on the species and location, the Acropora Coral can grow as plates, slender or broad branches. Like other corals, Acropora Corals are colonies of individual polyps, which are roughly 2 mm across and share some tissue, as well as a nerve network. The polyps can withdraw back into the coral in response to movement or disturbance by potential predators, but when uninterrupted, they protrude slightly. The polyps usually extend further at night to help capture plankton and organic matter from the water.
The Acropora Coral is common in shallow reef environments; favor bright light, and a moderate to high water motion. Many small reef fishes live near their colonies and retreat into the thicket of branches if threatened. Therefore you might find your tropical fish very at ease sharing a tank with its natural ally.
Most species of Acropora Corals are brown or green, but a few are a dazzling colored, and those rare corals are prized by coral enthusiasts. Captive proliferations of these corals are widespread in the reef-keeping community. Given the right conditions, many Acropora Corals grow quickly, and individual colonies can exceed a meter across within their natural environment. In a well-maintained reef aquarium, finger-sized fragments can grow into medicine ball-sized colonies in as little as one years time. Captive specimens of Acropora are steadily undergoing changes due to evolutionary selection, which enable them to thrive in the home aquarium. In some cases, fragments of captive specimens are used to repopulate barren reefs in the wild, making them the ideal species to regenerate dying ecosystems.
Once this coral has started growing it will require a slow water flow and will require an increase of water flow as their density increases. This is where variable pumps like the Tunze streams come into their own as using this controller options you can get the pumps to pulse between 30-100%, allowing an output to increase as the stock density increases. It is extremely important that you provide your Acropora Coral a high level of water flow, otherwise these corals will be susceptible to infections, caused by the inability of the more dense centre's to build up waste this can become a breeding ground for bacteria leading to various disease problems. The Acropora Corals are also very vulnerable to certain species of coral-eating flatworms, nudibranches, and tiny crustaceans called red bugs.
Virtually all Acropora Coral species are native to central Indo-Pacific and in south central Indonesia region of Bali and can be found all along the lower reef slopes and submerged walls. The genus Acropora is one of the most species-rich of stony coral genera.
These corals have relatively small polyps which equates them being a very poor aquatic predator. They can only consume prey that is extremely small, particle size small. For example, oyster eggs, with a particle size of about 50µ, are a good food source for this species. And in a well fed tank with a variety of food, additional feeding might not be necessary.
It is also important to note that most of these amazing aquacultured corals are fragmented from corals that have been raised in captivity for at least 3 or 4 generations. This makes these harvested corals hardier than their wild variety cousins. Being fully encrusted, allows them to ship better with less stress when compared to newly fragmented and fragile counterparts.
Ideally, the average Acropora species will thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, ranging from power compacts, VHO, T-5's up to the more intense metal halides lighting. Altering their placement within the aquarium is depended on the lighting positioned in the aquarium, and you must provide at least 3 watts per gallon using one of the lighting systems previously maintained.