Acropora Coral Care Tips
What's up everyone welcome back to another tidal, Gardens coral, spotlight. This. Video is all. About Acropora. Acropora. Or what many consider, to be the king of SPS. Corals, they. Are some of the most challenging stony, corals to keep however. There. Is good news for hobbyists. Looking, to, try Acropora for the first time. There's. More information, and technology, available today than, ever, before some. Of which we will cover right, now alright. Let's dive in. Acropora. Are a genus. Of small polyps stony corals found, in reefs throughout the world they. Grow branching, colonies, that take on a variety of forms, ranging from stag horns, elk, horns or even flat tables. Acropora. Are one of the primary reef building corals and are, responsible, for a large percentage, of a, reefs calcium, carbonate, structure. As. Far as the hobby is concerned, there, is little doubt that Acropora, or the crown jewel of the sps world, no. Other genus. Captivates. The imagination of. Hobbyists quite, like these fuzzy sticks, people. Dedicate, entire, aquarium, builds, just to grow this coral as the. Quote-unquote, Acropora, dominated, SPS, tank has, become, an aspirational. Goal for many aquarists, no. Other genus, has the sheer number, of documented. Species as Acropora and when. Refik, wears talked about, the requirements. To keep an SPS, system generally. They're. Really, only talking, about the care requirements, specific. To Acropora, if you, don't believe me there. Are plenty, of SPS, that, are not that much more difficult to heat than any other stony coral such as saryati. Pora pasa. La pora, stylophora. Pomona. Even. Montipora, but. Difficulty. Associated with keeping SPS. Is, largely, descriptive. Of the care requirements, for acropora, and that, gets projected onto, all the, other SPS, corals, that. Illustrates, the gravity, that, this particular genus, of coral has you. Would never hear anyone look, at the care requirements, for say pavana. And, blanket. The rest of the SPS, world with it but, that's exactly what happens with Acropora. So. Let's take, a look at what, makes Acropora, more, difficult, to care for to. Put it simply they, are highly sensitive to changes in water chemistry and are, demanding, in terms of flow and light. Unlike. More forgiving, corals, Acropora. Demonstrate, their displeasure in one of two ways, they. Either change, color to something unappealing. In the mild cases or they, outright, die right before your eyes in, the severe cases. Many. Experienced, hobbyists, have struggled, keeping, Acropora long term but. That ironically. Is part of the attraction to this coral, now. Taking, on new challenges and, improving. One's husbandry, is a good thing in this hobby and, successfully. Keeping Acropora serves, as a nice high bar of success. What. Is it about Acropora, that, captivates, hobbyists. For. Many refocused, s-- an SPS. Dominated, tank full of Acropora, is love, at first sight. Although. The SPS, tank often, lacks the mesmerizing. Movement, of other types of reefs filled with youth Illya or. Anemones, they, are beautiful, in their own right the. Acropora, dominated, tank is a bright, explosion. Of color where, each nook and cranny is its, own fireworks, show, Acropora. Come in every, color imaginable and, their, color palette. Is highly, variable a. Colony. Grown in one system can change color dramatically. When moved to another system I occasionally. Visit, friends that had purchased an Acropora from me and I'm, amazed at how much it's changed in their aquariums, it's. Completely. Unrecognizable. From its time in my possession this. Is especially, true if, they're doing something completely different in their system, such, as running an ultra-low nutrient, methodology, for example, the. Color variability. Of Acropora, also. Feeds that desire for a challenge, with. These corals, it's, not good, enough to just have them survive and grow but. Also to express. The most aesthetically, pleasing colors. The. Lengths, that experienced, SPS, keepers will go to to, have ultimate coloration. Is staggering. Although. They don't look it Acropora. Are an aggressive coral, they.
Don't Have stinging, sweeper, tentacles, or. Engage. In chemical, warfare but. They pack a powerful sting. Especially. To nearby SPS. When. Two Acropora touch winners. And losers are determined, really quickly one, of the most frustrating things to have happen in an SPS dominated, tank is, to have one colony, to get dislodged and fall. Into another colony, below, even. If you catch it quickly, there, can be insane, amounts of damage in just that short interaction. If. The fall wasn't caught until the next day it's. Possible, that both colonies, could die, sometimes. It. Doesn't even require one, coral. Into, another, Acropora. Grow quickly and two. Colonies, can grow, in close proximity to one another I personally. Have been lulled, into this false sense of security until, one, day their two colonies, get a tiny bit too close to one another and they wake up to two colonies, that are half exposed skeleton. When. Thinking of placement, think. Ahead and give them plenty of room to grow. Now. That we've covered some background, information on, Acropora, let's. Talk about their care requirements. The. Challenge, of keeping Acropora, is tied, to their high demands, for lighting water. Flow and pristine. Water, chemistry. The. Challenge, is compounded. By their, need for incredible. Stability, of those, three parameters on. The. Surface, it sounds simple but those, that have successfully. Kept Acropora, understand. The underlying difficulty. All. These things lighting, flow, and proper. Chemical, levels or a moving, target a fast-growing. SPS, reef is dynamic. In nature the. Lighting, a coral receives. Increases. For the parts of the colony, that extends. Upwards, towards the light while simultaneously. Shading. Parts of its own structure, and all, the corals unfortunate, enough to be below it flow. Changes, as colonies. Grow densely, packed branches. And stifle, what was once strong water movement, through the aquascape. Lastly. Chemistry. Changes as, the uptake of major and minor elements. Accelerates. Geometrically. In, extremely. Packed, SPS, tanks it's, common, for hobbyists, to have to incorporate several. Methods, of calcium. And alkalinity addition. Because the growth of the corals outpaced. The ability, of any single method, to maintain desired levels, if. Their, requirements, are not met a perfectly. Healthy colony, of Acropora today, might. Become a pristine white skeleton, tomorrow. Let's. Go over each of these parameters in turn. Most. Coral, on the reef are, photosynthetic, and have some demand for light like. Many corals, Acropora. Have a special, symbiotic, relationship, with dinoflagellates. Called zooxanthellae that. Live inside its tissue the. Dinoflagellates. Are actually, the photosynthetic, organism, and the, coral animal derives.
Nutrients, Off of, the byproducts. Of the, dinoflagellates. As photosynthetic. Process. Zooxanthellae. Is, usually, brown in color and the. Coral, tightly. Regulates, the population. That's living in its flesh too. Little light will, cause the coral to turn brown in color as it, seeks more nutrition, the, coral allows more Zoe's entity, to build up in its flesh too. Much light and Acropora. Will expel, more, of those and belly and caused and unhealthy, bleaching, appearance, hobbyists. Looking to find that just, right, color. Play. With both lighting, intensity, and spectrum, over, their tank. There. Is a misconception reef, keeping, that all corals, require highlighting, in fact. Very, few corals. Need high-intensity, lighting and in many cases problems. Arise when there's too much light not, too little. Acropora. However, are one, of the few types of corals that are truly, light loving, in. Our systems Acropora have fared best when, given light intensity, around 300. Par however. There. Are plenty of successful systems, with lighting intensity is higher than 500. Par. Now. Having said that I don't recommend blasting. A newly added Acropora, with a ton of light right away more. Damage is caused by overexposure. To light intensity, than, not providing, enough light so take a couple of weeks to allow the coral to adjust to lighting conditions in your tank as. For. Lighting technology. There's. No consensus, within the reef aquarium community, as to which lighting, technology, is best for growth and coloration, of Acropora. The, two most popular, lighting technologies, today are LED. And t5. Fluorescent, however. Some, old school reef keepers swear, by metal halide lights, now. Each type, of light has its positives, and negatives, first. Let's, talk about LED. LED. Light is the newest technology whose. Strong points, include energy efficiency. Relatively. Low heat emission, long. Life with little to no bulb, replacements. And, ultimate. Controllability. LED. Light especially, towards. The blue spectrum does, an amazing, job of displaying, a coral fluorescence, no. Other form of light captures, the color or, intensity. Of the fluorescent, proteins, in the corals. When. LEDs, first, entered, the mainstream there, were questions of their viability for growing, corals, and achieving. Comparable. Coloration, compared to the existing lighting technologies. Initial. Experiences. Were, mixed. To say the least and many, early adopters, ended up switching back to their original lighting, systems, at. The time the. Lighting, spectrum, of LEDs were not as robust, as metal halide or t5, fluorescent lighting, and many. Of the fixtures struggled. To adequately, diffuse, the light emitting, from, the LEDs themselves. Early. Models, of LED, fixtures, produced, a highly. Liked, directional. Spotlight.
Appearance. What. Would happen is the. Tops of the colony, would, receive light and grow but. A harsh shadow would be cast on the portions, of the colony, that did not get hit by that directional, light that. Harsh shadow was basically, zero. Light and that, dark part of the colony would struggle and then eventually die off. Today. LED. Technology has, come a long way, in terms of both the lighting spectrum, and diffusion. Making. It a very attractive choice, given, as other advantages. Lighting. Spectrum, was solved to some degree by, the introduction, of different colored LEDs. Diffusion. Was, handled by a change, in the optics around each LED as well, as some lighting fixtures offering. An optional. Diffuser, plate to, further scatter, the light before it hits the water due. To these recent improvements. Not, only, are many Aquarius reporting, good growth of Acropora the, coloration, is outstanding. Still. There. Are some holdouts in the SPS community, that, swear, by fluorescent. Or metal, halide bulbs so. Let's talk about those, starting, with t5, s. T5. Fluorescent bulbs. Are thin. Glass tubes that produce a very robust, light spectrum, that colors up corals very nicely, there. Are a lot of bulb choices, available which, can give your tank pretty much any kind, of aesthetic. Variation. Of light over the course of the day is done by either turning off individual, bulbs or, in some advanced, t5 fixtures, dimming. The bulbs. Lastly. Because. Of the light emitted by a t5, bulb is spread out evenly, over the length of the bulb there's, almost no trace, of shadowing. Effects that plagued point source lighting. No. Lighting, system is perfect however and t5. Fixtures have their drawbacks, first. Off the, bulb life is frustratingly. Short, they. Begin to erode both, in terms of spectrum, and intensity. Right. Around six months and by, 12 months they are a drastically, different bulb here. At the title Gardens greenhouse I run, them a lot longer than that just, because they're supplementing, the sunlight we receive well, when I do finally, get around to swapping out the bulbs the difference, is very noticeable. Acropora. Are very, sensitive, to changes in light and going, from old, underperforming. Bulbs to bright new ones might cause a shock to the system it's. Recommended, to either replace, the bulbs earlier so that drop off in intensity, it's not so pronounced, or even, implement, a staggered, bulb replacement schedule, so that not all the tubes are exchanged, all at once these, techniques, would smooth, out the shifts in light intensity, over the course of the year the. Second downside, is the lackluster energy. Efficiency, of t5 fluorescents. While, not horrible, on a per. Ball basis, they're, not as good as LED lights depending. On the number of bulbs in the fixture it can get expensive to operate for, example, if you, have an 8 bulb fixture, the. Electrical, consumption along, with the cost of bulb replacements, might, make for possibly, the most expensive, lighting upkeep, out of all of the technologies. Lastly. The, bulbs themselves are, fragile and they can break easily during, shipping especially. When you consider the longer, bulb lengths of 48, inches or 60. Inches. Finally. We get to metal halide which, I would venture to guess is the least popular, form of lighting at the hobbyist, level and, quite. Possibly the most popular. Lighting, at the commercial, level the. Positive, aspects, of metal halide are its intensity. Spectrum. And longevity, when. It comes to growing light loving corals like acropora I don't, think any other technology, does it as well metal. Halide bulbs are a point light source like LEDs but they're even more concentrated, when. Shining, down into, the tank they create a very pleasing shimmer, effect which, is almost absent under, the diffused light of t5 fluorescents. Those. Shimmer lines closely, replicate, what's seen in nature and there, was a study done several years back that indicated, corals actually, benefited, from them the. Major problem, with metal halide is energy. Consumption, in heat. Metal. Halide bulbs consume, a lot of electricity and, it's going to be noticeable on your monthly electric bill if you've installed a new metal halide fixture, the. Heat generated, by metal halide is also something that has to be dealt with in. Large, aquarium, situated, in a large room some. Well-placed cooling, fans might do the trick on smaller. Aquariums, or in tight quarters where heat builds up one, might need to install a chiller or turn, up the air-conditioning to compensate, either, way heat, management will further increase that electricity bill in terms.
Of Controllability. It's. Practically. Absent from these bulbs they, can turn on and off. In. Some ways they don't even do that all, that well because. Some, require. A cooling-off, period, before being able to turn back on there, are dimmable, metal halides but, there's, some anecdotal evidence out, there that it's not great for the bulbs and some, metal halides will, shift color as a result, choosing. A lighting system for Acropora, can be daunting but the obvious solution to deciding, on a fixture is to. Find one that has everything, hybrid. Lighting systems exist that combine either LED, and t5, or metal. Halide and t5 or metal, halide and LED there. Might even be some systems, out there that are a combination of all three that fixture, might be shockingly, expensive, so, here's a cost-saving, tip let's, say you have some LED fixture that you're happy with but, want to supplement it with t5, but. You. Don't like the look of t5, bulbs what, you could do is purchase. An inexpensive, t5, fixture, and only, run it for about four to six hours while you're away from the tank that. Way the, coral still benefit, from the light and color up nicely but. It doesn't interfere with the aesthetic, of the LEDs when you return home. Let's. Move on to the issue of water flow. Acropora. Are found, in some of the strongest, current areas of the reef and benefit. Greatly from strong, water movement, in the home aquarium, water, movement, is essential for bringing, nutrients, to coral and more, importantly, removing, waste away from them. Acropora. Even grow in patterns, to adapt, to the flow in a given area for. Example, Acropora, in very strong, flow grow. Thicker and more dense than in tanks with less flow, some. Species of Acropora might even take on a stockier. Shape with fewer long branches, in very high flow areas, the. Growth of the colony, in a relation, to flow, also. Plays a part in their nutrition, they. Might be growing in such a way to maximize, bacterial. Growth between the branches, one. Publication, that I found interesting was, from coral reef in 1989. By, Schiller and Handel, basically. They. Took a look at the interstitial, space around certain SPS. They. Looked at a few different parameters. Such as ammonia nitrite. Nitrate. Phosphorus. And bacteria. Levels between the branches on the interior, of the colony, and compared. That to the ambient, water column, what. They found was, that there were lower, concentrations. Of dissolved, organics. In the interstitial, space with. An Associated, uptick, in the concentration. Of bacteria the.
Corals, May be feeding, and bacteria directly or, indirectly, attracting. Microbe feeding zooplankton, that they then trap and consume but. It's interesting that the corals study grow in a fashion, that optimizes, flow, through the branches, to maximize, bacterial farming, opportunities. When. Trying to provide adequate, flow, there. Are two things over time that dramatically, affects the performance the. First is the growth of the colony, itself. Successfully. Growing Acropora quickly, comes with a downside, of the coral being a victim of its own success large. Colonies, cut down flow significantly, and over, time choke off flow to, other nearby colonies. Or even to the inner parts, of itself as colonies. Get larger, and larger you, important, US hobby is to pay close attention to changing, flow demands and consider, either adding, more flow or pruning. The colony. Secondly. You. May notice, that there isn't quite as much flow as you, once had when everything, was freshly installed other. Organisms. Love to, grow in and around the aquariums, pumps, and plumbing for. This reason, I recommend taking, apart pumps and power heads regularly, for servicing, it. Doesn't take very much growth or, that, many blockages to greatly. Limit water flow output. Ready. To talk about chemistry. Acropora. Are more. Sensitive, to water conditions, than most other corals, in the Hobby they. Require both clean, water and consistent. High levels of major ions, to maintain, stony, coral growth, suboptimal. Water chemistry or, even, quick changes, in water chemistry can, lead to quick colony, die-off or long. Periods of color loss as, far. As water cleanliness, goes, to, parameters, to keep low our nitrate. And phosphate, elevated. Phosphates, can, lead to poor coloration. And possible, algae issues in the tank as a whole. Nitrate. Is an, indicator, of poor water quality and, can, cause stony corals, to crash altogether, if not lowered the, natural, seawater levels, of nitrate, are between, five parts per million and 40, parts per million for, Acropora, it's best to be in the lower end of that range, phosphate. Levels should be much lower around point. Zero, one parts per million but I would caution hobbyists. That are looking to keep these two parameters as close to zero as possible. Nitrate. And phosphate are, not, bad in and of themselves. Elevated. Levels of them can cause problems, but, they are absolutely required. For biological. Processes, in corals. And cannot. Be produced through, photosynthesis. Moving. On there, are three, major, chemical, parameters that are needed by Acropora, to build up at stony skeleton, these, are calcium alkalinity. And, magnesium. The. Chemical, interaction, of these three it's, a little out of the scope of this video but I've made separate, videos covering each of these in greater detail, that I will link here's. A brief summary of all three starting, with calcium. Calcium. Is, one of the major ions, in salt water in most. Healthy, reefs the, calcium, level hovers around four hundred and twenty-five parts per million. Alkalinity. Is a little, more difficult, to explain in calcium it's, not a particular ion, but it can be thought of as the buffering. Capacity of, salt water buffering. Capacity is, the amount of acid required to lower the pH of salt water to the point, bicarbonate. Turns, into carbonic, acid, now. That sounds overly technical but in layman's terms higher. Alkalinity. Levels equate. To greater chemical, stability and our reef tanks in, practice.
Alkalinity. Tends to be the parameter that fluctuates, the most of the three and it's, the one that needs the most babysitting. In, the wild the, alkalinity, of the water is around eight to nine dkh. One. Quick note about adjusting. Calcium. And alkalinity it. Can be tricky because of how they interact, for. Example if your, reef tank has, a calcium, level of let's. Say 300 parts per million when, you desire, a value closer to 400, parts per million you could, theoretically at, a calcium, supplement to, boost it, unfortunately. Reef aquarium, chemistry, is dynamic, and. Solutions. To chemistry issues are rarely, that straightforward in practice, addition. Of a calcium, supplement can. Often, come with a corresponding. Fall in alkalinity levels, this. Seesaw. Effect between calcium, and alkalinity, stems. From how the two ions interact with one another the. Two ions combine to form calcium, carbonate. A fall out of solution thus, lowering, both levels, if, you, are experiencing. This in your systems, the, possible, culprit, with calcium, and alkalinity, instability, could, be magnesium, it. May seem counterintuitive, that, the solution, to calcium, and alkalinity imbalances. Is to elevate magnesium. But, the three ions interact, regularly. Magnesium. Is very similar chemically. To calcium, it, can bind up carbonate, ions thus. Increasing. The overall bioavailability. Of alkalinity, compounds. In the water so, again, if you find that no amount of tweaking calcium, and alkalinity directly. Is helping you, may want to make sure that it's not your magnesium level, that's in fact low. Having. Said all that about tweaking, levels of calcium alkalinity, and, magnesium to, something resembling natural, salt water levels it's not something, that you want to do in a knee-jerk fashion. Acropora. Respond, very poorly, to, sweeping, changes in chemistry, for. Example if alkalinity, dips they, may take on a brown coloration, and stay that way for months even. If those alkalinity, levels are corrected, the. Best advice that I can give is, to strive for consistency. Even. If the values on the test kit are not ideal, and slowly. Very. Slowly try. To raise them over the course of weeks, or even months. Again. Just. Maintaining, levels is tricky, successful. Acropora, fill tanks, experience, rapid, growth in larger. Colonies, soak up calcium, alkalinity. Magnesium. And trace, elements at a much faster rate. This. Is why from my system, here I like, to provide as stable a baseline, as possible, through, water, changes, and calcium.
Reactors, And then. On top of that add chemical. Additives when necessary. Chemistry. Is a really. Big topic and there's, many ways to be successful maintaining. It a while, ago I did a video looking, at three very nice aquariums, that, are Acropora dominated, and they handle, the maintenance of chemical, parameters in vastly. Different, ways I'll, link that video as well for you to check out, we. Talked earlier of, Acropora, nutrition, when, we were talking about lighting but. The requirements. Extend beyond the relationship, with those anthalie although. A high. Of acropora and traditional requirements are acquired by photosynthesis. They also benefit, from regular feeding, for, both growth and coloration. There. Are three great sources, of food that will work well amino. Acids, small. Zooplankton and. Simply. Having fish present. Starting. With amino acids, they are simple. Organic compounds containing. A carboxyl. Group and an, amino, group, to. Quote every high school biology textbook, they, are the components, of proteins, that are the building blocks of the cell in. Addition, to the role building, proteins, they, are also necessary, for other biological. Functions, such as neurotransmitter. Transport, and biosynthesis. The. Amino acids, needed vary. On a species by species basis. But practically, speaking it. Makes little, difference in the long run because even, if certain, amino acids go unutilized, by a certain Acropora they, will be taken up quickly by another, organism, for their biological processes, there, are several commercially. Available amino, acid additives so you don't have to overthink it too much. Small. Zooplankton include. Things such as rotifers, and cyclops plankton. The. Rotifers, that we feed are usually, around a half a millimeter in size, cyclops. Plankton, are larger, typically. Between one to two millimeters they. Come frozen and, are basically a small. Granular. Oily, paste it creates an orange cloud when introduced into the tank the, presence, of rotifers, in the water is apparent, to the corals because many of them will immediately open up and start their feeding behavior, Acropora. Do this to a lesser, degree but. What's noticeable. Are white strings, of mucus leading to each of the small polyps, over, the next several minutes the, Acropora corals will retract the strings and feed on the so plankton trapped last. Point of nutrition, a higher, volume of fish in the aquarium do. Seem to have a positive effect on Acropora, coral colonies, this. Is a purely, anecdotal, observation. But, it's one that's also echoed, by many other queries that have kept the SPS tank successfully, perhaps.
Their Presence, as a nitrogen source in, close proximity is, a good thing, one. Caveat that I'll add about feeding, is this, although. Choral nutrition, is important. It's. Equally, important, to make sure to not over. Feed the aquarium, over. Feeding can lead to issues such as algae, or cyanobacteria blooms. That. Can be a hassle to overcome, a little. Bit of feeding goes a long way but, all the benefits can be wiped out by a nutrient, overload, caused, by overfeeding, so, go slow and keep, a close eye for signs of nutrient, overload such, as nuisance algae, or greatly, elevated nitrates. Okay. Now. It's time to cover some of the ugly, parts of keeping Acropora, namely. Diseases. And pests. Acropora. Are sometimes, stricken with either rapid, tissue necrosis or, slow. Tissue necrosis these. Ailments plague, the tanks of both beginner SPS, keepers and, experienced. SPS, keepers alike what, makes these diseases all the more frustrating, to deal with is that there's no consensus. On what causes them much. Of the discussion the community revolves, around fluctuations. In chemical, parameters. Especially. Calcium, and alkalinity, however. There, are plenty of examples of. Aquariums. With rock-solid chemistry. That still fall victim, to RT, N or s T n other. Potential. Culprits include, high organic levels, phosphates. And nitrates lack. Of water flow and high, temperatures. It's. A perplexing, problem because a colony, might be doing well for years in the same tank and one. Day lose. Majority, of its tissue overnight it's, very, possible that, a fluctuation, in some tank parameter, causes, RT N or s T n but it's also possible that, the, Acropora colony, tolerated. A sub optimal, condition, for, an extended, period of time before, reaching a sudden tipping point as. Far as treatments, go some. Hobbyists, have had some success stopping, the tissue accession by dipping the Acropora colonies, in an iodine solution, such as lugol's, personally. I have not had any luck with that approach and resort. To quickly propagating. The colony in hopes that one of the frag, survive and regrow what. Tends to work best is to cut healthy, portions, of the colony, and reglue them to a fresh substrate, some. Of these fresh cuttings may not survive but. Hopefully, some will it's. Not an ideal solution, but. If left uncut. The, necrosis will spread throughout the coral and you'll be left with nothing. Acropora. Sometimes, falls victim to a variety of, pests, the, two most commonly, seen in home aquariums are Acropora. Eating flat worms and small. Crustaceans, hobbyists. Have called red bugs. Acropora. Eating flat worms are difficult, to see this. Is due to their bodies mimicking, the color and texture of the coral itself the. Only telltale, sign of them is, the Acropora will lose its brilliant, color in, favor of a more tannish, brown appearance, and then, start to show white bite, marks the.
Coloration. Of the Acropora, alone it's easy to dismiss as, we've discussed before Acropora, can change color dramatically, for numerous, reasons so, oftentimes a hobbyist will ignore a colony, starting to turn brown and attribute. The change to some other changing. Parameter, once. The white bite marks start to appear though it's clear that there's flat worms present, and the coral must be treated with a series, of pest control dips to remove the existing flat, worms as well, as any newly hatched flat worm said emerge from the eggs that are unfortunately. Resistant. To dipping in. Some extreme, cases of, flat worm infestation. The pest control dip will dislodge, a shocking. Number of flat worms to the point that it looks like there was more flat worms on the coral than actual coral flesh yeah. What, you were looking at the whole time was, just flat worms. Once. Acropora, colonies, get huge, or fused, to the rockwork, periodic. Dipping is no longer a viable solution, at. That point, whole, tank treatments, must be considered such, as flat worm exit, or alabama's all both, of those treatments, cause a lot, of death and destruction in, the tank so it's important, to do massive water changes, and run, activated, carbon aggressively. To remove both the treatment and, the, toxins. East from hordes of dying invertebrates, it's, an extreme, measure no doubt but in a well-established tank, sometimes, it's the only alternative. Typically. I look, for fish or some. Method of biological. Control of pests but unfortunately, I haven't found anything that adequately, deals with Acropora eating flat worms. Red. Bugs are, less. Of a concern, than flat worms but, should be dealt with nonetheless they're, essentially, fleas, on the coral that irritate, the colony, and might, slow the overall, growth of the coral or limit, its coloration the issue, with red bugs is that they're very small, and difficult to see most, hobbyists, with Acropora struggling, with red bugs never even know the pest is present, it's only when another hobbyist, pointed it out that, the infestation becomes.
Clear Like. With many things in this hobby once you see a problem you can't unsee it, so, when looking closely at any Acropora, colony, they just immediately pop out now, red. Bugs seem to be resistant, to a wide range of dips however. Some of the more aggressive dips, seem to work the. Dips based on pine oil tend to be too weak, while dips like bare insect, killer tend to be more effective. The. Best chemical treatment i've ever come across is, a prescription, medication for dogs called interceptor, that can be used to treat an entire tank the. Risk with more harsh chemical, treatments, is the coral itself might, be aggravated, by the dip and start to lose tissue. When. Dipping, always, consider the risk reward because, some pests are relatively. Mild and the treatment, could be far more damaging, my. Personal, favorite way to eradicate red. Bugs is to, add a fish called a dragon face pipe fish they're, known to eat red bugs and over time they eliminate, the problem, the. Problem, with dragon face pipe fish is that, they're not particularly, good swimmers, they. Can handle swimming, in the flow of an SPS aquarium, however. Oftentimes that, flow is generated by large power heads sitting inside the aquarium it's. Possible, that some of these pumps are too strong and can kill the poor fish that gets caught in its suction, what. Some Aquarius, have done is to keep a refugium that's plumbed, into the main system and how is the pipe fish in that tank if an, Acropora colony, gets red bugs it can be removed from the display and into the refugium, for a period of time, one. Last suggestion, with pest control is, to have some specific Acropora. That are more prone, to these pests, in the tank in essence. They're acting as the proverbial canary in the coalmine in. Large aquaculture. Facilities, these, corals are great not only for detection, but also for treatment, by, aggressively, monitoring. And dipping / physically, removing the pests from these corals, over, time it eliminates, the problem from the entire system, clearly. It's possible, for pests to move around and move off of these corals and onto others but. The pests have a preference, for these Canaries, and over. Time find. Their way to them for extraction. Okay. That. Does it for Acropora, although. I can't, recommend Acropora for a beginning hobbyist, hopefully. This video is helpful for those looking, to try them for the first time they, are a beautiful, coral, and a, tank dedicated, to them can be a breathtaking. Explosion, of color that, rewards all the, diligence, on the, part of the hobbyist this. Video ran long but, hopefully it provides an overall look at the different facets, of Acropora care that's, needed to be successful I. Hope. You enjoy the video and if. You'd like more information or, perhaps purchase an Acropora for your home aquarium, I invite. You to visit us at tidal Gardens comm, and see what we have going on there Acropora. Is one of the corals that we're going to be focusing, on propagating, in the coming months that. Does it for this video so, until next time happy. Reefing.