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How to care for Acropora in a Reef Tank

Find out how to properly care for your new Acropora Coral with this "how-to" guide on the requirements for healthy Acropora Coral

Read along to find out the Lighting, Water Flow, Feeding, Placement & more when it comes to the care of your new Acropora Coral

by scott Shiles • February 27, 2023

SPS Coral Care, All Corals

Acropora corals, renowned for their stunning beauty and intricate diversity, are cherished inhabitants of reef tanks worldwide. With an array of shapes and colors, they captivate the hearts of reef enthusiasts and SPS aficionados alike. However, their care demands attention to detail and specialized husbandry techniques. In this guide, we explore the essential aspects of caring for Acropora corals in a reef tank.

Proper Water Parameters:

acropora from extreme corals
Acropora corals thrive in stable and pristine water conditions. Maintaining specific parameters is crucial for their health and growth:
  • Temperature: 76-82°F (24-28°C)
  • Salinity: 1.025-1.026
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
  • Calcium: 400-450 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1200-1350 ppm
  • Nitrate: >5 ppm
  • Phosphate: > 0.03 ppm

Regular monitoring and adjustment of these parameters are necessary to ensure optimal conditions for Acropora corals.


High-intensity lighting is essential for the photosynthesis and growth of Acropora corals. LED lights provide the necessary spectrum for their development. It's recommended to maintain lighting for 8-10 hours daily to support their health and vibrant coloration.

Water Flow

Adequate water flow is vital for the well-being of Acropora corals. It helps remove waste and deliver essential nutrients. Aim for a water flow of 10-15 times the tank volume per hour to create optimal conditions for these corals.


While primarily photosynthetic, Acropora corals can benefit from supplemental feeding. Target feeding with reef-roids or plankton-based coral foods can enhance growth and coloration, ensuring their nutritional needs are met.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are crucial for maintaining a healthy reef environment, including for Acropora corals. Performing a 10-20% water change every two weeks helps remove excess nutrients and replenish trace elements essential for their growth and vitality.


Proper placement is key for the thriving of Acropora corals. They require high water flow and intense lighting, so ensure they are positioned in areas that receive both. Stable surfaces, such as rocks, provide the necessary support for their growth.

Avoid Overcrowding

Overcrowding can lead to competition among corals for space and nutrients, adversely affecting their health. Provide ample space for each Acropora coral to thrive, minimizing stress and promoting optimal growth.
In summary, Acropora corals are exquisite additions to reef tanks, requiring careful attention and specialized care. By maintaining stable water parameters, providing adequate lighting and flow, supplementing their diet, performing regular water changes, and ensuring proper placement, aquarists can enjoy vibrant and healthy Acropora colonies in their reef aquariums.

Additional Information:

Acropora corals belong to the Acroporidae family and are classified as small polyp stony (SPS) corals. The genus Acropora encompasses a remarkable diversity of species, with at least 149 recognized members, making it the largest genus within the coral kingdom. These corals are predominantly found in the warm tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, contributing to the region's rich biodiversity and natural beauty.
Despite their initial difficulty, Acropora corals can thrive in captivity with the right conditions and care. Their desirability, coupled with challenges in cultivation and susceptibility to diseases, contributes to their high market value. Conservation efforts are essential to safeguarding these iconic corals for future generations.

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