When many people think of aquariums, a tank with fish is what comes to mind. However, aquarists these days have the option of adding living coral with saltwater fish or enjoying a marine reef aquarium that focuses on coral rather than fish. One very popular coral often selected for these types of aquariums are the Acan coral. Acan coral or Acanathastrea is a beautiful coral that originates primarily in Australian waters. Also known as Acan Brain Coral, this species of coral are an excellent addition used by aquarist from the beginner level through advanced levels. The popularity of acan coral is due in part to their vivid coloring and patterns, ease of care and rapid growth rate.
Acan coral are often selected because they allow the aquarist to inject a wide variety of colors and patterns into the aquarium. This coral actually grows in color stripes and patterns that create interesting visual contrast. Acan color patterns include purple, green, white, orange, pink, yellow, and blue. These amazing living coral display their colors in arresting patterns that can be used to complement the other aquarium item or make a bold impression.
Care of Acan Coral consist primarily of maintaining appropriate levels of light, flow of water and food to allow the coral to grow and thrive. Acan Coral naturally grow in the Indo-Pacific Ocean in shallow reefs. To provide an appropriate aquarium environment it is ideal to keep the water flow indirect and a medium level. Lighting is very important for coral health and the acan should have only moderate light. Too much light will cause the Acan Coral to change color and possibly die if left uncorrected. Another reason lighting is of vital importance it that the Acan Coral utilize zooxanthellae algae that use photosynthesis to provide a portion of the corals nutrition. Acan coral also get nutrition by “hunting”. The acan coral can sense food in the water and will extend their tentacles to catch the food.
Beautiful coral that grows quickly and is easily fragged is a wonderful thing for an aquarist. Acans are a prime example of an easy to sustain, fast growing coral that can be fragged easily. Fragging an acan is done by cutting the corallite below the polyp and attaching it to a frag plug. Nutrition and light are critical to the growth rate of this coral and the growth rate is improved when they receive targeted feedings. Acan coral are able to obtain the best result from targeted feedings in the dark when the water flow is as a level that allows them to feed using their tentacles.
The natural beauty of coral cannot be overstated. Acan coral in particular have the ability to add to the aesthetics of an aquarium. The contrast provided by their stripes and patterns is a fun addition to any aquarium. Additionally, the variety of color options allows them to be use to make each aquarium a visual feast
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