Gil Smolinski - Acanthastrea coral

Acanthastrea Coral – Acan/Moon Coral

Also known as the Acan coral or Moon coral, the Acanthastrea coral is a large polyp stony (LPS) type of coral. They come in an incredible assortment of colors, including some intense orange, green, and interesting red combinations. Because these corals have a rounded, flat appearance, they are often named plating corals. The fact that they are beautiful and grow quickly makes them a welcome addition to most home aquariums. The Acan is also an ideal first LPS coral because of its hardiness and the ease for which it can be cared. Although there is a large variety of Acan corals, they all have similar needs when it comes to general care like feeding and compatibility.

4:52 - Acan Coral (Extreme Detail Theme)

Care Level

Easy to moderate

Diet

According to most hobbyists, Acan corals do a lot better when they are kept well fed, even though they receive some of the nutrients they need through photosynthesis. They will grow much quicker and are more likely to thrive with enough food. In an ideal environment, Acans are fed when the lights are shut and the food can be gently pushed towards their extended feeding tentacles. A good way to feed this particular coral is to turn the power heads off and feed them with something like a turkey baster, which can be used to slowly release the food to them. Ideally, they should be fed small pieces of fresh meaty food from the ocean. Brine shrimp, Mysis, minced clams, or oysters are all excellent options. The polyps of this type of coral will only become fully extended at night.

Acanthastrea

Aquarium Care

Because they are photosynthetic, Acan corals do need light, but their ideal level of light is moderate. Stable water conditions that include moderate water flow along with moderate lighting are ideal for this type of coral as well. Too much water flow could affect their ability to feed at night. They also require stable water chemistry, which includes steady levels of calcium, pH, alkalinity, and magnesium as well as stable water temperatures.

Possible Issues

Too much light can cause problems with Acan corals, so it is very important to keep levels moderate. Some Acan corals are susceptible to pink band disease, which may be curbed by fragging, but this doesn’t always work.

Acanthastrea lordhowensis

Compatibility

Acan corals can become aggressive as they become larger and begin to develop more polyps. They are able to expel mesenterial filaments upon neighbors and will do so when they are feeling aggressive, whether it is for defensive or offensive reasons. To prevent this from happening, make sure you give them plenty of their own space in the aquarium.

Fun Facts

Even though Acan corals are some of the most expensive types of coral you can find, it is relatively easy to propagate them. As long as they are well fed, you can simply cut the coral underneath a polyp and attach it to a plug in optimal water conditions.

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