The Acanthastrea Coral is commonly referred to within the hobby as an Acan or Acans.
Acans are considered relatively easy to keep, and are a great way for hobbyists to be introduced to LPS corals.
They are available in a wide variety of colours & patterns, and they reproduce reasonably quickly, helping new aquariums look more full, more quickly.
Acans will get some of their nutrition through light as they contain zooxanthellae, but they will benefit from faster growth with regular feeding.
They are considered semi-aggressive and should be given adequate space within an aquarium.
Coral Facts & Care Requirements
- Common Name: Acanthastrea
- Origin: Varied, easily aquacultured
- Category: LPS
- Care Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Known Predators: Puffers, triggers, peppermint shrimp & general coral pests.
- Temperament: Slightly Aggressive
- Lighting: Low – Medium
- Water flow: Low – Medium
- Placement: Middle – Bottom
- Feeding Requirement: Though this coral have zooxnthellae, which allow for some of their energy to be gathered through light, they will benefit from spot feeding.
- Colours: Purple, pink, green, brown, red, blue, specialist “rainbow”, pretty much every colour you can imagine.
- Growth Speed: Slow – Medium
- Water Parameters: Standard saltwater parameters should see this coral thrive, they will not tolerate large parameter swings & require a stable environment.
Feeding Acan Corals
As mentioned several times, these corals will benefit from faster grown & more vibrant colouring if they are fed. You will be surprised at how much food these corals can consume.
Foods that are readily accepted include:
- Specialist coral foods
- meaty foods, such as mysis shrimp, prawns & little bits of fish
- Copepods & Amphipods
- General fish foods such as flake & marine pellets
Lighting & Flow requirements
Acans do not require much flow or lighting. They will do better if placed in a moderately low flow, shaded area of your aquarium.
They have large fleshy polyps that will be damaged by turbulent flow, but they do require some flow to ensure they can filter feed & to help dust off any bits of detritus or sand that can end up sitting on them.
Some colour morphs of Acans will tolerate higher lighting than others, some will require a very shaded area in order to show their maximum colour potential, where as others will be just fine in higher lighting.
It is generally recommended to start them off in a low flow, shaded area of the tank then slowly move them up to the desired location over a period of several weeks. If you see you Acan’s polyps retreating, you need to move them back down lower in your tank.