How to keep Acan Color ?

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Salty_Taste

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Why do Acans morph and lose coloration? Babies will grow without the 3rd color

Spoke to a local reefer recently who showed me a picture of his "Rainbow Acan" when he got it to now... and LOL ITS NOT THE SAME.
Been curious to learn more about this and if there is a way to bring it back. I understand if the parameters are not stable and/or accurate that will cause a color change forsure. But if your tank is stable with around 200 par, why do the babies and/ or existing mother heads lose that color.

Another question, for those who have had this happen, were you able to bring the color back? Or how to bring the color back?

The pictures attached are examples of the local reefers "Rainbow Acan"

image000000 2.JPG image000000.JPG
 
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damsels are not mean

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Generally speaking, you honestly don't. Acans (now micromussa) are notorious for being finicky about color. Often "rainbow" frags come from large wild colonies where very specific lighting conditions under the shade of some other coral or rock structure caused weird color patterns. Some have success by giving them very little light, like 50PPFD on their par meters. Otherwise it's best to avoid "rainbow" acans unless the seller has been growing that strain themselves and isn't just fragging wild dropshipped colonies.
 
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Nano sapiens

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I think there's something to DANM's take on this. I found this write-up and photos of Lords in their native environment from Vincent Chalias very interesting:

https://reefbuilders.com/2019/04/12/welcome-to-acansland-the-land-of-micromussa-lordhowensis/

While Lords can and do live on the reef proper, the environment where they are found in highest abundance is quite a bit different from the typical reef aquarium, that's for sure!

I bought three Rainbow Lord frags a while back from a local LFS that were healed, but still obviously fresh cut. And they all morphed greatly towards the orange (some in medium and some in lower light) within a few short weeks. I also received two 'freebee' frags from an online vendor and I could tell these had been sitting around in their vats unsold for quite a while due to the darkened skeleton with micro algae growth on the cut surfaces. And these orange ones still have the exact same coloration as when I first put them in my aquarium.

I've just come to accept/enjoy whatever color they turn into :)
 

Lavey29

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I'd be happy if I didn't kill all my acans
They are finicky. I have a hulk colony doing well. I placed an orange and blue frag next to it with like 5 heads and it's nose diving. They get the exact same flow and light yet one struggles and the other thrives.
 

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1) low light of nearly all actinic light. 50-80PAR

2) they need manually fed some kind of juice from a meaty source. a liquid slurry. Squirted directly above them with 0 water flow and the liquid suspended over them for 30mins

Make sure the slurry is not loaded with Phosphates

I feed Mon Wed Fri only
 
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mdb_talon

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But if your tank is stable with around 200 par, why do the babies and/ or existing mother heads lose that color.

200 is very high par generally if the goal is maximizing a rainbow color. Having said that I have many acans at that par growing great. If I want to get some crazy colors out I stick them under the frag rack mostly shaded
 
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Generally speaking, you honestly don't. Acans (now micromussa) are notorious for being finicky about color. Often "rainbow" frags come from large wild colonies where very specific lighting conditions under the shade of some other coral or rock structure caused weird color patterns. Some have success by giving them very little light, like 50PPFD on their par meters. Otherwise it's best to avoid "rainbow" acans unless the seller has been growing that strain themselves and isn't just fragging wild dropshipped colonies.
I see.. when you put it like that, definitely makes sense! Thank you!

I think there's something to DANM's take on this. I found this write-up and photos of Lords in their native environment from Vincent Chalias very interesting:

https://reefbuilders.com/2019/04/12/welcome-to-acansland-the-land-of-micromussa-lordhowensis/

While Lords can and do live on the reef proper, the environment where they are found in highest abundance is quite a bit different from the typical reef aquarium, that's for sure!

I bought three Rainbow Lord frags a while back from a local LFS that were healed, but still obviously fresh cut. And they all morphed greatly towards the orange (some in medium and some in lower light) within a few short weeks. I also received two 'freebee' frags from an online vendor and I could tell these had been sitting around in their vats unsold for quite a while due to the darkened skeleton with micro algae growth on the cut surfaces. And these orange ones still have the exact same coloration as when I first put them in my aquarium.

I've just come to accept/enjoy whatever color they turn into :)
Thanks for the link! Will have to check it out.

1) low light of nearly all actinic light. 50-80PAR

2) they need manually fed some kind of juice from a meaty source. a liquid slurry. Squirted directly above them with 0 water flow and the liquid suspended over them for 30mins

Make sure the slurry is not loaded with Phosphates

I feed Mon Wed Fri only
Thanks for sharing! Might have to duplicate this recipe when I pick up some Acans. Care to share some of your collection?
 
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Salty_Taste

Salty_Taste

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Another example.

When I first purchased this lovely piece, the 4 heads have orange, red, white stripes, and green in the mouth area. However as it grew, the babies started with green mouths but they would disappear as they get larger. My first go to was par (50). Next was potentially nutrients (Fed 3 times a week, nitrate 20-30 with phosphate 0.4-0.7) I then changed it to 100 par with heavy blues in hopes to bring it back. Will keep everyone updated. If you can provide some feedback, THANK YOU
 

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Big E

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Too much blue light.......in duration or heavy blue lighting (windex) is going to change them to mostly orange/reddish and a lot of the other colors will get washed out or disappear.

I've got about a half dozen acans that look exactly the same as the day I bought them. I run mainly a 14k spectrum with T5 but there is no reason you can't do the same with LED.
 
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Too much blue light.......in duration or heavy blue lighting (windex) is going to change them to mostly orange/reddish and a lot of the other colors will get washed out or disappear.

I've got about a half dozen acans that look exactly the same as the day I bought them. I run mainly a 14k spectrum with T5 but there is no reason you can't do the same with LED.
*Changes light set-up IMMEDIATELY*

Thanks! Super weird as I had on white spectrum prior at 50 par for about 4 months and the babies still did not keep color. But then again, T5's always do wonders.
 

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Generally lower par 50-80 with supplemental feeding for growth to maintain or regain color. And for fact most colonies will morph after fragging. It's a long process for us...after quarantine we hold for a couple more months...frag...hold...frag...hold...by then we know the colors are solid but still not 100% if subjected to drastically differing parameters.

Cheers!
 

hotrodreef

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Generally lower par 50-80 with supplemental feeding for growth to maintain or regain color. And for fact most colonies will morph after fragging. It's a long process for us...after quarantine we hold for a couple more months...frag...hold...frag...hold...by then we know the colors are solid but still not 100% if subjected to drastically differing parameters.

Cheers!
The ones I just posted are kept in about 70-80 par and the tank gets broadcast fed LPS Max quite often. I’d say you’re spot on.
 
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SouthwestAquaculture

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On the opposite end of losing color.. I picked up this “red” micro during a tank breakdown and every head that has grown has had amazing colors. The original heads stay red.
21F43508-023C-4E4D-99CD-2467CFC30E7B.jpeg
As the babies grow and are subjected to more light and house more zooxanthellae the yellow will likely give way to red...maybe!

Cheers!
 

BVF

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I picked up this frag for the blue and red color. Left is as purchased and just added to the tank. Over the last 8-10 months in the tank, they have developed into a green and orange color. The mouth is the only part that stayed relatively consistent.
2BF3BD96-E6A9-4720-89A7-1AE1C7E2894E.jpeg
 
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Salty_Taste

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Generally lower par 50-80 with supplemental feeding for growth to maintain or regain color. And for fact most colonies will morph after fragging. It's a long process for us...after quarantine we hold for a couple more months...frag...hold...frag...hold...by then we know the colors are solid but still not 100% if subjected to drastically differing parameters.

Cheers!
Thank you for sharing your process and being transparent about the morph!
On the opposite end of losing color.. I picked up this “red” micro during a tank breakdown and every head that has grown has had amazing colors. The original heads stay red.
21F43508-023C-4E4D-99CD-2467CFC30E7B.jpeg
The colony is so sick... but I think that camera work is even better!!! Wow I gotta step up my game!
I picked up this frag for the blue and red color. Left is as purchased and just added to the tank. Over the last 8-10 months in the tank, they have developed into a green and orange color. The mouth is the only part that stayed relatively consistent.
2BF3BD96-E6A9-4720-89A7-1AE1C7E2894E.jpeg
Still a beautiful piece none the less! Very healthy and thats all we can ask for :)
Indirect low lighting.....ive have reds and greens have all babies and grown babies turn rainbow this way...i broadcast feed lrs reef frenzy and every now and then i spot feed them
Sounds like thats the general consensus! fingers crossed mine turns out this way
 
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