Yummm Acropora: What is your "recipe" for successfully keeping acros?

BRS

Do you feel like you have a personal "recipe" for successfully keeping acros?

  • YES (tell us about it in the thread)

    Votes: 22 14.0%
  • Nothing special that I know of

    Votes: 74 47.1%
  • I haven't had real success

    Votes: 56 35.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 3.2%

  • Total voters
    157

revhtree

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We're still discussing acropora for the week because we love our acros! Well it's a love/hate relationship at times. :p Today we would like to hear from those of you who have had a good amount of success in keeping acros healthy and thriving! What's your "recipe?" Let's talk about it

What is your "recipe" for successfully keeping acros? Share your personal tips for a higher success rate/recipe!

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Labridaedicted

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Biggest thing for me is stability. I also feel like I have a pretty unique situation in terms of feeding that helps.

With my Refrigerated food auto feeder, I'm able to do small doses of small micron coral foods hourly so there is constantly some oyster feast or similar in the water column. It has helped with both PE and I think general health.

I also think running a calcium reactor is huge in terms of keeping my big three and trace elements stable. That in addition to small daily doses of all my additives rather than weekly doses seems to do wonders.

And above all else, keeping my hands out of the tank and not trying to meet certain "numbers." If the corals look happy, stay at those parameters. Don't reach for the "ideal numbers" that get put out there. Seems like any time in the past I tried to do that, chaos ensued.
 

ReefGeezer

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"Success" is relative to expectations. I haven't had the success I expect. I can keep 'em alive and even get some decent growth. I just can't get the colors I see others attaining. I suspect I'm missing the final piece (or pieces) to the puzzle... or maybe I'm just too cheap to buy tiny $100 frags that have the capability to color up.
 

Crustaceon

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The key is not "fiddling" with things. This means don't change your light settings... or rock scape... or wavemaker settings.. or spontaneously decide you want 9dkh instead of 8dkh... or want to strip your tank of all nutrients because there's ONE patch of algae on the back wall you don't like or a little bit of dinos. You want to approach an acro tank as if you don't want it to notice your existence. TINY changes only and ONLY if absolutely necessary.
 

Reefer Matt

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As others have said, stability is number one. Especially alkalinity and lighting. Just testing alkalinity once a week will usually not promote acro success. (Depending on tank load and size)
Testing a couple times a day shows you your daily alk swing, and gives you insight on when to dose or do water changes to maintain alk levels.
Proper par and higher flow are also a must. But par doesn't need to be over 150-200 in a lot of cases. Higher par changes acro colors, and is a tricky balance to achieve. If the coral bleaches, and stays in high par, it will most likely die.
Paying attention to the coral daily will help you take action as soon as a problem arises, but they usually happen quickly.
Try not to overreact, and provide the most stable environment you can.
It may take months, or a year, but the acros will eventually take off, and you will have a full tank fast after they are established. I suggest starting with easier acros like the Green Slimer first. Good luck, and happy reefing!
 

Hans-Werner

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In my experience, especially under LED lighting, phosphate seems to be the most important single factor. The 0.1 ppm phosphate I recommend seems more like a lower limit to good growth to me meanwhile. At least I wouldn't try to go below 0.05 ppm any more.

The maximum for KH is 7.5 in my experience. It is quite strange that I generally see better growth with lower KH, maybe simply because corals open better.

Everything else seems of secondary importance to me, even stability.
 

Smoke-Town

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I'd say ph above 8.0 is probably of utmost importance.

Along with ph, I'm going to say light and flow.... they should both be strong, but they need to match each other. I think strong light and low flow is bad, as is strong flow and low light. Although the first issue is definitely a bigger issue that could cause rtn/stn. I have one acro in a slightly darker/lower area and it has poor flow... it's finally growing a couple of oddly shaped branches but due to its location its been a super slow grower and for the first 4 months or so it did nothing while a similar acro purchased the same day in a way better spot has grown a lot of branches and tall in that same time frame. But the color has always been fine on the lower one. It's always looked healthy, just barely grows. I believe if it had the same lack of flow in a high light area that it would possibly have died.

Low po4. No3 doesn’t seem to matter much but should definitely be readable and at least a few times more detectable than po4.

Alkalinity doesn't seem to make much difference imo. My alk is not stable and my sps growth is what I belive to be very good. My alk swings as low as 6.5 sometimes before I add more bicarbonate to get it up in the 9's... I have new dosers to dial it in but finishing up another project before I redo all my controls and dosing stuff.
 

2Wheelsonly

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Being honest with yourself and understanding your own capabilities when establishing your husbandry routine.

When I started out I bought into that weekly 20% water change, testing 4 times a day feeding 4 times a day and I just couldn't keep up. Instability was caused by my own exhaustion and burnout. I could maintain that for a few weeks but over time it became a hassle and was nonsense to me. Reefing is one of many hobbies and I have a demanding job and a busy family life.

I re-aligned my personal capabilities with a routine that is consistent and works. I do all my testing on Sundays along with a 15% water change on the last Sunday of the month. I feed 1 time daily and for the past 9 years have had a massive tank full of acro colonies. Yes there have been problems along the way but they are rare events I learn from rather than events that add to exhaustion in the hobby.

My lights, flow and nutrients are pretty much set and forget once the tank is established after the first 6 months. I don't chase parameters because someone decided it was trendy on social media/forums. Experience in this hobby has shown that people have success with all different types of parameters and trying to mirror someone else's tank by forcing yours isn't the way.

The only thing I tweak is nutrient control here and there when I feel a number is climbing with a consistent trend over time ( not stopping ).
 

SawCJack00

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Nothing too special for me in terms of lighting, dosing, feeding, or WC. The most important thing for me is observing the corals closely on a daily basis. One of the more frustrating things with Acropora, in particular, is that issues that you see today can often be the results of something that happened a month ago. It is incredibly important to know how your corals "should" look so that you can quickly recognize if something is off. If I see something has changed such as less PE or a color change it may not be something bad, but I will always check to make sure all equipment is functioning properly and that parameters are correct and remaining stable. So I guess what my tip would be is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WATER BABIES! :)
 

Dburr1014

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Recipe:

1 part stability
2 parts don't change anything
In my experience, especially under LED lighting, phosphate seems to be the most important single factor. The 0.1 ppm phosphate I recommend seems more like a lower limit to good growth to me meanwhile. At least I wouldn't try to go below 0.05 ppm any more.

The maximum for KH is 7.5 in my experience. It is quite strange that I generally see better growth with lower KH, maybe simply because corals open better.

Everything else seems of secondary importance to me, even stability.
Yes, I tend to go with this statment. My po4 was in the 1.2 range now it is Rock solid at 0.08, while my no3 is always < 4 ppm.

I must have a really wet thumb.
I do agree stability is a must, but, lately I've had alk spike from 8 dkh to 12dkh (2 weeks didn't test so not sure how fast) brought it back down in 3 days by shutting off the co2 on the calrx. Now my pH is strangely 7.74 last night's low. It's been drifting down this week.
I've fiddled with my lights, flow, trying to knock back hair algae and blue clove polyps by literally taking out the rock and scraping and squirting boiling hot water on them. The tank looks great and nothing is suffering. This is all in the past 6 months. I can't seem to leave the tank alone. Maybe it's my instability that strengthens my arcros?
 

Nicerreefs

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We're still discussing acropora for the week because we love our acros! Well it's a love/hate relationship at times. :p Today we would like to hear from those of you who have had a good amount of success in keeping acros healthy and thriving! What's your "recipe?" Let's talk about it

What is your "recipe" for successfully keeping acros? Share your personal tips for a higher success rate/recipe!

image via @Zoaddicted
image.jpg
TM K+, TM A-, & Acropower daily dosage in the tank for at least 3 months before introducing any SPS. Once SPS are in, don't change a thing and keep it going. Monitor your NO3 and PO4 and keep those stable. STABILITY is key. The lock is the water. :)

*This doesn't include the lighting...
 

Batt

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I will definitely say chasing PH. This was a big game changer for me. Keeping it at 8.3 day and night makes a big difference in growth and color.

The other things to mention is stop tinkering with things. Like lights rock work stuff like that.

The next best thing for me was switching over from dosing to now a calcium reactor. OMG what a difference.

To keep my PH stable. I run Chris from ACI. His method. I have a 10g food grade container have a dosing line attached to the container and don't draw from the very bottom. I have super Saturated kalk. My ph in that container is always 12.5.

I only dose at night from light off and stops when lights come back on. I run a doser only running every hour 254mm. From 9pm to 9am thats the total evaporation rate my tank has in 24h. So my salinity is never effected.
 

Ken101Ward

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SPS= stability promotes sucess.
Besides that, I make sure Joeboo gets his daily drink of rum then I pray to the gods and my forefathers to spare me from slow tissue necrosis. If your SPS rtn, no amount of prayers will save you!
 

ShepherdReefer

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Great idea to have this discussion. We have tried Acros but they die. Besides the Nutrients swings (like PH raining and falling, between 8.2-8.4), everything is stable. Nitrates around 10, phosphates at 0.04ish, 9Dkh, 450/500 Ca, and more; don’t know what the issue(s) are.
 

lakai

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Secret to acros is simply being able to persevere through the first 2 years while your tanks biome develops. Pretty trouble free after that. Once grown your acros can survive a wide range of problems and parameter fluctuations that it wasn’t able to before your tank equalized.
 
BRS

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 61 30.7%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 103 51.8%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 65 32.7%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 37 18.6%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 31 15.6%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 52 26.1%
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