[Jumping into Acros and SPS Corals]
I've had my tank since Sept. of last year. I've had ups and downs--algae, dinos, great growth from softies, LPS doing pretty good etc. I built a sump for my tank in Jan. using acrylic. While it was a little time consuming, I have been more than happy with it as it turned out very well. Wish it was bigger, but you only have so much room to work with. Since I've added the sump and an ATO, I really think my tank has been much happier. I know I have! So, I bought some frags from a guy in March, one of which was a 1-1.5" piece of Pocillopora damicornis. The piece is now the size of a baseball! I also bought a piece of Montipora capricornis that was about the size of a fingernail--it is now larger than a 1/2 dollar and is encrusting the rock I have it on. This gave me a lot of confidence in my tank and what I'm doing as a reef keeper. Because of these successes, I've decided to try some Acroporas. I love these corals but was always worried that they would just be too difficult to keep. I love the colors and the growth forms. I bought three frags of them yesterday--a pink Validapora (Acropora valida), tri-color Validapora (A. valida) and a GARF Purple Bonsai (A. valida). I also bought another frag of Montipora capricornis. This one is supposedly purple w/ blue polyps. I bought a frag of a birds nest coral (Seriatopora hystrix) which is a "Raspberry" color morph. I will post pics soon, and I will try to do a weekly update to see how they grow in my tank. I hope for the best!!!
Just a quick update. Most of the new frags are showing some polyp extension. The tri color and the bonsai seem the happiest, while the pink Valida seems the least. Pics soon.
Sorry for the poor quality, but using a PoS camera. I enhanced a couple for contrast against the back of the tank.
Raspberry Birds Nest-
I wanted to show the growth I've gotten from my other SPS. I really hope I get this with the Acros!
Pocillopora in March
Here is my red Monti cap in March...
You can see how it has encrusted the rock I glued it to. The second frag I accidently broke off and just glued it on as well.
Well it's been a little over a week and I've placed all of the frags where I think they will be happiest and still look good in the tank. Everyone seems happy except for the pink Validapora. Its polyps aren't extending very much. The purple Bonsai and the tricolor seem very happy and are showing what I feel is good PE. The corals don't look "fuzzy", but I can see their polyps moving in the current. I moved the purple Monti cap lower in the tank off a shelf. The polyps are coming out very well with it also.
I will update in a week or so unless something major happens. Thanks for reading.
Here are some pics I took today to show my growth in a little over two weeks. I am very happy with the amount of growth; however, I notice that almost every coral in my tank fades its color. It's not bleaching, but a slow fade. All of the SPS I got have lost almost all of their color now. Instead of the beautiful purple, they have faded to a sort of "golden/tan" color. I just don't get it. ANYway, below are the pics. The birds nest is the hardest to see, but the white "dots" are actual growth and you can see how it will be branching out from those spots. With the Acros, you can see the white new growth as well as encrusting on the rocks and over the glue. On the purple Monti cap, you can see how it is starting to encrust the rock. A good point of reference is the "speed bump" looking spot along the top--that is where it grew over the super glue holding it to the rock!
Enjoy and will update after next week.
Well, I'm a little over a month into it and I've had a couple of things happen. First and foremost, all of the frags I bought have not only survived, they are growing very well (at least in my opinion). I'm more than happy with both. The second thing I've noticed is the drastic change in color I've had from when I first go them. All frags have faded to a drab color of its former self. As you can see below in the pics, the corals ARE growing and have very good polyp extension, but the colors have goon from purple to tan, and raspberry red to almost white. The pink Validapora is growing the slowest and the birds nest the fastest. I have noticed however, over the last week that the Tricolor Valida tissue is getting darker, so hopefully the color changes have been due to different tank/lights etc.
One note: sorry about the birds nest coral pic, but it was very hard to get a pic given the angle it is growing from.
GARF purple Bonsai
Raspberry birds nest
and the Purple Monti cap to further show growth. You can see the amount of encrusting.
Please post any comments/ suggestions/ observations and thanks for reading.
Okay, so I'm about a month and a half into this little experiment and for the most part all is going well. Even though I started out with this being about Acros, I decided to include the other couple of SPS that I added/had in my tank. I feel these better shows what's going on in my tank. For a fast recap, my tank has softies, LPS and SPS. Prior to starting this BLOG, my tank had a Pocillopora and a red Montipora capricornis that were added in March. Both of those were growing well so that's what made me decide to try more. I added the three Acropora species, a purple Monti cap, and a raspberry bird’s nest. When I first added the frags, they all went to the middle of the tank. I made the leap of faith that since they were SPS and they came from high light tanks, they would be fine in mine with T5's. For the most part I was right about that, as the frags began to encrust the rocks they were on within a week. That same night I even notice descent polyp extension. If you've read my other entries then you know that all of the recent frags lost their color rather quickly. Arguments have abounded as to why--not enough light, too much light, too much nutrients, not enough nutrients, wrong spectrum etc, etc, etc. While I know my tank obviously doesn't have the light of MH or LED's, my PAR reads 500 at the top. I skim kind of heavy, and try not to feed too much. Given all of this however, the corals are starting to show signs of color again, so hopefully what it all boils down to is tank transfer shock. All of the frags are growing very well, in fact, one of the Acros has encrusted an area the size of nickel----from a frag that is maybe 1/4" in diameter. The birds nest has branched four times, with more divisions easily on the way. The only one that is growing slow is the pink "validapora". It has good PE and is encrusting, but just not as good as the others.
Well, It's I am almost two months into my first Acros and the few other SPS corals. The two Acros are still growing very well and are even starting to put some color back on. I still feel that the loss of color was due to tank shock vs. poor lighting. In fact, my GARF purple Bonsai has encrusted to the point that the edges seem to be starting to rise up. The birds nest is still very pale, but is growing the fastest of all, but the two Monti caps are growing very well too. The pink/red one has now connected to the smaller frag and has encircled the entire rock chunk to which I glued it.