While exploring inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef with our friends from Ultra Coral Australia, we came across many times a popular aquarium coral: The Cherry Blossom Acropora rosaria and were really astonished by its beauty and diversity. Nic got quite a few cooking in his farm, and we with how well this corals does in good tank conditions. In fact it does so well, that it’s one of the few perfect Aquarium staghorn coral.
This Acropora is pretty common on many inshore reefs, but it was prolific on the millie spot, were Acropora were dominant. It likes shallow, calm, turbid waters, where food and light are abundant. In the very shallow reefs, and at low tide it can be immersed in plankton soup when the condition are right, but it can also be sunbathing in clear extremely bright conditions. These extreme variations are probably a reason why this corals adapts very well to aquarium conditions.
The classic coloration is red with blue tips and bright white polyps. The particularity of this Acro is that the red becomes almost ruby red after just a couple of weeks in an aquarium, which is not a very common color in the Acro world, and really stands out under blue LED. It has a tendency to lose its bright blue/purple tips at the beginning as growth stops and this is classic of any Acropora.
The tips are not yet colonized by zooxanthellae, as intense calcification releases too many toxic compounds for the algae to survive this area, but the pigments are there to protect the tissues, as this part of the coral is the most exposed to light, and the dangerous UV in it. But once it adapted a bit to the aquarium conditions and growth kicks in again, it quickly rewards you with these bright blue growth tips.
Once in a while we could find an ultra colony with bright green base in the center and in between the corallite along the branches. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to cook them yet, but we are sure that this particular strain will give an amazing coral after just few weeks of good healthy aquarium environment. Some of these are currently in the process in Ultra Coral Australia facility and we will give you an update in a few weeks.