Acropora awi is a deep water Acropora that has been grown in Indonesian mariculture farms for quite a while. Nevertheless, it has never had the credit it deserves, probably due to misidentification, and its dull natural coloration. But after cooking it for a few weeks in a proper reef system, the colors it developed transformed it into a real reef tank Acro supermodel!
Acropora awi has an indeterminate, predominantly hispidose colony shape. Radial corallites are one size or graded, and have an appressed tubular shape. Its long and tubular axial corallites are slightly bigger than its radial corallites.
It is found in calm, turbid bays, usually below 15 m (45 ft), and all the way to 30 m (90ft). In lives in bays where food is abundant, and food accumulates and settles, among large fields of other deepwater Acropora (A. carduus, A. subglabra, A. halmaherae), Anacropora, and branching Cyphastrea.
Like all deepwater Acros, it’s not fond of intense lighting. A par of 150-200 is more than enough, and it can even survive with lower light than that. The bays in which they are found receive quite a bit of nutrients and large phytoplankton blooms get trapped and consumed there.
As in many deepwater acros, the brown coloration, packed with zooxanthellae tends to develop red pigments, and the whole colony becomes bright pink/red with fluorescent yellow corallites. Tentacles stay purple in color, which gives a very intense contrast on the branch tips.
We will never cease to promote the benefits of deepwater Acros in the home aquarium. They are among the most rewarding Acropora, and can be grown using the lowest budget possible.