The Fish Guru

Acan Coral Care: A Beginner’s Guide to Maintaining a Vibrant Aquarium

Acan Coral Care

When it comes to maintaining a beautiful and healthy aquarium, one of the most important aspects is ensuring that your corals are thriving. The Acan coral is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to its vibrant colors and ease of care.

In this article, we will explore Acan coral care in detail, including its origins and habitat, taxonomy and naming, appearance, placement and temperament in the aquarium, and care and maintenance.

Origins and Habitat

The Acan coral is found in the waters of Fiji, Australia, Tonga, and the Solomon Islands. These corals are typically found on the reefs in shallow waters, but they can also be found in deeper waters up to 100 feet below the surface.

In the wild, Acan corals can thrive in a variety of conditions, including areas with high water flow and low light levels.

Taxonomy and Naming

The Acan coral belongs to the family Lobophylliidae and is known scientifically as Acanthastrea. This genus contains several species of corals, including Acanthastrea echinata, Acanthastrea bowerbanki, and Micromussa lordhowensis.

The latter species is sometimes referred to as the “Acan Lord,” due to its beautiful coloration and unique appearance.


Acan corals are known for their bright and varied colors, which range from shades of purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, and red. These corals have a unique appearance that can vary greatly depending on the species.

Some have a circular shape with a centrally located mouth, while others have a more rectangular or branching shape.

Identifying Different Species

There are several species of Acan corals, and it can be challenging for the beginner to identify them all. Some of the most popular species include Acanthastrea echinata, which has a yellow and green coloration; Acanthastrea bowerbanki, which has a pink and purple coloration; and Micromussa lordhowensis, which has a green and purple coloration.

Placement and Temperament in the Aquarium

Acan corals are bottom-dwelling corals that do best on the substrate of your aquarium. These corals are relatively hardy and can tolerate low to moderate water flow and lighting levels.

It is essential to ensure that there is enough space between the Acan corals and other corals to prevent any damage or aggression toward other species. Acan corals are generally peaceful and do well with reef-safe fish and invertebrates, but they should avoid puffers, angels, triggers, and crabs.

Care and Maintenance

Water Parameters

Like all corals, Acan corals require specific water parameters to thrive. They prefer salinity levels of 1.023-1.026, a pH of 7.8-8.4, and an alkalinity level of 8-12 dKH.

You will also need to monitor and maintain the calcium level at 420-440 ppm and the magnesium level at 1280-1350 ppm. Keeping these parameters in check can ensure that the coral grows healthily and has the required nutrients to sustain its cellular processes.


Acan corals are photosynthetic and rely on the symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae for their nutritional needs. However, supplementing their diet with foods such as krill, brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, coral powders, pellets, and Reef Roids can help enhance the colors and overall health of the corals.

You can feed Acan corals once or twice a week, depending on their size and growth rate.


When it comes to choosing tankmates for your Acan corals, it is essential to make sure that they are reef-safe and will not bother or stress the corals. Some suitable options include small fish such as clownfish, gobies, and blennies, as well as invertebrates such as snails, crabs, and shrimp.

It is essential to avoid puffers, angels, triggers, and crabs, as they can easily damage or stress the Acan corals.


Fragging, or the process of cutting a coral fragment and attaching it to a new surface, can be an effective way to propagate and maintain healthy corals in your aquarium. The Acan coral is relatively easy to frag, and there are several techniques you can use, including an electric saw, bone cutter, or bandsaw.

Fragging Process

To frag an Acan coral, use an electric saw or bone cutter to cut around the polyps you wish to remove. Once you have the fragment, attach it to a suitable surface, such as a frag plug or a rock, and dip it in iodine to disinfect the coral and prevent any pests or diseases from spreading.

Growth Rate

The Acan coral is a slow-growing species, and it may take several weeks for the new fragment to develop several new heads. The growth rate of the Acan coral can vary depending on several factors, including lighting, water flow, and feeding.

You can enhance the growth rate of your Acan coral by providing ideal water parameters, adequate lighting, and a steady supply of nutrients.


As we have seen, Acan coral care is relatively easy and straightforward. These corals are hardy and can thrive in a range of conditions, making them an excellent addition to any aquarium.

With a bit of attention and care, your Acan corals can grow healthy and vibrant, enhancing the overall beauty of your aquarium space. Whether you are new to reef keeping or a seasoned pro, the Acan coral is a great choice for any aquarium enthusiast.

Common Problems and Solutions

Caring for corals can be both challenging and rewarding. However, even the most diligent reef keeper can encounter issues with their corals.

In this article, we will explore some of the common problems reef keepers encounter when caring for their Acan corals and provide solutions to tackle these issues.

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiency can be an issue with Acan corals, just like any other type of coral. This can manifest in several ways, including stunted growth, dull or faded colors, and tissue recession.

The most common nutrient deficiencies in Acan corals are nitrates, magnesium, calcium, and trace elements. Too low or too high nitrate levels can lead to poor growth or tissue recession in Acan corals.

Keeping nitrate levels between 5-10 ppm can ensure that your corals have the necessary nutrients to grow and thrive. Similarly, magnesium and calcium levels should be kept at optimum levels of 1280-1350 ppm and 420-440 ppm, respectively.

Maintaining these levels can lead to healthier and more colorful corals. Trace elements, including iodine and strontium, are also essential nutrients required by Acan corals.

Trace elements help with the coloration of corals, and a deficiency of these elements can lead to dull or faded colors. Regular testing and supplementation of trace elements can prevent nutrient deficiencies in Acan corals.

Light Issues

Lighting is essential for the growth and coloration of Acan corals. These corals require low to moderate lighting levels, but too much or too little light can cause issues.

Too little light can cause Acan corals to become faded and lose their color. Increasing the amount and intensity of the lighting can help bring back the vibrant colors.

You can add new lights or move your corals to a brighter location in the tank. On the other hand, too much light can cause tissue burn and recession.

It is essential to understand the lighting requirements of your Acan coral species and provide the optimal lighting conditions for them.

Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior can be an issue in some Acan coral species, particularly when they are in close proximity to other corals. This can lead to coral warfare, where corals fight for territorial supremacy by stinging and killing competing corals.

Choosing Acan coral species that are compatible with each other and providing enough space between them can prevent this issue. Additionally, observing the behavior of your corals and rearranging them as required can also prevent aggressive behavior.


Tankmates can also cause issues for Acan corals if they are not compatible. There are some species of fish and invertebrates that like to nip on corals or stress them, leading to tissue recession or coral death.

Choosing compatible tankmates, such as small fish and invertebrates, can ensure that your Acan corals thrive. It is also essential to avoid species that may cause damage or stress to your corals, such as puffers, angels, and triggers.

Advantages and

Disadvantages of Acan Corals

Acan corals are a popular choice among reef keepers due to their bright colors and ease of care. However, like any other coral species, they also have their advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of Acan corals in detail.


Easy to care for: Acan corals are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners and experienced reef keepers alike. They can tolerate a range of water conditions, including low to moderate light and water flow.

Adaptable to most tank conditions: Acan corals are known for their adaptability to different tank conditions, which makes them a versatile addition to most aquariums. They can thrive in a variety of environments, including high or low nutrient levels and varying light and water flow conditions.

Hardy: Acan corals are hardy and resilient. They can recover from mild stress quickly and don’t require a lot of special attention or supplements to stay healthy.

Fun to feed: Acan corals are enthusiastic eaters, which makes them fun to feed. They can consume a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, and frozen or live food.

Fills up shaded areas: Acan corals can thrive in low light conditions, making them an excellent choice for filling up shaded or less illuminated areas of the tank.


Slow growth rate: Acan corals are a slow-growing species, and it may take several weeks or months to see significant growth and expansion. This can be frustrating for reef keepers who want to see rapid progress in their aquarium.

Not as exciting as other LPS coral: Compared to other LPS coral species, Acan corals may seem less exciting due to their limited variety in terms of shape and size. Designer names can make desirable varieties unattainable: Some Acan coral varieties are highly sought after due to their unique coloration and appearance.

These varieties can come with a high price tag, making them less attainable for the average reef keeper.


Caring for Acan corals requires a bit of patience and attention, but the rewards can be well worth it. By understanding the common problems and solutions and the advantages and disadvantages of Acan corals, reef keepers can ensure that their corals thrive in their aquarium.

With regular maintenance and care, Acan corals can provide a beautiful and colorful addition to any reef tank. In conclusion, caring for Acan corals requires an understanding of their unique needs and specific requirements.

Reef keepers should be aware of common problems that can arise, such as nutrient deficiencies, light issues, aggressive behaviour, and incompatible tankmates. Providing suitable lighting conditions, regular testing of water parameters, and selecting appropriate tankmates can help ensure that Acan corals thrive in your aquarium.

Although these corals have a slow growth rate, they offer many advantages, such as being easy to care for, hardy, adaptable to most tank conditions, fun to feed, and ideal for filling up shaded areas. It is essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages to make an informed decision when choosing Acan corals for your aquarium.

By providing the necessary care and maintenance, Acan corals can provide a colorful and stunning addition to any reef tank.

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