Also Known As: Acan, Acans, Acanthastrea, Lord, Lords
Scientific Name: Acanthastrea lordhowensis
Why Buy this item: This is one of the very best corals for reef aquariums. If kept in proper conditions they live and keep their color well. They come in a wide variety of colors and price points that are sure to please all levels of hobbyists.
Feeding/Diet: This coral will greatly benefit from feeding. If you are feeding a fair amount to your tank in general that might be enough to sustain this item without target feeding. However, if you are looking to maximize color or growth, it is important to target feed this item 1 to 3 times per week.
Regional Differences: For the most part, Australian specimens have significantly more color and are significantly healthier. There are a few diamonds in the rough from Indonesia that shine, but they are few and far between.
Natural environment Info: These corals are commonly found in areas with a large amount of algae. They are often exposed to dirty and murky water. They also get a fair share of sunny days with clear water. They depend on this balance to continue to prosper in the wild. This may explain their dependence on feedings to thrive and the need for them to be in a system that is neither too clean nor too dirty.
Natural Reproduction Info: Acan Lords reproduce asexually as well as by spawning.
Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate
Growth Info: This coral grows by forming new tiny polyps on its growth edge. These newly formed tiny polyps are sometimes a similar color to the adult polyps within the main colony or more commonly a radically different color depending on the colonies genetic coloration and/or environmental factors like lighting. Over the course of several weeks to months these tiny polyps grow and become mature. Once they reach mature size they will also begin to produce new tiny polyps on their growth edge and the process continues.
Placement: Acan Lords are usually best placed low in the tank or on the sand bed. If placing on the sand bed, make sure they do not get covered by sand or try to ingest it in any manner. They have a hard time getting it out and this can cause stress and ultimately kill the coral.
Propagation & Fragging: This coral is best propagated by cutting around each polyp with a specially designed wet band saw like a Gryphon or Inland. The coral polyps can live if cut, but it adds risk and significantly increases the chances of die off. Many people frag this coral with a wide variety of other tools. However, none seem as successful due to their inconsistency and added propensity to crush or fracture the corals delicate skeleton structure.
Shipping Info: This coral ships very well and has a very low risk of dying in transit when packed properly.
What to look for when buying: Be sure the specimen you are buying is well settled in and proven to be adjusting well to captivity or just adjusting well to its aquarium after being shipped from anywhere. You can generally tell this by seeing if the polyps are puffed out, taking food, feeder tentacles come out, and it is not a pastel or bleached color. Also, check that the coral is not receding around the edges, showing any fresh white skeletal colors and the item has not been freshly cut.
They often change color significantly within the first few weeks in captivity and are known to be more colorful when freshly stressed or recently shipped.
It is a common problem to have die off within the rocks of larger colonies. If buying this item in person, be sure to smell it and check for any foul odor of die off. Sponges, worms, mollusks, and other things can die within the rocks causing decay and rot.
All of the above are things we look for and watch closely before offering any of these specimens for sale.