Acanthastrea Coral Care
Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, Order Scleractinia, Family Mussidea, Genera Acanthastrea
Common names: moon coral, acan
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 2): Care difficulty for these corals depends on species, but most are generally tolerant and forgiving when healthy.
Acan Coral Feeding
These corals have strong prey capture ability. In addition to feeding tentacles, these corals are also known to extend their stomachs, mesenterial filament bundles which dissolve and digest their neighbors. They should be fed at night since this is when they usually extend their feeder tentacles and/or mesenterial filaments.
If after several weeks your coral is still not extending feeder tentacles, you can try to encourage a feeding response with night-time target feeding. When doing this, wait one hour after lights go off before feeding. Turn water flow off so that the food can fall and rest onto the coral. Give the coral an hour or two to “grab hold” of the food, then turn water flow back on. Do this regularly until feeder tentacles extend regularly in anticipation of feeding.
Once your coral is readily extending feeding tentacles, it will be able to catch food from the current without any assistance.
Acan Coral Lighting
(Level 3 to 6): These corals can adapt to a wide range of light intensities. Start by placing the coral lower down in the tank and move up if necessary. As with any coral, bleaching can occur if not properly acclimated to a sudden change in lighting.
Acan Coral Waterflow
Moderate water flow is recommended.
Acan Coral Placement
These are very aggressive corals. Their mesenterial filaments can and will dissolve the tissues of other corals within reach, so please give them plenty of space to avoid contact with other corals.
Acan Coral Growth
All Acan’s grow at different rates, keep nutrient levels low and feed it a couple times a week with mysis or brine shrimp and it should grow new heads or polyps quickly. Spot-feeding will help entice them to grow faster, especially if you don’t feed your tank every day.
Placement will also affect how an Acan Coral grows. If you have them placed on a rock it will continue to spread and then grow the skeleton across the surface of the rock. If it’s growing on the sandbed, it will end up growing into a ball shape.
Like many corals, they can take some time to “settle in” to a new home. Wait a few weeks to see normal feeding behavior before worrying.
These corals are often confused for corals of the Faviidae family or for their Blastomussa and Micromussa cousins. Acanthastrea (Acan) have exceptionally large, pointy septa (skeletal “teeth”) that help distinguish them from other corals. However, you may never know exactly which kind coral you have without close examination of the coral skeleton.