To the Newbie or even an Experienced Reefer Buying Acroporas can sometimes be fraught with less than apparent or obvious signs that you or i might miss so here's a few pointers to look out when walking into a shop and purchasing that shining blue coral that you cant take your eyes off
Firstly get to know the shop and build up a relationship with them this helps build up trust between you and the owners, If you can openly chat about the corals in the tanks and questions you may ask dont get avoided like a leper walking through the queens birthday party, Then you know they have nothing to hide, Avoid owners that change the subject when a simply answer you ask is ignored or the subject suddenly changes to the weather.
Now you've built up trust the funs starts, You have the kit , the lights, the rock, Every tool in the Armory is at your disposal except maybe what to look out for.
So here are a few tips when buying the Purple SPS or what ever rocks your boat.
Colour - Do not be fooled with the Acroporas current colour that you are now staring at, It may well be brightly coloured almost fluorescent in appearance, But this is mainly down to the fact it had a bad transportation and has dumped alot of zooanthellae so the chances are it will darken up in no time when you take it back home, Not only that you also run the risk of losing it with more stress again.
Take alook around the shops tank if some are glowing and the rest are not so bright, You know its one to avoid if a shop lets you buy it .. well find another who will rest them until the gain back the proper colour, If you have enough experience and want to take the gamble and do own a mature tank then its very feasible it will get back to normal given the same parameters are as spot on as the LFS.
But that comes with time ... and to the newbie its certain curtains if parameters are swinging about the place.
Crabs - Most Acropora crabs are safe and clean the acro and live off its waste, But some are bad for the coral and can quickly RTN a coral , These are usually baby teddy bear crabs, They dont have the normal look of an acro crab, The ones you need have white bands across the eyes.
A tebby bear crab will be hairy and extremely hard to spot in amonsgt that hairy millepora you are now looking at, So do give the coral an inspection before milliputting it down onto your chosen rock, A magnifiying glass can be a great tool to spot these crabs.
Do not kill them unless its a last resort a tooth pick can be used to pick them off and they can be sumped for future viewing.
Die Back- Give the coral a good look at the base and check for any white patches inside the corals inside, if it has a good deal of white in amonsgt a red coral you know its not going to have much chance of surviving especially at its core it can quickly spread and you will soon have a fragging project on your hands, Not a bad thing to some people
If the acro also shows no signs of polyps with white die back then doubly avoid handing over cash.
Thats a few tips for now until i can think of some more, They aren't Gospel but just some handy hints if you are new and bewildered by the seemingly overwhelming world of SPS
A few Tips On Buying Acropora (SPS)
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