Aquarium Design, Installation and Maintenance, Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaMarine Aquarium Maintenance and Installation, Thousand Oaks, California

Acropora, Staghorn or SPS Coral


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Introduction by Steve Tyree

Small Polyped Stony ( SPS ) corals , that harbor symbiotic zooxanthellae algae, are beginning to proliferate in many captive reef systems around the world. These corals, along with coralline algae have been referred to as the builders of natural reefs. They are also beginning to build living reef structures in captivity. Amoung the coral species commonly kept are Acropora (staghorn), Pocillopora, Stylophora, Seriatopora and many others.

Hybrid Berlin Systems seems to be the best captive support design used in the states presently. A few advanced reef-keepers have begun to achieve natural growth rates in their properly maintained captive systems. Many of these corals will still need to adapt to the captive reef enviroment. These adaptations are complex and confusing but can eventually be understood. The adaptations even have direct relations to observations of stony coral changes that are occurring on natural reef ecosystems.

Many of the small polyped stonies are being proliferated via fragmentation. In fact, it is currently possible to stock a new reef with small fragmentations from other captive reefs and achieve a reef full of stony coral colonies in a year or two. There has been some recent coral sexual spawnings in the most advanced reef aquariums. many of the reefkeepers who are maintaining these systems are utilizing spawning induction techniques to more naturally simulate the corals wild enviroment. Even with all the success that the advanced aquarist are having, it is still difficult for an aquarist new to small polyped stonies, to be able to proliferate these corals in captivity. Hopefully, the techniques currently employed will be made available to the main body of reefkeepers. Some new books are beginning to document this information but new advances are proceeding at an accelerated pace.

SPS Frag Identification and Growth Sequences

Basic Staghorn Coral Information


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