Acropora, staghorn, or sps are all part of what can be called the 'small
polyped stony' corals ( although some may argue against it ). The reason
for the term is that these corals are comprised of small polyps which deposit
and form encrusting or branching forms.
Of the four basic groups of corals in the hobby ( ie: colonial polyps,
soft corals, hard corals and SPS corals ) they were the last group available
to the hobby. Their appeal is due to the variety of colors, fast growth,
Their colors range from brown, brown with colorful tips to brilliant
greens, blues and reds.What determines their color is still a subject that
is highly debatable. Some believe it is the result of high alkalinity and
carbonate hardness of the water. Others believe it is due to the intensity
or high 'kelvin' temperature color of the lights. It is agreed though that
very strong lighting, such as metal hilide lighting, is a requirement.
Under the more intense lighting, along with strong water flow and calcium
supplements, these corals can grow at a rather excellerated pace. Some
can grow up to 4 or 6 inches per year in a captive enviroment.
As hobbyists achieve greater sucsess with these corals the need to prune,
trim or thin-out a colony becomes necessary. By snipping branches off an
existing colony and adhering them to another rock, or spot, the coral can
recuperate and start an entirely new colony. This process in the hobby
is refered to as ' fragging' or fragmentation.