In my experience with Acanthastrea Lordhowensis, commonly called Acan Lords, they are far less demanding that any SPS coral in my system. They do not require intense lighting, insane amounts of water flow, or perfect water parameters. They are also some of my most prized possessions in my system as the colors can be outstanding.
Acans generally have polyps between 1/2- to 1 1/4-inch in diameter. Acan polyps are described as "fleshy"...meaning they can extend well beyond their skeleton. Acanthastrea Coral are found in many locations on the reef up to about 60 feet deep.
Acans are typically collected from Indonesia or Australia. However, the most colorful ones typically are coming out of Australia.
Typical recommendations for light requirements is "low to medium". However, I would suggest any lighting besides Power Compacts for these corals. I have all of mine on the sandbed under cover, from SPS corals above them, under 250w metal halides. I have seen them kept under VHO, T5, and MH and they all looked great. If you want to place them under more intense light, they should be acclimated so as to not get light shock.
These corals do great for me in moderate to a medium high flow area. Like all other corals, use NO direct flow on them. You want to see the polyps GENTLY moving in the flow. This will allow the feeding tentacles to capture the food from the water column as it passes them by.
With the above environmental conditions in mind, care must also be taken to not place the acan too close to other species. Acans will usually end up in a fight when it comes in contact with other corals. The winner always seems to be determined by price....the cheaper coral usually wins. But seriously, usually nothing good comes from coral to coral contact with acans.
These corals are a very forgiving coral, IME. They do not require "perfect" water conditions, but would benefit them to be well taken care of. High calcium, Alk, and Mag will help them to grow faster, but are not required. I would recommend everything else to read 0's, but low readings will not have and noticable effect on them.
Acans will readily accept feedings of meaty foods such as shrimp, mysis and squid. For best results add a little food to the display and wait a few minutes for the corals to sense the food and extend their feeding tentacles. Then polyps can be spot fed.
The propagation of Acanthastrea Coral is actually quite easy with the right tools. The best fragging method is a wet band saw. However, a wet tile saw or dremel tools may be used to make the appropriate cuts. Simple agitation of the coral will cause the polyps to retract, at which time it is safe to cut out the desired number of polyps. Once the frag is made, the polyp will heal and again begin to make its own skeleton. Frags can easily be glued into your aquascaping, attached to a frag plug, or left loose.
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