A Beginners Guide To Acan Coral Care

Rainbow Acan

Considered a staple for any saltwater aquarium, the Acan comes in hundreds of different color combinations and is kept by beginners and advanced hobbyists alike. The typical Acan Coral care sheet is as follows:

  • Classification:  (LPS) Acanthastrea
  • Level:  Beginner
  • Light Level:  Moderate
  • Water Flow: Moderate
  • Disposition:  Semi-Aggresive
  • Water Conditions: PH:8.1-8.4, 72-78 F., specific gravity 1.023-1.025, dKH 8-12
  • Placement:  Middle

Feeding your Acan Coral

Acan Coral (Acanthastrea) receives some nutrition by way of photosynthesis.  The key word is SOME.  Many other species of coral use photosynthesis as the main source of nutrition.

Target feeding your Acans twice a week is sufficient, however I have seen some reefers feed their Acans every other day to maximize growth.

Acan Lord

High quality frozen Mysis Shrimp preferred choice of my Acans along with Reef Roids, which I target feed twice a week.

Target feeding involves using a squirt feeder.  My favorite feeder is made by Kent and can be used for either liquid or suspended foods.  A turkey baster can also double as a target feeder.

Many references have said to target feed at night, but my Acans tend to extend their tentacles during the day.  Squirt the solution, which has been mixed with tank water directly, but lightly into the coral.  The tentacles will sense the food and the coral will begin to feed.

Water Flow

From my experience most Acans prefer moderate movement, which involves enough movement to disperse food within reach, but not too fast, which would likely result in polyps that do not open fully.


The theme of Acan care seems to be moderation and lighting requirements are no different.  Placement at the top of the water column could result in too much light resulting in bleaching or death. Here are my lighting parameters on one of my tanks containing several species.

Aquarium Lighting Parameters

Placement is important for lighting purposes, water flow and the aggressiveness of Acan coral.  Give at least 4-6 inches of space between Acans and other coral as they can and will fight for a dominant position.

Related:elegance coral care 

Acan Tentacles

Don’t forget to acclimate your coral appropriately. Some people just float the bag for 30 minutes then drop them into the tank.  I would err on the side of caution and dip the coral to remove and bacteria, parasites and or hitchhikers for 5-10 minutes.  I simultaneously drip acclimate the coral then wash it off with clean saltwater.  Many would then drip acclimate or use another acclimation method for a longer period of time, but I have always put the Acans in the tank after dipping them and I have never had any issues.  One more thing for beginners – don’t glue your frag or colony to your live rock right away as you might have to adjust the corals placement accordingly.

Any other tips and tricks? Comment below and above all, enjoy becoming a saltwater aquarist.

Acan Lord 3

Coral for Sale

Learn more about caring for Coral 



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