I added these staghorn corals to my tank today. What is the type light I need to keep it alive?
What all else do I need to do to keep it alive? Yea I know its an open ended question....
HI Welcome to Fishlore!
Wow, I haven't seen many, if any, others keeping Staghorn. This is exciting though, because I know a little something about how it grows in the wild. I'm from Key Largo, FL where Staghorn was once quite abundant. Take the following with a grain of salt because again, I don't know about their captive care.
It grows in relatively shallow water, meaning it prefers high lighting, as do most species of Acropora. I can also surmise that it prefers high flow because this coral grows either at the top of our local reefs or in the open (as opposed to within the confines of rocky structures, like we find on natural reefs. These structures can provide some protection from ripping currents, allowing life preferring low flow to thrive in some parts of these structures.)
Also like other SPS species, Staghorn will need stable (not variable) levels of what is commonly referred to as The Big 3... Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium. This looks like the only coral in the tank and is assumedly new. It is precisely the coral that might cause a drop or wavering in calc and alk. Because stony corals use calc and alk for growth... the more you have and the faster it grows... the more calc and alk it will take from the water column. The uptake is what causes the drop, so when reefers have enough coral that the marine salt used and water changes to replenish minerals aren't enough, then we must replenish the minerals ourselves. This is known as dosing and it's a big step in reefing. We cannot just add extra calc and alk all willy nilly because corals need it. Instead, we must monitor levels closely to guage the uptake of corals, and only replace what is lost. This way, we are managing stable levels rather than adding extra because it's needed. Make sense?
I'm sorry to assume, but it seems like this is perhaps your first coral? Acros are not beginner's corals to be quite honest. May I ask where you got it?
Thank you...This is my first coral but have run salt tanks for many years.
I live in Key Largo too--MM96--and am the head captain at Rainbow Reef.
The coral was given to me by friends who maintain a very large variety of coral. All legal and permitted.