The Garf Bonsai is an Acropora Humulus species and one of the classic acros to keep. Branches can grow different shades from light to the deepest dark purple with neon green polyps. The coral structure grows out in a roundish bush. We have been growing this piece out in our systems since around 2010. Doc will add this coral to most reef aquarium installations. The coral is on the bullet proof acro species list so it is pretty hardy and has great color. While performing routine reef aquarium maintenance clip out tightly grown branches to allow good water flow through the coral. It is not a super fast growing coral so pruning will be easy.
Acropora corals are one of the more challenging corals due to the fact chemistry levels need to be stable in order for this coral to do well. Regular testing of alkalinity and calcium are required. Flow needs to be alternating and strong. The colors will look great with good lighting, flow and certain nutrient levels.
Lighting: medium high – strong lighting 250-450 PAR.
Flow: medium – high
Care Level: intermediate- advanced
Original Location Range: Indonesia, Coral Triangle, South Pacific
Grown in our California coral farm where we provide zero impact corals
Water chemistry Calcium 400-450, Magnesium 1350, KH 7-9.5, pH 8.1-8.4, Nitrates .01-10, Phosphates .01-.1 salinity 1.026
Temperature Range: 74- 81 Fahrenheit
Dosing: Doc highly recommends automated dosing of Ca, Kh and other elements to provide ultimate stable water chemistry throughout the day. It is important there are no large fluctuation swings especially with Kh/alkalinity. For more information on dosing and products click here.
Placement recommendations: Acropora coral will do best in the upper 1/3 of the aquarium where light and flow is high. Best to have alternating flow in a back and forth motion.
Attachment: Use epoxy and reef glue or just reef glue for smaller fragments. Clip off as much of the plug or disc possible. Add a small amount of coral glue to the underside of the disk. Mix up enough two part epoxy to create a small mound and dab it a few times into the glue to get it tacky then press and mold a conical shape. Add a few small daps to the tip of the cone dabbing the glue so it really sticks to the epoxy. Press the coral disk onto the desired location and press the epoxy flat around the disk. Be sure the coral is fully secure, the coral should never fall off the reef.
Click here for our favorite epoxy and reef glues.
Trouble shooting: Acros can and will brown out easy especially went first added to a new environment. Do not be alarmed if your colorful Acropora fragment browns out for a while. They will also brown out from any unstable levels, keeping consistent water parameters is best for the coral. Pests like acropora eating flatworms aka aefw will cause the coral to brown out and stress out. Keep an eye out for slow tissue necrosis and rapid tissue necrosis.