Acropora is coral that is in the Cnidaria phylum. The acropora does not always look the exact same simply because it grows in different locations and the species as well as location can affect the look of the acropora.
Acropora In General
For example, it might be plated or have branches that are either slender or broad. Acropora is similar to other corals because they are made up of polyps, which are actually individual corals. They are generally small and only a couple of millimeters across. They share a nerve net as well as tissue. When predators are about or there is a disturbance in the water the polyps may retreat into the coral. However, if they are not disturbed then they will stick out a bit. This generally occurs at night when they are looking for zooplankton that is in the water.
It is most common to find acropora in areas where there is a great deal of water motion as well as bright light. You will find the acropora coral in shallow waters with reefs. It is common to find lots of small fish living near the reef colonies.
Threats To Acropora
The acropora have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, which provide energy to the coral through photosynthesis. Due to environmental factors there are not as many acropora populations as in the past because of pollution and the like. This is affecting many coral species and is a problem for the future population of acropora and other corals.
When acropora corals are stressed they are more likely to bleach. Bleaching occurs when the zooxanthellae, which have a golden color, die off. If new zooxanthellae are not found to fill the coral then the bleached coral may die. It is common for bleaching to occur when there is excessively warm water, pollution, sedimentation, and the like.
Acropora On The Coral Reef
The vast majority of acropora corals are green, gold, or brown. However, it is possible to find acropora corals that are bright in color and aqua culturists are always in search for these types of acropora corals. Many aqua culturists have acropora coral in their reef aquarium and in great conditions it is common for acropora corals to grow fast and for colonies to grow large. In a couple of years it is normal to see a fragment of acropora grow as large as a soccer ball. One of the difficulties of keeping acropora in an aquarium is that it is hard to ensure the strong currents, stable temperatures, and strong light the acropora needs to grow successfully.