Red Acropora

Red Acropora from Blane Peruns TheSea
Photograph by Frank Starmer

Red Acropora – What makes Them Different from Pink and Purple Colonies?

Red Acropora species, which are uncommonly rare compared to the various types of blue, purple or pink colored corals; when it comes to comparing these species, there are a variety of aspects that need to be taken into consideration.
The water composition in the area where the coral is known to thrive, as well as the amount of UV filtration the water is capable of and its overall temperature fluctuations are all important ingredients in determining the type of pigment that corals are most likely to use depending on their species and specific location on the reef slope.

Pink and Red Acropora

Apart from the amount of UV light that makes its way to the coral in question, the differences between colors are actually influenced by a number of other factors as well. In corals, warmer, red pigment is actually either a more intense version of pink still required for high depths (where the water doesn’t fully filter UV rays to the point of making them harmless), or a lighter shade of brown normally adapted for corals located at lower depths.
Red Dragon Acropora is the perfect example of these types of corals. Ranging from orange and bright red to magenta, its pigments can change depending on the amount of oxygen it is required to produce and the amount of UV light it needs to protect itself from.
Its semi-aggressive temperament sets it somewhat apart from most types of Acropora, while the water content it requires is extremely specific, which make it prone to temperature fluctuations and adverse effects resulting from water iodine, magnesium and calcium concentrations.

Light Intensity and Water Depth

For red Acropora species such as the Red Dragon Acropora usually light intensity has to be more specific in order for them to maintain their natural coloring and steady production of oxygen that would induce an adequate amount of growth.
Purple or blue Acropora colonies which are adapted to fending off a higher amount of sunlight on a regular basis and can thrive in a wider variety of environments – even doing well in tanks. Red varieties of Acropora, on the other hand, are significantly more sensitive and difficult to maintain, as well as more prone to environmental changes.
Aside from this, red Acropora is also found at much lower depths and requires less exposure when it comes to its placement on the reef slope surface, a fact that is in accordance with the main geographic locations they thrive in such as the areas to the north of Australia and south of Indonesia.