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Adding Acan Coral To Your Aquarium

This form of coral is really popular with aquarists, and it's easy to see why. Acan corals show several truly unusual color patterns and textures that can change the look of your reef tank. The Acans is a large coral family with many differences and color patterns. From violet, black, blue and green to red, yellow & orange plus variants with several rainbow morphs in between. This Large Polyp Stony (LPS) coral will show a good growth and bring a massive rainbow of color to every reef aquarium. They only need moderate lighting and moderate to high flow, which makes them very easy to cultivate.

About Acans

Acans are active feeders after the lights come on and the sweeping tentacles will stretch over an inch out of the coral body in an effort to grab fish. The positioning of corals in the aquarium, expecting this natural predatory activity, will save colonies from coral wars over space and food.

Acans are present in deeper water, but usually in silky environments where light is not as clear and absorbing due to sand in the water. Usually, they have a larger coral structure, about 10 mm in diameter, with thin lobes across the septa.


Our Favourite Acan Coral Species - Green Acan Lord

The Green Acan Lord (Micromussa lordhowensis) is a lovely bright green with lime green highlights. This is one of the most popular aquariums in the aquarium trade. They do well in captivity and grow quickly, given they are well-fed. However, when targeting the feeding of any coral, it is imperative that a good skimmer is used to export waste and surplus fish. When the tentacles are extended, they search for zooplankton and small invertebrates which are transferred to the mouth when caught. Another source of energy is the symbiotic dinoflagellates, microscopic algae that live within the coral's tissues and which produce nutrients by photosynthesis.

Micromussa lordhowensis occurs in the western Indo-Pacific at a depth of around 30 meters on the reefs (98 ft). It stretches from the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aquaba and the East Coast of Africa to the East China Sea, Japan and Australia. It takes its specific name from Lord Howe Island, the southernmost coral reef in the Pacific. There are approximately 83 recorded species of stony coral, including several tropical species within the southern boundaries of their distribution, along with subtropical species not present in the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

The Green Acan Lord is easy to scent as their well-defined corallites are path maps for cutting. They can withstand many extremes in lighting, but for the better coloring we have found that less bright light works well (HO T5 lights) relative to metal halides.



Micromussa lordhowensis, formerly known as the 'Acan Lord,' is a stony coral species of the Lobophylliidae family. Thanks to new molecular innovations (in this case, mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA) and new morphological evidence, this family is undergoing a significant taxonomic revision. It is an extensive and natural coral with massive polyps found in shallow reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. It was originally known as Acanthastrea and reclassified as Micromussa in 2016.

Micromussa lordhowensis was first analyzed from a molecular phylogenetic (i.e. studying evolutionary relationships between species) perspective and moved to Micromussa when it was found to be unrelated to the genus type, Acanthastrea, but closely related to the other species in Micromussa. In addition, morphological analyzes have reported that Micromussa lordhowensis exhibits the septal scale, form and granulation characteristic of all Micromussa species rather than the smoother septal ornamentation of Acanthastrea. Another species, Montastraea multipunctata, has also been transferred to Micromussa through this study. These findings confirm the need for using both genetic and morphological datasets for the ongoing taxonomic revision of scleractinian corals.


Compatibility With Acan Corals

Acan Lord corals are usually compatible with most other species, room is the secret to compatibility. If you pack it too close to other corals, or if you encourage the Green Star Polyp Colony to rise right up to them, you're in for coral warfare. With enough space to flourish and expand, the Acan coral would make an attractive addition to your saltwater aquarium.

If you're planning to hold Acan species with soft leather corals, you'll want to take some steps to neutralize the chemical warfare of leather corals fought in the tank by using activated carbon and keeping up with water adjustments. You wouldn't want to hold Acans with fish that like to peck at the big, fleshy polyps of LPS corals, otherwise the Acans would become fish food!


Acan Coral Care

In the saltwater reef aquarium, the Acan Coral is extremely hardy and fast-growing, tolerating a wide range of environments, including low and high illumination and moderate water currents. While tolerant of a wide variety of aquarium environments, the sturdy Acan Coral would do its best in a well-established reef aquarium with stable conditions.

Be mindful that Acan Corals are voracious nocturnal predators and competitively extrude mesenterial filaments and digestive species within their grasp. Care must be taken to assess the location and distance between the colonies of Acan and other stony coral species. Goal feed minced mysis shrimp, enriched brine shrimp and small pieces of other meaty marine foods for best growth. The use of a high-quality protein skimmer helps to improve water quality and combat the effects of intensive eating.

Target feed minced meaty foods and zooplankton for best growth and scent recovery time. The use of a better skimmer protein helps to preserve water quality and to counteract the impact of intensive feeding on aquarium water quality.

Although they can accommodate a broader variety of water parameters, this does not negate the obligation to have the best water conditions you can as detailed below:

Temperature: min 72 °F / max 78 °F

pH: 8.1 - 8.4

Alkalinity: 8-12 dkh

Salinity: 1.023 - 1.025


Here at Aquarium Depot we always love to see your reef aquariums, especially with beautiful additions such as Acan corals! You can send us your pictures via our website here, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Acan Corals compromise a group of corals from the genus Acanthastrea.  Acan Corals are part of the Parge Polyp Stony Corals.  Typically when you here Acan Corals, you may think of Lord Acans also called Acan Lords (short for Acanthastrea lordhowensis).  Acan Corals in general are large flat corals with polyps that are approx .5-1.5" in diameter.  Acan Coral care:  Very easy to to care for and grow well in captivity.  The species of Acanthastrea which we typically see in the aquarium trade is Acanthastrea bowerbanki, A. echinata, and Acanthastrea lordhowensis.  Less commonly seen is the Acanthastrea hillae.