The Blue Matrix Acropora first named by Reef Raft is a beautiful Acropora species with dark blue branches with lighter blue circles at the growth tips. They generally will have purple polyps that can appear red under certain lighting spectrums. They grow by branching as well as by encrusting the surrounding rockwork. The encrusted rockwork will, over time, grow new stems to increase the size of the colony.
The Blue Matrix Acropora is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, particularly the waters off Fiji, the Solomon Islands and the Australian Great Barrier Reef. They are a light loving coral and are generally found on shallow reefs in areas of high water flow. While there are some wild collected specimens available for sale, much of what is available in North America is aquacultured. Reef Raft USA is one of the main breeders of this Acropora species and much of the North American market can be traced back to their facilities. Regardless of whether or not the coral is wild collected or aquacultured, Blue Matrix Acropora are generally placed on an exposed piece of rockwork in the upper third of the tank where they will receive ample light and waterflow.
Like other types of Acropora, Blue Matrix does best in areas of moderate to high lighting and high flow. As with many SPS corals, the colour of the coral can be an indication of whether or not the coral is receiving sufficient light. A coral that is turning brown or losing its colour may be receiving too little light, whereas one that is bleaching or turning white may be receiving too much. Remember to make all lighting adjustments slowly to avoid shocking the coral. Flow should be sufficient to encourage polyp extension and keep the coral free of detritus.
Blue Matrix Acropora are photosynthetic and are able to meet their energy needs by utilizing aquarium lighting. They can, however, be fed an SPS specific coral food if desired. Vitalis SPS Food makes a good choice for hobbyists wishing to feed their SPS corals.
Fragging Blue Matrix Acropora is quite simple. Simply cut a piece from a colony and glue it to a frag plug. Over time the new frag will encrust over the plug and begin to grow.