The Ice Fire Echinata Acropora is a stunning custom colour morph of the Echinata Acropora species. It grows in what is commonly described as a “bottlebrush” form, with fine branches extending from a larger central stalk. It will also encrust over the rockwork at its base and eventually sprout new stalks as it grows into a colony. It has gorgeous blue tips that gradually become softer in colour, eventually becoming a cream colour at the stalk. Its polyps are generally a blue/green colour.
Specific colour morphs of Echinata Acropora, such as Ice Fire, are almost always found as aquacultured specimens. This means that a hobbyist can be confident that the colouration will be true to form. While they are not as common as some other types of acropora, Echinata Acropora have a very wide range and are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. They are most commonly found on shallow reefs at depths of up to 25 meters. They prefer clear water with high waterflow. In a home aquarium they require stable and pristine water parameters and should be added to a mature tank. They are generally placed on an exposed piece of rockwork in the upper third of the tank. Care should be taken to ensure that they cannot be stung by more aggressive neighbours.
Echinata Acropora are a light loving coral and do best in moderate to high light levels. If the coral is turning brown it may not be receiving enough light and, conversely, a coral that is turning white may be receiving too much light. Flow should be high enough to encourage polyp extension and to keep the coral free from detritus.
This species of acropora, like all acropora, is photosynthetic and can meet its energy requirements through the aquarium lighting. Spot feeding can, however, improve growth rate, colouration and polyp extension. A food such as Vitalis SPS Food makes a good choice for feeding all types of acropora.
The Ice Fire Echinata Acropora is a bit more difficult to frag than other types of acropora because it does not have a protective slime coating. This means that it is more susceptible to drying out if removed from the water for too long. It is also less tolerant of coral dips than other types of acropora. This doesn’t mean it can’t be fragged but care should be taken to not damage it.